Sunday, July 5, 2009

More morsels on The Highwayman & my husband spots a vagina!

I am continuing to enjoy catlike fun of The Highwayman by Michele Hauf. It's the story of Aby, a cat-shifting familiar, and Max, an immortal demon hunter (see my post from a few days ago for the blurb and my thoughts on starting the book.) I'm nearly done with it now. The setting has moved to Paris, always a plus.

Morsel #1: Breed characteristics woven into the heroine
As I said last week, our heroine Aby is an Abyssinian cat shifter. We get a description of the breed early on (Max reads about them) and I love how Hauf stays true to the breed character, almost as a touchstone for the character of Aby.

A few items from Wikipedia on the Abyssinian:
Abyssinians are extroverted, willful and intelligent, but are usually not "lap cats", being too preoccupied with exploring and playing as they would in their natural habitat. Abys need a great deal of contact with the family to keep them happy and can get depressed without daily activity and attention. Abyssinians are known for their curiosity and enjoy exploring their surroundings, including heights, although they are sensible cats that do not take unnecessary risks.

This really fits, but she doesn't hit you over the head with the cat stuff. Hauf has made other entertaining cat extrapolations; for example, Aby loves to soak in baths, but hates the rain or to swim. There is this great scene where she falls in a pool and is SO upset and miserable.

Morsel #2: Intriguing side characters:
I like Aby's bossy werewolf pal Severo, the bossy wolf who is a true friend. The next book in September will be about him, so I'll definitely be reading it. And the thing here is that you never feel like you're being series baited: Severo is an important part of the plot.

Morsel #3 Max and Aby as an opposites pair
Max: The world-weary, deprived fighter. Back in the 1700's when Max was a highwayman, he and his partner Rainer got pulled into a demon raising and Max ended up with a Demon shadow in him. Result: he's immortal, but he can't eat, sleep, or have orgasms, so he has this lonely grinding existence of hunting demons. Max is weary and has lived for centuries, and is on the verge of going crazy from deprivation.

Aby: The fresh and innocent one. Aby is almost the opposite of Max: maybe she wasn't born yesterday, but darn close: she's on her fourth life, but she came back as a teenager and doesn't remember things from her past life. So she's sensual and kind of naive. But not a virgin, due to her paranormal doings.

Max's old partner Rainier: I won't tell! Though most of the book, Max doesn't know what happened to his partner Rainier, but it's fun finding out. It's one of those little inner-book mysteries.

Morsel #4: I still find the prose catlike.
It was delightful to have author Hauf visit on the last post (or just see below.) She noted that she didn't intentionally make the prose catlike. But does that mean it's not there? Did she achieve a catlike style subconsciously and wasn't aware of it? Am I reading things into the prose? Is it a little of both? Does it have anything to do with my own cats currently staring at me, waiting for dinner?

Morsel #5: Best understatement in a book
So there's this witch Grim who has a bit part (so far, at least). As Max tells it, centuries ago, Grim wanted to marry a vampiress, but the vampiress married a werewolf instead, so Grim had her locked in a glass coffin buried beneath the streets of Paris. Worst of all, a spell on her means she stays alive, motionless, and is always aware, presumably insane now. Max's commentary on the subject of Grim: He's an asshole. I thought that was kind of hilarious.

Late-breaking morsel #6 My husband spots a vagina on the cover
Okay, after completing this post, I brought the book to bed to finish, and my husband inspects the cover and he's like, what's that he's holding? And I was like, It's a whip! And my husband goes, That's not what it LOOKS LIKE. And I go, Well, that's what it is, a WHIP--a demon killing whip. And he's like, No, look at it. It's a vagina!

It sort of does look like a vagina. Okay, Silhouette Nocturne cover artist, WHAT is going on? Are you having some naughty fun with the Nocturne readership? Is this subliminal advertising? Am I hallucinating cat-like prose and my husband is seeing vaginas? What IS he holding? Look where he's holding it!!! Meow.
Free books:
•Win a signed copy of The Highwayman! Go read Sci Fi guy's much more proper and intelligent review and win a signed copy of this book! You have until July 10th.
•Or win a copy at Fang-tastic books. You have until July 8th.
•Get a free download of Hauf's Kiss Me Deadly, perfect for fans of the Kiss Me/Kill Me motif, here!
•Or buy the book - this month only. The Highwayman is only out for a month.


