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Chicks Kick Butt Mass Market Paperback – December 24, 2012

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About the Author

RACHEL CAINE is the internationally bestselling author of thirty novels, including the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Morganville Vampires young adult series, and the bestselling Weather Warden series.

KERRIE L. HUGHES is an artist, writer, editor, and traveler, currently working towards a Master's degree in Community Counseling. She has been editing anthologies since 2005.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Rachel Caine
We were enjoying a rare day that did not include doom and apocalypse, and wonder of wonders, it was one of those balmy, beautiful early-summer days that reminded me why I lived in Florida.
It had been David’s idea to do a beach picnic, which, given the lovely, mild weather, was a fantastic idea, but it had been mine to take a drive. A nice long one, on winding roads, for the sheer pleasure of putting tires to asphalt and seeing the world. So we had compromised on a long drive followed by a beach picnic, which was a perfect thing to do on such a lovely day.
Me, I loved to get behind the wheel even more than the prospect of the beach itself. I especially loved to drive really good cars, and this one, a Viper, was right up there in my ranking of awesome rides. Not as sweet as my long-lost Mustang Mona, who’d been a casualty of life in the Weather Warden ranks, but still: nice, and powerful.
David had never said one way or another whether he liked cars, but I suspected he did. Although not much impresses a Djinn. This is an unalterable fact of the world: Djinn—or genies—have been around since the dawn of time, although some are certainly newer than others, and one thing they all share is a sense of historical perspective. By the time you get to your first few hundred years, much less few thousand, I suspect, the “been there, done that” feeling is overwhelming.
Which is why it seemed so unusual to hear my Djinn lover David let out a low whistle as I powered through a turn, and say, “That’s something you don’t see every day.”
I peeled my attention back from the curve and looked where he was looking. Just off the road, with the backdrop of the wetlands, was a mob of vehicles and people, and massive industrial video cameras—high-definition ones, I assumed. Everyone looked ridiculously casual in dress, and highly professional in what he or she was doing.
“Commercial shoot,” I said. It wasn’t that astonishing, in this part of the world. Everybody loved the colors and lifestyle here, and there were probably more still and video cameras clicking away here than anywhere else in the country, except Hollywood. And maybe New York City. “What’s so special…”
And then I saw it.
It was a silvery vision of a car, elegant as something designed by a classical sculptor. Michelangelo, maybe, if he’d worked in metal and sheer engine power. I instinctively took my foot off the gas, staring, because in all my extensive years of car fetishizing, I’d never actually seen anything that cool with my own eyes.
I pulled the Viper over to the side of the road, barely noticing the crunch of tires on gravel, and stared. My mouth was probably hanging open, too. Honestly, David was right—you just did not see that every day. Or, in fact, any day, unless you worked at an Italian car manufacturer, or had $1.7 million to throw around on a set of wheels. “That,” I said, “is a freaking Bugatti Veyron. In the Everglades.” It wasn’t the fastest car in the world—maybe number two?—but it was, to my mind, the most elegantly designed. And, not coincidentally, the most expensive.
David let out a little snort of laughter. “I wasn’t talking about the car,” he said. Well, of course he wasn’t, but I was still adjusting to the fact that there was a Bugatti Veyron sitting there, not twenty feet away from me. A couple of staffers for the shoot were polishing it with soft cloths, not that it needed the help to look its best. I blinked and tried to see what else was in the picture.
Ah. He was talking about the girl. The one in the bikini.
The one in the diamond bikini. Not a bikini with diamonds, not a blinged-out piece of spandex … an actual bikini, made of diamonds. Now that I’d noticed her, it was hard to see how I’d missed her in the first place—the glitter of all those facets was blinding. The girl wearing the thing was getting herself powdered—last-minute primping, just like the car—and she looked almost as sleek and expensive as what she was wearing, and what her backdrop would be. I presumed she was a world-class model, or she wouldn’t be here acting as the prop for all that loot. You didn’t go cheap on the talent in a thing like this.
I blinked as a cloud blotted out the sun. No, not a cloud … a shadow, and then a body, big enough to present a solid flesh barrier to me catching any more glimpses of car, girl, or diamonds. He was, unmistakably, security. I could cleverly discern this by reading the giant letters in white on his black T-shirt, which read SECURITY, but even had he been unlabeled, there would really have been no mistaking him for anything else. He was professional muscle; whether he took it to bodyguarding a star, bouncing a club, or donning an overdone belt as a pro wrestler, he’d made a career out of intimidation.
