G Is For Giant Gila Monster Movies

Giant Gila MonsterI’m combining my ongoing “A to Z  Challenge” with my occasional reviews of old and/or favorite movies. As I’ve said before, when I was a kid, my brother and I would stay up late to watch old SF movies in black and white on the TV. The movies were always much cut up to allow for noisy used car dealer commercials and we sometimes fell asleep before the end.

“The Giant Gila Monster” of 1959 (“Devouring people as if they were flies!”) was one of the favorites of whoever programmed movies at the little station we watched, so we saw it fairly often.  It was a typical 1950’s movie with giant creature bent on devouring the world (ants, spiders, crabs, you-name-it became giant people-eating beasts in those old flicks all the time) and plucky teens who defeat it when no one else can. Actually this Gila monster apparently just wanted to eat the local townspeople and had no further ambitions. I always rather enjoyed the scenes of a real Gila monster rampaging through model train sets. The hero, Chase,  hot rodder with a heart of gold, was portrayed by Don Sullivan, who also got to sing three songs in the course of the movie. (Don’t tell him,  since I believe he wrote the songs, but the station we watched as kids cut about one and a half  of them every time as best I can recall.)

One staple of 1950’s SF movies in this genre that always amused me was the heroine with the random, charming foreign accent that usually went unexplained (although in one of my alltime favorites “The Killer Shrews,” the heroine asked the hero why he wasn’t curious about her accent!). My family had a theory going that these actresses were former Miss Swedens, who had won a role in a “big Hollywood movie” as one of their prizes. Turns out the lady in this Gila movie was Miss France 1957.

gilaAt any rate, I recently stumbled across the 2012 remake, a made-for-TV movie entitled “Gila!”  I had to watch it so I ordered the dvd.  The tagline on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is “Hot Music, Hot Cars, Hot Chicks…and One Big Monster.” I don’t know if that was the official tag or someone’s plot summary but the cars at least were hot. The cars were the best thing in the movie – beautifully restored, shiny 1950’s vehicles that drew your eye every time one was in the scene. The characters drove quite an odd assortment of cars, probably based on what the film makers were able to find. It was glaringly obvious to me how extremely careful everyone was being not to get a scratch on  the perfect paint. Anytime there was a “car wreck” the camera would cut away right before the  actual collision and then you’d get a scene where the car was obviously still in pristine condition.

So when the cars are the eye candy, that’s probably not a good sign overall. The movie seemed to be trying to be in the 1950’s without really being there. It was shot in a washed out color palette that approximated black and white (except for the cars, which almost glow). The costumes were suggestive of the 1950’s at best and glaringly wrong at other times. One dress the heroine wore briefly looked like she’d sewn it herself  the first week in Home Ec class. I kid you not.

Throughout the ENTIRE movie I was annoyed every time the sheriff showed up, not because the actor wasn’t doing a good job (he was)  but because the costume person couldn’t be bothered to find a matching shirt and pants for his uniform.

The bad boy (human, not the monster) was named “Waco Bob,” which at first I assumed was a joke but no….

Frankly when it came to the monster, I preferred the 1959 real one and his  destruction of train sets to the cgi thing that lumbered through this movie…

This movie seemed to be largely following the plot of the original, with a few differences. They had a scene at a burger joint which appeared to primarily allow the heavily accented car hop to explain she was a foreign exchange student, which I took as a  wink to the 1950’s trope I mentioned above. She wasn’t the girl friend in this version though.

I’d forgotten the subplot in the original about the little sister with polio…

And actor Don Sullivan reappeared, as a professor who is an expert on – you guessed it – giant Gila monsters!

Another fun bit of casting was Kelli Maroney from “Night of the Comet” (a movie I personally love) as the Deputy.

And our 2012 version of hero Chase, played by Brian Gross, got to sing the main song at the end. Known as “Laugh, Children, Laugh”, the real title was apparently “The Mushroom Song.”

Here’s the original version (song starts at about :45):

I think, all in all, I prefer the approach Steve Latshaw and James Best took with “Killer Shrews”, where they did a modern day sequel rather than rework the original. (Here’s my review of “Return of the Killer Shrews”.)

Advertisements

F is for Fairies or Flowers or Both

???????????????????????????????Hmmm, I seem to have a few too many stream of consciousness ideas for my letter “F” in my ongoing attempt to work through the A to Z challenge!

