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Many Bloody Returns [Paperback]

Charlaine Harris , Toni L. P. Kelner
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 3 2009 Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood
Includes an original Sookie Stackhouse story

"Clever...entertaining... excellent"(Library Journal) original vampire stories by Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, and more.

From cakes to stakes, a celebration of everyone's favorite bloodsucking subculture by a baker's dozen of favorite authors. Each of these thirteen original stories offers a fresh and unique take on what birthdays mean to the undead. From Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse attending a birthday party for Dracula to Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden battling bloodsucking party crashers, these suspenseful, surprising, sometimes dark, sometimes humorous stories will ensure paranormal fans will never think of vampires or birthdays quite the same again.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This patchwork anthology of 13 new vampire stories proves that heavyweight contributors can give some substance to a relatively slight theme. Harris (the Sookie Stackhouse novels), Kelner (the Laura Fleming mysteries) and 11 other writers with serious vamp credentials craft stories around the concept of birthdays for bloodsuckers. Most of the tales only blow out candles in passing, as with P.N. Elrod's Grave-Robbed, which mixes pathos and comedy as vampire PI Jack Fleming busts a phony medium mid-séance, and Tanya Huff's Blood Wrapped, in which Henry Fitzroy's search for the ideal gift for a vampire's 40th mixes with his pursuit of a human kidnapper. Christopher Golden takes birthdays to heart in his poignant coming-of-age story, The Mournful Cry of Owls, while Kelley Armstrong proposes in Twilight that a vampire's real birthday is the date of transformation from mortal to immortal. Fans of the many series vampires on parade here will be undeterred by the variable quality of their adventures. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Experienced genre hands ensure the high quality of 13 stories about birthdays and vampires. The opening story uses Charlaine Harris' series star Sookie Stackhouse, who, as the only nonvampire at a Dracula's birthday ball, finds herself on the menu. Dropping by a role-playing party with his brother's present, Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden must deal with deadly party crashers. A pair of vampires tracks down a serial killer in Toni L. P. Kelner's "How Stella Got Her Grave Back." More chillingly, a vampire knows she must kill to live another year but is strangely reluctant in Kelly Armstrong's "Twilight," and in Elaine Viets' humorous "Vampire Hours," a woman deliberately chooses damnation. Murray, Frieda --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neat concept - book of short stories Sept. 22 2009
I'm a HUGE Charlaine Harris fan so I was pretty excited about the concept of this book. 13 authors were given the task of writing a short story all with the same theme - vampires and birthdays. You'll be delighted with how different each story is given they all have to follow the same theme. It's great to pick up and read one of the stories and put the book down again without feeling like you need to know what happens next. I'd recommend this for any body, not just vamp fans!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book April 19 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Since Twillight and the sookie stackhouse novel, im in love with vampire. This book is great, many stories and many authors that will make you smile and have good time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Charlaine & Kelley, get it! Sept. 30 2011
By ShaylaM
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you love Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series you'll love her great story about Eric getting all obsessed about Dracula's birthday!! & Kelley Armstrong's Bitten series takes us into the mind of vampire Cassandra DuCharme, definitely two short stories you'll want for your collection!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I would pass Sept. 2 2010
Written by other people and "their" stories of the Sookie Stackhouse. never finished it. Don't waste your money.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  132 reviews
88 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Superstars Shine...mostly Sept. 6 2007
By R. A. MCDANIEL - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This anthology features some of the superstars of the paranormal genre writing about their most popular characters - Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse), Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden), Kelley Armstrong (Cassandra du Charme from the women of the Otherworld universe), PN Elrod (Jack Fleming), Tanya Huff (Tony and Henry Fitzroy), and Rachel Caine (Eve Rosser from the Morganville Vampires books) - along with some other fairly recognizable authors such as Christopher Golden and Jeanne Stein. It was the superstars who made this anthology worth buying. Their stories were, with the exception of Ms. Harris' contribution (which seemed quickly thrown together and unsatisfying), well crafted and engrossing, providing deeper insight into the characters which will make reading future installments of their series even more enjoyable. Some of the other stories left me cold (such as The Mournful Cry of Owls) and others, like Jeanne Stein's "The Witch and the Wicked" were so interesting and original I will definitely be looking at the author's other works.

