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The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Review - Stamps, Vamps & Tramps: A Three Little Words Anthology

Stamps, Vamps & Tramps
Series:  A Three Little Words Anthology
Editor:  Shannon Robinson
Publisher:  Evil Girlfriend Media, February 12, 2014
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 263 pages
List Price:  $3.99
ISBN:  9780615970783
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review - Stamps, Vamps & Tramps: A Three Little Words Anthology
Eternally stamped, Eternally damned…

Grecian prostitutes and blood guzzling birds, pickle-sized vampires who wear their hearts on their sleeves, sexy immortals that fear human greed and memories that become tattoos; Stamps, Vamps & Tramps crosses genres to deliver bone-chilling stories that will keep you up at night.

Sixteen talented authors take you on a journey where stamps aren't always inked, tramps aren't always hookers, and vampires aren't always at the top of the food chain. From the colonnade of ancient Greece to a small town amusement park, from the battlefield to the urban center, this anthology will suck you in to the very end.

Featuring stories by Rachel Caine, Nancy Kilpatrick, Paul Witcover, and Gemma Files, among others.

Doreen’s Thoughts

Stamps, Vamps & Tramps is a Three Little Words anthology – where authors write stories with two or more of the semi-associated words as the basis for the story. It is an interesting concept – taking tattoos, vagabonds, and vampires and coming up with related stories. I liked most of the stories in this anthology.

For example, Rachel Caine starts the book off with her ‘Easy Mark,’ the story about a young girl riding the rails who finds someone who helps people like her and who deals with the people who want to cause trouble. ‘Only Darkness’ by Paul Whitcover had an interesting perspective about art in general and drawing in particular, where something like a vampire tries to have its portrait drawn since it cannot see itself in a mirror. I found its perspective about artists and their ability to create art interesting, along with how an artist might handle losing their ability. ‘Flies in the Ink’ has a young girl vampire who turns out to be a serial killer keeping tattoos as trophies of her murders while a father tries to use her to replace his daughter.

One or two of the stories were almost too short and hokey for me to appreciate. I found ‘Mungo the Vampire’ to be one of those that could have been excluded from the book without any loss. ‘Josephine the Tattoo Queen’ by Joshua Green was almost predictable. Though it was short, Nancy Kilpatrick’s ‘The Hungry Living Dead’ turns the page on vampires making humans to be the real predators. ‘Stabilization’ by Daniels Parseleti viewed madness from the perspective of an institutionalized person. Mary Turzillo’s ‘A Virgin Hand Disarmed’ gives us a very different view of William Shakespeare.

I enjoyed the folksy tone of Gemma Files’ ‘His Face, All Red,’ enough to track down some of her other works. Altogether, this provided a nice taste of new authors and their works for me, which is the best trick for any anthology.

Interview with Rachel Caine - August 23, 2013

Please welcome Rachel Caine to The Qwillery. Rachel is the author of the Weather Warden series, the Morganville Vampire series, the Revivalist series, and more. Her most recent novel is Terminated (Revivalist 3), which was published by Roc on August 6, 2013.

Interview with Rachel Caine - August 23, 2013

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery! Congratulations on your successful Kickstarter campaign for Morganville: The Web TV Series and for the recent publication of Terminated, the 3rd novel in the Revivalist series.

Rachel:  Thank you! We're SO excited about the Kickstarter -- I'm swimming in fulfillment items for our backers right now, getting ready to start shipping!

It's really bittersweet ending the Revivalist series for me ... but I had always planned this for only three books, so I've got nobody but myself to blame for the series ending.

TQ:  You've written many, many novels. What is the most challenging thing for you about writing? Has your writing process changed from when you wrote Ill Wind (Weather Warden 1) to Terminated?

Rachel:  The most challenging thing about writing is that every time, it's always the first time. Each book has a new, tougher bar to clear, somehow ... and things that seemed easy in other books might seem difficult, suddenly. They're all special snowflakes of difficulty, somehow. (But that's part of what makes it fun and unexpected!)

I can't say that the mechanical writing process has changed for me, exactly -- except my schedule has accelerated, so it happens faster than when I had six months to refine things. I still do an outline, and I still (horrors!) get up early and write almost every day.

TQ:  Tell us something about Terminated, the final novel in the Revivalist series, that is not in the book description.

