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VINE VOICEon October 3, 2006
What happens when you combine a wedding with the supernatural? Open the pages of MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL WEDDING to see how some of the finest writers answered this question....

MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL WEDDING opens with "Spellbound" by L.A. Banks. Odelia Hatfield and Jefferson McCoy are in love and want to get married. However, they are plagued by the hatred stemming from the old Hatfield/McCoy feud over land. See what happens when these two defy family tradition as their families resort to any magical means necessary to stop the wedding.

L.A. Banks is perhaps best known for her Vampire Huntress series so it is surprising to read a story by her without vampires. Ms. Banks twist on the Hatfield/McCoy saga is certainly an unusual one, mixing many elements of spells using roots. Her grasp of the dialect is simply astounding and breathes life into even the secondary characters!

Jim Butcher's "Something Borrowed" features his well-known and much-beloved character, Harry Dresden. Harry, a wizard, is about to be best man for his friend, Billy the werewolf, when he realizes things are awry regarding the bride, Georgia. Harry calls on Lieutenant Murphy, who heads up the Special Investigations Department. Together, they must resolve the matter quickly as lives are once again in danger.

Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series is a favorite of this reviewer and "Something Borrowed" doesn't disappoint! Mr. Butcher does a fabulous job at allowing Harry's personality to shine through while maintaining the level of action one expects from this series. Besides, who can't help but love a series with an enemy appropriately named Jenny Greenteeth? Jim Butcher delivers once again in this fantastic tale that only serves to remind fans just how much Harry Dresden is loved.

"Dead Man's Chest" by Rachel Caine tells the story of Cecilia Welles and her experience with marriage aboard a pirate ship. Cecilia has doubts about Ian Taylor's wedding plans but who can resist a man who looks like the cover of a romance novel? Cecilia learns a lesson about true love and its amazing power in this pirate's tale.

Rachel Caine fans know always to expect the unexpected with her works and "Dead Man's Chest" is no exception. The twists and turns this tale takes will keep the reader happily flipping the pages while marveling at what a devious mastermind Rachel Caine truly is. You don't have to be a pirate fan to enjoy "Dead Man's Chest" as Rachel Caine is sure to make fans of even those who hate pirate stories with this very creative twist on the theme!

P.N. Elrod's "All Shook Up" revives the mystique of Elvis. Frankie Foster is catering for a huge celebrity wedding when she meets the tribute artist who bears an uncanny resemblance to the long-dead Elvis. What happens when Frankie is "All Shook Up" by this Elvis look-alike?

P.N. Elrod's love for Elvis is very apparent in this clever tribute to the King. One can feel just a bit of the excitement that Elvis must have generated while reading "All Shook Up". Ms. Elrod's entry just oozes with mesmerizing appeal! Resisting the King is not an easy task and Frankie has her work cut out for her in "All Shook Up".

"The Wedding of Wylda Serene" by Esther M. Friesner surrounds the wedding of Wylda Serene at The Club. Unfortunately, The Club has a mythological legacy that tends to create problems every time a major event is scheduled there as supernatural beings have a habit of showing up unannounced. Will things go awry at "The Wedding of Wylda Serene"?

Esther M. Friesner's stories are always a hoot! "The Wedding of Wylda Serene" is a surprisingly strong entry in an anthology packed with many of this reviewer's favorite authors. The deceptively cultured writing voice of the narrator accentuates the sheer outlandish humor and is certain to produce laughter in those appreciative of this style of humor. Esther M. Friesner is a master at creating humor in unlikely places and she demonstrates this fully in "The Wedding of Wylda Serene".

Lori Handeland's "Charmed By The Moon" is yet another addition to her Nightcreature series featuring the Jager-Suchers. "Charmed By The Moon" returns to the story of Jessie McQuade and Will Cadotte (previously in BLUE MOON) and takes place on their wedding day. Jessie is having doubts about the entire concept of marriage when she discovers a love charm. Will and Jessie have to venture back into the unknown to determine if their love is real or if they were simply "Charmed By The Moon".

Lori Handeland is one of the best authors out there at mixing werewolves and romance. "Charmed By The Moon" is a bit of a departure for her as the Jager-Suchers are only briefly mentioned in the story. Instead, Ms. Handeland has crafted a very charming romantic story fused with the paranormal elements with which she does so well. Fans of the series will enjoy revisiting Jessie and Will, but it is not necessary to have read BLUE MOON to enjoy their story here.

"Tacky" by Charlaine Harris demonstrates what happens when a werewolf and a vampire decide to have a wedding. Dahlia Lynley-Chivers explores wedding traditions to help her friend, Taffy, marry the werewolf, Don, despite Dahlia's reservations about vampires and werewolves marrying due to a long-standing animosity between the two races. See what happens in this very non-traditional wedding!