Let’s start with fairies though, since that came to mind first and I had fun playing with a set of Schleich figurines to illustrate this post! They could be fairies or elves or Other, not sure and the company just says “fantasy”, which covers it all, I guess. I take my grandson to the local toy store to get him dinosaurs and other animals for his pretend zoo that lives in my spare bedroom, waiting for his visits. Sometimes I do succumb to the temptation to pick up an interesting item or two myself. (Never mind the three dragons and a fairly aggressive griffin on the side table…..we writers must have our action figures!)

Once, long ago, I gave into the temptation to order a set of three Flower Fairies from ???????????????????????????????an ad in a magazine. They were lovely. Imagine my surprise when – not having read the fine print – I discovered I had ordered the series of charming Flower Fairies, who showed up at regular intervals, three to the box, ???????????????????????????????at an incredible lofty price until I managed to get the order cancelled (which the company is question did not make easy). We have a few of my favorites remaining now but they tended to be fragile and didn’t transport well whenever we moved.

I love flowers and buy them for myself at the grocery store pretty often.  Why not? The one thing I do miss, living in a condo rather than my own house these days, is having a garden of roses and iris. Those are the only two kinds of flowers I can grow successfully, for some reason. They must be very hardy!

But a flower has to have fragrance to make me happy. Nothing worse than a gorgeous rose that has no scent.

 

002

 

 

Couldn’t Wait from MAGIC OF THE NILE for Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400Continuing with the excerpts from MAGIC OF THE NILE =>This excerpt follows after last week’s, when Tyema has returned to her office as the ceremonies are complete for the morning and the scribe was so pleased with himself that he’d denied Sahure’s request for an audience. I’m skipping some byplay between Tyema and Jemkhufu the scribe, who has “thoughts of advancement” in more ways than one, shall we say? The scribe finally goes to summon Sahure.

         Jemkhufu added an admonition to the visitor, “Be honored to enter the presence of High Priestess Tyema.”

            She caught her breath as Sahure sauntered in, resplendent in his full uniform, the golden falcon badge prominent on the leather straps crossing his broad chest, scarlet cloak swirling around his legs. He was even more handsome than she’d remembered. He bowed, “Good morning to you, my lady.”

            “And to you, captain.” With great effort, she kept a smile from forming on her lips as unfamiliar heat pulsed in her core and she suppressed the urge to shift her hips in response.

            “I appreciate your seeing me today instead of tomorrow,” he said, staring at her with narrowed eyes.

            Oh, I couldn’t wait till tomorrow. 

We’ll keep going with this scene for a while since Tyema and Sahure have some things to say to each other about her deception the night of the festival…and the scribe is still in the room as an interested observer right now.

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels…

And, in exciting news, ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE is a Finalist for the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award! I was thrilled. I used to excerpt that one on this loop (some people here referred to it as “Captain Tom and Andi”….)

???????????????????????????????Here’s the story blurb for MAGIC OF THE NILE:

The standalone sequel to Priestess of the Nile…picks up about fifteen years later and tells the tale of Tyema, who was the younger sister in Priestess of the Nile…

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?

Available at Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books

SciFi Encounters with High Fantasy and Steamy SFR

HEAFor my column on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog this week I’m covering a new High Fantasy release, first in a trilogy, and a very sexy Science Fiction Romance, the second in that series.

But before we get there, had some very exciting news today  – my novel ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE is a Finalist in the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Awards!!!

OK, now that I’ve had my moment to squee, back to the column….

First up is Jeffe Kennedy’s Mark of the Tala: The Twelve Kingdoms. The trilogy is going to deal with the adventures of three sisters and there’s  a great deal of intrigue, worldbuilding, magic and romance in this first book. I used to love Andre Norton’s “Witch World” series but I always felt there must have been a lot of fascinating history that happened on Witch World before we-the-Readers got there, you know? She oh-so-cleverly would plant hints and sometimes even tiny scenes where theAndre-Norton-Year-of-the-Unicorn2 long ago past was touched upon but the books always left me wanting more details. (Year of the Unicorn is my absolute favorite in that series and I’ve worn out multiple copies over the years, by the way.) Well, with Jeffe’s book, I had the feeling  I was reading the cool stuff on that world as it was happening, the way I’d always wanted more of Witch World’s hidden past. Does that make sense?