Rachel:  I think the most intriguing thing is that Bryn is growing into her (relative) invulnerability - and some of the ways she does this are pretty startling. I mean, when getting shot in the head is your first choice plan for escape ... and we get to take a tour of some interesting out of the way places. Like the Salt Museum. (No really, there is one, and it's pretty cool!)

TQ:  Which character in the series has surprised you the most?

Rachel:  I think in some ways it's Bryn. I thought I knew which way she'd develop, but at every turn, she surprised me again ... with her fearlessness, and her ingenuity, and her awareness of how utterly merciless her future would be. I thought she'd be tough, but she turned out to be about twice as tough as I anticipated!

TQ:  Why do you think readers find zombies so interesting, especially sentient zombies?

Rachel:  I think it's a metaphor for a lot of things in our lives -- the fear of loss of control being the most important. There's a complete loss of control on both sides of the story, if you think about it -- the zombies obviously have lost everything that makes them human, but those who've survived have lost friends, family, home, normal life as well. I think that the constant change in our lives makes us fear loss of control even more, and that relates to the popularity of creatures like zombies, who embody that.

TQ:  What's next?

Rachel:  TERMINATED ties up the Revivalist story, so the next thing for me (in November 2013) is DAYLIGHTERS, the last Morganville Vampires novel, and then in February 2014 the release of PRINCE OF SHADOWS, my Romeo and Juliet story set in Shakespeare's Verona but told from an alternate point of view. We have the Morganville Vampires web series gearing up for production later this year, too! So a lot. I also have the CARNIEPUNK anthology recently released, and an essay in SHADOWHUNTERS AND DOWNWORLDERS (a SmartPop anthology about Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series), and upcoming I have a co-written story with Charlaine Harris in DARK DUETS.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Rachel:  Thank you so much for having me over! Pass the chips. ;)

The Revivalist Novels

Revivalist 3
Roc, August 6, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Rachel Caine - August 23, 2013
In New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine’s latest Revivalist novel, Bryn Davis’s problems quickly turn from dead to worse…

Already addicted to the pharmaceutical drug that keeps her body from decomposing, Bryn has to stop a secretive group of rich and powerful investors from eliminating the existing Returné addicts altogether. To ensure their plan to launch a new, military-grade strain of nanotech, the investors’ undead assassin—who just happens to be the ex-wife of Bryn’s lover Patrick—is on the hunt for anyone that stands in their way.

And while Bryn’s allies aren’t about to go down without a fight, the secret she’s been keeping threatens to put those closest to her in even more danger. Poised to become a monster that her own side—and her own lover—will have to trap and kill, Bryn needs to find the cure to have any hope of preserving the lives of her friends, and her own dwindling humanity…

Two Week's Notice
Revivalist 2
Roc, August 7, 2012
Mass Market Papeback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Rachel Caine - August 23, 2013
In New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine’s “thrilling”* Revivalist series, Bryn Davis finds out that making a living can be rough if you’re already dead...

After dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife—with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene’s life-altering discovery, no matter the cost.

Thankfully, some things have changed for the better; her job at the rechristened Davis Funeral Home is keeping her busy and her fragile romance with Patrick McCallister is blossoming—thanks in part to their combined efforts in forming a support group for Returne addicts. But when some of the group members suddenly disappear, Bryn wonders if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground…

Working Stiff
Revivalist 1
Roc, August 2, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Rachel Caine - August 23, 2013
Bryn Davis was killed on the job after discovering her bosses were selling a drug designed to resurrect the dead. Now, revived by that same drug, she becomes an undead soldier in a corporate war to take down the very pharmaceutical company responsible for her new condition...

About Rachel

Interview with Rachel Caine - August 23, 2013
Rachel Caine is the author of more than twenty novels, including the New York Times bestselling Morganville Vampires and the Weather Warden series. She was born at White Sands Missile Range, which people who know her say explains a lot. She has been an accountant, a professional musician, and an insurance investigator, and until recently carried on a full-time secret identity in the corporate world. She and her husband, fantasy artist R. Cat Conrad, live in Texas. Find out more about the Revivalist novels at

Website  ~  Twitter @rachelcaine ~  Facebook

Review - Stamps, Vamps & Tramps: A Three Little Words AnthologyInterview with Rachel Caine - August 23, 2013

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