November 30, 2011

Vanished by Kat Richardsom

read an excerpt
Series: Greywalker 4
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 4, 2009
Purchase Link: Amazon
Harper Blaine was your average small-time P.I. until she died-for two minutes. Now Harper is a Greywalker-walking the line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she's discovering that her new abilities are landing her in all sorts of "strange cases."

But for Harper, her own case may prove the most difficult to solve. Why did she-as opposed to others with near-death experiences-become a Greywalker? When Harper digs into her own past, she unearths some unpleasant truths about her father's early death as well as a mysterious puzzle. Forced by some very demanding vampires to take on an investigation in London, she soon discovers her present troubles in England are entangled with her dark past back in Seattle-and her ultimate destiny as a Greywalker.

Harper Blaine gets no reprieve from her share of adventure especially now that she's more adept on working the Grey. Unfortunately it's proving to be more of a bane than a gift because her cases as a P.I. leans toward the dangerous paranormalities.

Now her case is more personal because the merry ghosts of her past come a haunting and tells her that her past has a lot to do with her being a Greywalker. So Harper takes a trip down memory lane and discovers that her dearly departed father is a Greywalker and was haunted by a mysterious albino.

At the same time Edward, the alpha vampire of Seattle, hired Harper to investigate a series of mysterious events that happened in London, threatening to topple his leadership. Harper reluctantly took the case but what she doesn't know is this case will help her solve part of her personal mystery involving her father and her identity.

Contrary to Kat Richardson's welcome note, I actually like Harper's mother. Ok she's overbearing and extremely superficial but for the purposes of entertainment and effective conflicts, Veronica Geary is an interesting character. I hope we read more about her in the coming books, she's the exact opposite of Harper and she's the typical pageant/stage mom like Kris Jenner. Obviously Harper is a rebel but there is much to be resolved between this two. So I'm curious on what direction her relationship to Harper will take.

Book four of the series was a mash up by having two major conflicts and although it has a convenient connection the story didn't really flow very well. It feels like there were too much thinking on Richardson's part concerning how the story will go as opposed to letting the characters tell the story on their own. In the end, Harper's initial mystery concerning her dad felt unfinished and I'm hoping that in the coming books, she'll finally find closure.

Aside from her family mysteries, Harper is once again reeled in to vampire politics and this time her case takes her to London. Incidentally her ex-boyfriend Will got caught in the crossfire and now I understand why he really is unfit to be with our heroine and him breaking up with her was a wise choice. Although I wish that Richardson will give this character reprieve and just let him live his own life minus the colorful entanglements with Harper.  
In Underground, Kat Richardson incorporated Native American myths. For this one she made use of Egyptian myth and a touch of Greek and maybe it's an indication that Kat is moving towards that direction like Sherrilyn Kenyon. I like that idea but at the same time I'd rather that she kept the plot and storyline simple and uncluttered. Kat Richardson can be a challenge to read because her dialogue is not very snappy and her approach can be at times a tad journalistic. In my humble opinion, Underground is the most entertaining so far because she just focused on the character and the story wasn't too structured.

There were some fun parts on the book, Harper talking to the bust of Sekhmet
outside Sotheby's and her very informative conversation with Temperance, Chastity and Prudence. I can imagine Harper cursing her fate, running around London talking to statues trying to save herself and her ex-boyfriend Will from vampires and other creatures of the dark.

This wasn't the best of the four and I might have jumped the gun with my Mercy Thompson comparison. Harper Blaine is a strong heroine but her story's development is falling short. So I'm taking a break and maybe a dash of something fun will clean my palate a bit.

November 29, 2011

Underground by Kat Richardson

read an excerpt
Series: Greywalker 3
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 5, 2008
Purchase Link: Amazon

Harper Blaine was your average small-time P.I. until she died for two minutes. Now Harper is a Greywalker -- walking the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she's discovering that her new abilities are landing her all sorts of "strange" cases.

Pioneer Square's homeless are turning up dead and mutilated, and zombies have been seen roaming the underground--the city buried beneath modern Seattle. When Harper's friend Quinton believes he may be implicated in the deaths, he persuades her to investigate. But the killer is no mere murderer--it is a creature of ancient legend. And Harper must deal with both the living and the dead to stop the monster and its master…...unless they stop her first.
Harper Blaine's adventure as a private investigator for hire with supernatural abilities continues on book three of Kat Richardson's Greywalker series.

Quinton sought Harper's assistance in investigating the death and disappearance of multiple homeless persons. Some of the bodies found are mangled or bitten severely. As Harper pursues the case she discovers that Seattle has a... zombie problem?

Or a powerful necromancer is behind the reanimated corpses she has been lucky enough to encounter on her filed trips.

But something tells her that this is not the product of sorcery. Her knowledge of the Grey is becoming more and more useful but is it enough to help Quinton and those homeless people solve the mystery behind the deaths?