All anthologies have their weak moments but this one has less than usual due to the high caliber of the contributors, with a good 2/3 of the stories being excellent or better. It's a must read for devoted fans of any of the series included.
75 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vampires, Witches and Birthday Wishes Oct. 14 2007
By Cherise Everhard - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an anthology of 13 stories, each containing some sort of supernatural element and birthday theme.

Dracula Night by Charlaine Harris
The Mournful Cry of Owls by Christopher Golden
I Was a Teenage Vampire by Bill Crider
Twilight by Kelley Armstrong
It's My Birthday, Too by Jim Butcher
Grave-Robbed by P.N. Elrod
The First Day of the Rest of Your Life by Rachel Caine
The Witch and the Wicked by Jeanne C. Stein
Blood Wrapped by Tanya Huff
The Wish by Carolyn Haines
Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two by Tate Hallaway
Vampire Hours by Elaine Viets
How Stella got her Grave Back by Toni L.P. Kelner

I bought this collection of short stories for the tales told by Charlaine Harris and Tate Hallaway as each is part of a their series I read religiously. I had never heard of or read anything by the other 11 authors, but after reading these short stories I will be checking out many of their other books. None of the stories were horrible; in fact almost all were magnificent, leaving only one or two that were just OK. This past week I really didn't have time to read a 'normal' book; this was the perfect book to pick up when I had a few minutes. I found this book wonderfully imaginative and very enjoyable.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice set of short stories Nov. 10 2007
By RyN - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this simply because of the Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher and Tanya Huff stories that were in it. However, I ended up enjoying almost every other story in it. It caused me to go out and purchase Tate Hallaway's books as well. The Jim Butcher tale was awesome. The Tanya Huff story was cute. It also gave me a new appreciation for Kelley Armstrong, whom I'd previously read but disliked. In general, I don't tend to like short stories, but I absolutely loved this collection and would recommend it to anyone who likes Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Tate Hallway or Tanya Huff.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sampling of paranormal authors. April 8 2008
By K. Eckert - Published on
Usually books with a number of short stories in them have some big names with great stories and some unknown authors with either surprisingly good or surprisingly bad stories. This was not the case with this book. All of the stories were really good and there was a larger variety of writing styles than I expected given the genre. All of the stories have to deal with vampires and birthdays.

The main reason I read books like this is to get a sampling of some authors I haven't read and get a glimpse into the series that they are writing. This book was a good read and I found a couple new (to me at least) authors to check out from it. Because of this book I will read more of PN Elrod's work, check out the Morganville vampire series, see what else Hallaway and Kelner have written, and possibly check out some of Jeanne Stein's work too. Below is a quick comment/synopsis of each story.

Dracula Night by Charlaine Harris
This story is an addition to the Sookie Stackhouse series and addresses the celebration of Dracula Night by the vampire community. It's a fun read; although there's not a ton of content here.

The Mournful Cry of Owls by Christopher Golden
The only other book I've read by Christopher Golden is "The Boys are Back in Town"; which I liked pretty well. This story follows a girl as she learns about her unique heritage. I enjoyed it and it was well written and mysterious.

I Was a Teenage Vampire by Bill Crider
This was probably my least favorite story of the anthology. The story was predictable, boring, and seemed quickly and lazily written.

Twilight by Kelley Armstrong
I liked Twilight okay. It was a little boring and moved slowly but it was well-written and dealt with the topic of vampires dying of boredom.

It's My Birthday, Too by Jim Butcher
Fun addition to the Dresden Files series. I enjoyed a story in which Thomas played a main role. I especially enjoyed the role-playing; being a DnD player I thought it was hilarious.

Grave-Robbed by P.N. Elrod
This was my first time reading anything by PN Elrod and I liked it. The main character, Jack Fleming, is a bit campy. Some of it reminded me of Harry Dresden a bit. I enjoyed it and will read more of Elrod's writing.

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life by Rachel Caine
This was a story that took place in the world of Rachel Caine's young adult vampire series "The Morganville Vampires". This was my favorite story in the book and now I am interested in reading this series. I've read some of Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series and that is also a good series.

