Vampire Maman Bonus Post: 2-Second TV Reviews

2-Second TV reviews

Don’t tell me that you don’t watch TV because I know you do. I know you aren’t reading literary books and discussing Eastern Philosophy and organic farming techniques every single night. And I can say that because I like history and opera and I’ve read War and Peace. I don’t watch TV 24/7, but sometimes one just has to chill out and take a break.

This is just a small and unscientific sampling of things I’ve seen this season. Feel free to add your own 2-Second reviews in the comment section for shows I failed to mention.

Vikings

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You’d think anyone that violent with that much artistic talent would be having a whole lot of fun. These guys are no fun at all.

Sherlock

A lot of fun. All the young girls like it for obvious reasons. Very British. Sometimes it drags a little.

Elementary

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A fun and smart take on Sherlock Holmes, with a female Watson. They saved the show by not having the two main characters jump into bed. Witty writing.

Grimm

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We love this show. We love the characters. Grimm Rocks! That’s it.

Dracula and Hostages

Just shoot me now and poke my eyes out with a stick. Both had potential but ended up being just stupid with a lot of bad plot lines, melodramatic acting and general confusion. Plus exceptionally bad costumes in Dracula. Don’t bother.

CSI

Only Las Vegas is on now. What is up with all the caked on makeup on the women this year? Come on gals this isn’t Cathouse. Still silly and fun to watch with a cocktail.

Drive-in, Diners and Dives:

Food Pornography. We need a Vampire version of this show.

Almost Human

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This was almost good enough to capture my attention but then turned into just another bromance cop show. I hope it gets better (let me know and I’ll give it another try.)

Downton Abby

I’ve never watched this show. I don’t know why. For the longest time I thought it was Downtown Abby.

Are you the one (MTV)

Unknown

A bunch of unsuccessful daters are put together, each with a perfect match. They each get $50,000 if they find their match. This is a group effort. This is a train wreck that we can’t stop watching. We’re so pathetic.

Resurrection

We saw the first one. We all thought about people coming back but didn’t say much to each other about it. It is an old story. This one was done quite well. We’ll keep watching it.

Bate’s Hotel

I’ve never seen it but the kids say it is exceptionally creepy.

Bones

Read the books. You’ll thank me for it later.

Parenthood

Good production value… BUT these characters are sooooooo annoying. Too politically correct. Not good parents at all. Makes me want to scream – so I don’t watch it. My husband watches it when I’m not around.

Ripper Street

Not as good this season or as campy. Hmmmm. Somewhat confusing. Adding the Elephant Man was an unfortunate plot twist.

Naked and Afraid

We saw this once. The guy was an antisocial dick. The woman was sweet and deserved a better partner. The kids want to watch the new season and that makes me feel naked and afraid. Uh no, I think you have homework to do.

Modern Family

Brilliant and always funny. The smartest show on TV.

Parks and Rec

I didn’t think I’d like this one but find myself laughing every time.

Person of Interest

No weak female characters in this show. Woo Hoo. Am I sick and twisted because I’m starting to like Root?

Big Bang Theory

Too many sex jokes. I think it is running out of steam. Why do guys with such well paying jobs live in such a dump?

Ink Master

Always fun and a little weird. Dave Navarro is still smoking hot but needs to grow his hair out. Nobody is that good this year. Run human canvas run!

Hawaii Five-O

This show is so campy. It was sort of fun in a really stupid way (good drinking game material) until Steve’s girlfriend quit the Navy and became just another bimbo TV cop. She was smarter and sexier in uniform. Blah.

Justified

This season isn’t quite as wonderful as past seasons. I still enjoy the wonderful accents and plot twists, but I expected more this year. Maybe it will happen. I hope so.

Pawn Stars

I’ve seen things that I own on this program. Nothing is rare. Nothing is valuable unless two people want it bad enough.

Duck Dynasty

I don’t get the attraction. I don’t get it at all.

Oddities

Watch the New York show. The San Francisco show is too contrived and the people on it look like they’re wearing contrived Halloween costumes – not genuinely weird or original.

Too Cute

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Nothing but puppies and kittens. No kidding. Feeling down? Watch this show. Feeling good? Watch this show. Warning – it is toxic cute.