Let me just rant and get it out of the way: Will is a eunuch! Seriously this guy has no business being kick butt Harper Blaine's boyfriend. First off he dropped off the radar on Greywalker and realized that he couldn't deal with Harper's very exciting life. Then he flies off to London and came back to try things out. Lo and behold! At the first sight of trouble he once again runs and this was when they were attacked by a zombie.
"Harper, I'm sorry. That was just the stupidest thing I could have done." [Will] 

"I don't know--freaking out seems like a pretty normal reaction to what happened. abandoning me under the viaduct... not that was a little rough." It wasn't until the words were out of my mouth that I realized how pissed off I was. [Harper]
Well at least he's consistent.

Underground reminds me of City of Ember (2008) and now I really want to go back to Seattle and take that tour. Another good thing about Kat Richardson is that her books are well researched and filled with trivial stuff not just about Seattle landmarks but whatever topic she decides to take on. I like reading tidbits of information because I'm not much into history so taking it in bits and pieces works well for me.

Aside from this Harper now has a love life. Yes, I'm happy to announce that Kat Richardson finally decided that her heroine deserves a solid man to support her and it's not Will but Quinton! I was actually squealing with glee when these two finally got together and did the deed. But let me just set the right expectations, my comparison to Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson Series was dead on in the sense that Kat is meek compared to her mentor, Charlaine Harris. But like Mercy and Adam, Harper and Quinton are combustible and they are like two piece in a puzzle that fits perfectly.

This series is getting more interesting by the book! If you started with Greywalker and decided to drop it, I STRONGLY URGE you to pick up the book once again and proceed with the series. It just gets better and better and I guess she is taking notes from her buddy Charlaine Harris. So aside from Harper's budding personal life, I'm now excited to ride the Kat Richardson train and take more adventurous supernatural trips on the streets of Seattle.

November 28, 2011

Poltergeist by Kat Richardson

read an excerpt
Series: Greywalker 2
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: August 7, 2007
Purchase Link: Amazon
Harper Blaine was your average small-time PI until she died - for two minutes. Now she's a Greywalker - walking the thin line between the living world and the paranormal realm. And she's discovering that her new abilities are landing her all sorts of "strange" cases.

In the days leading up to Halloween, Harper's been hired by a university research group that is attempting to create an artificial poltergeist. The head researcher suspects someone is faking the phenomena, but Harper's investigation reveals something else entirely - they've succeeded. And when one of the group's members is killed in a brutal and inexplicable fashion, Harper must determine whether the killer is the ghost itself, or someone all too human.
In Poltergeist, my new badass heroine, Harper Blaine was hired by a University Professor, Dr. Tuckman, to investigate the members of his case study pertaining to an artificial Poltergeist. Dr. Tuckman feels that someone is screwing up the study that will obviously skew his results.

As Harper treads on the case, the Poltergeist named Celia, is becoming more and more real and malevolent. One of the case study members was murdered violently and Harper's instincts are telling her that Celia has a hand on his death. But who will believe that a ghost is responsible for someone's gruesome death?

Then the other group members are each being attacked or experiencing Celia manifestations. Not only that, she's one of Celia's target too. Now Harper has to sort out the mess and figure out how much of the Poltergeist is real and what was faked before someone else dies.

Poltergeist is better than Greywalker which affirms my belief on second chances. Let me veer off a bit. After the Fever Series by KMM, I learned the virtue of perseverence. Most of us can agree that Darkfever didn't really make us Fever-ish but it was enough to keep us going. In retrospect passing up on Bloodfever would have been a big mistake because not only did it bring Cimmaron and I closer but our blog wouldn't have been born; us falling inlove with David Gandy would be delayed and we would have missed the chance of having some sort of relationship with our fellow bloggers and our followers. Thank God for Fever and KMM!

Going back...

So I'd like to believe that Kat Richardson's Greywalker Series would also be on top of my favorite kick ass heroine series next to Mercedes Thompson and MacKayla Lane. As far as book 2 is concerned, Kat is on the right path. Greywalker is more of a ghost series than vampires, faeries or werewolf and personally I can relate to that better. Let's admit it, the possibility of us having close encounters with a ghost is more likely than crossing paths with a Fallen Angel. So the creep and scare factor is there and persistent.

Since the story is from an investigator's POV we get a little education on effective illusion and all those technicalities that you hear being thrown in Ghost Hunters or other ghost tours? Yup Kat Richardson shared that background stuff with us too. And it's tight, all that EMF, telekinesis and the accompanying psycho babble was well researched and not some made up explanation to justify the story.
Harper Blaine is like my other favorite heroine, Mercy Thompson. She's driven, a strong female and doesn't take crap from anybody. The plot is not as complicated either. Compared to Greywalker, Poltergeist is focused and didn't have the other distractions of its predecessor. Here Harper is just tackling her investigation and mastering the Grey with the help of Ben and Mara Danziger.