“Hi,” I said brightly. He scowled down at me from way, way up high. Tall, not only broadly built. “Just wanted to see what was going on.”
“Nothing, ma’am,” he said. “Move on, please.”
“I’m not in the way.” I had no real reason not to immediately put the Viper in gear and drive on, but I didn’t like being scowled at. Or ordered around. “That’s a Bugatti Veyron, right?”
“No idea. Move on.”
“Look—what’s your name?”
“Steve, I promise, I’m just looking. Give me a second and I’ll go.”
Instead, Steve took a step back and waved a hand, and from somewhere behind me, two uniformed Florida state troopers sauntered over, one on my side of the car, one on David’s. The saunter was deceptive, because I didn’t for a moment believe they were being relaxed about it. “Miss,” said the one who bent over on my side of the window. He had a thick Southern accent, a little too Southern for Florida. I was guessing he was a Georgia transplant. “You need to move along now, unless you’ve got a pass.”
David reached into the glove box and brought out something in an envelope, which he handed over without a word to the officer on his side of the car. The trooper unfolded the paper, read it, and said to his partner, “They’ve got a pass, Joe.”
“They do? Let me see that!”
The two passed the paper back and forth for a while, then huddled with the security guard, who came back and leaned in David’s window this time. David was noticeably not bothered or intimidated; he even looked amused, from the light glittering in his brown-bronze eyes. (He was trying to keep his Djinn side from showing, at least. Thankfully.)
“Where’d you get this?” Mr. Security demanded, flourishing the paper.
David jerked his chin at the model. “From her,” he said. “She’s my sister.”
“Your what?” As if no supermodel in the world had siblings, or parents, or any kind of family. Well, they did often look lab-grown, that was a true fact.
“Ask her,” David said, raising his eyebrows. The security dude stalked off, as much as someone so muscle-bound could effectively stalk, and arrived next to the diamond model. He bent over and spoke to her. She leaned past him, looking at David, and then smiled.
“David?” I asked, in a voice that was probably way too confused. “Who is that?”
He smiled, but didn’t answer. Annoying.
Security Steve was trudging his way back, and he looked … apologetic. Not that he had a very mobile sort of face, but I got the subtlety from the hangdog set of his slumped shoulders. He leaned in and said, in a much different kind of voice, “Sorry, sir. Didn’t know who you were. Miss, why don’t you park right over there, next to the director’s car? Miss Whitney wants to say hello.”
“Miss Whitney,” I repeated, and followed parking instructions as David continued with that Cheshire cat grin. “Do I even want to know how you’ve picked up a sudden sister named Miss Whitney?”
“The usual way,” he said. “At least, for me.”
“She’s Djinn,” I guessed. “New Djinn.”
“Not just new. She’s only a few years old. Generationally, she’s no older than you.”
Okay, that was bad news. Whitney was a Djinn—okay, fine, I’d stopped trying to figure out why David liked me better than hot immortal chicks that could move mountains and look any way he wanted them. But the fact was, she was actually my own age, and looked about ten years younger, and at least a dozen points hotter, which already sucked. She was also wearing a couple of million dollars of high-carat diamonds in a skimpy little outfit that left nothing at all to the imagination, not even how expert her bikini wax was.
And she had a cute, infectious smile. The bitch. Honestly, that was just taking it too far.
And she winked at me as we walked toward her; then she swigged some bottled water, and shooed away the two walking-shorts-wearing prettifiers who were hovering around her touching her up. “Well,” she said, with a distinct, low-pitched Southern drawl that made the trooper’s sound like he came from Nebraska. “If it isn’t Mr. Boss himself. Excuse me if I don’t kneel. I think this bikini might leave scars.”
David snorted, but he looked amused. “Whitney, what the hell is this?”
“Fun.” She shrugged a little, which woke a blinding flash of diamonds that must have been a menac...
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (December 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076536476X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765364760
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By melindeeloo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Now this is more like it... these leading ladies really do 'kick' it. Most of these stories are connected to long running series, and since some of those series are complete, it was fun to get an encore from favorite characters I haven't seen in awhile. And while most of these popular urban fantasy authors take us to their established worlds, there are a few who give us glimpses of new ones - and there are a few of these worlds that I really hope I get to visit again.