Montessori Mafia

Doves with razor blades. No such show – my kids told me that one. Based on years of Montessori schooling. HAHAHAHAHAH.

TV-Watching

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

And have a happy pi day!

Short Story Sunday: Guest Writer Edgar Allen Poe – The Tell Tale Heart

I find myself somewhat out of words… without a Sunday Short Story – so I’m honored to feature a story of terror from dear Eddie Poe. My brother used to read this to me and we would scare ourselves silly!  This story is best when read out loud! So please READ IT ALOUD to your friends and family and anyone you want to totally and completely creep out! 

For more great gothic, horror and romantic fiction with a twist stories go to the bottom of the page for links.

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The Tell-Tale Heart

by Edgar Allan Poe
(first published 1850)

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TRUE! — nervous — very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses — not destroyed — not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily — how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture –a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees — very gradually –I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded –with what caution –with what foresight –with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night, about midnight, I turned the latch of his door and opened it –oh so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern, all closed, closed, so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly –very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! –would a madman have been so wise as this? And then, when my head was well in the room, I undid the lantern cautiously –oh, so cautiously –cautiously (for the hinges creaked) –I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights –every night just at midnight –but I found the eye always closed; and so it was impossible to do the work; for it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber, and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he has passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed, to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.

Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch’s minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers –of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was, opening the door, little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea; and perhaps he heard me; for he moved on the bed suddenly, as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back –but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness, (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers,) and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.

I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening, and the old man sprang up in bed, crying out –“Who’s there?”

I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed listening; –just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief –oh, no! –it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself –“It is nothing but the wind in the chimney –it is only a mouse crossing the floor,” or “It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp.” Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel –although he neither saw nor heard –to feel the presence of my head within the room.

When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little –a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it –you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily –until, at length a single dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.

It was open –wide, wide open –and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness –all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot.

And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over acuteness of the senses? –now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! –do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me –the sound would be heard by a neighbor! The old man’s hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once –once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.

I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye — not even his –could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out –no stain of any kind –no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all –ha! ha!

When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o’clock –still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, –for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbor during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

I smiled, –for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search –search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: –it continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness –until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.

No doubt I now grew very pale; –but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased –and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound –much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath — and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly –more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent   but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men — but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed –I raved –I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder –louder –louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! –no, no! They heard! –they suspected! –they knew! –they were making a mockery of my horror! –this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! –and now –again! –hark! louder! louder! louder! louder! —

“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! –tear up the planks! –here, here! –it is the beating of his hideous heart!”

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More from Short Story Sunday

Click on the title to go to the story.

And if you get a chance read or listen to the audio version of The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl (it is one of my favorite books). A fun, romantic, smart book that will transport you back to the 19th century (but without Vampires.) It takes you back to a young man’s search for the real truth behind Poe’s death and on a journey with unique characters you won’t forget. Matthew Pearl is did his research with this one. The guy is brilliant. The guy rocks at historic fiction.

And because I couldn’t resist…

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Notoriously Hot (ramblings in the heat)

At 108 degrees farenheit it is too hot. Way too hot. It is one of those days where I wish humans were cold-blooded because I don’t want anything that doesn’t have ice in it. At 98.6 degrees the average human is no treat for any Vampire in this weather.

With a body temperature running more than slightly on the cold side and an aversion to sunlight as it is – I am so cranky and bitchy right now I can hardly stand it. Vampires tend to be cold weather creatures so I’m wondering why I’m living in such a HOT place right now.

Then on top of it all I get a call from my mother asking me to do one more thing to help out my brother who is “in an emotional slump” and I explode “He is single and doing FINE in my book. I have two kids, a husband, a business AND I’m taking care of the elders this summer. NO. He can call me but I don’t have time for HIS DRAMA.” My brother Aaron, the other sibling with kids and a business and too much on his plate told her the same thing. There are two other brothers who need to step up to the plate….but…excuse me for the vent. A lot of us, Vampire or not are dealing with the summer HEAT and nasty issues…I am so hot I feel like rotting Zombie.