The romance part is close to nonexistent. Quinton and Will are still sort of vying for Harper's attention but that arc in the story has yet to pick up. Now unless you're into that added flavor in your Urban Fantasy reads, you'll find that it's not of import here, Kat Richardson still has to make some time and space for Harper Blaine's lovelife to manifest. Harper will keep you riveted by her adventures but for the sake of a realistic grown up read, I do hope she picks Quinton, Will just sounds like a snob to me.

Girl Crush Mondays: Michelle Rodriguez

Mayte Michelle Rodriguez

This muy caliente latina is one bad ass babe.
She's comfortable playing with the boys toting guns and kicking some serious ass.
You've seen her in a lot of action flicks like
Fast and the Furious
Resident Evil: Retribution

You gotta give it to her, even in real life she seems to be mostly
spice with a dash of sugar.
Basically I was a rebel growing up. I got kicked out of six schools. But I don't think that it makes you less of an intellect. You know, if you ever crave knowledge, there's always a library.

November 26, 2011

This Brilliant Darkness Teaser

When an ancient, troubled entity identifies quirky Christine Grace as his latest threat, all hell breaks loose in the urban forest of Indiana University's Dunn Woods. Will Christine piece together his destructive plan in time to save herself? And what exactly is going on with this peculiar star, Stella Mirabilis?

This fast-paced story moves quickly from character to character, through the headspace of not just Christine and the monster Greachin, but also to Tom, her devoted boyfriend, and Richard, an aging physicist interested in the time-traveling star overhead, and others. Along the way, singing street people, cosplaying environmental activists, and heaven-sent beings come to populate the unique cityscape of Bloomington, IN, where encountering the bizarre is an everyday experience.

"What am I supposed to think? You come home naked in the back of a squad car?" Tom's eyes blazed blue and bloodshot, wide and tired.

Christine put her doughnut back in the box, half-eaten.

"I'm sorry," she said.

Tom picked up the mug of chai Officer Scott had made for him. He gulped it, leaving a moustache of foam on his face, and flopped down into the overstuffed armchair without wiping his face.

Christine threw her wadded napkin at him. "Hey! If I knew what was going on, don't you think you'd be the first person I told?"

Tom took a deep breath and stared at the floor. Finally, he spoke.

"Does this have anything—anything at all—to do with Richard?"

Christine sighed.

"Do you honestly think I wandered out of an ecstatic love tryst completely naked, and passed out behind the Union?"

Tom looked at the carpet, between his knees. He stood up, pacing the room with his hands on his hips. "Honestly? No, I don't think that. But I don't understand why both you and Richard are in the habit of losing consciousness, either. It's like you've been drugged or something." He stared out the window toward the spot where the flying monster had been, weeks ago.

On December 1 Talk Supe will giveaway a copy of this book plus
we get to chat with this brilliant author
Red Tash
about her work and future plans for the series.
If you want to know more about this please visit

November 25, 2011

Merry Magic and Happy Hauntings

The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner and Talk Supe would like to celebrate this joyous month with you guys.

So for the month of December
Cimmaron and I would like to share with you
books, movies and whatever news we have to make this month even more festive.

Of course our signature flavor will not be mislaid so rest assured that we'll stick to what we know best: ranting and raving about the very addictive Supernatural world.

So let's celebrate this month with our favorite Fae, Were, Vamp, Angel and the rest of the crew.

November 22, 2011

Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase

Series: Jade Calhoun 1
Format: ARC from the Author
Release Date: July 18, 2011
Purchase Link: Amazon
Jade loves her new apartment-until a ghost joins her in the shower.When empath Jade Calhoun moves into an apartment above a strip bar on Bourbon Street, she expects life to get interesting. What she doesn't count on is making friends with an exotic dancer, attracting a powerful spirit, and developing feelings for Kane, her sexy landlord.Being an empath has never been easy on Jade's relationships. It's no wonder she keeps her gift a secret. But when the ghost moves from spooking Jade, to terrorizing Pyper, the dancer, it's up to Jade to use her unique ability to save her. Except she'll need Kane's help-and he's betrayed her with a secret of his own-to do it. Can she find a way to trust him and herself before Pyper is lost?
Jade Calhoun empath extraordinaire, is going through a lot of changes in her life. She's got new friends in a new city and just moved in to her new apartment. What she didn't know is that the Big Easy's reputation for being haunted has a ring of truth to it. Jade has a ghost roommate she fondly calls Mr. Sexy. Why? Mr. Sexy gives her vivid dreams of sexual intimacy that leaves her wanting when she wakes up.

Not only that, her landlord and strip club owner, Kane, joins the party but something about her dreams is telling that it's more real than she thinks. Soon after Jade is being haunted and followed in real life. Not only that, her boss and friend, Pyper is being haunted too. However Mr. Sexy is far from seducing Pyper but does the exact opposite, the ghost turns malevolent towards her friend and she made it her mission to not only figure out what her ghost roommate wants but why is he attacking Pyper.

