Hex Appeal

Hex Appeal

Hex Appeal (2010) — Anthology

Genres and Sub-Genres Edit

Urban Fantasy

Theme Edit

In the magical world, witches and conjurers play deadly games.

List of AuthorsEdit

Editor: P.N. Elrod

Contributors: Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Ilona Andrews, Erica Hayes, Rachel Caine, Carole Nelson Douglas, Simon R. Green, Lori Handeland

Genre and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban Fantasy 


Heavy hitters serve up sharp, dark, witty urban fantasy in this anthology of nine hex tales, each with a unique twist. Conjurers, vampires, fairies, demons, shape-shifters, even Bigfoot all make an appearance. Ilona Andrews’s “Retribution Clause” packs a storytelling wallop as shape-shifter Adam Talford battles an unholy monster. Jim Butcher’s wizard, Harry Dresden, deals with a “Bigfoot on Campus” with his usual dry, endearing outlook on all things odd. In Rachel Caine’s “Holly’s Balm,” witch Holly Caldwell delves into the very grim side of urban fantasy while wondering how long her unusual lover will stay with her. Fans of Elrod’s Strange Brew, which included many of the same authors, will find plenty more to enjoy in this strong anthology. ~ Fiction Book Review: Hex Appeal

Settings Edit

  • Philadelphia — "Retribution Clause"
  • College Campus — "Bigfoot on Campus"
  • Las Vegas — "Snow Job"
  • London — "How do you Feel?"
  • Milwaukee — "There Will Be Demons"
  • Melbourne, Australia — "Cherry Kisses"
  • Las Vegas — "Arcane Art of Misdirection"

Supernatural ElementsEdit

Frost giant, shape-changers, tracker/assasin, witches, old gods / wizard, Bigfoot, Bigfoot's son, White Court vampire fledgeling / resurrection witch, resurrected boyfriend, Old West gunslinger, resurrecting serial killer / hell goddess (Lilith), Para-Investigator, CinSims, / vampire, witch, The Company / zombies, 23rd century sex droid, shape-changing self-aware futuristic car / Dhampirs, skinwalkers, fairies, fallen angels / demons, hell, amulet / Magician / necromancy, magic users, Reincarnation,


  • Albino Vampire: The name of a Vegas drink, and the nickname of the character: Christophe, aka Snow, aka Cocaine in "Snow "Job" from the Delilah Street series.
  • The Company: bureaucratic agency that monitors new vampires. — "Outside the Box"

List of Stories Edit

Story Title Series and Order Number Author Supes Lead(s)
"Retribution Clause" Kate Daniels #5.6 Ilona Andrews frost giant, old gods, shape changer, witches, tracker/assasin, Adam Talford (Saiman's cousin), Siroun
"Bigfoot on Campus" The Dresden Files #11.9 Jim Butcher Bigfoot's son, wizard, White Court vampire fledgeling Harry Dresden, River Shoulders
"Holly's Balm" Holly & Andrew shorts #2 — Strange Brew #1 & in Kicking It #3 Rachel Caine resurrection witch, Old West gunslinger, resurrecting serial killer Holly Anne Caldwell & Andy Toland
"Snow Job" Delilah Street #5.1 Carole Nelson Douglas hell goddess, Para-PI, CinSims Snow (Christophe), Lilith,
"Outside the Box" none P.N. Elrod vampire, witch, The Company Marsha Madinia Goldfarb (Mars), Ellinghaus
"How Do You Feel?" Nightside series (no #) Simon R. Green zombie, shape-changing self-aware future-car, sex-bot, Dead Boy, Walker, madam Macabre
"There Will Be Demons" Phoenix Chronicles series (no #) Lori Handeland Dhampirs, skinwalkers, fairies, fallen angels Summer Bartholomew, Jimmy, Sawyer
"Cherry Kisses" Shadowfae Chronicles series #4.5 Erica Hayes demons, hell, amulet; Fae/vampire/demon world Lena Falco, Ethan Benford
"The Arcane Art of Misdirection" Kitty Norville (no #) Carrie Vaughn Magician, Julie, Odysseus Grant

