Spooky Little Girl
Villard, Apr 2010, $14.00
Lucy Fisher was looking forward to her vacation in Hawaii, hocking her life to be able to go. The dream vacation was a disappointment. When she comes home, she finds her possessions all over the lawn as her fiancé Martin tossed them randomly out the door. Bad comes in three as Lucy learns when her boss accuses her of trying to steal money and drugs before firing her. A stunned Lucy moves in with her sister Alice.
On her way to the unemployment office, Lucy learns what bad luck really is when a bus runs her over. Now she is a student at Ghost School where if she completes her assignment she will move into the State of after-death. Lucy diligently applies herself as she wants to go back to earth not so much as to haunt her former fiancé, but to learn why he kicked her to the curb and why no one, not even her sister or the bus driver attended her funeral. Only Tulip seems to miss her.
This clever paranormal chick lit is a fun tale though the serio-comic story line never turns as profound as it could have been; opting more for a winking jocularity that in some ways will remind readers of the movie Over her Dead Body. The beleaguered heroine is likable so that fans will root for her as grandma has made living in the State of the dead precarious for both of them and Lucy knows you only get one chance at it. Harriet Klausner
Zebra, May 2010, $7.99
Adrian serves as a middle man who steals dark energy from the nightmares people suffer and delivers if to his masters. However he has paid a high price for his servitude as the once handsome hunk has been converted into a beast due to the dark forces he absorbs.
Known through history as Sandman, Morpheus and other aliases, Adrian visits Kathryn intent on doing his job, but finds he needs much more from her. Obsessed with owning her, he abducts her to add to his bounty inside his castle. Shocking him, Kathryn is repulsed by the creature that kidnapped her. Shocking her, she is actually attracted to the fiend although she abhors being his prisoner. Still with his sister explaining who he is, she begins to see the diminishing flicker of light that still glimmers inside his heart and plans to make it shine with love.
Stealing Kathryn is a terrific dark romantic fantasy starring a fascinating villain and the female who redeems his soul. Although Adrian is an intriguing energy collector, Kathryn’s seeming flightiness makes the tale as she falls in love, but her doubts about her beloved’ redemption lead her bouncing back and forth between flight (from him) and fight (for him). Jacquelyn Frank’s second Gatherers’ novel (see Hunting Julian) is a wonderful character driven tale. Harriet Klausner
Morrow, Jun 8 2010, $22.99
In New York, Meena Harker writes scripts for the soap opera Insatiable. She enjoys her work and is diligent with hopes to obtain a promotion. However, she is hurt when the boss selects Shoshona Metzenbaum the 00 sized treadmill walker with family connections like super director aunt and uncle for the position. Things get even worse when Shoshona directs Meena to write a vampire storyline for the TV show. Having the “gift” of sight that enables her to see who will shortly die; Meena detests the vampire craze and especially loathes her soap following the parade not leading it.
In the apartment building where she lives with her brother and Jack the dog Meena meets Romanian Prince Lucien, who is visiting neighbors. She likes the fact that for the first time she has encountered a person whose death she cannot foresee. However as she falls in love with the sophisticated East European Meena is unaware of why she fails to be able to foresee his death; the reason being he is dead as befitting the offspring of Dracula and is in town due to his being the ruler of the vampire community.
This is a jocular tongue in cheek urban fantasy romance that takes a bite out of the sensual vampire craze. Closer to George Hamilton than Bella Lugosi or Christopher Lee, Insatiable is an amusing lampooning of the craze that those who would dine on us care about us as equals not cattle. Although at times the verbiage turns verbose as if Meg Cabot targets the Princess Diaries crowd rather than the older audience this story line is fun and readers will enjoy her humorous Love At First Bite romantic comedic satire. Harriet Klausner