Books to the Sky

“Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.” ― Arnold Lobel

Games Creatures Play

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This is the sixth anthology from Charlaine Harris and Toni Kelner.  These two accomplished authors have once again drawn together a wonderful selection of authors and stories. They consistently manage to bring a balance of humor and serious, light and dark. The stories are all tied together with the theme of games, but there is also a thread of family, biological and otherwise, running through most of them.

There are a few standouts for me. Hide and Shriek by Adam-Troy Castro is a very funny take on the Elder Gods and The Case of the Haunted Safeway by Scott Siglar is funny but sweet. Hide and Seek by William Kent Krueger  and On the Playing Fields of Blood by Brendan DuBois are both chilling.

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Home Improvement – Undead Edition

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This fourth collaboration from talented duo Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner has a nice balance of humor and darkness. I particularly like the Green Lantern reference in In Brightest Day by Toni L.P. Kelner and the macabre humor of Woolsley’s Kitchen Nightmare by E. E. Knight. Both Squatters’ Rights by Rochelle Krich and The Mansion of Imperatives by James Grady gave me chills. And I’m always happy when I get to visit the world of Sookie Stackhouse. I enjoyed all of the stories and I love the theme.

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Death’s Excellent Vacation

Deaths Excellent Vacation

This is the third anthology edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. They have again brought together a varied collection of stories from accomplished authors, this time with a theme of supernaturals out of their usual environment. The Perils of Effrijim is really funny,  The Boys Go Fishing is poignant, and The Demon in the Dunes is singularly well done. A very enjoyable collection.

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Many Bloody Returns

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Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner, this anthology brings together the dichotomous ideas of the undead and birthdays. They’ve brought together a lot of talented authors resulting in a very enjoyable read. The editors had fun putting together this book and it shows.

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Sookie Stackhouse, Books 1 – 3

Sookie Stackhouse

The Southern Vampire Mysteries series began when the first book published in 2001, changed for an HBO adaptation (True Blood) in 2008, and the last of the thirteen novels was released in May 2013. In addition, Charlaine Harris has written several short stories and novellas in this series and a final follow-up novel (After Dead) came out in late 2013. After reading one of those short stories I realized that I had read only one or two books in this series, and they were from the middle. There are a few advantages to being this much of a late comer to a series, mainly the fact that they are all available with no waiting for the next one to come out. So I have gone from not much of a clue about the series to absolutely in love with it in the space of a week. I’m really glad that I finally started this series. Having just finished the seventh book with the next two checked out and waiting this seems like a good place to pause and review.

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Must Love Hellhounds

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Acid blood, demonic eyes, nine inch fangs, lovable, gigantic, three-headed, serpentine tongues, shape shifting, mischievous. Four different stories, four different takes on hellhounds. Intriguing concepts and the entries in this anthology fit well together.

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Bite

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The expectations of a book can influence your enjoyment. If I had seen the small print at the top of the cover (one of the problems with ebooks over print books) labeling it as dark seduction, I would have known what to expect. Much of this collection feels more like romance novels, having sex as the main point with a little story wrapped around it. Which I might have enjoyed if I had expected it. I am not against sex in books at all, I just want it to feel like a part of the story (eg: the Argeneau vampire series). I also have a feeling that I’d enjoy this anthology more if I were familiar with the series these stories are tied to. As it is, I really only liked one of the stories.
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