Synopsis by StoryEdit

"Retribution Clause" by Ilona Andrews — The Kate Daniels series #5.6

✥ This story is set in the Kate Daniels world although there is no Kate or any of the characters we know. It was actually interesting to see a different setting than Atlanta as this story takes place in Philadelphia. It also features Saiman’s frost giant cousin Adam. Adam is an insurance adjuster and as such, he will have to enforce the retribution clause in the policy of a client. What does that mean? Him and his partner Siroun have to go and kill whoever killed her. ✥ featuring Saiman's cousin; Adam Talford. He's an insurance agent. But if you're thinking boring old salesman, think again. This frost gigant serves as a tracker/assasin when the job demands it. And this time it does: You see, insurance policies in post-shift Philadelphia may have retribution clauses. If your spouse kills you, insurance agents will ensure your murderer gets the same fate. And that is exactly what Adam's mission is this time. With the help of his mysterious, not-quite-human fellow agent, Siroun, they're about to find out that in a world full of magic, witches and old gods. ✥

"Bigfoot on Campus" by Jim ButcherDresden Files series #11.9

✥ Harry is hired by Bigfoot to go protect his son, who is away at college. Catch is Bigfoot has never officially met his son, and his son doesn’t know his heritage, nor the danger he is currently in. ✥ takes place several years after I was a Teenage Bigfoot and finds Harry checking up on Irwin for his dad, River Shoulders. That boy just can’t stay out of trouble. True to form (for a college boy), it’s girl trouble. (KD Did It) ✥ Professional wizard, Harry Dresden agrees to investigate a potential threat against his friend Bigfoot’s son. There aren’t any real clues as to when this story takes place chronologically in The Dresden Files, so longtime fans and newbies alike can jump right in. Harry’s trademark biting wit and sly observations are out in force here. ✥ When the innocent son of a Bigfoot and the equally innocent daughter of a vampire fall in love, things can get messy. Especially when you've got a two protective dads and a meddling wizard. ✥ The story was basically about Bigfoot hiring Harry to look after his son. Upon Harry's investigation, he found that he was dating a White Court vampire fledgeling, who actually didn't know that she was what she was. As usual, whenever Harry was involved, there'd be lots of (vampire) troubles and magical explosions/blasts etc. ✥

"Holly's Balm" by Rachel Caine — Holly & Andrew short #2 — Strange Brew short continued & in Kicking It

✥ Holly is a resurrection witch, and yes that means she can resurrect the dead. Her powers are used in police investigations sometimes to ask the victims about their death. She also has an undead (resurrected) boyfriend who, for some reason, hasn’t gone away. Some magic is keeping him alive again and with her. Holly is now called in to investigate a crime that resembles one she had already investigated. Turns out the killer found a witch to resurrect his old victims and live his killings all over again, and now Holly has to figure out who is helping him and how to stop them. ✥ Holly Anne Caldwell, a resurrection witch, helping the police find a serial re-killer. A very touching moment with Andy Toland, her revived gunslingin’ boyfriend. ✥ Holly’s a Resurrection witch and Andy’s an Old West gunslinger she resurrected and then fell for (read their first story in STRANGE BREW). The romance is sweet and hopeful which contrasts nicely with their hunt for a magical serial killer who is resurrecting his victims to kill them again. ✥

"Snow Job" by Carole Nelson DouglasDelilah Street series #5.1

Set in Vegas. ✥ Christophe, a.k.a., Snow, a.k.a., Cocaine, and the CinSims in trouble due to a difference of opinion Christophe had with the original Lilith. ~ KD DID IT ✥ Delilah Street helps the albino vampire Snow and his hotel full of CinSims. ✥ Snow is a rock star. Snow goes missing somehow. Delilah is a paranormal investigator and now has to find a way to rescue Snow, even though she didn’t have a good relationship with him. ✥ The story follows a missing rock star and a hell goddess (Lilith) bent on revenge and is out to get Deliiah and Snow. ✥ Delilah must rescue Snow; the enigmatic Las Vegas mogul she loves to loathe from his adoring fans and the original scorned first wife. ✥

"Outside the Box" BY P.N. Elrod

✥ The story is about a witch that works as a to register newly risen vampires. This one vampire she’s dealing with now is just more than she bargained for. ✥ A simple, straightforward story that appears to be separate from Elrod’s Vampire Files series in which a witch and a vampire work as partner’s for The Company, a bureaucratic agency that monitors new vampires. A supposedly standard rising turns into a search for a missing woman and a hunt for her sire/killer. ✥ Meet, Marsha Madinia Goldfarb, occupation/vocation/inclination: witch. Alongside her vampire partner, Ellinghaus, they work for The Company where they register the post-dead and help them with the transition to their new lifestyle. Of course, not all vampires like this meddling, and one night, things really don't go their way. (GR reader) ✥

"How Do You Feel?" by Simon R. GreenNightside series (no #)

