So last year Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong organised a tour called the Smart Chicks tour! It was awesome, despite my attempts to bring shame on them all. (They are having another tour this year–if it is anywhere near you, you should go!)
In order to commemorate and celebrate this occasion, these lovely ladies decided to edit an anthology!
Not just any anthology. This is the fanciest anthology. It comes in hardback too, and everything. And Kirkus gave us a most lovely review.
These short stories are loosely connected by a very openly interpreted journey motif. Psychics, genies, angels and gargoyles join fairies and vampires to terrorize and romance their fellow characters. The diversity in authors allows for the sometimes-neglected horror implied in paranormal stories to be spotlighted, as in Carrie Ryan’s zombie thriller, “Scenic Route,” and Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s “The Third Kind,” about sisters with unavoidable compulsions. Many of the authors base their stories in the existing worlds of their other novels—luckily, most of these standalones work, though not all shake off that teaser taste. Sarah Rees Brennan’s “Let’s Get This Undead Show on the Road” follows a vampire in a boy-band and stands out with its perfect blend
of snark and sincerity. It’s followed in a one-two punch by Jeri Smith-Ready’s intense and earnest “Bridge.” This collection is ideal as a sampler tray for paranormal readers looking to pick up new authors to follow or to further explore the fictional worlds they already know.
Perfect blend of snark and sincerity? I believe the words I am searching for are boo yeah.
MELISSA AND KELLEY: Journey theme.
SARAH: Can I really be in the anthology? Yay!
MELISSA AND KELLY: Journey theme.
SARAH: Journey theme, journey theme…
It struck me that one kind of journeying I know about, and that is pretty applicable to the anthology, is touring. And who tours besides authors? Rock stars.
I wanted to set the story in England, because that means the obligatory stop in Liverpool and talk about the Beatles. (My mama is Liverpudlian: it is in my blood.) And I thought to myself, I invented a band once. I really would like to put them on tour.
Harper Collins made us a most beautimous cover.
Pretty, right? As you can see by Team Human‘s cover, Harper gives very pretty pictures!
Insides are also not so bad. 😉
Table of Contents
Giovanni’s Farewell by Claudia Gray
Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan
IV League by Margaret Stohl
Red Run by Kami Garcia
Things About Love by Jackson Pearce
Niederwald by Rachel Vincent
The Mortal Winter King by Melissa Marr
Facing Facts by Kelley Armstrong
Let’s Get This Undead Show on the Road by Sarah Rees Brennan
Bridge by Jeri Smith-Ready
Skin Contact by Kimberly Derting
Leaving by Ally Condie
At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show by Jessica Verday
Gargouille by Mary E. Pearson
The Third Kind by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Automatic by Rachel Caine
A fancy list of authors, except that Sarah Ribble Brewster or whatever girl. Kelley Armstrong’s story features Chloe and Derek, i.e. the best necromancer/werewolf romance of all time.
I have written a tale concerning Christian the Embarrassed Vampire and his band, before this, but it is not necessary to have read that one. This one is about being on tour. And being a famous vampire.
“This isn’t a problem,” Bradley declared. “It won’t be long before Faye comes to save us, right? And we all trust Chris.”
“I wouldn’t,” Christian said quietly. “I would never-”
“And I’m totally happy to donate a little blood to keep him going,” Bradley said.
He rose from his lotus position with all the easy grace of someone who could do seventeen pop-and-locks in a row.
Christian’s back hit the wall. “No!”
“Aw, Chris,” Bradley said, and sounded very disappointed in him.
“I am not going to feed from a human being.”
“Chris, this is really no time to be a fussy eater,” Bradley told him, and advanced, holding up one arm. But not to protect himself from the vampire, no, that would be too sane for Bradley.
“Here comes the vein train,” Bradley coaxed. “Choo choo!”
“Bradley, stop it.”
“I see the problem,” Bradley told him, and nodded. “You’ve never done this before. You have performance anxiety.”
Christian covered his face and said, “Oh my God, I hate you so much.”
So, who is up for some roadtripping fun? The anthology is out in bookshops now. Or… I have an author copy. Shout out for a chance to win!