Deanna Chase's debut novel is 200+ pages of ghost haunting, romance and mystery. Though Deanna is a noveau writer the book is not as amateurish as you might expect. It's cohesive and the plot is fairly simple without too many distractions. It stayed focused on the premise and the arcs and revelations remain with the ghost haunting and Jade's special abilities.

I like the characters as well, there weren't a lot of people in the loop so the focal of the story remained tight. Now since this is set in New Orleans, I guess it's expected that a few witches, mediums and ghost hunters will be thrown in the mix. There was just one character, Lailah, that I wasn't a big fan of. She's a minor character but claims to be a low level angel. I find this a bit misplaced, for some reason I don't find that her supernatural class gels well with the menagerie of characters.

Kane, the male protagonist, is your typical dangerous and sexy lead. Sure he owns a strip club which might give him a coat of slime but surely Ms. Chase rectified that by his backstory which justifies his sundown enterprise. On top of his business ventures, Kane is also a dreamwalker and I sort of envied Jade. In retrospect, Kane was already seducing/courting Jade in the background through her dreams and though I understand that she felt violated upon discovering this but at the same time I find it sexy. It's just one of those forbidden things that pushes the right buttons.

On the other hand I question Jade's relationship with her bestfriend Kat, who is incidentally dating her ex, Dan, who hates her. I don't understand how she can maintain a close friendship with Kat when her ex is in the middle and continue to interfere with their relationship. Dan is also very hostile towards her which also raises the question as to why Kat is tolerating all this drama. Anyway I'm glad when Kat cut him lose towards the end.

Jade and the rest of the female characters are strong protagonists and being part of the "underbelly" world as Kane puts it, provides a shade of darkness on top of their already paranormal backgrounds. I also like Deanna Chase's storytelling style, she keeps it simple and on the now, I didn't have to read through pages of backstories and lengthy fillers. And though there are telling bits and pieces that denote Haunted on Bourbon Street as Deanna Chase's first venture into the world of writing, it didn't distract from the delicious turn of the story. So I suggest that if you're into new authors, better put Deanna Chase on your list, you won't regret it.

Writer Wrangler: Deanna Chase

This week's Writer Wrangler is with Deanna Chase
author of the very exciting Haunted on Bourbon Street
set in the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisianna.

Hello Cimmaron, Braine, and all the readers here at Talk Supe. I’m Deanna Chase, author of Haunted on Bourbon Street. Thanks for having me over today for a chat.

It’s no secret most writers dream of being authors when they’re kids. I’m no exception. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a love affair with books. As early as thirteen-years-old I can remember reading my mom’s Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon novels or anything else she brought in the house.

The thing I remember most about those books was being whisked away to exotic places or different time periods. I couldn’t get enough. Now that I’m a few decades older, I still love a setting of some place I haven’t been before. Mix in a new set of rules and I’m in heaven.

It probably isn’t a surprise that these days I read mostly paranormal and urban fantasy books. After all, Haunted on Bourbon Street is a paranormal romance (with a healthy dose of mystery). When I started working on the manuscript, it never occurred to me to set it anywhere else. You see the idea came to me one night while my husband and I were down in the French Quarter celebrating something (anniversary, birthday, just a night out on the town?). Heck, I can’t remember. What I do remember was having dinner at Muriel’s and watching a ghost tour walk by. That’s when the waiter started telling us all about the ghost that haunted the restaurant and how they left food on a table for him.

We were highly entertained, and after dinner we were walking along Bourbon Street looking for live music when the story started to form. If you’ve ever been to Bourbon Street, you’ll know immediately where the strip club inspiration came from. They’re on every corner with the dancers standing in the doorways trying to entice the party goers inside. It’s highly amusing in a only-in-New-Orleans kind of way.
Anyway, we finally found a live band and there I was scribbling notes on the back of a receipt I’d found crumpled up in my purse. My poor husband. He’s a good sport though. He’s an artist, so he understands. In fact we are both glass artists. That’s our day job. He makes collector’s marbles and I make glass bead for jewelry designers.

The glass art started as a hobby that quickly became a part-time job for us. Greg, my husband, would make glass bead and marbles, and I would sell them for him on eBay. We did that for about three years then we had the brilliant idea of selling our house, quitting our jobs and moving into an RV to travel full-time.

A sample of Greg and Deanna's creation
That was in 2003, and though I was sure we’d lost our minds, it turned out to be the best thing we’d ever done. For almost two years we worked seasonal campgrounds and made beads on the side. Surprisingly it was quite easy to make ends meet. But in 2005 we decided we were done working for other people and made our glass business our full-time job, all while still traveling and working out of our RV.

It was awesome!

However, by July of 2007 we were ready for a permanent home and studio. When we discussed where we wanted to live, New Orleans was always at the top of the list. We discussed Northern California and the Olympic Peninsula (both just gorgeous places to live), but ultimately decided Louisiana was our home.