✥ It follows a dead boy zombie on a mission to track down his murderers. ✥ Dead Boy feels sad and revenge-filled. He finally tracks down those responsible for his original death and we learn how and why he died. We also get to ride along with him on his quest with his futuristic car, "Silicon Lily" . ✥ About Dead Boy who’s been dead for a long time and just kind of existed all that time, not feeling anything and missing it, never thinking about the mugging that took his life. Until someone comes up to him and tells him his death wasn’t an accident and Dead Boy is looking for revenge. ✥ In this story, we follow an unwilling zombie (aka Dead Boy) on his quest to feel and track down his murderers. The ending involves a shape-changing, self-aware car from the future as a love interest. ✥ Dead Boy has been, well, dead for 30 years. As a zombie, he needs magic pills and concoctions from madam Macabre to feel anything at all, and he is growing weary of his un-life. Finally, he is about to find out why he was targeted and killed. ✥

"There Will Be Demons" by Lori Handeland — Phoenix Chronicles series

✥ Dhampirs, skinwalkers, fairies and fallen angels— ✥ Summer Bartholomew finally meets the man she’s been dreaming of for millennia. She even manages to save his life despite the centuries of dreams in which he’s died. Only to find it’s her love that’s a dream. ✥ Summer is a fairy and along with Jimmy and Sawyer they work for a demon killing organization and will go on a mission together. ✥ The secondary characters Summer and Jimmy are the center of this short. They are partnered together unwillingly and these two fight together in a demon killing job that leads to more than just kill the monsters. ✥ Involves fairies, dhampires, skinwalkers and fallen angels. Forced to partner together in a demon killing mission, Summer and Jimmy complete their bloody task and then fall into bed together. It wasn’t exactly clear, but there may have been reincarnation or soul mate destiny between these two. That or memory loss. ✥ An ex angel turned fairy/seer/slayer is teams up with a valuable rookie demon hunter, Jimmy. She's seen him die countles times in her visions. The only person who can stop his death, is her. But the price of his salvation may be a broken heart. ✥ basically Summer is a fairy and along with Jimmy and Sawyer they work for a demon killing organization and will go on a mission together. ✥

"Cherry Kisses" by Erica Hayes — Shadowfae Chronicles series, The #4.5 (deleted bage for series) ✥ Lena Falco, troublemaker extraordinaire almost makes nice when she and Ethan Benford partner up to invade Hell to steal a pendant. ✥ Going to hell takes on a whole new meaning when you actually have to go to hell to recover an amulet. ✥ A con artist who has a few tricks up her sleeve and the handsome teacher who got away. These two team up to retrieve an abject from a demon from hell. ✥ Follows a resourceful con artist on a job that literally forces her to take a trip to hell to steal an object from a demon. A much too handsome and definitely too honorable guy has his own reasons for helping her. Fae/vampire/demon infused world to life. ✥ Lena Falco is a con artist, she steals and cheats people for a living. One day she is offered a favor by powerful demon; Phoebus, in exchange for stealing a box currently located in his brother's mansion... In Hell. Together with her former, much too ethical mentor, Ethan, they make their way to Hell, only to discover that Phoebus is not the only one who wants to own the prize inside the box. ✥

"The Arcane Art of Misdirection" by Carrie VaughnKitty Norville series (no #)

✥ Set in Las Vegas and follows a blackjack dealer who spots cheating happening. This leads Odysseus Grant to the scheme. ✥ Julie, a Las Vegas card dealer witnesses a cheater. She then sees something completely out of the ordinary and follows Grant out of the casino. ✥ It follows a blackjack dealer in Vegas who spots a cheating scam and leads her to magician Odysseus Grant. ✥ The tale involved Odysseus Grant, the Vegas stage magician from the Kitty Norville series. He found someone playing magical tricks (i.e. cheating) at the Blackjack table at the casino where he worked, he was intent on fixing it with the perpetrator. Julie, a card dealer at the Blackjack table, decided to tag along since she was both curious and had a small magical talent of her own. ✥

~ Sources:

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: Tony MauroBibliography ISFdb : Cover: Hex Appeal

Publishing InformationEdit

  • ISBN-10: 0312590725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312590727

Cover Blurb Edit

In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?

In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell all-new, otherworldly tales. Spellbinding stories featuring bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends and even a sex droid from the twenty-third century named Silicon Lily. But as our conjurers are about to discover, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hexed. And sometimes, even the best spun spells can lead to complete and utter mayhem. ~ Goodreads | Hex Appeal and Hex Appeal | P. N. Elrod | Macmillan - excerpts

Trivia Edit

Read Alikes (similar elements) Edit

See Also Edit

See Category links at bottom of page

External Links Edit


Author pages for book: 

World, Characters

Authors Websites:



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