Musings of a YA author throwing herself into the fray. Join me on the journey ...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Yay! Check Out Our New Website and Win a Signed ARC!!!!

Yay!  The International Kissing Club website is finally live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Stop by and check it out at  Then come back here and tell me something you liked about it and be entered to win an ARC for the International Kissing Club-- winner to be chosen on Wednesday, November 9th.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ghost World: Vampire Diaries Recap

The Least You Need To Know: Bonnie bringing Hot Jeremy back from the dead = consequences. Remember how Damon tore werewolf Mason’s heart from his chest? Apparently you can’t keep a dead werewolf down, cause he’s back.

INT: Salvatore manse. Damon’s chained to a chair, poker protruding from his chest. He rouses. Dead Mason watches from the sidelines. Damon spies his magic sun-walking ring on the floor. Haha—very funny, Stefan. Uh, not me, bro, says Stefan, who can’t see Dead Mason. But he does help Damon out by removing the poker, though not the chains, before leaving. Dead Mason reveals himself to his killer then throws open the curtains. Damon sizzles.

Cut to…another effing festival??? This theme is seriously starting to wear on me. Anyway, Mayor Mom announces it’s the Night of Illumination, something the vaunted founding families started after they vanquished the vamps back in the day. Alaric and Hot Jeremy are there, so is Dead Anna, when Elena walks up. Jere and Dead Anna hold hands, invisibly. (I just love them!)

Bonnie and Caroline hang lanterns, rehashing the Jere/Anna sitch. Bonnie’s jealous. Damon pulls up—Hey, Bon, remember the whole consequences thing? Dead Mason just tortured me. Fix it. Stat.

Sidewalk bistro. Guardian Ric and his Gilbert wards are lunching. Elena’s been reading Stefan’s vamp diaries--they need Lexi to save his ass. Uh, she’s dead, E. Yeah, that’s why I’m telling you, Jere—cause you see dead people. Guardian Ric does not think this is a good idea.

Matt swears to Bon that he hasn’t seen Dead Vicki since they sent her away last episode. And he’s done with ghosts, so he won’t help with this. Bonnie’s bag drops. Her grimoire magically opens to a manifestation spell.

Dead Anna tells Jere not all ghosts stick around—some find peace. Also, don’t tell your sis I’m here cause she won’t like it. Jere jets and Stefan takes his place. When he sees his old journals he tells Elena to stop torturing herself with the past, better for everyone. Also, I might grab a bite to eat at the festival tonight, he says. Haha, very funny Stef.

Bon takes Caro to the dingy room where she resurrected Jeremy, while the resurrectee confronts his dead ex-girlfriend about making him lie. Anna tells him E would tell Bonnie about her, who as his current alive girlfrient would be understandably pissed. The witch that helped Vicki is helping you, right? Jere asks. No, I swear, she says, you’re keeping me here by thinking about me all the time. Jere feels some guilt. Send me away, Anna dares him. Jere struggles, but then lays one on her. Awwwww. In the dark room, Bonnie chants, leaves stir.

The Grill. Dude, Ric, let’s have a drink, Damon says. No, dick, I don’t like you anymore because you killed me, answers Ric. Well, remember when you liked me and we killed Mason Lockwood together? Fun times. But he’s back and pissed.

Caro’s freaking out cause Bonnie’s chanting and candles flare. Woosh. Whitley Gilbert appears as Bonnie’s dead witchGram. Then, Elena walks in and sees Jere smooching Dead Anna. Stefan ambles down the sidewalk and boo—it’s Lexi. Ric and Damon are enjoying a scotch when Mason joins them, cracking a tumbler on Damon’s head.

They’re baaaaaaacck…

Dead Lexi is super-pissed at Stefan for going ripper. Again. I don’t want your help, says the blood addict. Too bad, says Lexi. Knocks him to the ground.

Bon’s all teary over witchGram who tsks tsks her over bringing back Jeremy. You opened a door, girlfriend, and the O.W. (Original Witch) used it to let all the ghosts out. Gotta close the door. Got the necklace? Nope, Damon does.