Since then, New Orleans has been a reoccurring theme in our art for both of us. Greg makes amazing New Orleans marbles and even made one to go with my book. I, of course, write about the city of the dead.

It was right after we moved here that I started to write seriously. A friend of mine signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I thought, hey that sounds like fun. So in 2007 I sat down and wrote the worst manuscript ever. There was zero plot and lot of scenes that were just fun for me to write. It was a great exercise and got me writing. But from there I took workshops and joined writers’ groups and spent three years learning everything I could.

Then early this year I finally published my debut novel, Haunted on Bourbon Street. After having it thoroughly combed through by my critique partner and a few beta readers, I sent if off to my editors and a book was born. I couldn’t be happier with my experience or more grateful to the readers who’ve shown their support. It makes it such a joy to sit down and work on the next one.

My writing process usually starts with a thread of an idea. In Haunted it all started with the idea of a haunted apartment above a strip bar. From there I added the empath gift and a hot guy, Kane. And he needed his own gift, but that showed up later. He really surprised me with that one.

I’m not great at outlines. Every time I write one, the story never goes as planned, and they usually end up making me stall out. I’m more of a panster type. I love the joy of discovering the story as I go. Of course, that usually means lot of revisions to the beginning chapters, but that’s okay. I like that part too. Once I’m revising, I know exactly where I’m going and why.

Currently I’m working on Witches of Bourbon Street. In Haunted, Jade finds out—much to her dismay—she’s a white witch. In Witches, she’s forced to deal with that and the blurring lines of white and black magic.

I’m having great fun making Jade do things she doesn’t want to. In fact, today I’m finishing up the last two chapters before I start working on revisions and edits. My plan is for it to be out in late January. I hope you check it out. You can sign up here on my mailing list to be informed when it’s released.

Deanna is a native Californian, transplanted to the slower paced lifestyle of southeastern Louisiana. When she isn't writing, she is often goofing off with her husband in New Orleans, playing with her two shih tzu dogs, making glass beads, or out hocking her wares at various bead shows across the country. For more information and updates on newest releases visit her blog at

Sign up for my newsletter to be informed of new releases and giveaways

For more info about her beads and glass marbles and other glass-art, visit their site

November 21, 2011

Girl Crush Mondays: Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

We all loved her as the vampire Death Dealer Selene who fell inlove with a Lycan in Underworld and she'll be reprising that role in next year's

I'd also like to note that this femme fatale is married to cutie director Len Wiseman who directed her in the above mentioned movie.

I hope I look like this when I'm 38

November 20, 2011

A Banshee's Tale Winner

And the winner of our giveaway is

Fantasy Dreaming

We hope you enjoy the book as much as we did.
You'll recieve an email notification later for the details on how to claim your price.

After you're done, we hope that you can find the time to rate and write a
short review for Veronica Breville in either or all of these sites

The Writer's Coffee Shop

November 18, 2011

Blockbuster Myths

We've seen a parade of toga clad men and women gracing the small and big screens pulling off roles, pretending to be the quintessential literary heroes of ancient civilization. Mythical gods and goddesses, creatures, men and women come to life to awe and inspire us mere humans with their fantastic feats and labors.

Immortals starring Herny Cavill, Mickey Rourke and Frieda Pinto is a hit and the latest Greek inspired movie to grace our theaters in 3D. After thousands of years later the Greeks still manage to maintain its firm clout on us, they started Drama after all. With this let's revisit Hollywood's past endeavors to bring these mythical Olympian fantasies to life.

Clash of the Titans (1981 Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin)
Why I like it: it was faithful to the original story and for a 1981 film, the special effects are good.
What I don't like about it: the special effects

Xena: Warrior Princess TV series (1995 Lucy Lawless, Renee O'Connor)
Why I like it: Xena was so refreshing a leather clad woman who can swing that sword is every man's fantasy.
What I don't like about it: absolutely nothing.

Hercules: The Legendary Adventures TV Series (1995 Kevin Sorbo)
Why I like it: side by side with Xena I get to have my greek myth fix.
What I don't like about it: Kevin Sorbo isn't really my type.

The Odyssey Hallmark TV movie (1997 Armand Asssante, Isabella Rossellini)
Why I like it: for a TV movie Hallmark went all our for this. You can skip the book and just watch the movie, they kept all the important parts as it is.
What I don't like about it: though the action is non-stop, a 176 minute movie can be a challenge to sit through.

Jason and the Argonauts Hallmark TV Movie (2000 Jason London, Natasha Henstridge)
Why I like it: Hallmark did it again for this one. No coin spared and all the details of the original story was faithful to the original.
What I don't like about it: Jason London

Troy (2004 Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom)
Why I like it: the action sequences are amazing plus a bonus peek at Brad Pitt's bum!
What I don't like about it: they screwed up the story, Achilles was already dead when they made the giant horse!

