Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review: Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #3)

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #3)

rating: 4.5/5.0

Book Description:

Sookie Stackhouse is having man trouble. Her vampire boyfriend, Bill, has been distant and inattentive lately. Then he announces that he is going on a business trip, which clearly is more than it seems. After a werewolf tries to abduct Sookie at work, Bill's boss, Eric, tells her that Bill fell under the sway of his -- Bill's, that is -- ex, a sexy vamp named Lorena, and has been kidnapped. Eric wants Sookie's help in getting Bill back, and despite her hurt over Bill's betrayal, Sookie agrees to go to Jackson, Mississippi, to find her wayward lover. Eric has persuaded Alcide, a dashing werewolf, to get Sookie access to Josephine's, aka Club Dead, the local hangout of Jackson's supernatural element. In between dodging kidnappers, the advances of amorous Eric, and her growing feelings for Alcide, Sookie has to find out who kidnapped Bill and figure out a way to rescue him.
I have enjoyed the first two Sookie Stackhouse books a lot, or at least I thought I had. Then I read number three and really enjoyed it. It may have more to do with actually reading it versus the audio. Not saying the audio isn't good - it's great - I love the reader and her voices are good. But I think I got less confused actually reading it. Also in this one we get the more interesting creatures and love-interests. I think I am now in love with Alcide. I can't decide on the Bill versus Eric debate, kind of like the Ranger versus Morelli. As one of my friends said, "Thank goodness we don't have to decide!"

Great pacing in this one and the characters and situations are very interesting. I love learning more and more about Sookie. She seems to stand on her own more and more with each book and I am looking forward to the next book in this series. It will be back to the audio as I bought it during the recent 3-for-2 sale at audible.com.

Binding: Paperback
On-sale Date: 4/29/2003
Publisher: Ace
Pages: 272

Teaser Tuesday - August 25


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"I'll be your pool lad," Lord Marcus offered in his adorable English accent. "I'll fan you with palm fronds and pour your cocktails."
From Nothing Can Keep Us Together by Cecily Von Ziegesar (Gossip Girls series)

Nothing says the decadence of this series better than this teaser!

ARC Arrival: The Bride Backfire by Kelly Eileen Hake

The Bride Backfire by Kelly Eileen Hake (Prairie Promises #2)

I received this from Barbour Publishing.

Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Publish Date: October 1, 2009

Come on down for a real family feud in this witty romance, the second novel in Kelly Eileen Hake's Prairie Promises series. In the Nebraskan Territory of 1857, the longstanding feud between their two families makes Opal Speck desperate to save the life of the Grogan who once pulled her from a burning building. Will her big white lie-that Adam is the father of her unborn child-land in enemy territory for the rest of her life? Find out how Adam and Opal deal with the repercussions of their shotgun wedding in The Bride Backfire!

Review Copy Arrival: The Shimmer by David Morrell

The Shimmer by David Morrell

I received this from Ana Suknov at FSB Associates.

Publisher: Vanguard Press
Publish Date: July 7, 2009
Creator of Rambo and co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization, David Morrell has been called “the father of the modern action novel.” Now this award-winning, New York Times bestselling author delivers The Shimmer, a novel of chilling impact.

When police officer Dan Page’s wife disappears, her trail leads to Rostov, a remote Texas town where unexplained phenomena attract hundreds of spectators each night. Not merely curious, these onlookers are compelled to reach this tiny community and gaze at the mysterious Rostov Lights.

But more than the faithful are drawn there. A gunman begins shooting at the lights, screaming “Go back to hell where you came from!” then turns his rifle on the innocent bystanders. As more and more people are drawn to the scene of the massacre, the stage is set for even greater bloodshed.

To save his wife, Page must solve the mystery of the Rostov Lights. In the process, he uncovers a deadly government secret dating back to the First World War. The lights are more dangerous than anyone ever imagined, but even more deadly are those who try to exploit forces beyond their control.

With The Shimmer, David Morrell takes readers on a brilliant, terrifying journey. Suspenseful, yet thought-provoking, it is the master at his very best.
And here is an article by David Morrell about earning his pilot's license for this book.

Rising Above it All: How Rambo's Creator Earned His Pilot's License
By David Morrell,
Author of The Shimmer

Readers familiar with my fiction know how much I love doing research. For Testament, I enrolled in an outdoor wilderness survival course and lived above timberline in the Wyoming mountains for 30 days. For The Protector, I spent a week at the Bill Scott raceway in West Virginia, learning offensive-defensive driving maneuvers, such as the 180-degree spins you see in the movies. I once broke my collarbone in a two-day knife-fighting class designed for military and law enforcement personnel.

Two years ago, I began the longest research project of my career. I was preparing to write a novel called The Shimmer, a fictional dramatization of the mysterious lights that appear on many nights outside the small town of Marfa in west Texas. When the first settlers passed through that area in the 1800s, they saw the lights, and people have been drawn to those lights ever since, including James Dean who became fascinated by them when he filmed his final movie Giant near Marfa in 1955.

The lights float, bob, and weave. They combine and change colors. They seem far away and yet so close that people think they can reach out and touch them. In the 1970s, the citizens of Marfa organized what they called a Ghost Light Hunt and pursued the lights, using horses, vehicles, and an airplane, but the lights had no difficulty eluding them.

