What Stace had to say on Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
New Year’s Res Book

Okay, it took me a while to get to this one…but boy am I glad I did!

You guys know, because I’ve blogged about it before, that I’ve grown rather weary of “sassy” first-person female voices in urban fantasy. So, although I was excited to read this one, I was apprehensive as well.

Thankfully, any similarity between Jezebel (the heroine) and any of the other hundreds of first-person heroines in UF these days ends with the letter I. Jezebel is not sassy, not by a long shot. She’s witty. She’d devious. She’s crisp and funny and sharp, and this book is a hell of a lot of fun.

Remember fun? Jackie Kessler does, and she’s provided it in spades. I actually laughed out loud when reading it, more than once, and when I wasn’t laughing I was being blown away by the sheer cleverness and the voice as sharp as gin-cracked ice. Lines like (in referring to a group of strippers) “…some of these gals scored so deeply with their barbed words that the floor should have been tacky with their blood”–among many others–made me demon-green with envy.

In a nutshell, succubus Jezebel runs away from Hell when Lucifer makes A Big Announcement. The Announcement is a source of mystery for most of the book, so I won’t reveal it here, but suffice it to say it’s world-shattering enough for a succubus who obviously loves her work to give it all up. Now on the run and in danger if she’s found, she forces a witch to make her human and heads off to New York City, where she finds a job as–what else?–a stripper. The perfect job for a former creature of lust, with the added benefit of making good money. Jezebel’s human life is intercut through the story with tales of her pre-transformation days, shepherding the souls of the damned into Hell and having fun with an incubus named Duanuan, who is everything an incubus should be and more.

In fact, if I have one complaint with the book, it’s that the human love interest, Paul, simply pales in comparison with the wickedly sexy Duan. (And my other complaint, which is more like a worry, is that nobody’s going to want to read about my demons after they’ve gotten a hold of this one! :-)) Sure, Paul’s an appealing hero, but perhaps my personal prejudice comes in to play here as well–I’ve simply never been a fan of cop heroes, coming down firmly on the side of Bad Boys rather than good.

It’s a minor quibble, though, and the rest of the story, in all its witty, exciting glory, more than makes up for it. Jezebel’s switch from selfish succubus to slightly-less-selfish human, and the wistful longing to fit into human society that she hides from herself (but we clearly see), make her a thoroughly charming heroine, one I enjoyed spending time with a lot more than I thought I would.

There’s a second book, The Road to Hell, coming out in October. Meanwhile, grab a copy of Hell’s Belles here, and enjoy.

And, I have a new friend! Mark Henry has a book called “Happy Hour of the Damned” set for release in March of next year, and I am seriously pee-my-pants excited about it. It’s about zombies. And it sounds awesome. And he is like the coolest person ever, except for all of you. You’re all equally cool. So go check out his blog, and say hi, and trust me, one day we’ll all be saying we knew him when.

16 comments to “New Year’s Res Book”

  1. Rebecca
    · June 3rd, 2007 at 3:10 pm · Link

    you make the book sound compelling December – if it didn’t cost about a million dollars to get it to Australia…and if my credit card wasn’t about to explode with debt…I’d probably buy it. I’ll just have to wait for my three-book deal to come through, eh?

  2. kis
    · June 3rd, 2007 at 11:34 pm · Link

    I dunno about your dislike of cop heroes. I saw an interview once with some big Hollywood casting guy who said when you’re casting cops and criminals, you go to the same pool of actors. And when I thought about it, he’s right. Pacino, Jerry Orbach, Dennis Leary, that red-haired dude from CSI Miami, who for the life of me I can’t remember his name, Paul Sorvino, Ray Liotta, DeNiro, even Mel Gibson. There’s gotta be a million more.

    Maybe you’d find a cop hotter if he was a “bad” one.

    I’ve never been much of an UF fan(mainly due to my loathing for that sassy first person thing), and the closest I ever came to demon-love was my unrequited longing for Azi Elbub in Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming (effing awesome funny book, if you ask me). If I can glom a copy of Belles from the library or a buddy, I’ll give it a shot. I’m always open to being pleasantly surprised.

  3. December/Stacia
    · June 4th, 2007 at 3:48 am · Link

    I’ll be rooting for that deal for you, Rebecca!