Charlaine Harris has a gift for creating likeable vampires. While the marriage of Taffy and Don is the central focus of the story, Dahlia is actually the main character. Readers will appreciate Dahlia's tough side which contrasts so well with her desire to not be caught in a bridesmaid's dress that is "Tacky".

Sherrilyn Kenyon's "A Hard Day's Night-Searcher" is the story of how Dark-Hunter Rafael Santiago finds his love match. Rafael's Squire, Jeff, has published a thinly-veiled story about the Dark-Hunters and the Council now wants to see him. The Squire, Celena, is sent to collect Jeff but Rafael makes a deal with Celina in exchange for Jeff's freedom. Can Rafael break through the safety barriers erected by Celena?

Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series is arguably one of the best vampire series in print today. Fans will enjoy this quick visit with the Dark-Hunters. However, the short format lacks the depth Kenyon fans have grown to love and expect from her novels. This is not to say that Ms. Kenyon's story is by any means weak or lacking depth as it is still a very strong entry in the anthology. However, compared to her novels, "A Hard Day's Night-Searcher" pales in comparison and adds little, if anything, to the ongoing series. However, this reviewer holds out hope that this is merely a teaser for a longer format in which more is explored regarding this fascinating couple.

Susan Krinard's "... Or Forever Hold Your Peace" is an alternate reality story set in Victorian England in which magical talents are part of the norm. At the wedding of Lady Emma Wakefield and Lord Edward Parish, a mysterious stranger objects to the wedding- only to drop dead from magical means. Lady Olivia Dowling and Christopher "Kit" Meredith agree to assist when Lady Emma disappears, only to find that supernatural forces are at work.

Susan Krinard's entry actually presents as more of a supernatural mystery than a romance and is a nice change of pace in the anthology. The Talents manifested by the various characters are simply fascinating and Ms. Krinard does an excellent job at tying all of the various story elements together. The surprising twists and turns taken in "... Or Forever Hold Your Peace" keep the suspense level high.

MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL WEDDING is a superb compilation by some of the best writers out there. Fans of the genre will enjoy this excellent anthology which teases the reader with tidbits from the various worlds crafted by the authors. MY BIG FAT SUPERNATURAL is an excellent addition to this reviewer's keeper shelf!

COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
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VINE VOICEon November 27, 2006
With 9 stories packed into just 310 pages you can only hope to get a yummy hint at the works of these well known authors. I think that's why some of them outshone themselves and others just basically sucked. If you've only got a few pages to drag in new readers than give it your all!

L.A. Banks- I have to admit that for me this was the worst of the stories and I didn't actually finish reading this one. While the author, as I've seen before, does a lovely job of using a culture and time periods dialect to bring you closer to the characters, in this I found the writing so distracting and bothersome that I just couldn't make myself finish it. I was glad I skipped ahead though...

Jim Butcher- So I've heard of this guy but never read any of his work and I have to admit he and Charlaine Harris were the main reasons I bought this book. His story was fantastic and definitely one of the two best tales in this anthology! Harry Dresden, a character Mr. Butcher apparently has a whole series based on, leaps from the pages to tell us of the goings on around the wedding of two of his best freinds. Having never read the back stroy I was pulled into this sorcerer's telling of fae, werewolf, merefolk, monsters, and other crazy creatures. I'm going to have to start reading the Dresden files now! It's all told from Harry's perspective but he's so engaging you'll be hooked!

Rachel Caine- The other five star short story in this book had me crying! I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on things she's written before but this was fantastic! Coerced into marrying cover model, Ian, who she's been dating for two months Cecilia is not exactly thrilled to find Ian has them booked for a wedding and honeymoon at sea-not on a cruise ship but a real life pirate ship. Though things turn out to be a little bit more real and a little less"life" than either she or Ian had planned when Ian's attempt to off his new spouse is foiled by the crews captain. It seems a curse was placed on the entire ship some 300 years ago and Cecillia will have to think fast if she wants to resusitate her love life! If you're a fan of Pirates of the Caribean and wish Capt. Jack got his own true love than this is the story for you!

P.N. Elrod- Not the best. A tale of a caterer at a wedding who has an unusual ability to see peoples futures and bumps into an Elvis impersonator with a near identical gift who also sports a little of the ghost of the king. It was an ok read to put you to sleep. But you kept waiting in vain for something big to happen. In retrospect it's kind of lame.