And no bitching or correcting my spelling or grammar today – it is too hot and my connection is slow and you don’t want a crabby Vampire on your hands.

In the meantime my darling husband finally fixed the air conditioning (yes, it went out just as the triple digits hit) and said “Honey, I recorded your favorite movie.”

We’d planned on going out but we decided to stay in with ice-cold cocktails and one of my favorite movies Notorious (1946) with Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant and Claude Raines.

220px-Notorious_posterThat movie covers every side of hot and cold that a movie can. Did I mention it was directed by Alfred Hitchcock? It was.

The plot: Alicia is a party girl with a German father and American mother. The movie starts when her father is thrown in prison for being a spy. Later, at a party, with a lot of free-flowing booze, a friend brings a mysterious and ever so handsome man. The attraction is there. He is Devlin, an American spy. To get to the point, the attraction turns to something more. You have to read between the lines, or watch and listen between the lines in this movie because of the censorship laws back then. Anyway, she has a reputation but is in love with him. He loves her but he holds back due to the typical double standard male ego.

Soooo to make a long story short and confusing…They go to Brazil (where the nuts come from) and fall in love even more and are obviously hula dancing (you know what I’m talking about but they can’t say it or show it in old movies – the teens found this very confusing).

But THEN the head spy decides, since she is already a slut (and these guys are so into slut shaming) she should marry or at least sleep with a bad German Sebastian (played brilliantly by Claude Raines) and find out what he, his friends and his creepy mother are up to. Alecia is shocked. Devlin is against it but says nothing, waiting for her to decide for herself. She figures he doesn’t love her and is a cold-hearted bastard so she says yes. What choice does she have?

So she married Sebastian but still keeps in touch with her handler Devlin (who she is still in love with). But wait – she and Devlin discover Sebastian and his creepy friends and evil mother are storing uranium ore in wine bottles. Who would have thought?

220px-Notorious1946Fast forward…the Evil Husband and his Creepy mother find out Alicia is a spy and poison her. Devlin worried that he hasn’t seen her for a week, goes to rescue her and realized in the MOST romantic scene ever that he loves her. LOVES HER in the worst and best possible way. The end.

You HAVE to watch it (just for her clothes and Cary Grant’s beautiful face if nothing else.)

So over ice-cold drinks we (husband, kids and me) huddled on the couch in the dark and watched the movie. The teens quickly left when it was over. I was happy and a little cooler.

Next we’re going to force the kids to watch Casablanca with us. Never has a better movie been made.

Garrett (age 17) asked us (the parents) “What did you do before air conditioning.”

We went to the coast for the summer or at least to San Francisco. We sort of stopped going to San Francisco for the entire summer after the earthquake (1906) but my parents did rebuild and still live there. I was in Monterey when it happened. Teddy (my husband but not yet) was living in Europe with my brother Max. We DO need to start going to the coast  and mountains more to cool off but with two teens and our busy lives…we just don’t do it enough. It was easier when the kids were small, but…you know how it is.

All I can say is THANK GOODNESS we don’t wear corsets and a thousand layers of clothing anymore. Not that we always did during the summer months back then.

I called up the elders to make sure they were staying cool. Thank goodness their neighbor checked in on them too.

In this hot weather please make sure that you check in on friends and family members who are elderly or who otherwise might forget to turn on the air conditioning. Some people are like frogs. You a frog in cold pan. It sits there all comfortable cool and happy. Then you turn on the heat and watch as the frog just sits, not even realizing the heat was turned on until it is cooked. That is what happens to some people (and even some  Vampires and Werewolves who don’t know better.)

And make sure your pets have plenty of cool water.

The kids started to ask about the Donner Party but I told them that was a story for another day. The Donner Party on a day like today? Really?

So keep cool. Keep happy. Stay sane.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Maman’s Official 2013 Spring/Summer Reading List

cat reads the classicsSummer is almost here. I know some of you are still getting snow (I’m sorry) but it is in the high 80’s here. School is wrapping up. We’re planning for our summer already (travel, school plans for next year, college applications/tests/essays, etc). But always in my plans for the warm weather is summer books. And when one lives in a temperate to hot climate with the average temperature of 74 degrees F it always feels like summer (especially when we have what seems like months of triple digit weather). But no matter where you live or what your weather is…it is always nice to share books suggestions.

