Friday, August 24, 2007

Give Me Some Laughs with that Vamp!

When Lori mentioned the topic of humorous paranormals, I immediately thought of Mary Janice Davidson. I absolutely love her books, from a reluctant vamp with a shoe fetish to a "retooled" cyborg who'd rather not work for the government. This author has a quirky way of expressing herself, so it's her voice that has me on the floor laughing as much as what's going on in the books. And that's why I love Janet Evanovich, too. No, she doesn't write paranormal, just mystery, but it's her voice that brings her books to life as much as her characters. (Joe or Ranger? Tough choice!)

Then there's Katie MacAllister--cool web site, by the way, and I love that she writes cross-genre: straight contemporaries, paranormals, and YA, all with the humor running strong throughout. Her latest anthology boasts Viking ghosts and Irish gods. And I never would have thought of a shape shifting dragon, though they seem to be the rage now. Katie is an inspiration to me personally, because I tend to alternate between suspenseful contemporaries to humorous paranormals to angsty futuristics. I know, I know. I should settle down and brand myself, but I love exploring all the different sub-genres of romance.

Now some paranormal authors don't seem comic for the most part, but they know when to sprinkle in some laughter. That’s why I enjoy Angela Knight, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Charlaine Harris. Too much downbeat tension makes for a dull book, wouldn’t you say? And this reminds me—Harry Potter! My son loves Ron’s expressions in the films and as we’ve been reading the first book together, I was reminded of all the wonderful humor JK Rowling puts in names and contrasts in the books, like Hagrid being too big for a broom so he rides a motorcycle and poor Uncle Vernon trying to figure out why people are dressed so oddly on a city street while whispering about the Potters.

I personally have been researching ghost hunting for a few months. The obsession started with watching Most Haunted, which I find quite funny, particularly after watching Hugh Laurie's SNL skit on YouTube. I also enjoy Ghost Hunters, because they tend to approach their search with a healthy dose of skepticism. So then I discovered Lisa Cach, who wrote A Babe in Ghostland. This book was romantic, fun, and full of atmosphere. I also enjoyed Ghost, Interrupted by Sonia Singh, which had a similar story line. However, the best book I've read by Sonia was about a reincarnated Kali: Goddess for Hire. It's like Chick Lit crossed with Bollywood and starts out with "I never believed in dharma, karma, reincarnation, or any of that spiritual crap..."

My current release Secrets and Spies brings in the fun ala Romancing the Stone and hijinks like Remington Steele with a dash of James Bond. Parker thinks his babysitting-Casey-Summers assignment is bogus, his boss’s way of sending him on vacation so he can lower his blood pressure, while Casey wishes she could control her telekinesis and get it to stop screwing up her life. I was definitely inspired by Mary Janice Davidson and Katie MacAllister while working on this book. I wanted it to be escapist and humorous, everything I love in a great romance. You can find an excerpt at www.sharalanel.com. And I’m going to give away a free e-copy to a lucky commenter today. Just post a comment on something I’ve mentioned in this blog and I’ll pick a winner at the end of the day!

Shara Lanel

23 comments:

  1. Shara,
    Nice blog. I’ve given me some great books to add to my reading list!

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  2. Shara,
    Sorry, I meant YOU'VE given me some great books to add to my reading list. Boy, do I need that cup of coffee.

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  3. Brenda, I know what you mean about needing coffee. I was just posting to my loop and managed to repeat the message 3x. Ugh!

    Shara

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  4. Popping in before getting ready for work.

    Have added ALL of the books mentioned in your post to my TBB list - they all sound good - yours and the other authors you mentioned.

    I am really interested in your newest one werewolf, huh?? murder to solve?? since I like mysteries and suspense this sounds really good - so that goes on the TBB list also.

    You know, I REALLY DID NOT NEED to make my TBB list any longer.!!!!!!

    Maybe I'll win the lottery and then I won't have to go eeny, meeny, miney moe every time I go to buy books. Unfortunately, I have to pick and choose and leave some behind to hopefully get the next time I'm shopping.

    HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE.!!!!!!!!!

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  5. First thanks for stopping by today! Most Haunted has us cracking up too since that SNL youtube and my whole family loves the ghost hunters - dude, run!

    A few of those books you mentioned, I haven't read, so thanks for the great additions for my every-growing TBR list!

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  6. DD, I just wish I got Sci-Fi channel. Downloading Ghost Hunters from itunes is going to break the bank ;-)

    Ruth, Totally on the TBB list! My house is full of books waiting to be read, but does that stop me from hitting B&N or the library every week? Sigh...no.