300 (2006 Gerard Butler and Lena Headey)
Why I like it: Gerard Butler and the photography and cinematography is nothing we've seen before. It's dark, gritty and haunting. 300 delicious, valiant men against a despicable army of persians, hero-complex doesn't even begin to describe it!
What I don't like about it: Leonidas died and though he really did, it's just sad that he didn't witness the fruit of his labors.

Clash of the Titans (2010 Liam Neeson, Sam Worthington)
Why I like it: the special effects are amazing and the cast is tight.
What I don't like about it: as usual Hollywood took too many liberties, Perseus didn't end up with Io nor were there Jins in the original Greek story.

this is part of our Olympian Rule special

November 17, 2011

LOL Time: Vampire Comparison Chart (Thanks DeAnna!)
Whoever you are we love your sense of humor!
I hope another bout of inspiration hits you and you'll make us
LMAO again and again.

DeAnna S. my dear!
Thank you for this wonderful find!
I hope you don't mind but I can't pass up the chance,
I have to share this!

November 16, 2011

Writer Wrangler: Veronica Breville

It's another episode of Writer Wrangler here in Talk Supe and for this week we welcome Veronica Breville, author of YA read
A Banshee's Tale.

Based on the "About the Author" part of the book you grew up with amazing women who are also storytellers, what kinds of stories did you grow up with?  
Before I answer, I'd really like to thank you for such a cool question.  My mom, Gran, great-grandmother, and my aunt were/are indeed the most amazing women. 

My great-grandmother Helen told us stories about her youth mostly.  She was born in 1899, lived her whole life on a farm, and saw so many new things come to pass.  I think I was always most interested in the stories about being a teacher.  She didn't do it for a very long time before she got married but it was difficult to see how she fit my own stereotypical ideal of a prairie school marm.  We heard about the Great Depression, the Great Dust Bowl, and the advent of television.  I credit her and her daughter, my Gran, with my love of history.

My grandmother (Gran) Catherine, told stories about growing up in rural Kansas and all the mischief she and her siblings would get up to.  She lived through some really tough times but to this day has a smile on her face.  Some things I remember in particular were the stories she passed down to us from her father, who was in the Navy. 

My mom and aunt's stories were more humorous but important all the same.  All four women were/are avid readers and because of that so am I. 

What is it about Celtic Myth that made you write about it and Banshees in particular? 
My heritage played the biggest role in my decision to write about Celtic myths.  My family hails mostly from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.  All myths...Greek, Roman, Norse, Celtic...have always interested me. The banshee was a myth that just wasn't written about much and being a spiritual person I could see a side of it that maybe others couldn't. I have also always loved to mess with people's perceptions. That is why Cat's version of a banshee is so very different from the one widely recognized. I have a ton of story ideas not related to the Banshee series that also involve Norse and Celtic myths. Maybe one day I'll get some on paper.
Can you tell us how this story came about and who inspired your characters particularly Catherine and Zane? 

Have you ever had that "A-Ha" moment?  I did right after finishing a series that I truly enjoyed.  The only issue I had was that the female protagonist was on the whiney, wishy-washy side and that bothered me.  At the time my oldest daughter was struggling to find anything she liked enough to read and I handed the books to her.  She devoured them.  She read them over and over, and the entire time all I could think was "I really hope she understands that whining to get your way with a guy is not okay".  

A Banshee's Tale was originally just an idea I'd had for years that I decided to put down on paper, while also creating the kind of female role model I'd hoped my daughters would strive to be.  The further along I got, the more detail I added.  Pretty soon I had chapters 1 through 5 done and I sat back wondering where that all had come from.  I'd always been a writer but having two kids under the age of 3 in the house and a slightly whiney pre-teen puts a cramp in one's creative writing. 

Three years later I'm sitting here writing this and still biting my nails because I know there are things I could change to make it better but Catherine is definitely a strong female protagonist, so that mission was accomplished.

Catherine is based on my grandmother, whose name is also Catherine.  My Gran's strength, loving soul, and exuberance for life were infused into Cat Dalry's personality because anyone faced with the road she had to travel would need all that and so much more.

Zane Laroche is based on probably four different men, but funny enough none that I'm close to anymore, save my husband.  He's also got a little bit of my snark and ability to organize I suppose. 

Will Sayer is based on one of my best boy friends from high school.  Kyle made such an impression on me that even now I think about him and wonder how he and his family are.  Will is also one of my favorite characters and I really look forward to giving him more page time in the future.

Aunt Lucie is a combination of my mom and my own aunt, Jo.  She's sparky, fun, and a hoot to be around but when it's time to get down to business you better bet she will crack the whip harder than anyone else.

We are fond of doing casting couches here in talk supe, if A Banshee's Tale becomes a movie or a TV series, who'd you like to play the characters?

My husband, Curtis, just asked me this question two days ago.  It started me thinking, a very dangerous situation, and I came up with a few passable actors to fill the shoes.  Before I reveal them though, I should mention that I kinda stink at this and all actors/actresses would likely need a different hair color/eye color to match the description completely.