Elena’s getting all righteous on her cheating brother’s ass, when Caro calls. Hey, don’t tell Bon, but guess what I just saw, she says. Well, get the necklace back from Damon and we’ll send the ghosts back to hell, says Caroline. On her way to find D, Elena runs into Dead Lexi. I can show you how to save Stefan, she promises.

Mason wants to save his nephew, vampwolf Tyler, from Klaus’s evil clutches as much as Damon wants to save his li’l bro, and he might know the whereabouts of a weapon that can do it. First, say “I’m sorry”,Damon. Good luck, Ric snorts. Damon manages some rambling pseudo-apology. Good enough, says Mason. Meet me in the Lockwood cellar, alone.

Lexi has chained up Stefan in some cell (I think this would better for me if he was shirtless, too). Elena tells her how Klaus compelled her love to turn off his humanity. Then make him to switch it back on, Lexi tells E. Take away the blood lust first, she says. This might sting. Lexi stares into his eyes, he starts twitching.

Lockwood Cellar: Mason tells Damon about a legend for killing an Original Vamp that the Lockwoods buried, perhaps behind this brick wall. Damon busts through it. After you, he says.

Stefan is starving—well, hallucinating he’s starving per Lexi’s mojo. But it might be working. When Caro calls, Elena asks her to hold off on vamoosing the ghosts just yet. Oh, and then Caroline spills the beans to Bonnie about the Jere/Anna kiss?!? You can not tell this girl anything.

Jeremy’s searching through the festival crowd for Dead Anna—oops, sorry, dude. He bumps into a guy, and oh, shizzat! It’s the tomb vamp from Season 1. Mayor mom takes the stage. Hey, where’s our speaker? Cue scream…speaker’s bloody body hangs from a tree. Tomb vamps fist pump.

Tortured Stefan begs Elena to help him. I love you, Elena, he pleads. Elena shakes her head. He gets mean. It’s all good, Lexi assures. Rage is an emotion. But just for good measure, she stabs him a couple times. Elena can’t take it and runs out, sees the commotion at the festival.

Looking for the perpetually missing necklace in Damon’s room, Caro answer’s Jeremy’s call about the dead tomb vamp situation. They better hurry. Well, check your dead girlfriend, cheater! Anna swears she doesn’t have it, but disappears when he turns his back.

Dead werewolf and un-dead vamp wander through darkened tunnel. They examine Damon’s trust issues when they come upon a fork in the road. Damon forges on, but  a booby trap impales him with stakes, pinning him in a place. Mason, some help? Mason?

At the festival, Jere tells Elena he doesn’t want to let Anna go. He loves her. For always. She’s a ghost, it’ll never work, says the human in love with two vampires. But Anna overhears. Word. She holds up the necklace.

Abandoned, Damon tries to un-stake himself, but Mason reappears with the shovel? axe? and frees him. They have a moment. Dead Mason confirms what Anna’s been saying—everyone’s alone on the other side, watching the ones they love go on with their lives. He just wants to help Ty. Redemption, not revenge.

Caroline and Bonnie are driving back to the festival. WTH? It’s a car accident. Mayor mom. Oh, crap it’s the tomb vamps going in for the kill. Caro tells Bonnie to go on, destroy the necklace, I’ll kick ass here.

Anna says a tearful goodbye to Jeremy. She only wanted to find her dead mom, so she woulnd’t be alone anymore. They embrace. He promises she won’t be but turns and walks away.

Lexi battles Stefan. E tells to hurry cause the necklace is about to be dunzo. Lexi says it was Stefan’s symbol of hope. Ah, the irony, he says.

The force that keeps uninvited vamps out stop Damon in the tunnel. But not Mason. Pissed off Bonnie takes the necklace from her cheating boyfriend and destroys it in the fire. Woosh. Dead tomb vamps disappear. Mason does see something in the tunnel, but then woosh, he’s gone, too.

Your Stefan’s still in there, Lexi tells Elena. You just have to break through. Woosh.

