Friday, April 11, 2008

After the I-Do’s

What newly married couple doesn’t dream of a romantic retreat where they can escape the world for a while- but what happens when supernatural forces intrude on their wedded bliss?

Nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors answer that question in this all-star collection of supernatural stories. Can a vampire-hunter enjoy her honeymoon after learning that her new hubby is a werewolf? How can newlyweds focus on their wedding night when their honeymoon suite is haunted by feuding ghosts? And what’s a wizard to do when a gruesome monsters kidnaps the bride on her way home from the wedding?

With so much otherworldly mayhem awaiting our newlyweds, will they ever get around to the honeymoon itself? Find out in... My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon.

Title: My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon
Edited by: P. N. Elrod
Published: 2007
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 358 (total)
Genre: Anthology-Paranormal Romance

In 2006, nine paranormal authors created the award-winning anthology My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding. Now Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, and P. N. Elrod have gotten together again with a few other best-selling authors (including Kelley Armstrong, Katie MacAlister and many others) to create another even better collection of short stories called My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon.

Personally, I love anthologies because you’re able to read stories from your favorite authors that you usually won’t find anywhere else (this sometimes bothers me if they’re from a series though) as well as meet new authors that are similar to your favorites. I’ve discovered many of my favorite authors this way and after reading this anthology I think I might have discovered a few more!

Title: Stalked
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: The Otherworld
Pages: 34

Kelley Armstrong’s Stalked is the first short story in the Honeymoon collection. It’s set in her Women of the Otherworld series shortly after the seventh book in the series No Humans Involved. Two popular main characters in Armstrong’s Otherworld series Elena and Clay have finally tied the knot so to celebrate they go on their honeymoon. The two lovebirds, well actually werewolves run into a bit of trouble though...

I’ve already figured out that I love anything that Armstrong produces but I enjoy her werewolf stories most of all and of course Stalked is no exception. I wouldn’t be the best judge since I’ve already read every available book in the Otherworld series but I believe that this short story could stand alone for a first timer. Which is amazing considering how the author is able to introduce you to her characters and still tell a good story- all in only 34 pages!

~The Otherworld Series: Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, No Humans Involved, Personal Demon

Title: Heorot
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: Dresden Files
Pages: 46

The extremely popular fantasy/mystery author Jim Butcher’s story Heorot stars his Dresden Files protagonist Harry Dresden who takes on the case of the kidnaped bride and using his wizard skills, tries to get her back before her honeymoon.

I’ve heard of Butcher’s Dresden Files (especially since it became a TV show) but this was the first story I had ever read by him. I really enjoyed the story and the characters (the monster things were really creepy!) so I thought the author did a very good job of introducing me to the series and telling the story at the same time. So yes, Heorot can stand on it’s own without the help of the books from the series and I would really like to read more about Harry’s cases.

~Dresden Files Series: Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Death Masks, Blood Rites, Dead Beat, Proven Guilty, White Night, Small Favor

Title: Roman Holiday, or SPQ-arrrrrr
Author: Rachel Caine
Pages: 42

Roman Holiday, or SPQ-arrrrrr is the second story from Rachel Caine featuring Cecilia and Captain Liam Lockheart, the two met in the short story Dead Man’s Chest from My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding and are on their honeymoon when another cursed pirate kidnaps the bride.

I’m not familiar with Rachel Caine and I didn’t read Wedding before Honeymoon but this was still completely understandable even if it mentioned things from the previous story. The pirates, cursed and otherwise were incredibly creative too. I hope the author decides to maybe turn this into a series because I want to know more about the cursed pirates like Ned Low. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t read the stories in order though.

Title: Her Mother’s Daughter
Author: P. N. Elrod
Series: The Vampire Files
Pages: 39

Set in Chicago during the Depression era, author P. N. Elrod’s Her Mother’s Daughter (a part of the Vampire Files series) follows detective (and vampire) Jack Fleming on a case of a missing groom. The trouble is, the groom just got married to a gangster’s daughter and she’s furious that he’s disappeared right before the honeymoon no less! The question is, did he leave on his own violation?

This short story was kind of similar to Jim Butcher’s story but in this one, the main character happens to be the only paranormal creature and a groom’s missing instead of a bride. I really did like the story because the characters seemed well-rounded and it was hilarious at times. Like, “Maybe behind every successful man stands a woman- holding a baseball bat.” (p.158) Although I’ve never read anything by Elrod before, I’m now dying to try this series!

~ The Vampire Files Series: Bloodlist, Lifeblood, Bloodcircle, Art in the Blood, Fire in the Blood, Blood on the Water, Chill in the Blood, Dark Sleep, Lady Crymsyn, Cold Streets, Song in the Dark

Title: Newlydeads
Author: Caitlin Kittredge
Pages: 43

Caitlin Kittredge’s short story Newlydeads is her first published work and it is set in the “world of the Black” a place where supernatural things hide “in the nooks and crannies of the real”. Pete Caldecott and her friend Jack Winter go on a holiday after almost being killed (or something, it’s never really explained to the audience) and after a little lying on Jack’s part they get upgraded to the honeymoon suite. What they don’t know is that honeymooners check in at the Paradise Hotel but they rarely check out.

The whole time I was reading the story I felt like I was missing something and I just assumed that it was because I had never read anything by the author before. Imagine my surprise when I realized that her first book had only been recently published (after this anthology)! Newlydeads’ characters feel like they’ve been around for a while so I was still left feeling more than a little lost and all of the bloody British talk got on my nerves. Other than that it was an interesting idea for a story but it still fell flat.