Yes, Jeffe does terrific world building and obviously her Twelve Kingdoms have a TON of backstory to be revealed, but the current events she covers in the novel are so fascinating and attention-grabbing, that I was riveted and can’t wait for the next sister’s story to be told.

Switching gears, the other author I’m interviewing this week at HEA is Cara Bristol, who writes very sexy erotic romances and has now turned her talents to very sexy science fiction romance. The first book in her SFR series, Breeder, established the male-dominated world of Parseon and now the second novel, Terran, builds on that foundation, with the story of another strong couple who must find a way past their differences to reach the HEA.

krullAnd for a movie I’m recommending 1983’s Krull, which blends fantasy and science fiction, plus one of Liam Neeson’s very first movie roles (a small part) and the Awesome Fire Mares, as seen in this clip. (I’ve talked about Krull on my blog before because I love it!)

 

Inez Kelley Baddest Boys in History Are Back! Giveaway

Inez book

NOTE: The Giveaway is finished, as of May 21, 2o14. Our winner was Commenter Julie. Congratulations and enjoy the book!

I’m very pleased to have Inez Kelley as my guest today, with her new book “The Bastard”. I was privileged to be a Beta reader on this one, so it’s exciting to see the book now being Released. Inez is giving away one copy to a randomly selected  commenter so please be sure to leave us a comment – tell us who your favorite Bad Boy in history is, if you’d like!

Here’s the story:

In the battle between good and evil, humans have never been more than collateral damage. Now they are prey. Mankind doesn’t need a hero. It needs a sinner.

Corrupt. Wicked. Nefarious. Contemptible….

The Baddest Boys in History are back!

You read about them in school. Now learn the truth. Real men. No vampires, no werewolves, no bullshit. Just down and dirty raw power —sin to sin, evil to evil, bad to bad. They fight for humanity. It was that or eternal damnation.
They agreed to risk their souls. No one told them they would lose their hearts.

THE BASTARD

Vike died in blood, in battle, in betrayal. His ruthlessness was second only to his brutality. Now one woman makes his blood sing and he’ll stop at nothing to save her. He only has to face half of Hell to do it.
Lacy is unknowingly descended from an ancient Holy line. Someone is slowly destroying her life and wants her dead. A fierce Viking comes to her rescue, and in his arms, she finds more than safety.

      If Vike can’t protect Lacy, he’ll have to kill her. And for a bastard, what’s one woman worth when the entire world is in jeopardy?

Here’s a link to Inez’s website for more details and the buy links! http://goo.gl/LnGhEA

 

Is There An Audience? MAGIC OF THE NILE Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa buttonA fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

Added May 18 – I literally just got home from RT in New Orleans so I’ll be late getting to everyone’s post to savor and comment but I will make it, probably during the week.

Continuing with the excerpts from MAGIC OF THE NILE =>This excerpt follows right after last week’s, when Tyema has returned to her office as the ceremonies are complete for the morning. The temple scribe is speaking. (I messed with the punctuation a  tiny bit, trying to be sensitive to the Moderators’ excellent point about how much we all can read at each stop and still make the rounds).

           “We’ve a busy morning ahead of us, my lady – reports on the grain harvest, the MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400tally sheets for the papyrus shipment—”

            Tyema thanked her maids as they removed the complicated headdress and wig, substituting a simpler style, accented with a small circlet bearing Sobek’s cartouche in relief. As the women took the ceremonial items away to be stored for tomorrow’s rituals, she rubbed her forehead and sat in her gold—and—ebony chair. Putting her feet on the hippo shaped stool, she forced herself to ask the one thing she cared about right now, “Are there any audiences?”

            Surprised, he moved his quill down the list of items on the scroll, ticking each off as he went. “Why, yes, there’s a Captain Sahure who requests a meeting.” With a satisfied sneer on his thin lips, the scribe raised one eyebrow, saying. “I told him to wait until tomorrow as your schedule was full today.”

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels…

Here’s the story blurb:

???????????????????????????????The standalone sequel to Priestess of the Nile…picks up about fifteen years later and tells the tale of Tyema, who was the younger sister in Priestess of the Nile…

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?

Available at Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books

E is For Egypt

???????????????????????????????Ancient Egypt of course, given the paranormal novels I write, which are set in 1550 BCE.???????????????????????????????