Esther M.Friesner- Told from the perspective of a middle aged and snobby male socialite this story is about the goings on at his beloved club, especially those centering around a wedding. It seems the club has attracted some supernatural attention, especially that of the greek pantheons. Nothing really happens til the last few pages. It's mildly amusing but this story doesn't really make me want to crack my wallet open for other works by this author.

Lori Handlenad- I've loved her work, and I've hated some of her work. This short story centers around Will Cadot whose finally been able to drag his heroine, Jessie McQuade from Blue Moon and her other Moon works, to the alter. But why has Jessie fianlly caved to marriage now? Is their love real or only a supernatural smokescreen? This story was somewhat nuetral. I couldn't jump up and down about it but neither can I trash it.

Charlainne Harris- Who doesn't love Sookie and the Southern Vampire series? No one that's who! In this continuation into the lives we snoop on in that series Dahlia, a vampire, is the bridesmaid at an unconventional and somewhat illegal marriage between her vampire buddy, Taffy, and the groom, Don, who is sadly a werewolf. Needless to say she is unfamilliar with either human wedding customs which Taffy is enthralled with or werewolfs in general. But the bestman is a hairy hunk even if he does need his rabies shots.

Sherrilyn Kenyon- I love Dark-Hunters and I make no secret of it. I also don't hide when I think their stories are a little annoyingly done. I did not find this a great DH tale. Rafeal, former pirate of the caribbean, has to protect his squire, Jeff, from another squire,Celina, whom Rafeal has always wanted to bed. It seems Jeff's not the brightest bulb and has written a comic on the adventures of a character who is extremely reminiscent of Rafeal. Celina is set on hunting the moron down. Rafael makes a bargain with her that if she can go with out breaking a rule he'll let her have Jeff. If not the pirate gets her. Thinly veiled and not Ms. Kenyon's best work by far. Also if you are not familliar with the series you'll likely be lost.

Susan Krinard- Another author I've been mixed on trying but her "Olivia and Kit Mystery" was a nice change of pace and has made me curious about the other books about these characters. Olivia, a proper English regency woman in an alternate land where near everyone has a little bit of unusual talent, is aided in solving the strange occurances surrounding a wedding and the brides subsequent disappearance. Her aid comes in the form of her bestfriend and fellow intriguing character Kit, who can change into a beastly hell-hound. The reader gets a good suggestion that these two freinds should end up being more eventually.
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on September 27, 2006
When you don't like one story in an anthology, you can just skip to the next. However, in this one, you won't want to miss a word anywhere! There's vampires, werewolves, Elvis, pirates, Greek gods and so much more. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of each and every story. P.N. Elrod has pulled together a "spook-tacular" variety of stories from some of the top paranormal authors (including herself). It's very hard to pick a favorite, but I think I have to go with Rachel Caine's 'Dead Man's Chest' - ARRRRGH, that's some fine story-tellin', matey! Elrod's own 'All Shook Up' isn't far behind (and I'm not a big Elvis fan). But how can I forget the unique and funny 'The Wedding of Wylda Serene' by Esther M. Friesner? There's also well done tales by L.A. Banks, Jim Butcher, Lori Handeland, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Susan Krinard. Although some of the stories are based in the writer's popular "universes," I had no trouble following any of the stories even when I wasn't familiar with the settings. In fact, I was so intrigued, I'll be placing their books on my "must read" list. I'm really missing out on some good ones... Bravo! I wish all anthologies were this well done.
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on June 23, 2013
I bought this book because I was a huge Charlaine Harris fan, but after looking at the story she has in this book, it was dull. So sad, I loved her Sookie Stackhouse novels for years but she dissapointed all her fans by giving us 3 terrible last books in that series, also all the books that she has short stories in, she repeats alot of them, we want new one stories...hello Charlaine!! I will say this sellar is wonderful though, they sent me a brand new book for under $4.00 with super saving shipping and got.it in the mail in 2 days, thank u
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on June 4, 2014
While the stories were entertaining I only purchased this because it was listed under a series I was reading but to be honest this one could have been skipped in the series because it had nothing to do with the series story line.
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on November 11, 2006
I'm sorry to say that my high hopes for this anthology (based on the names of the contributors) turned into a big fat disappointment after having finished this book last night. Only one story, "Something Borrowed" by Jim Butcher, is a 5 star story; Rachel Caine's "Dead Man's Chest" gets 4 stars (excellent writing, as always with miss Caine, but a so-so story), as does the very funny "All Shook Up" by P.N. Elrod; the rest is a 2 star-story at the utmost. Okay, except for Friesner's story, that one rates 3 stars.