Title: Where the Heart Lives
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Series: Dirk & Steele
Pages: 37

Where the Heart Lives is a prequel to Marjorie M. Liu’s best-selling contemporary series Dirk & Steele and “is a glimpse into the lives of those who created the Dirk & Steele detective agency”. This story is a bit different than the others in that the bride was kidnaped by a jealous Sidhe queen more than 20 years ago before she and her husband could leave for their honeymoon. Can a simple girl get the queen to let the bride go?

I’ve heard of Marjorie M. Liu but I’ve never had the pleasure of reading one of her stories before now. Where the Heart Lives was a wonderful story and cast of characters! The Sidhe queen, Miss Lindsay, even the main character Lucy are all very unique. My only complaint is that it ended too abruptly. Just when it was getting even more interesting, the author wrapped up the rest of the story in a couple of paragraphs so I was very pleased when I realized that it was if not exactly a part, at least it was related to a series.

Title: Cat Got Your Tongue?
Author: Katie MacAlister
Series: Dark Ones
Pages: 36

Katie MacAlister is the best-selling author of the Dark Ones series as well as quite a few other paranormal series. In Cat Got Your Tongue two characters from her main series Joy and Raphael St. John finally get their honeymoon retreat in an old Scottish castle. Too bad its not as restful as they would have hoped with the feuding ghosts, one of whom just might be related to Raphael!

I’m a big fan of Katie MacAlister’s books (and she is one of the reasons I bought My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon in the first place) but it wasn’t until I read this short story that I decided that I needed to start reading her Dark Ones series too. I love the author’s sharp wit in general but Cat Got Your Tongue was awesome! The “Beloved” and “Dark Ones” thing that makes up the main series is discussed although not really explained but it doesn’t really seem to interfere with the actual story. I loved the whole “were” curse thing and I’m eager to finish up the Dark Ones series to see what happens.

~ Dark Ones Series: A Girl's Guide to Vampires, Sex and the Single Vampire, Sex, Lies, and Vampires, Even Vampires Get the Blues, The Last of the Red Hot Vampires

Title: Half of Being Married
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
Pages: 46

Can you imagine being married to vampire hunter? How about a werewolf? In Lilith Saintcrow’s short story Half of Being Married Kat and Mitch are on their honeymoon and find out the hard way the truth about one another while staying in a little bed-and-breakfast out in the country. While they’re still trying to get used to the idea of one another, several local teens turn up missing and Kat thinks there may be a nest of vampires near by.

I had never even heard of Lilith Saintcrow before but I liked the fact that she didn’t go the usual route with her vampires and werewolf... excuse me, Sunrunner (Mitch seemed rather offended by the pop culture slang of werewolf). It’s actually kind of scientific! The vamps in the story were really creepy and evil too unlike most nowadays that are portrayed in a really positive light. Once I got past the major differences in what I’m used to I actually liked the story. I’ll keep a look out for more stories by Saintcrow in the future.

Title: A Wulf in Groom’s Clothing
Author: Ronda Thompson
Series: Wild Wulfs of London
Pages: 35

Last, but by no means least is the short story A Wulf in Groom’s Clothing by author Ronda Thompson. City girl to the core, Laura has just married Sam Wulf the very epitome of an “outdoors man”. Hopefully their marriage can survive their honeymoon, especially when Laura finds out about the Wulf family curse that transforms her new husband into a werewolf!

Ronda Thompson is another author that I’m unfamiliar with but I really liked this story. It was a good ending to a great anthology. I’d like to check out the other Wulfs in her series but unfortunately Mrs. Thompson passed away from pancreatic cancer July 11, 2007 so there aren’t that many in the series available and once I finish them I won’t be able to continue. It’s so sad that such a creative person was snuffed out so soon but I’m sure that her stories have inspired others.

The cover illustrator Paul Youll has an online gallery on his official website. Shortly after Jim Butcher released the title of his short story for My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon his fans started up this discussion in his forums. P. N. Elrod has an excerpt of her story Her Mother’s Daughter up on her website and Caitlin Kittredge has some of her Newlydeads story up as well.


  1. There are a few authors with stories in this anthology that I really like and so you bet I'll be reading this one day. I need to read the first anthology first though. :-) Great review, Jen!

  2. I've yet to pick this one up, but I love Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, so no doubt I will at some point. And if you like Harry wait till you meet Thomas! (If you start reading the series, that is.) Oh, and I love Rachel Caine, too! Both her Weather Warden series and her Morganville Vampire series; can't get enough of either, really. Thanks for reminding me of this collection!

  3. This is going on my list and the first one as well thanks! I am really looking forward to starting The Dresden Files series this month finally. I watched the series on DVD and fell in love. Also I love Kelley Armstrong and her Otherworld Series. It will be good to read some new authors as well.

  4. This looks like a great mix of favorite authors and authors whose books are yet to be explored! I'll be adding this one to my list. Thanks!

  5. that 'My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon' sounds cute.

    'Her Mother’s Daughter' and 'Newlydeads' sound good too.

    great reviews!

  6. I read the first book of the Dresden Files, Storm Front, and thought it was only okay. I wanted to like it, but it seemed too similar to other stuff I was reading and I had trouble liking Dresden. I plan on watching the DVDs of the show on Netflix very soon though to see the difference.

    The other stories in this anthology do look good, though.



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