Anna walks down the street. Alone. A woman’s there. It’s her mom, Dead Pearl. Mother/daughter reunion (I teared up). Woosh.

Dead Gram holds Bonnie’s hand. You’re stronger than all of this, she says, before woosh.

Damon sits alone in the tunnel. Ric shows up. Stop calling me, he says. You’re the only other person I trust, Damon tells him. So, please get over me killing you. Apologize, Ric demands. Damon tells him the same babble he told Mason, but this time I mean it, he assures.

In the cell, Lexi gone, Stefan and Elena stare. What’re you gonna do now? he asks. Go home and take care of shite, she says. ‘Bout time you gave up, he replys. No, I still have hope, but if you don’t get your shizz together soon, you’re gonna lose me forever, she warns before walking out and locking the door. Stefan appears to contemplate this.

Bonnie tells cheating Jeremy to take a hike. He does. Then sparks fly in the fireplace. Bon investigates. The destroyed necklace has reappeared. The symbolism is deafening.
Ric, in the tunnel, lifts a lantern to the rock wall. It looks like glyphs of some kind—stick figures holding a sun and a moon. Dundundun.

So, I'm in Love with a New Book!!!

I picked up Virtuosity by Jessica Hernandez on Tuesday, just for the heck of it. Amazing cover, interesting sounding story, I was in the mood for a contemporary ... and I ended up falling in love with it, and it's two main characters. In fact, I liked it so much that I ended up reading it all in one sitting, while my own book languished on the computer ... but we're not talking about me, lol.

Anyway, here's the summary:

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't rust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win that she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she's told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes being on top just means you have a long way to fall...

If you get a chance, I strongly suggest you pick up this novel.  So good.  How about you?  Anybody reading anything particularly exciting these days?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meet Izzy: The one stuck at home

"Why was it that she spent most of her time being Invisabel Isabel–the girl no one noticed–but whenever she was doing something embarrassing, the most popular guy in school was there to witness it?"

Full name: Isabel O'Reilly, but only Tanner Colt calls her Isabel and he only does it to annoy her

Nickname: Izzy.

Age: sixteen

Sun sign: Taurus – You have amazing persistence and follow through, plus tons of energy. You'll stick to your guns, even if you're being provoked, tempted or ridiculed. This is a blessing and a curse.

What are you passionate about? Saving the planet! My next car is going to be a Nissan Leaf. You know, environmentalism is not just about–

Okaaay, next question ... You have a boyfriend right? Yep. His name is River. We met at the farmer's market in Sherman about a year ago. He's going off to college this year in Lubbock. It makes more sense to end it now, rather than try to do the long distance thing, but we'll see...

Who's your celebrity crush? Ian Somerhalder. Not just is he hot, but he's also passionate about the environment.

What's your favorite food? Tofu Pad Thai ... but I'll eat anything vegetarian.

Do you have any siblings? My older brother Linc, who is the high school quarterback, which makes for lots of family fun, since my father is also the football coach. And I have a younger brother, Shane, who is the most amazing pianist. He's truly gifted.

Most embarrassing moment? When I tried out for the football team my ninth grade year. My father laughed me off the field.

What's your deepest secret? Sometimes I think of myself as Invisabel Isabel. At home, my older brother is the football star and my younger brother is the piano prodigy. I get over looked. And my friends are the best, don't get me wrong. But their stars all shine a little brighter than mine, you know? It's easy for me to get overlooked. But at least I have River. He really gets me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where do you get your ideas?

By and large this is number one on the list of authors’ frequently asked questions. And there are, of course, as many different answers as there are authors. Cited often is music lyrics, overheard conversations, other movies, other books. Almost anything, anything, can get a writer’s fertile imagination going—especially if said author is currently deep in the bowels of writing a another story.

When I’m in the sagging middle of a manuscript and every word is another drop of O-negative on the page, each minute at the keyboard akin to a month of Saturday afteroons at Chuck E. Cheese, that’s when it strikes. Staring at the computer screen,  wondering why I’m even bothering to write this stupid, conflict-less story that I’m pretty sure sucks and which no one in their right mind would ever pay actual money for, I—wait, what’s that? That glint over there. Oooh, it’s so pretty. No, don’t look, you have to finish this story, warns my inner voice. But, it’s so bright, sooo shiny, sooooo perfect…Damn.