I’ve read all of the books and can honestly say THESE ARE WORTH READING.

Vampire Maman’s 2013 Recommended Summer Reading List

Summer Reading

The Language of Flowers

By Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Beautiful book.  It is both heartbreaking and will make you think again about the youth who are part of the foster care system.  This book isn’t what I expected at all. Just amazing.

When Victoria Jones turns 18, she is no longer eligible for support in the foster care system. But life on her own is no easy feat and she is soon reduced to sleeping in a park. The remarkable garden she cultivates brings her comfort and soon after her talent with flowers catches the eye of Renata, a kindly shop owner who takes pity on the girl and gives her a job. Victoria’s understanding of flowers—that hawthorn is for hope, honeysuckle for devotion, or daisy for innocence—is as extraordinary as her ability to discern people’s needs and find blossoms that can help them. Soon she has a thriving clientele of her own. If only Victoria could make things right for herself….

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Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn (who is brilliant)

There are so many twists and turns in this book that you’ll always be surprised. One of the best books I’ve read all year. Loved it. It was so much fun (and at times so uncomfortable but in a fun way). Just the right amount of sick and twisted to make it really fun.

On their first four wedding anniversaries, Nick’s wife, Amy, sent him on an intricate scavenger hunt to find her gift to him. When she disappears on their fifth, the police think the game has turned deadly…and Nick is involved. Amy’s friends claim she was pregnant and that he was furious, even though Nick swears it isn’t true. And his protests of ignorance regarding searches on his computer for death by smothering…nearby wooded areas…and how to obtain arsenic fall on deaf ears. Yet the beleaguered college professor cannot deny that his marriage was unraveling, and that he and a student have been having an affair.

Gone Girl is a masterpiece of suspense by Gillian Flynn—a publishing phenomenon that will keep you guessing till the end.

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Whiskey Beach

By Nora Roberts

This is a fun light read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Good characters. Good male point of views. Yes, it is a romance novel folks so don’t take it to seriously.

 

Whiskey Beach, delivers a strong belt of action right from the start, when the murder of Boston lawyer Eli Landon’s cheating, soon-to-be ex-wife makes him the cops’ prime suspect. A year spent proclaiming his innocence to no avail leads Eli to accept his beloved grandmother’s offer of refuge at her vacant 300-year-old home located high on the bluffs of Whiskey Beach. She wisely knows her housekeeper, Abra Walsh, a multi-talented free spirit, will be a breath of fresh air to a man in dire need of resuscitation. Abra inspires Eli to regain control of his life, first by hiring a private detective to clear his name. But as the couple’s attraction leads to intimacy, indications surface that someone has invaded Bluff House—searching for what, Eli is unsure. What he does know is that a family mystery stretching back for centuries has never been solved. And it soon catches Eli and Abra in its net—the same one that has already ensnared a desperate, cunning killer intent on destroying Eli Landon.

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Suspect

by Robert Crasis

I loved this book.  This was one of those books I could really feel. Wow. This is a good one, especially if you like dogs at all. Even if you don’t like dogs. Exceptional.

They’re unlikely partners—and for both of them, this is their last chance. Eight months ago, LAPD officer Scott James was ambushed by masked attackers and his partner, Stephanie, was killed. Now, Scott, sidelined by post-traumatic stress disorder, is torn by rage and shame. Then he’s assigned his new—four-legged—partner: Maggie, a German shepherd who’s as damaged as Scott is. The dog served in Afghanistan until her handler died in an IED explosion; now, she, too, has PTSD. Scott still burns to find Stephanie’s killers, and Maggie has one weapon left in her arsenal: absolute loyalty. In Robert Crais’ Suspect, man and dog must rely on one another as they face their nightmares anew in a world in which nothing is what it seemed.

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The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo

By Tom Reiss

This is the only non-fiction book on this list. But it reads like fiction. Wow – what a story. Even if you claim not to like history you’ll like this one. But how could you not like history?

Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo – a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

 

The real-life protagonist of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature.

 

Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave — who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.

 

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THE

By Nathan Tackett

Not only is Nathan a great writer – I’m honored to call him my friend. THE is THE book to read this summer for unexpected horror (and fun).  Damn, this was fun to read.

 

JOHN SCHMIDT is a loser. 
He’s an overweight mall cop plagued with nightmares. His only joy in life comes from singing karaoke at the local dive bar.

Feeling adventurous, John goes out to a trendy Goth club to see an old friend perform – an old friend that died five years ago.

A few days later John wakes up to find the naked dead body of a missing co-worker on his kitchen floor.

Then shit gets really weird…

John soon discovers that he comes from a long line of losers cursed  to save the world from an unknown evil-an evil so absolutely terrible that it threatens to destroy the universe with its own nightmares.

Armed with absolutely nothing other than his father’s notebook and a beat up Buick, John must ultimately decide if this world is even worth saving-saving from the evil that is only known by one word…THE.

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The Graveyard Queen Series:

by Amanda Stephens

  • The Prophet
  • The Kingdom
  • The Restorer

More fun than I’ll ever have with ghosts (but these ghosts are extra creepy). These Paranormal Romance books are even loved by folks I know who said they’d never read Paranormal Romance. A fun series that will keep you wanting more and more. Well written without a lot of over kill drama or silly gushing stuff.

Amelia Gray may see ghosts, but she’s always heeded her father’s advice to avoid acknowledging them—until a woman is murdered in a Charleston cemetery she is restoring. Amelia offers to help detective John Devlin when the killer begins leaving more bodies on old graves bearing symbols that could be grisly clues to his motives.  (description of first book…take my word for it and look up the entire series.)

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Always on my summer list:

Envy

By Sandra Brown

A hot and nasty page-turner – and I mean hot and nasty in many different ways – revenge, greed, betrayal, sex, writing…great summer reading. Take my word for it if you’re looking for a fun escape.

An explosive tale of a long-ago crime and the victim’s plan for revenge…When New York publisher Maris Matherly Reed receives a tantalizing manuscript from someone identified only as P.M.E., its blockbuster potential-and perhaps something else-compels her to meet its author. On an eerie, ruined cotton plantation on a remote Georgia island she finds Parker Evans, a man concealing his identity and his past. Maris is drawn into his tale of two young friends and a deadly betrayal … and to Parker himself. But there’s something especially chilling about this novel, its possible connection to Maris’s own life, and the real-life character who uses her, or anyone, to get what he wants.

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Dirty Blonde

By Lisa Scottoline

I just love this book. I really really do. I know it isn’t great literature but it is a great story and a great escape.

The description here doesn’t do it justice.  Unexpected, fast, tense, sexy, thoughtful and just plain fun. The relationship between Cate and her best friend (mother of an autistic child) is touching and tugs at the heart. The characters are all fun and well developed. Take it from me…another perfect summer read.

Cate Fante is strong and sexy and wears designer suits like overpriced armor. She’s just become a judge but leads a dark double life that she hides from everyone.

Her cover is blown when a high-profile case in her courtroom takes a stunning turn. Overnight the tabloids tell her secret, her boyfriend dumps her, and her new career hangs in tatters. But Cate’s troubles are only beginning. An enemy no one anticipated sends her running for her life, and she’ll have to fight her way back to the truth . . . or die trying.

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flying pages

Feel free to add any books you’d recommend in the comments. We’d all love to hear from you too.

And why no, there aren’t any Vampire books here. There are ghost  stories and a few other scary things. If you’re itching for Vampire stories I have a few on my blog – of course I do, this is after all a Vampire blog. Or for some different sort of fun with a few Vampires and other creatures try Kim Harrison books. Her books are always fun (and popular).

There will be a part two of this list sometime in the next few months.

In the meantime, have fun and happy reading. Oh, and don’t forget your yellow flip flops (the Elders wanted me to tell you that.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

reading kitten

The Next Big Thing – Mandy White & Friends – Real Talent and Real Authors

From the Amazing and Talented Author Mandy White:

Hi all,

I’ve been included in the Next Big Thing blog hop and since I’m a non-blogger, Juliette was kind enough to offer me some space on her blog.