Catherine Dalry
Alix Elizabeth Gitter
LMN's The Bling Ring

Zane Laroche
Alex Pettyfer
Beastly, I Am Number Four

Will Sayer
Logan Lerman (with auburn hair)
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Aunt Lucie
Anne Hathaway
Alice in Wonderland
She was always the actress I imagined.  It's funny that I couldn't imagine who I'd see in the lead roles but I had the two main reading roles firmly in my head

Annasophia Robb
Soul Surfer
Would need a younger version and an older.  I'm not sure who I would choose for the younger but I always pictured Annasophia Robb as the older version
How do you deal with unpleasant reviews? How seriously do you take fan critic and does it affect your writing?

Again, let me start by saying I adore your questions.  These are some truly tough things to answer. 

The first one I got was really hard to get over and I will admit to having a full blown panic attack.  You see, I know there are things that need to be changed or improved upon, and I fully intend to do that with book 2 but I had read, re-read, and re-read A Banshee's Tale so many times that my objectivity took a nose dive.  In the end I cried on my wonderful husband's shoulder, pulled myself up by my boot straps, and sat down at my computer to write up the out line for book 2.  It was cathartic, all in all.

This is the best quote I've run across regarding how I feel about my writing. I'm not an actual fan of Mr. King's but that's only because I value my sleep.

"Your stuff starts out being just for you… but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right - as right as you can, anyway - it belongs to anyone who wants to read it. Or criticize it."~Stephen King

Can you share with us a funny anecdote or trivia while you were doing research/writing the book?

Have you any idea the sorts of things Google will throw into a search about Celtic myths?  All I can say are there are some sneaky website admins out there who use tags for all the wrong reasons.  When I click on a site because it says it has information about the banshee myth I DO NOT want to be assaulted by pictures of half dressed (and that's being nice) people in compromising positions.  WHEW!

Can you tell us more about the sequel and your plans about the series?

I do have a sequel in the works, and then one more book after that for this series.  I'm not sure about publishing dates but I'm hoping to have book two out before Christmas of 2012.

I have so many other things I'd love to tell you about the series but that would spoil the surprise a bit.  I will say that while Cat and Zane will definitely be in the next two books the emphasis in book 2 will not be them.  Book three?  Now that might be a different situation altogether!

Do you have a blog or a website where readers can follow?

I have both, actually.  I've not been overly active on my blog due to the book launch and a well deserved family holiday coming up quickly but the links are...

  I also have a Twitter account and Facebook author page...

And there you have it folks!

Thanks Veronica, our interview was fun and thanks for being candid.
Good luck on book 2 and we sure hope Talk Supe would be part of it as well.

Thanks to Donna Huber of The Coffeeshop Publishing House
for inviting us to the blog tour.
You guys rock!

A Banshee's Tale Review & Giveaway

more info found here

Banshee (n) an Irish supernatural being of the wraith type. The name derives from the Gaelic bean si and implies "female fairy." She is usually the possession of a specific family, to a member or members of which she appears before the death of one of them.A folklore figure whose lamentation portends a family death. In the form of a solitary woman, bean sí in Irish meaning ‘woman of the sídh’, she derives from the mythological construct whereby a goddess presides over the fortunes of a kinship group. She is generally heard at night rather than seen, though some late stories portray her as a small, wizened old woman who combs her hair as she makes her cry. 

A Banshee's Tale is Veronical Breville's debut novel and like most debut novels it's raw and untouched by machinations of mass publishing. I managed to snag myself a copy by joining the member giveaway at Librarything and I'm glad that I did because not only did we get to be part of the blog tour but we managed to score TWO copies to be given away FREE. Details on that later on.
The plot is unique and the book is an easy read. It's light, pleasant and refreshing. Catherine Dalry is a normal teenager who has an amazing family, going through the normal motions of life. But she got more than her fair share of Irish blood apart from having red hair and creamy white skin sans the freckles, she's the latest Banshee from her mother's side of the family. So her backstory is already prepped for the supernatural and all the fun stuff that goes with it.

I like Catherine, she doesn't mince her words and just says it like it is, much like our blog. She's feisty and refuses to be a victim and a doormat. Being special didn't make her insecure in fact she turned it into one of her strengths and rose to the challenge of being a Guide. Zane, her Caomhnóir (pronounced Kaevnor) is also an interesting character; gorgeous, arrogant, matter-of-fact and mysterious.

Veronica Breville makes use of Irish myth wisely. It's always nice to read and get educated on other supernatural beings that litter the Earth, and a break from the usual fangers and hairy beasts are always a welcome challenge. As for the conflict in the story it's not as complicated as its counterparts. In my opinion, the confrontation with the Badbeh was a little underwhelming. The Badbeh are supposedly these badass body thieves and considering that Catherine and Zane, though charm protected, are newbies in the game, but somehow they managed to get away from these demons almost unscathed and they even saved/found the missing Guide! Beginners luck? I don't know, it was too easy and a little more adventure and roughing up could have been added to spice the story up a bit. I'm sure we'll be reading more about these villains in the succeeding book/s but right now, I see them more as a nuisance than threatening.