Bright Shiny. That’s what Emily, Tracy and I call them, these new ideas that call to us when we’re writing. They’re exciting, seductive and so, so dangerous, kind of like that guy--you know that guy: the hot one with the motorcycle and the sexy tatoo on his shoulder who drinks and smokes Reds and your mama would absolutely die if she knew you’re were dating him, but you just can’t say no to his soft baby blues.

Except in this case your mama is your editor. And you have a mind-crushing deadline with no room for a one-night stand, much less the torrid affair you’re actually contemplating. Not to tell tales out of school, but Tracy’s notorious for finding Bright Shinys the second after she’s sold a new book and has a firm deadline. Emily lost four writing days and gave forty pages to one before we were able to stop her (and that’s just the days/pages we know about). Me? Well, we’ll get to that.

The real problem with a Bright Shiny, see, is there’s absolutely no way to protect oneself from them. They can come from anywhere, anything, anytime (all real-life examples):
Two lines from a random song as I’m flipping through radio stations.
An overheard cell phone conversation while I’m waiting in line at Chipotle.
Spying Observing a blind date at Starbucks.
My horoscope.
A fortune cookie.
A blog post.
A tweet.
A misdirected text…

That’s how it happened to me. March 12th. Saturday. Up till then I’d been completely immersed in the world-building/researching/procrastinating on a complicated reincarnation story that I’ve been wanting to write for a while, but on which I couldn’t gain any real momentum. My phone buzzed me awake at the ungodly weekend hour of 6:40 AM. A text. Then another. From a number I didn’t recognize.

The demons are fierce.
I hope u r having a safe day. I need your help.

Seriously? I couldn’t just let something like that get away. I saw a boy. I saw a girl. I saw a demon straight out of the inferno. Reincarnation story back on the shelf…Bright Shiny here I come.
It’s now my current work-in-progress. Yeah, it’s lost some of it’s initial luster—they all do. But, I’m plowing ahead, staying the course, word by word, scene by scene, day after—hey, what’s that over there?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Smells Like Teen Spirit: Vampire Diaries Recap Epi 6

The Least You Need to Know: Klaus has blown town, fearing that Vampire Hunter Michael is on his way to clean house.The Senior Class of Mystic Falls High can now lay claim to more than just the highest teen body count in Virginia--they've got the first bonafied hybrid soldier in Klaus's dreamt of army, Tyler. Oh, and Stefan's lost his humanity. Let the new school year begin!!

Elena's waking (Aside: this is a common scene beginning, and the sheets are always the same). She's sad. She dabs coverup on the healing fang marks on her neck, courtesy of Rebekah, before joining Alaric outside for a rousing staking practice. E tries her hardest, but she's no Buffy. And Stefan's playing for keeps now, Alaric reminds her.

Parking lot of Mystic Falls High, 1st day of Senior Year. Go Timberwolves!! Caroline's stoked, Bonnie and Elena not so much. Man troubles got'em down: Jeremy's talking to his Dead Girlfriends, Tyler's a vampwolf, and Stefan's gone ripper. Oh, and to really drive home how much her life has gone to hell, today is the anniversary of Stelena's first meeting. Ah, memories. But, it's a new year, new life, E declares.

Salvatore's: Loud music, dead co-eds. This is familiar, Damon thinks. Except this time round, it's Stefan snacking on Tri Delts and he's worried about blood on the carpet. Ding dong. Rebekah bustles in with shopping bags (Hey, how can she just waltz in uninvited? Isn't this still technically Elena's house?). She needs a place to crash since Klaus left her behind.

At school, Bonnie and Hot Jeremy are arguing about his Dead Girlfriend problem. She says it's his fault they're hanging around. Matt pulls up in his truck. Why so sad, Matty? Dead Vicki pops in to ask. He's lonely. Well, you wouldn't be if I came back...but Tyler interrupts before she can tell him how.