Nicola O. said...

Hah! I am *rolling* at your title and at the observations on the cover art.

the rest of the post is pretty good too, I suppose. LOL.

Mandi said...

I love Max's commentary.
Leave it to the men to find the vajayjay. Actually, it looks more like a vagina than a whip:)

Blodeuedd said...

Lol, I read the it quickly and then stopped, what? So had to find out what that was about, and very true, very freaky

Lea said...

Dayum CJ you always make my day!

Maybe Silhouette Nocture is instituting the Rorschach inkblot test in it's cover art so as to evaluate personality characteristics and emotional functioning of their readership??? hmmmm...

I LOVE the format of your reviews BTW, and am so wanting to read this book... I adore Abyssinian felines.

Have a great day!

Carolyn Crane (aka CJ) said...

Nicola: Oh, thanks (I think!)

Mandi: Yes, Max's commentary is sort of hilarious.

BLDD: Maybe I should've put the vagina stuff up top!!

Lea: Oh, so sweet! Thanks! Wait, Rorshach? What does that say about my husband? And me?

Carolyn said...

Oh, my. I guess he's right!

Hilcia said...

Can't stop laughing at your husband's comment, CJ! I mean really, what is it?

I've been following your ongoing comments/review on this book. It certainly sounds like a fun read. :)

Lea said...

::waggles brows::

Kate Diamond said...

I'm laughing, too. I had to look hard to find the whip, but the vagina was not a stretch at all.

Jill Sorenson said...

Heh. My husband spotted the same thing on my Silhouette cover. Men and their dirty, dirty minds! Or, a Harlequin conspiracy?

I've been meaning to do a blog post on romance covers with female sexual imagery, and I can use this as an example! Thanks to your husband for the eagle eye.

Liza said...

I'll have to add this one to my tbb list for this month. Thanks for the laugh today, I really needed it.

Carolyn Crane (aka CJ) said...

Carolyn: Leave it to the guy.

Hilcia: Oh, so sweet, fellow kp fan.

Lea: no comment!

kate: once you see it, there's no going back.

Jill: I thought you meant your Crash cover and I looked at it, and I thought, well, maybe in the waves there are two vaginas.

Liza: Aww! Hope you feel better. Thanks for stopping by!

Tumperkin said...

Sold! SOLD! I am going to Amazon STRAIGHT AFTER THIS! I must read this book. I don't know what it is particularly. Partly the falling in the pool thing and partly the weary highwayman thing. And the GRIM thing! OMG! I am so excited!

And yes. That ain't no whip. That is a great big ginormous vulva-shaped tear in the fabric of time and space. Or something.

Sarah said...

See, I thought it was like a bag or some kind of sack. But, I like Tumperkin's explanation. heh.

sula said...

lolol. you all are making me laugh so hard. vulva-shaped tear in the fabric of time. *snort*

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

OMG! Absolutely LMAO! I'm laughing so hard, my dog went to the end of the bed! *wipes tears from eyes* Thanks!

orannia said...

Grim wanted to marry a vampiress, but the vampiress married a werewolf instead, so Grim had her locked in a glass coffin buried beneath the streets of Paris. Worst of all, a spell on her means she stays alive, motionless, and is always aware, presumably insane now.

Now, THAT is taking being scorned to a whole new level! (Not that there are points given out you understand :)

Heloise said...

Total vagina! Too funny!

Janicu said...

I know this is late, but am I the only one seeing bagpipes? *boggle*

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, you ladies! :-) Now I can never look at that cover again.

Seriously though, I don't know what the art dept was trying to depict with that whip/vagina/bagpipes(?). The whip in the story doesn't actually have fire on it, it just sort of glows. Sigh...

I'm forwarding this blog link to my editor. She'll have a laugh. But we won't tell the art department. ;-)

SciFiGuy said...

Me? Intelligent and proper? Thank you that made my day Carolyn.