    You should see if your local bookstore will order it; they usually will. At least they will here, I don’t know about AU.

    Hmmm, kis, do you think that explains my desperate love for Vic Mackey on The Shield? He’s a bad cop. But such a good cop. Mmmm…Vic Mackey…

    I don’t dislike cop heroes in movies, though, generally (especially if their name is John McClane and they’re in Die Hard). I just prefer my romance heroes in books to be…well, to be not cops.

    I wrote my UF in third person. :-) And I will look for a copy of that book!

  4. Demon Hunter
    · June 4th, 2007 at 8:53 am · Link

    I have this book in my to-be-read pile, so I guess I need to get to it, huh? You’ve made it that much harder to wait to read! Cursed day job!

  5. Sam
    · June 4th, 2007 at 10:36 am · Link

    This book is right in the middle of my TBR pile, and I can’t wait to read it!

  6. Rhian / Crowwoman
    · June 4th, 2007 at 3:20 pm · Link

    Jackie totally rocks! i was kinda floored you hadn’t read it yet. You HAVE read Jaci’s Demon Island right???? Also – you MUST read Anya’s newest Witch Fire – you MUST!!! xxx from Disney

  7. Serena Joy
    · June 4th, 2007 at 9:26 pm · Link

    I’m dying to read it now. And the Zombie book, too. My TBR pile keeps growing by leaps and bounds, but I’ll get to all of them — eventually.

  8. December/Stacia
    · June 5th, 2007 at 2:55 am · Link

    Muahaha Demon Hunter! And welcome! I love your icon. :-)

    You won’t regret it, Sam! It’s so hard to find time to read these days since I try to work every minute I can, but that book really was worth giving up a few thousand words for.

    I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read any of those, Rhian. I’ve actually, since I started writing PD last year, kind of avoided reading stuff with demons in it because I didn’t want it to bleed through, you know? But I do have both of those on my list!

  9. December/Stacia
    · June 5th, 2007 at 2:56 am · Link

    There just aren’t enough hours in the day, are there Serena?

    Sadly we all have to wait until next year to read the zombie book, dammit. Unless Mark wants to have a contest and give away an ARC at some point…Mark? Are you listening?

  10. Naomi
    · June 5th, 2007 at 4:50 am · Link

    I just re-read Hell’s Belles and loved it even more the second time round. And now that I’ve seen the cover for Road To Hell, I’m dying to get my hands on that. As if my list of pre-orders wasn’t long enough already!

  11. Tempest Knight
    · June 5th, 2007 at 8:17 am · Link

    I read it too and it’s a great story! I interviewed her to the Midnight Moon Cafe, and Jackie has the same sense of humor as her succubus. I wonder if the story was autobiographical. Hm… *LOL*

  12. Demon Hunter
    · June 5th, 2007 at 8:23 am · Link

    Glad to be here! I have been meaning to stop by the past year from seeing you over at Miss Snark(rest her soul). The only thing I don’t like about my icon is that no one can see the raven above her head or the fact that she is carrying a gun in each hand. She just represented my demon hunter so well! :*)

  13. Mark
    · June 5th, 2007 at 11:20 am · Link

    Yep, I’m lurking through your comments. I haven’t checked out the contract, lately, but there are something like 25 Galleys allotted for me, so I’m totally doing a contest at some point. We’re probably looking at early fall.

  14. littlebirdblue
    · June 5th, 2007 at 9:54 pm · Link

    It makes me so happy that you’re continuing with the New Year’s Res!

  15. December/Stacia
    · June 6th, 2007 at 5:00 am · Link

    I know, Naomi, I can’t wait for the next one and I so sympathize on the pre-orders. My book budget for the next few months is already spent! Thanks for the comment!

    Lol Tempest. I don’t know if it’s autobiographical, I’m afraid to ask…

    I remember seeing you too, Demon Hunter. And I’ve clicked on your icon to enlarge it before–so lovely.

  16. December/Stacia
    · June 6th, 2007 at 5:01 am · Link

    Okay, then, Mark. As long as you do give at least one away at some point. :-)

    Of course I am lbl! I just haven’t been able to really buy books much lately, but I’m still on the lookout every time I go out.

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