Here’s what I said last year in a post on world building for Here Be Magic:

The Egyptian civilization has almost 3000 years of recorded history to work with, beginning over 5000 years ago. They believed in a pantheon of gods and goddesses with authority over every aspect of life, many of whom have multiple origin stories and attributes. The Egyptians were lusty and loving, devoted to family and home life, while also building a rich, powerful nation, all things centered around the bounty of the Nile. Despite their endless fascination with preparing for and ensuring a satisfactory afterlife, they were quite practical, yet poetic, in their daily pursuits, leaving us fragments of poems and songs and science, math and medicine, tales of battles and magic and pharaohs.

As a writer, I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful setting.

So far I’ve written four novels in this connected series, with many more ideas queued up in my brain, waiting for me to have time to sit and write.

???????????????????????????????I keep this gentleman on my writing desk, as a stand-in for my Pharaoh Nat-re-Akhte, the anchor character in 056my novels. He sends people hither and yon, fighting to protect Egypt.

Found this neat quote from Ray Bradbury: “A new book smells great. An old book smells even better. An old book smells like ancient Egypt.”

???????????????????????????????

 

So this was my latest entry in the A to Z challenge, which I’m going through at the rate of one letter per week!
???????????????????????????????

 

Is He Upset? from MAGIC OF THE NILE for Weekend Writing Warriors

WeWriWa button

Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms, Moms-to-Be, Grandmothers and everyone who plays a motherly role in someone’s life – best wishes for a great day!

A fun way to sample new books and find new writers! Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…

Continuing with the excerpts from MAGIC OF THE NILE =>I’m skipping the events of their evening together at the town festival (because I can’t excerpt the entire book here LOL). Suffice it to say Sahure doesn’t learn her identity while they’re exploring the town. I promised I’d share how he reacts when he does find out. Today’s excerpt is leading up to that moment.

The next morning…

As Tyema led the midmorning ceremony, chanting the hymns to Sobek, she was MagicOfTheNile_1600x2400more conscious than usual of the small but attentive crowd of worshippers. Normally she blotted out any thought of the onlookers and lost herself in singing the sacred music. Today she wondered if Sahure was there in the outer sanctuary and whether he’d be upset to learn she hadn’t told him her true identity. Her anxiety wasn’t relieved any by the fact he’d appeared in at least one of her dreams as well, smiling and holding out another red flower she’d been too frightened to accept. Awakening from the dream with a gasp, she  couldn’t go back to sleep, disturbed by unfamiliar thoughts and desires. Tossing and turning left her tired. By the time the ceremony was over and she was free to retreat to her office in the temple’s new wing, tension was rising in her like a wave. A small headache pounded over her left eye, spreading tentacles of pain through her head.

As always, I love your comments and feedback. Although this is a published work, the input helps for the future novels…

Here’s the story blurb:

???????????????????????????????The standalone sequel to Priestess of the Nile…picks up about fifteen years later and tells the tale of Tyema, who was the younger sister in Priestess of the Nile…

After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…

Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.

But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.

Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.

But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt? Will the love between a proud warrior and a shy priestess lead them to a future together?

Available at Amazon   Barnes & Noble  All Romance eBooks  iTunes   Google Play Books

We Have to Help ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE for SFR Brigade Presents

THE SFRB Presents(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by other Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members. A fun way to sample new books!)

From my SFR Galaxy Award winning novel, loosely inspired by the Sepoy incident in 1857 but set on another planet in the far future….

In the last few weeks I gave you the opening of the book and then as Andi has returned from theSFR Galaxy Award wedding of the Planetary High Lord’s daughter to her host’s summer home, she found a squad of Sectors Special Forces soldiers waiting. The officer in charge, Tom Deverane, claimed they’d come to rescue her and needed to leave at once. Unconvinced, she argued.  And as it turned out, they couldn’t leave right away.  So of course the conflict breaks out at the worst possible moment…

I’m skipping quite a bit of the action because SPOILERS.  This incident takes place as the party continues to make their way through enemy territory.

Escape-from-Zulaire2HighRes“Trouble ahead, sir,” Wilson reported crisply. “Party of hostiles has four civilians stopped on the transportway. Looks like things are going to get ugly fast.”

“We should go help them.” The urgent thought impelled Andi to her feet, and she took a step or two in the direction the scouts had just come from.

