Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Many Bloody Returns: Tales of Birthdays with Bite edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L P Kelner

Never-before-published vampire stories by Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, and many others.

Suspenseful, surprising, sometimes dark, sometimes humorous-these all-new stories will ensure that readers never think of vampires (or birthdays) in quite the same way again.

In New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris's "Dracula Night," Sookie Stackhouse is the only human at the annual commemoration of Dracula's birth. But this year, the Prince of Darkness actually shows up-and finds Sookie to be a tasty-looking present.

New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher's crime-solving wizard Harry Dresden, of the Dresden Files novels, heads to a role-playing party to give his vampire brother a birthday present in "It's My Birthday Too," only to discover there are some bloodthirsty party crashers who don't share their brotherly love.

In "Twilight," Cassandra DuCharme, who appeared in New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong's Dime Store Magic, knows she has to kill to live as a vampire another year-but finds herself disturbingly disinterested in the hunt.

Plus ten more bloody good birthday stories that take the cake.

Dracula Night by Charlaine Harris - Sookie Stackhouse finds herself invited to a celebration of the birthday of Dracula being hosted by Eric. This was a bit of a let down to me. I loved seeing this overly eager side of Eric, but there was too much time spent on backstory. When you only have twenty pages of story telling, you need to get the story going quickly.

The Mournful Cry of Owls by Christopher Golden - A young girl is about to celebrate her 16th birthday, and to find out about the truth of who she really is. I really liked this story, despite the fact that it had a more sombre tone to it that some of the others included in the collection.

I was a Teenage Vampire by Bill Crider - When a young girl in 1950s smalltown America thinks that it would be great to invite the local vampire to her birthday party, no one realises that the consequences will last forever. This was a lot of fun from a new to me author.

Twilight by Kelley Armstrong - The whole reason why I even borrowed this book was to read another Otherworld story while I wait for the next full length book. Vampire Cassandra needs to kill at least one person per year or else she will die forever. Sounds like a good enough incentive to get it done, but she finds herself strangely reluctant to do so. Loved the interaction with Aaron in this story.

It's My Birthday Too by Jim Butcher - a short story feature Harry Dresden, wizard extraordinaire. I really enjoyed this one too. I have a feeling that I might have spoiled myself for some pretty big reveals in future books though, especially seeing as I have only read the first two. Never mind.

Grave-Robbed by PN Elrod - Undead detective Jack Fleming is approached by a young girl to help unveil a charlatan medium who is targetting her recently widowed sister. I could definitely see myself reading more by this author.

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life by Rachel Caine - As far as I can tell this is like an introduction to the Glass House series. Whilst I have read nearly all of her Weather Warden books, I haven't started on this series yet, but after reading this I definitely intend to.

The Witch and the Wicked by Jeanne C Stein - When witch Sophie is contracted to cater a vampire birthday party, little did she realise that things were going to take such a dramatic turn. With the guest of honour burned to a crisp, and Sophie left with the ashes, she decides to have a go at making a youth cream with very interesting results. Not a bad read.

Blood Wrapped by Tanya Huff - I have heard lots of mentions about Tanya Huff's books over the last few years. It's hard not to have especially seeing as there was even a TV series made based on her books. I had not really been all that interested in picking up her books though. I am now! I cannot wait to get the first book in the series and find out more about Vickie, and most particularly about Henry.

The Wish by Carolyn Haines - Apparently this author has published more than 50 books, but I don't remember hearing of her before. This story didn't really do much for me.

Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two by Tate Halloway - Garnet is a witch, and her boyfriend Sebastian is a vampire. Sebastian has assured her many times that he does not want to celebrate his birthday because he is cursed. The events that follow probably lend some credence to this theory when the two of them are forced to fight for their lives against a demon. This story was pretty entertaining. I might look up the previous books in the series at the library at some point.

Vampire Hours by Elaine Viets - A woman who is in an unhappy marriage meets Michael - a man who is offering her a whole lot more than just mundane living. I liked the idea behind this one, wasn't quite so keen on the execution. This was her first vampire story.

How Stella Got Her Grave Back by Toni L P Kelner - Another first time effort. After spending years away from her home towne vampire Stella bring her lover Michael back to her home town, only to find that there is someone else buried in her grave. She is a Jane Doe, and Michael and Stella are determined to find out who she is, and who killed her.


  1. I am obsessed -- obsessed!! -- right now with the Southern Vampire Mysteries, but I am only on number 3. I am thrilled that there will be more Sookie to read when I am done!

  2. Lots more Sookie! And then there are all her other series as well. I have read the Harper Connelly ones and liked them. I just need to get started on the other series too now.

  3. Ooh, this sounds like a fun read. A lot of my favorite authors, too.

  4. I have had this on my wishlist for awhile now. I love anthologies!

  5. This sounds a fun one, have to add it to my list

  6. This is on my wishlist as well. Sounds like an interesting mix and it's always good to find new authors.