Before Twilight, Harry Potter and 50 Shades of Something-or-Other, all of those authors had one thing in common: they were ordinary, non-famous people before a bestseller made them a household name. For every famous bestseller, there is always at least one author we can think of whose work we think deserves recognition.

The way it works, is an author talks about his/her newest release or current work in progress, then mentions five other authors who have the potential to be “The Next Big Thing”.

Here is my contribution to:

The Next Big Thing

Mandy White

What is the title of your new book?

The Feeder

Where did the idea for the book come from?

It is based on a short story I wrote, about a vicious killer who posed as a prostitute to avenge her slain sister.

What genre does your book fall under?

Thriller, overlapping into slasher horror

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Gwenyth Paltrow would be ideal to play both of my twins, Cammie and Sammie.

Will your book be self published or do you have an agent/publisher?

I self-publish all of my books. Indie all the way!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

One month. It was my NaNoWriMo 2011 project

What other books would you compare your book to within the genre?

I can’t think of a specific book, but it is somewhat comparable to the TV show, Dexter. Picture Dexter as a sexy prostitute, with a secret.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

When I needed a project for NaNoWriMo, I looked at some of my short stories for one that was worth expanding upon and this one jumped out at me.

What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?

The main character was born with a physical anomaly that makes Sammie quite unique. I can’t say much more without a spoiler, but certain details about Sammie are kept intentionally vague until the middle of the book.

Authors who could be The Next Big Thing are:

Nathan Tackett

Nathan Tackett wrote some words once. He then wrote some more words. Wash, rinse,repeat, until the day he can make a living off this or he dies -whichever comes first.

He is most comfortable in the realms of dark humor, science fiction, and booze soaked literature. You could call him a genre-hopper. He’s been called worse.

He is best known for his collections of short stories and poetry. This will change when his first novel is published this summer.

Tackett’s writing has been called “…the bastard child of Charles Bukowski and Chuck Palahniuk.” It has also been called pure crap.

Currently, he lives somewhere he doesn’t really want to.

He would personally like to thank you for stopping by.

Emma Jameson

Emma Jameson is the author of the Lord & Lady Hetheridge cozy mystery series. Book #1, ICE BLUE, and book #2, BLUE MURDER, are available now. Book #3, SOMETHING BLUE, will arrive in February 2013.

Donna L. Dillon

My name is Donna Dillon. I live in Illinois with my husband and four kids. I am your typical starving artist, I am always writing,drawing, painting, you name it, I create it. I published my first novel, “The Snake Pit” in October, 2010. It is a short novel about bullying in the public schools, which is a subject I feel very strongly about. My second novel, a full length fiction, “Through The Gloaming” was published in April, 2012. My first children’s book, “Why Did It Have To Rain Today?” which I wrote and Illustrated, was published in September, 2012. I am currently working on a sequel to The Snake Pit, “Return To The Snake Pit: Saving Hargrove” will be ready for publication in January, 2013.

Marla Todd

Marla Todd is one of several contributors to the newly released horror anthology, Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed. She is one of the founding members of the WPaD group, (Writers, Poets and Deviants) best known for their charity anthologies. Proceeds from all WPaD anthologies are donated to help fund MS research.

Wendy Steele

Wendy Steele lives in Essex but dreams of a new life up a mountain in Wales.

She worked in the City, BC (Before Children) but since 1999 has indulged her creative side, training in natural therapies, belly dance and writing. Publication of dance articles led to writing courses, and summer school, producing her first novel as well as her current non-fiction project, Wendy Woo’s Tummy Friendly Cook Book.

Wendy lives with her partner, Mike, three growing children and four cats. She says her favourite days are those spent as a human being, as opposed to a human ‘doing’.

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A note from Juliette – I am honored to feature Mandy White and The Next Big Thing on my blog.  I recommend all of the above authors. Some awesome talents! Check them out! Remember prime winter reading season is coming up (cozy up with a comfy blankie and a nice warm drink…or a nice glass of red wine)! Cheers!

 

Also by Mandy White:

dysfunctional cover mandy white