At the mausoleum, Katherine is unsuccessfully trying to get decrepit Vampire Hunter Michael to feed. Damon calls and wants an update. Get a move on so they can kill Klaus and save compelled Stefan. Then Damon rings up Elena, telling her to keep away from the house cause of their new houseguest. He's deliberately mum about Stefan's collegiate activities, when she asks about her love.

Caro's hanging up posters for the annual Back-To-School Bonfire (How many traditions does this town have???). Elena will be there. Ty swoops in for a smooch--and is that blood on your shirt, buddy? Hey, Bekah hooked him up with a blood bag. Caro gives him the dress down in the restroom about keeping his vamp activities on the DL and to watch the cocky 'tude.

Elena literally runs into Stefan in the hallway. He's just following Klaus's orders to keep an eye on her, but when he grabs her, Alaric breaks it up. Ripper Stefan pushes the history teacher against the locker. Don't mess with the rippah.

Alaric and Elena need a plan to deal with the Stefan situation at school. Stefan is a dick in history class, and then to top it off, there's a new girl--that's right, Rebekah. Caroline is not happy.

Matt's cruising the Stoner Pit (the Peace Sign VW van cracked me up) looking for Vicki to pop up. She does. She tells him again that she can come back to this side of the living with the help of a dead witch, but he has to help her. Hot Jeremy stops by, pretends he doesn't see Vick. But reports to Anna what he overheard. Is it true? Anna says if Vicki has a strong enough foothold in this world she can, but it would be bad news. Cause you can't upset the balance of nature. Consequences. Too bad nobody tells this to Matt.

Football practice. Tyler is a total hybrid badass on the field. Rebekah shows up at cheer practice--she's totally pulling a single-white-female sitch on Caroline. Then Ty compels coach to let them go early. Caro again gives him the talk, but he's too interested in watching Rebekah flip around the field in her itty, bitty shorts.

Elena's running track. Stefan joins her. 'Cept he's soooo not her Stefan. But when he calls her the human blood bag, she's draws the line and leaves. What I say? Damon walks in on her pumping iron--Buffy and Warrior Princess quips are made. E tells him she wants to lock up Stefan, like they did before when he fell off the blood wagon. D thinks it's a lost cause, but she won't give up. They end up having a touchy-feely moment as Damon promises he won't let anyone, especially his l'il bro, hurt her.

Nighttime. Before the bonfire, Damon, Elena and Alaric go over their plan to trap Stefan. Elena will bait Stefan, Alaric will vervaine him. Damon takes care of Bekah. Caro and Ty enter, but Ty's not down with locking up Stefan. Why? Cause Klaus wouldn't like it. Uh, oh. Damon knocks Ty out with vervaine and tells everyone that because Klaus sired him, Ty's completely loyal to him.

Bonfire. Bekah and Stefan are at the keg. Elena walks up and taunts him by downing a cup o' beer. Hey, watch out, lightweight, he reminds her...almost like he cares.

Cut to Matt working some candles and juju, cutting his palm. Dead Vicki's directing this little session. Candles flare. Vicki touches him, he can feel it. It worked. She's now un-dead again.

Hot Jeremy's telling Bonnie what Anna said about Vicki, but all she can hear is that he keeps talking to his dead girlfriend.

Matt's happy Vicki's back. Till Vick tells him about the deal she made: she can stay, but only if the hybrids can't survive. You can't kill Tyler! Pshaw, I don't care about Tyler, it's Elena who's the key to hybrid survival. She must die (Again?!?) No, Matt steps in.Un-dead Vicki clocks him with a wrench. Ah, sibling bonds.

At the bonfire, Elena's watching keg stands, Stefan's watching her. She down's another cup of brew. Damon's working his baby blues on Bekah, making smores. Elena watches, obviously jealous. Stefan calls her on it. She is not, she argues. Stefan shrugs. (Commentary: Elena totally reminded me of my college boyfriend in this scene - she doesn't totally want Damon, but she definitely doesn't want him getting cozy with anyone else, either. Let him go, E.)