As I hadn't read some of the writers in this anthology before, I had hoped to discover a few new "add to my must-read list" authors. But, sad to say, that's not the case here. Judging by "Tacky", I'm wondering why Charlaine Harris has become so popular in the past few years. The rest of the contributions also doesn't rise above the level of a contribution to a fanzine. Now, if only the editor could have gotten contributions by writers like Kelly Armstrong, C.E. Murphy, Kim Harrison and Lilith Saintcrow, for example...
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VINE VOICEon March 15, 2007
There are three very good reasons to read this anthology. The first is if you are interested in the topic. The second is to discover new authors in a genre without spending a lot of money on paperbacks. The third reason is if you're in any way interested in the process of writing itself is to study whether novelists succeed in shorter works.

First--you're going to get some division on the topic itself. "Paranormal Romance" is a continuum from Jim Butcher on the paranormal end to I'd say Sherrilyn Kenyon writing the more 'romantic' work. You'll probably be happiest with this anthology if you like both romance and paranormals. Given that my preference is toward the paranormal, my favorites were "Something Borrowed" by Butcher and "Tacky" by Charlaine Harris. Kenyon was my least favorite with the other authors arrayed somewhere in between.

Second, some of my best 'finds' in fantasy authors were from the "Sword and Sorceress" series of books edited first by the late Marion Zimmer Bradley. While she tended to later rely on a stable of known authors, she'd introduce a new person occasionally and that breathed life into the anthologies. Up til "Supernatural Wedding" I had not read Banks' work. While I realize her Hatfield-McCoy work is not typical of her usual novels, I'm interested enough to pick one of her vampire huntress books up and see what I think.

Finally, it's interesting to read both the short and long fiction of authors you know. Butcher's "Something Borrowed" probably stands up as the best-written of the stories. He keeps things moving, he's got a good grasp of the characters, (he should-Harry Dresden, Murphy, and even the bride and groom have appeared in the "Dresden Files" series as regulars) good ability to plot, and he keeps things moving. I also liked "Tacky". While the characters were new to me, I thought Charlaine Harris did a great job introducing everyone and keeping my interest piqued through the whole story.
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on November 20, 2007
I normally don't like anthologies and admit to have bought this book by mistake. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find the book as a whole

There were several authors that I had not read before. I think I might jump in and buy one of their books to see if they follow through at book length.

This was not Kenyon's best work. I know that she can write short stories, I've read others by this lady. This time, it just seemed too fuzzy to come together as well as the others.

But, the nicest thing of all was to read a book by multiple authors and not find one entry, not one mention of Laurell K. Hamilton. No Anita, No Merry, no porn, no kidding.

Buy this book. You'll enjoy it if you like this sort.
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on May 9, 2013
I love these little stories; There is several of the stories that go with 2 or3 other series of books i have also. This book is in very excellent condition, and i always like it when i don't have to wait the alotted time for the book to arrive. Thank you very mech
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on March 3, 2007
Bought this book because many authors I like were represented, and now I'm ready to check out books by a few I didn't know, like L.A. Banks. Her story was a great beginning to the collection--she sure knows how to "keep it real" and mix in the supernatural at the same time. Loved the dialog and her characterizations of the families and friends!

Hadn't read anything by Esther Freisner for a while, and her story here reminded me of all the reasons I enjoyed her earlier novels. Same with P.N. Elrod--loved this story, even though I've never been an Elvis fan.
Once again, Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris and Rachel Caine proved they can do no wrong, and Susan Krinard proved she can write something that I enjoy, which was not the case with her 2 novels. I would be interested to to read more about the likeable characters in this story. Lori Handeland's story was good--I'm not familiar with her fictional world, but this didn't stop me from enjoying the story. Maybe I'll try one of her novels.

IMO, best story was Rachel Caine's "Dead Man's Chest"--it ended too soon, but what a great ending!

Worst story was Sherrilyn Kenyon's "A Hard Day's Night-Searcher"--the reason my rating was only 4 stars. Nothing about this cheesy, simplistic story worked for me, and I will not be reading any of her novels. I know she has a great many fans--most of the negative reviews of this book were written by them--so I will not go into detail here about all the reasons I disliked her story lest I upset them any further. I would suggest that if P.N. Elrod plans a sequel to this anthology (and I hope she does), stories from Kim Harrison, Carrie Vaughn, Kelley Armstrong, Lililth Saintcrow, Kat Richardson or Elaine Cunningham would please more readers than would another story from Kenyon, and Kenyon's fans would not have to be distressed by reading stories they don't like just because they weren't written by Kenyon.

I'm glad I bought this book--99% of the stories made me at least smile, or laugh out loud--and it helps to keep me going until Butcher's, Caine's and Harris' new books are finally released!
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