The Wild Side by Mark Van Name

“Meet the author! As part of our Haunted Happenings series of ghostly events for adults,    Mark Van Name will be at Cameron Village Regional Library on Thursday, October 18 at 7 p.m. Please call 919-856-6710 to RSVP or for more information.

The sub-title to this collection of stories by ten talented authors is “”Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge”” and the fantastic cover art by renowned artist Dan Dos Santos certainly conveys that message. In his introduction Van Name tells us that the name for this anthology comes from Lou Reed’s song “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”.

Urban Fantasy is a very popular genre these days (see the books we’ve previously blogged) and includes urban and modern landscapes of varying sizes and “”urban-ness.”” When Van Name invited his fellow authors to write these stories, he asked only that they combine Urban Fantasy and an erotic edge. How these elements were combined, he left up to each author. Each story is also followed by an afterward about the story and what inspired it.

The opening story, ‘Songs Sung Red’, is by one of the biggest names in the book, Tanya Huff, and it is a story featuring private investigator – and vampire – Victoria Nelson. The Vicki Nelson series begins with Blood Price, and was made into a TV series in Canada a few years ago. In this story, Vicki is at a nightclub hunting her prey amidst the bumping and grinding young men and women when the club’s singer seizes all of the attention in the club with her voice. Vicki can’t understand how this can be a more powerful seduction than her vampiric charms, and when she goes backstage after the show to confront the singer, she finds herself at the mercy of this woman – and for the first time she is not in control.

Van Name’s contribution to the collection is ‘The Long Dark Night of Diego Chan’, in which Diego gets a text from the wife of a good friend he hasn’t seen in a while saying that she needs his help because her dying husband has suddenly decided to become a vampire. Sam swore to his wife and his friends that he would never want to “”live”” as a vampire and that he’d rather die as human. Diego suspects that Sam was “”taken”” as a vampire against his will and that the effect will become permanent within 24 hours. Diego must travel from Raleigh to San Francisco to hunt down who took Sam and try to save him – if he can find him in time. The prime suspect is a former friend of Sam & Diego’s named Matt, who runs a legal & above board vampire/human sex club.  I definitely want to read more about Diego Chan down the road!

As with any collection of short stories, some will appeal to readers more than others, but I don’t remember any stories that I didn’t like. Two of my other favorites are ‘Careless of the Night’ by Gina Massel-Castater and ‘Love Knot’ by Dana Cameron. I first heard about the book from Mark when he came to one of our book club meetings and he showed us the cover art on his tablet. We were all suitably impressed as many of us enjoy Urban Fantasy. If you do too, or if you like Erotic Stories (or both!) you’ll want to take a walk on The Wild Side.

Oh, and if you like Mark Van Name’s writing, you may also want to check out his Jon & Lobo series of science fiction novels.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog


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