Matt confesses to a worried Bonnie what he did. Un-dead Vicki's at the bonfire, she finds a joint someone left and picks it up. Just like old times already.

Damon's feeding Bekah a sticky s'more from his fingertips, but she's not buying what he's selling. Something's up. So, she drives her s'more stick into his stomach (and I totally love her! she's smart.)

Tyler wakes up on his couch at home and Caroline reads him the riot act. When she starts to storm out, he's contrite and promises to tone down the d-baggery. And then he says something totally sweet, and Caroline forgives him (so do I!), they kiss, and then it's bom chicka wah wah time.

Elena's drunk, draped on the bleachers. Told you you're a lightweight, Stefan says. I'll drive you home. Elena recklessly crawls over the side railing, pretends to let go, and you can see Stefan's blood pressure rising and then she actually falls...he catches her in his arms in the nick. I knew you'd save me, she says. They have a long, gazing moment...lips are close...vervaine darts fly, couresty of Ric. Stefan drops.

Alaric loads Stefan into the back of his car, while Elena gets in the passenger side. Damn kids, Ric says as he stumbles over an empty gas...and oh my god, there's un-dead Vicki with her lit joint. She tosses it. Flames race, engulfing the car in seconds. Elena's trapped inside. Ric tries to get her out, but can't. The smoke, Elena's coughing. Stefan wake up, wake up! He rouses, kicks out the back door. Vicki appears and tries to hold Elena back from escaping. But Bonnie's working a spell, and it pulls Vicki back into a candlelit classroom. Matt tells her a tearful goodbye, Bonnie chants, candles flare. Poof. Bye, bye, Vicki. Elena crawls out of the car, then she and Ric grab Stefan before it blows up.

Salvatore's house. Damon is patching up Elena's scratches. She's all jealous girlfriend over him and Bekah, they get close, but Ric breaks it up and takes her home.

Post-coital, Caro leaves Ty, just before Bekah shows up.And she's brought some Thai for dinner. They vamp out.

At the tomb, Kate and Michael are talking. Take off these chains, he tells her, and I will kill Klaus. But first, I need a non-living bite to eat. Whoa--he grabs Katherine and feeds on her!

Elena tells Ric that he should forgive Damon already. Ric's having none of it (Commentary: Good for you, Ric. I think everyone forgives Damon a little too easily. I re-watched Season 1 and now I remember what an a-hole Damon really is. He's still got a long way to go for redemption. A long way. I wish Elena would remember that, too.) Stefan reminds Alaric and Elena that they need him because he'll protect Elena from anything. You could have let me burn, but you didn't, he says to Elena. Because I still have hope, she answers. I know you better than anyone and this is not you. Then you're pathetic, he tells her. No, strong, she replies resoundingly and drives a couple of stakes in his chest for good measure (and this is so much like Buffy, Season 2, in the mall where she's fighting Angelus and he taunts her that she can't kill him because she still loves him, so she knees him and says to just give her time...sigh, I loved that show).

Hot Jeremy is talking to Bonnie's voicemail. Dead Anna shows up. You shouldn't be thinking about me while you're talking to your girlfriend, she admonishes. I can't stop and don't know that I ever will, he admits. Then they touch hands and both can feel it. (Y'all, I so love them together!)

Damon's cleaning up the Stefan-trashed house. A vase breaks. Then something else in another room. Stop it, Stefan, he says like an exasperated parent. Except it's not Stefan. Damon is thrown to the floor. OMG! It's supposedly dead-werewolf Mason! I did not see that one coming.

Extended commentary: Okay, so as I've said before, I'm getting pretty bored of this Klaus storyline, but Mason being alive may help to enliven it a bit. I hope. We're six friggin' episodes in and nothing has really happened. Also, when it comes to the Stefan-Elena-Damon love triangle, which I'm also finding a bit fatiguing, I don't think anyone is asking the right question: it's not a matter of who loves who more, or who's better for her. They both love Elena, and she loves each of them . The question is who is she willing to give up?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Reckoning: Vampire Diaries Epi 5 Recap

Sorry this is late, y'all. I missed the original airing on Thursday night and didn't get to watch till yesterday. Forgive?
The Reckoning

The Least You Need To Know: Katherine stole Elena’s necklace and has taken Damon on the road. Klaus knows Stefan’s hiding something, so he’s brought him back to Mystic Falls to find out what. Reunion!!!