The ending totally blew my head away! My jaw was on the floor as I read the last couple of words: On the opposite of Will's family laid a name I was all too familiar with: Zane Michael Laroche.

Apparently there is literally more to Zane than being part of an almost extinct line of Caomhnóir. His line and involvement in Catherine's life is more complicated and I couldn't help but exclaim a loud WTH! after the last page. I instantly tweeted Ms. Breville to express my consternation about the whole thing and she of course replied good naturedly and said that she's excited to guest in our blog which you'll read about later.

Let me talk about the book cover a bit, and I say this with utmost respect and candidness: I hope that you can change it. By looking at it alone it's not really inviting, it seems that the story is more science fiction than supernatural, more clinical and arid than the dark and adventurous theme of the story. It's just a suggestion and maybe a survey or a focus group discussion would help.


The Writer's Coffeeshop Publishing House and Veronical Breville were kind enough to give out an Ebook for A Banshee's Tale.

This is open internationally and there are only two steps to qualify:

Join our blog by clicking this button
then leave a comment and your email address.

The giveaway is open til November 19 and the lucky winners will be announced and notified via email the following day.

November 15, 2011

Greywalker by Kat Richardson

read an excerpt
Series: Greywalker 1
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: October 3, 2006
Purchase Link: Amazon

When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit ...strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring.But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker-able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift (or curse) is about to drag her into that world of vampires and ghosts, magic and witches, necromancers and sinister artifacts. Whether she likes it or not.
Harper Blaine is a Seattle private investigator. After being attacked and beaten to death... for two minutes... she comes back, different.

Harper finds herself being able to skim through the Grey: the in between realm where the supernatural resides. Ghosts, vampires, witches and other beings move through the Grey, and now she's part of it albeit reluctantly.

As Harper struggles to run away from this new facet of her life, it's quick to catch up with her. Her latest case leads her to a coven of vampires and nefarious spirits. Not only that, Harper realizes that she needs to learn how to control her new ability and finds herself under the tutelage of Mara and Ben. And although she's having second thoughts, mastering the Grey is equivalent to her survival. Harper has no choice but to learn how to be part and master both worlds and accept that normal is now paranormal.

I was so excited to start this series primarily due to the good reviews I've read and Charlaine Harris' endorsement. On top of that, the Greywalker Series is set in Seattle and it's always an incentive to have a clear visual of places mentioned in the book. Seattle is such a beautiful city and I was very lucky to visit that one time when I flew in to see Cimmaron. Greywalker is a pleasant reminder of that wonderful trip.

So all the hype that I made for myself turned out to be anti climactic. Greywalker started off real good, we're thrust into Harper's attack and the events that led to her two minute death. Then what followed is a series of suspenseful events that slowly explained and introduced her to the Grey realm. The mid part (Cam's discovery) and of course the end were the other exciting parts but the in-betweens weren't as entertaining.

The multitude of events that followed were a bit overwhelming. Greywalker is not a quite introduction that will ease you slowly to Harper's world. It's a whirlwind of adventure that at some point became a challenge hard to follow.

But I adore Harper Blaine, she's a strong protagonist and not as sexed up as some of her counterparts. I was able to relate to her struggle in finding some semblance of normalcy in her otherwise abnormal world. I felt her need to regroup and to just distract herself with things that are familiar to help her cope with her ever changing world, literally.

I also liked Cameron, the rich kid turned undead. He's funny and just a tinge sarcastic which is understandable considering he's now a vampire. He was cast out from the coven without anyone to guide and coach him regarding his needs and it's a daunting task to convince people that you're now a blood sucking vampire.

Harper's would be love interests were a bit bland. Quinton, the always available security guy, and William, the antique expert. There was just something off about Quinton's blase attitude and his unfailing availability for Harper. William, though the obvious choice between the two, wasn't as enigmatic nor did he come off as a melt-in-your-mouth male lead. Plus he totally bailed out on Harper when the excitement built up. William is in the wrong book.

I believe I lost my connection to the story on the part where Harper was looking for an old organ and at the same time looking for Cam and sorting out vampire affairs on his behalf. Then those two unrelated things collide and poop hit the fan. What started out as a simple story became too complicated and I found it challenging to stay focused on the story. I appreciate an action-packed, fast-paced story like the next person but if there are two or three major conflicts going on at the same time that may or may not be connected, it's a bit much for just one book.

The silver lining is reviews on the succeeding books promised that the (writing) story gets better. So I'm now reading book two of the series, Poltergeist, and I'm crossing my fingers that I'd find it hard to put this one down.