Wednesday, August 24, 2011
SNAP: The World Unfolds by Michele Drier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
SNAP: The World Unfolds
by Michele Drier
Maxmillia Gwenoch, aka Maxie, is the new managing editor of SNAP. After years of working in women's magazines, she's finally reached the top. SNAP is the name of a conglomeration of print magazine (with editions in five languages), blog, and television publications dedicated to celebrities. Maxie works out of the office in LA, but makes regular trips to Miami, Rio, and other glam locations to rub shoulders with The Beautiful People. She's being paid a remarkable amount of money for the job, more than she ever thought she'd make. She has a condo and a chauffeur. Finally: she has an assistant, Jazz, whom I would kill to have on my payroll (if I could afford her rate). The woman is wonderful: she arranges for Maxie’s furniture to be unpacked while she’s on the road, and dispatches personal shoppers to acquire suitable clothing in her boss’ size when Maxie is invited to the castle of SNAP’s owner. Did I mention that SNAP was owned by a Hungarian baron?
Then there’s Jean-Louis, the art director. He’s frightfully handsome, and interested in Maxie, but our heroine’s mother always advised her never to get involved with someone prettier than she was. Still...
With these blessings come problems. There’s the blood on the bathroom floor. There’s the unexplained quasi-hospital setup on one of the floors in her office building. Then, there’s the sudden attacks on Maxie. Someone is trying to kidnap her!
She discovers that the Baron Kandesky and his family are vampires, and Carlos the Chauffeur is a demon who’s been engaged to protect her. That part is really cool, except for the Huszars, the vampires next door. They’ve been feuding with the Kandeskys for centuries, and they’ve teamed up with the local werewolves and wild boars. Yes, as in feral pigs.
The Huszars would like to replace the Kandeskys as the vampire source of celebrity gossip. Along with smashing them into the dirt, of course. And they want Maxie… because good help is hard to find.
This novella is a fast, fun read. I usually find the ‘life of the celebrity’ a turn-off, but it was very enjoyable here, seen through the eyes of a reporter who has to live part of what she’s been writing about all these years. Maxie is a go-getter who doesn’t give up when faced with challenges she has no preparation for. Plus, the notion that the Huszars want her for her skills is a twist I rarely see in romantic suspense. My only complaint is that the story is too short: it’s an origin story for a series character. Good news, though: the sequel is due out in 2012.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011
This Friday, I will be joining four Sisters in Crime in North Carolina to promote Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology. Karen Pullen, Patricia Winton, Heidi Saunders and I will team up with the legendary Chris Roerden (author of the classic Don't Murder Your Mystery) to do readings and sign the anthology.
We will be at McIntyre's Books at 2 PM. The store is located at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro.
At 7:30, we will be signing at Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh.
Heidi Saunders and I will be driving down together, since we are both from Kentucky and belong to the same chapter of Sisters in Crime. Considering how many submissions Fish Tales had, I consider it a coup for our group that two of us were selected.
If you're in the Raleigh area, we'd love to have you drop by!