    And here's the link to find out more about my werewolf murder mystery:
    Blame It on the Moon blurb
    I need to get an excerpt posted soon!

    Shara
    www.sharalanel.com

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  7. I also love the kind of humor that Charlaine Harris uses in her Sookie books, and let's here it for another Remington Steele fan! Going to go over now and check out your blurb for Blame it on the Moon.

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  8. Cathy, Did you read my Remington Steele post on my E Zone blog? And I've got the excerpt up for Moon now--check it out :-)

    Shara

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  9. Welcome, Shara! We're so please to have you talk about your favorite funny paranormals today, and especially when you mention some that weren't yet on my shelves :). I remember hearing about the Singh book but I never picked it up. Oh, and don't enter me in your free book drawing, because I already bought it :)

    Jody W.

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  10. Jody, That's news every writer loves to hear ;-) I hope you enjoy it!

    Shara

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  11. Hi Shara!

    I like a lot of humor in the paranormals I read. When I start reading a book by MaryJanice Davidson or Charlaine Harris, I usually can't put it down until I finish it. Just love their style!
    Humor in a book leaves you feeling good at the end of it.

    Secrets & Spies sounds fantastic from what I've read about it so far, and I really want to read your werewolf murder mystery...so many books I want to get to read! :)

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  12. Hi Shara,

    I saw your post from Sharasezone newletter and popped on over!

    Nice blog!

    Best Wishes,

    ~Carol

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  13. Hi Carol, did you like the newsletter this month? All about spies :-)

    Annalisa, I had a lot of fun writing Spies, so hopefully it's as fun to read. Sounds like a January release date for my werewolf book.

    Shara

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  14. Shara,
    Loved your post! I'm so glad I found my way here. I've got to say I've got a reaaaal soft spot for Sookie! Charlaine Harris makes me laugh out loud while making my heart both melt and hammer at the same time! Such great writing.

    Have a great weekend!
    ~Rusty
    http://rustywicks.blogspot.com/

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  15. Hey Rusty! Love Sookie. Also love Charlaine's new series with Harper Connelly. The problem is the 3rd book doesn't come out until Sept. 25th!

    Still time to post for the contest. I figure I'll draw a winner sometime around 9-10p EST.

    Shara

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  16. LOL Shara,

    If you want YA and ghost stories you need to read Meg Cabot's Mediator series!!!

    How would you like to be a teenager with all the normal teenage issues... new step-family, new school, boys, new friends, etc... and ghost are always coming to you wanting help???? Oh and there is that really "dreamy" male ghost that lives in your bedroom... And the priciple of the school is a mediator too but thinks your approach is much too violent -- you should talk to the ghost, solve their problem gently... yeah right while they are trying to kill you?!?

    Hehehe... I'm an adult but I love a well written book and there are many that are written for our kids -- don't miss them because you think they are written for kids!!

    Enjoy,

    Steph

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  17. Steph, I love the Mediator series! Another excellent YA series is the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, all Wicca. I believe there's 13 books and I read them like candy. She has a new series out, but they're still sitting in my TBR stack.

    Shara

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  18. LOL THANKS Shana...I need to find another series like I need a hole in the head... Of course I'm going to look for the Sweep series right now and at least add it to my wishlist!! Darn I was trying to add to your list not mine!!!

    Steph

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  19. Thanks for sharing Shara, sorry I was away while you were here!-debralee

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  20. Hey Shara. Looks like you've been a raging success as our first guest blogger. Way to go, girlfriend! And you mentioned a bunch of humorous paranormal authors none of us had thought of before. Thanks! Can't wait to see who wins the drawing. (Leave me out too, since I'm the one who invited you to guest blog in the first place. Give a new fan a chance!)

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  21. Thanks for having me, Lori and Debralee. I had a lot of fun!

    Drum roll please......
    The winner is.....
    Ruth C.

    Ruth, Congratulations!!! Email me at sharalanel @ comcast .net (w/o the spaces) and I can send you your copy. I have it in pdf and rtf, I believe, so let me know which you prefer.

    Shara

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  22. Hi Shara! Okay, popping late so I missed the drawing (naturally, as it seems to be the way things are going these days...I'm going to have to start having coffee by constant IV drip soon), but thanks for all the great reading ideas. I think, anyway...my list is now HUGE! And I must say, being a werewolf-lovin' girl myself, I LOVE your new title, "Blame It On the Moon." Best of luck with your books, have an awesome weekend:-)

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  23. Thanks for dropping by, Kendra! Sorry you missed the drawing, but I'm glad to hear about your interest in Blame It on the Moon--that'll keep me excited when I'm doing the next round of edits on it ;-)

    Shara

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