The Witch and the Wicked by Jeanne C. Stein
This story creeped me out. I believe Stein is the writer of the Signs of the Zodiac series. The writing style wasn't my favorite since it was kind of plain and straight-forward; not as much flare to it as I had hoped. The premise is pretty darn creative and creepy though.

Blood Wrapped by Tanya Huff
This was a nice addition to Henry Fitzroy's world; it was a fun read. It really brought home the fact that I haven't read the last few books in this series yet. I was like, what do you mean Vicki is a vampire?

The Wish by Carolyn Haines
I've never read anything by Carolyn Haines but I did like this story. The story is very sad and yet it is beautifully written and really grabs a hold of you. It is a very beautiful and well-written story, if not as fun as the rest of the book.

Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two by Tate Hallaway
I've never read anything by Tate Hallaway before; this was a fun story. I was intrigued by the witch having a demon trapped in her and by the elemental evil forces at work. I could really sympathize with the characters and the cold weather, being from MN myself.

Vampire Hours by Elaine Viets
I really enjoyed this story. I liked that the main character was an older woman dealing with day-to-day issues a lot of women deal with (okay maybe not as extreme as these issues). I liked how the woman cleverly got back at everyone; it was funny and a quick read.

How Stella got her Grave Back by Toni L.P. Kelner
I've never read anything by Toni Kelner, I really liked this story. I liked the idea of vampire dams and I liked the mystery solving that went on in this story. The characters were fun and likable. I really want to know the history between them now.

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How DO Vampires Celebrate Their Birthdays? Sept. 20 2009
By Karen Joan - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
MANY BLOODY RETURNS is an anthology of 13 short stories by written by the masters of the vampire genre. These 13 stories explore the concept of vampires and their birthdays - which in some cases refers to the actual day of their birth, but in most cases refers to the date of their transformation into vampires. MANY BLOODY RETURNS gives a "taste" of some of the best in the business and definitely leaves the reader wanting more.

"Dracula Night" by Charlaine Harris is a Sookie Stackhouse story that takes place during a vampiric celebration of Dracula's birthday.

"The Mournful Cry of Owls" by Christopher Golden is the story of a 16 year old girl's coming of age, and how she discovers what she really is.

"I Was a Teenage Vampire" by Bill Crider is the story of how a teenager, well, became a vampire.

"Twilight" by Kelley Armstrong is the story of a long-lived vampire who must take a human life once a year before the anniversary of her conversion, in order to remain immortal. But after so many years and so many lives, is it really worth the effort?

"It's My Birthday, Too" by Jim Butcher is a Harry Dresden story. It is Thomas's birthday, and Harry wants to celebrate it with him. But things never go well for our wizard and his vampire brother.

"Grave-Robbed" by P.N. Elrod is the story of detective Jack Fleming, a vampire P.I. who helps his client save her sister from a con man.

"The First Day of the Rest of Your Life" by Rachel Caine is the story of a young Morganville woman who turns 18 and must choose her vampire protector or dare to go it alone.

"The Witch and the Wicked" by Jeanne C. Stein begins at a birthday party for a vampire being catered by a witch. The guest of honor ends up immolated by the birthday cake...but is he really dead?

"Blood Wrapped" by Tanya Huff is an extended conversation between vampire Henry and wizard Tony about their friend Vicki's upcoming 40th birthday. And all while they attempt to locate and rescue a kidnapped child.

"The Wish" by Carolyn Haines is the story of a woman who cheats death by becoming a vampire.

"Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two" by Tate Hallaway ask the question "can a vampire with a cursed birthday and his girlfriend who shares a her body with a goddess thwart a Norwegian ice demon?"

"Vampire Hours" by Elaine Viets is the story of an older woman's vengeance on her creep of a cheating husband.

"How Stella got her Grave Back" by Toni L.P. Kelner is the story of a vampire who visits her grave on her birthday. But now someone else is buried there. What happened? Who is there? And why?

I had not previously read many of these paranormal authors, but plan to do so in the future. Most of these stories are outstanding and really appealed to me; however, some were just not that memorable. Perhaps it is best to say that not every story is for everybody, although I am sure each one has its own following. In any case, MANY BLOODY RETURNS is a fun, entertaining, and creepy read, especially for fans of the genre. It is a great volume to pick up when you only have a few minutes to spare.
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