Tom moved fast, grabbing her elbow hard and glaring down at her. “I thought I told you—more than once—my primary orders don’t allow me the discretion to go around the countryside rescuing everyone in distress.”  He spaced out each word for emphasis. “I have to get back to the capital. We’ve got vital information that could stop the entire planet from descending into war. I can’t conduct firefights and rescue individuals. You were an exception because someone somewhere pulled a lot of rank and got special orders issued. Okay?”

Biting her lip, Andi flushed and jerked her elbow away from him. I wish he wouldn’t keep rubbing it in my face that I got special treatment. I didn’t ask for him to come rescue me.

Apparently satisfied she wasn’t going to argue, Tom’s next remark was addressed to the waiting sergeant. “How many hostiles?”

“Fifteen. Armed with standard planetary-issue weapons, from what we could see.” Rogers nodded his agreement with Wilson’s rapid assessment. “No heavy stuff. No Sectors contraband. We could take them, sir.”

Brow furrowing, Tom glared at Wilson. “We have to stay on mission here. You’re starting to sound like her.” He jerked his thumb at Andi. “I need a reason to break our rules of engagement.”

Wilson looked at Rogers, getting no help from him beyond a sheepish shrug. Turning back to the captain, the sergeant continued to plead his case. “They’re roughing up a bunch of priests, sir. Defenseless noncombatants. Don’t seem right to walk away, orders or no orders. I…can’t explain it any better.”

Tom pulled out his blaster and checked the charge. “All right, I’ll commit to going and assessing the potential for intervention.” He fixed Andi with a stern gaze. “I am not promising to intervene. So don’t push it, Miss Markriss.”

Afraid to say anything and risk changing his mind, she simply nodded. From what she’d seen of Tom so far, he’d intervene all right. Soft heart inside a very tough exterior.

The story:

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious strings to get her plucked out of the hot zone. Deverane’s never met anyone so hard-headed—or so appealing. Suddenly his mission to protect this one woman has become more than just mere orders.

That mission proves more dangerous than he expected when rebel fighters attack the village and raze it to the ground. Deverane escapes with Andi, and on their hazardous journey through the wilderness, Andi finds herself fighting her uncomfortable attraction to the gallant and courageous captain. But Deverane’s not the type to settle down, and running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time to explore a romance.

Then Andi is captured by the rebel fighters, but Deverane has discovered that Zulaire’s so-called civil war is part of a terrifying alien race’s attempt to subjugate the entire Sector. If he pushes on to the capitol Andi will die. Deverane must decide whether to save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

Available on AMAZON  Nook  Kobo All Romance eBooks   iTunes   Xin Xii   Google Play 

SciFi Encounter with Murder, Myth and New Orleans

HEAFor my column on the USA Today/Happily Ever After blog this week, I’ve done interviews with three different authors about three very different novels.

First was Sheryl Nantus with “In the Black (Tales From the Edge)”, which has a wonderful “Firefly” vibe but is its own story, with murder and science fiction and romance all blended to keep you turning the pages. It’s the beginning of a series, Sheryl says, which makes me very happy.

Second was Laura Kaye with the final book in her “Anemoi Series”, wrapping up the stories of the Four Winds in “East of Ecstasy.” I LOVED this series, really enjoyed how she took minor members of the Greek pantheon and built a very modern and enthralling series around them and the women they love. Fortunately Laura writes many good books and has other series happening…

big easyThird was Mur Lafferty and  “Ghost Train to New Orleans (The Shambling Guides)”. I’m going to New Orleans next week for the RT Booklovers Conference (if you’ll be there too, look me up at the Giant Indie Book Signing, ok?) and I have to say, I halfway wish I was going to the NOLA  that Mur’s created. Either that or I’m going to be looking over my shoulder the whole time, wondering if I saw a glimpse of her ghosts, vampires, zombies and Others out of the corner of my eye. Not as much romance in that one but the story kept me so engrossed. I was happy. I’ve been a BIG fan of New Orleans ever since I saw the movie “The Big Easy”, with a very sexy Dennis Quaid and his Cajun accent (which I’ve been informed since might not have been all that accurate but wow, it sounded good to ME).

And to close, one of my all time favorite songs about New Orleans!

So breeze on over to the column for the interviews and the book details and Laissez les bons temps rouler, as they say in NOLA!