Shiny by Rachel Caine ~~ A long drive to a picnic at the beach with her djinn lover David turns into a wild ride for Joanne ~~ I love David and was happy to get another chance to see him and Joanne one more time, since Caine's wrapped up her Weather Wardens.

In Vino Veritas by Karen Chance ~~ When dhampire Dorina comes up against a vampire gang, a very unusual duel is her only hope of surviving. ~~ This Dorina Basarab short had some funny moments, can't wait for the next full length Dorina book.

Hunt by Rachel Vincent ~~ When faced with real monsters, werecat Abby finds she's a victim no longer ~~ It was hard not to get depressed by the events which help Abby to find her inner strength in this Werecats connected short.

Monsters by Lilith Saintcrow ~~ Having lost her "family" to hunters, Eleni is out for vengeance ~~ Great world building in this short, I'd like to read more about these vamps - on her site Saintcrow says she may write more of Eleni and Tarquin.

Vampires Prefer Blondes by P N Elrod ~~ Blondes have 'gotta' stick together, and Bobbi's intimate knowledge of vamps is going to come in handy. ~~ Vampire Files connected short, I don't follow the series but I think the leading lady is vampire PI Jack's girlfriend.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Carey on June 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of these authors are old favorites of mine, while others are new introductions. Altogether this is a great introduction to a wide variety of paranormal and fantasy stories.

Shiny by Rachel Caine introduces a not-so-rogue djinn to our favorite weather warden and her djinn-boss lover, not to mention a fast car, a diamond bikini and a car chase.

In Vino Veritas by Karen Chase dhampir Dory finds herself up against the Chinese vampire mafia, trying to drink their boss under the table until back up arrives.

In Hunt by Rachel Vincent a werecat finds her camping trip turning into a rescue mission, first for a friend than for herself. I'm not a fan of Vincent's writing and I found the actions of everyone involved a little silly but it was cute and not a bad read.

Monsters by Lilith Saintcrow follows a vampire whose self-appointed role has been to collect and freeze in time human masterpieces in the form of vampires. With her charges brutally killed she tracks down their murderers one by one only to learn a horrible truth. I love driven, hurting characters and she exhibits her skills in this story.

In Vampires Prefer Blondes, P.N. Elrod's vampire P.I. is only mentioned as we follow his very human girlfriend. She proves you don't have to be supernatural to get the job done, as she battles a conniving vampire over an innocent girl.

In Nine-Tenths of the Law, Jenna Black's exorcist and demon-king host main character isn't sure who's the good guys as she works to find and protect and illegally-possessed girl. Jenna Black's S&M themes in her books finally turned me off but none of that in this short story!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adoration on June 25, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great collection of short stories that run the gamut from a damphir, to a mage, to a vampire, to a vigilante, to a victim of circumstance to etc etc etc. Solid collection with a couple of stories that fall a little flat but that's to be expected from any collection. Unfortunately not everything is going to end up as a 5. A highly recommended read. Even if you don't know any of these authors you're going to love majority of these stories and possibly end up with a few favorite authors to keep track of later on. Although Karen Chance's story was by far my favorite.
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Format: Paperback
As indicated by the title, Chicks Kick Butt is an anthology featuring heroines who might not mind being referred to as damsels but who would certainly take offense to the name if paired with the words "in distress" and the implications that accompany such a label. Though these women often find themselves in no small amount of trouble, they prefer to fight their own battles with sharp minds, sharp weapons, and sharp figurative and literal claws. Majority of the stories in this action-packed collection are highly entertaining, our heroines for the most part reaching through the pages, curling their fists in the collar of our shirts and yanking us into their world where they may temporarily go down fighting but always emerge on top - possibly bruised, most likely bloody, but also irrefutably kick-ass.

Hunt by Rachel Vincent
In Ms. Vincent's addition to this anthology we are thrust in the brutal and gritty world of her Shifters series, accompanying main heroine Faythe's cousin Abby on a camping trip gone horrifically awry. Even those unfamiliar with the six-book series will be able to connect to this story, one of Ms. Vincent's many gifts being her ability to deny us the opportunity to remain detached, instead forcing us to shore up our courage and join the fight alongside characters who we instantly let into our hearts whether we've met them before or are introduced to them here for the first time. Abby's tale is dark and violent, but as always, Ms. Vincent gives us a young woman with unfathomable strength and resilience, and we draw on her many positive attributes to lead us through the pain and death of her world.

In Vino Veritas by Karen Chance
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