Because an airplane was used, I decided to include one in The Shimmer. I'd never written about a pilot, and the idea of trying something new always appeals to me. The dramatic possibilities were intriguing. But a minute's thought warned me about the monumental task I was planning. As a novelist version of a Method actor, I couldn't just cram an airplane into my novel. First, I would need to learn how airplanes worked so that real pilots wouldn't be annoyed by inaccuracies. Real pilots. That's when I realized that it wouldn't be enough to learn how airplanes worked. I would need to take pilot training.

I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our small airport has a flight school: Sierra Aviation. I made an appointment with one of the instructors, Larry Haight, who took me up in a Cessna 172 on what's called a "discovery" flight. The idea was to "discover" whether I enjoyed the sensation of being in the cockpit and peering several thousand feet down at the ground. Flying in a small aircraft is a much more immediate and visceral experience than sitting in the cabin of a commercial airliner. Even in a Cessna, the canopy is huge compared to the tiny windows on an airliner. The horizon stretches forever.

It turned out that I more than enjoyed the experience. It was exhilarating and fulfilling. I realized that this was something I wanted to do not only for research but also to broaden my life. As a consequence, I eventually earned my private pilot's license and bought a 2003 172SP. The plane was based near Dallas, and my longest cross-country flight to date (600 miles) involved piloting it from there to Santa Fe. Truly, nothing can equal controlling an aircraft, making it do safely whatever I want while seeing the world as if I were an eagle.

In The Shimmer, I wanted the main character's attitude toward flying ("getting above it all") to help develop the book's theme. The following passage shows what I mean. You only need to know that Dan Page is a police officer. When I started pilot training, I figured that one day I'd be relaxing in the sky, listening to an iPod and glancing dreamily around. As we learn in this section, the actuality is quite different and more substantial.

"Non-pilots often assumed that the appeal of flying involved appreciating the scenery. But Page had become a pilot because he enjoyed the sensation of moving in three dimensions. The truth was that maintaining altitude and speed while staying on course, monitoring radio transmissions, and comparing a sectional map to actual features on the ground required so much concentration that a pilot had little time for sightseeing.

"There was another element to flying, though. It helped Page not to think about the terrible pain people inflicted on one another. He'd seen too many lives destroyed by guns, knives, beer bottles, screwdrivers, baseball bats, and even a nail gun. Six months earlier, he'd been the first officer to arrive at the scene of a car accident in which a drunken driver had hit an oncoming vehicle and killed five children along with the woman who was taking them to a birthday party. There'd been so much blood that Page still had nightmares about it.

"His friends thought he was joking when he said that the reward of flying was 'getting above it all,' but he was serious. The various activities involved in controlling an aircraft shut out what he was determined not to remember.

"That helped Page now. His confusion, his urgency, his need to have answers -- on the ground, these emotions had thrown him off balance, but once he was in the air, the discipline of controlling the Cessna forced him to feel as level as the aircraft. In the calm sky, amid the monotonous, muffled drone of the engine, the plane created a floating sensation. He welcomed it yet couldn't help dreading what he might discover on the ground. "

At one point a character asks Page, how high he intends to fly.

"Enough to get above everything," he answers.

"Sounds like the way to run a life."

That's an important lesson I learned from flying.

©2009 David Morrell, author of The Shimmer

Author Bio David Morrell, author of The Shimmer, is the award-winning author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Creepers and Scavenger. Co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization and author of the classic Brotherhood of the Rose spy trilogy, Morrell is considered by many to be the father of the modern action novel

For more information please visit www.davidmorrell.net

Learn more about The Shimmer at www.shimmerbook.com

New Book Releases - August 25, 2009

A new feature on my blog will be the new releases each Tuesday. So come and see what comes out today and help support these authors and wonderful books. This is by no means a comprehensive list - it's just the ones I have heard about. If you are an author of an upcoming book (or a publicist) please contact me at my email address - crystalfulcher(at)ec(dot)rr(dot)com - and I will add your book to my post the week it releases.

So here are some of this week's releases:

The Perfect Liar by Brenda Novak - Romantic Suspense - second in the Perfect series, or 5th in the Last Stand series - Head to her website for an interesting promo if you buy the book during this first week. I got one of these totes last year and I love it!

Book description and Excerpt

Obsidian Prey by Jayne Castle - - Paranormal Romance - Book 6 in the Harmony series

Book Description and Watch the Video

Tall Dark and Fangsome by Michelle Rowen - Paranormal Romance - Book #5 in the Immortality Bites series

Book Description and Excerpt

The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter - Paranormal Romance - Lords of the Underworld series

Book Description

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson and Richard Dilallo - Suspense

Book Description

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs - Alpha and Omega #2


Blood Promise by Richelle Mead - Young Adult Paranormal - Vampire Academy #4

Information on Series and Excerpts

92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber - Cedar Cove Series

More information

Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook

More information

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs - Suspense - Tempe Brennan series

More Information

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

More Information

Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare - historical romance

More information and an excerpt

No Surrender by Shannon Stacey - Romantic Suspense - Devlin Group #3

More Information

Hunt Her Down by Roxanne St. Claire - Romantic Suspense - Bullet Catchers Series


Rampant by Diana Peterfreund - Young Adult - Two words - Killer Unicorns

More Information

So tell me - are you buying or have you bought any of these? Are they on your list, did you review them? What else new is coming out?