INT Mystic Falls High. Dark. Eerie. Clink. Clink. It’s Matt. Alone, sweaty, pumping iron. Strange noises. WTF? He walks into the hall. A shadow passes by. He follows. Opens a squeaky door, dark room. (Don’t do it, Matt!! Have you learned nothing?) Clack, clack, clack, clack. He hits the lights.Hundreds of mouse traps go off. Damnit, Matt, says Caroline along with Ty, Elena and Bonnie. Senior Prank Night, remember? It’s all TP tossing and clingwrapping toilets. Hahahahaha, everyone’s gonna have fun! (This is code for doom in Mystic Falls, of course.)
Immediately, Elena walks down the wall and right into Klaus. Hello, doppelganger. Why aren’t you dead? (Told ya.)
Katherine and Damon speed down a long, dark highway. She taunts about his Elena complex before shoving her tongue into his mouth. He responds for about 5 seconds, then, eh. She doesn’t do it for him anymore. She pouts.
Stefan comes to, again, in the back of Klaus's moving truck. It’s nighttime. Rebekah's there. Klaus knows his dirty little Elena secret and is hopefully killing the doppelganger right now, she tells him gleefully. Stefan launches and they spar. Where is Elena, he growls. You still love her, she jealously cries.  And underscores the sentiment by driving a crowbar into his stomach.
Meanwhile, Klaus is telling Elena why she must die--so he can make his vampwolf army, duh. He drags her into the gym.   Prank Night is over, Klaus declares to the group of Sr's. Skedaddle, ‘cept you two. The two students he compelled at the dance last season. He toys with them to demonstrate his powers of compulsion to E.
Damon pulls over. Switch drivers, he says. Psych. He tosses the keys away. What are you really up to, Kate? I’ve got the necklace, she says. Klaus wants the necklace. It’s leverage (which is the key word for the night, apparently). I’m gonna stop Klaus no matter the cost. And I want you totally on board, no turning back.  Fine, he nods. What’s the angle? Kate opens the trunk. Hot Jeremy’s in there, unconscious.
Tyler backs Caroline against the wall at school. (Aside: he’s not very tall, is he?) It’s hot, until Caro starts talking about her ex, Matt. But Ty is supersweet about it, cause he knows Caro justs wants everyone to be happy (and why does she keep saying shite like this cause it’s totally the kiss of death?). Ty wants to makeout, though, till they’re rudely interrupted by Rebekah.  Caro senses another blonde vamp in the mix. Nu, uh. Fangs.
Matt and Bonnie are tp-ing the pool. Hey, where’s Jere? Uh, we’re having some problems, Bon admits. Cause he’s seeing his dead exes. Matt wishes he could see Dead Vicki, too, though. Hey remember how this time last year we were summer lifeguards, and my biggest problem was that you were better at CPR, Bonnie? Yeah, good times. Oh, well, need more TP. Matt goes to the restroom. Stall door opens by itself. Creepy. Then Dead Vicki is there, but Matt can’t see or hear her.
Bonnie and Matt walk into the gym. There’s the witch that screwed up my plan, Klaus says. Now you’re gonna fix it. Bekah drags in Tyler, and Klaus forcefeeds him his blood and snaps his neck. If Bonnie doesn’t figure out how to fix him soon, Ty’s gonna be another failed hybrid gone dead.
Stefan’s pulls the crowbar from his abs. Klaus tells the gang to get moving or Ty’s a goner. But he’ll hold onto Elena. Leverage. Bekah drags Tyler’s inert body away.
Bonnie’s got a problem. Her grimoires don’t go back far enough to help. And the witches cut her off from their juju after bringing Jere back from the dead. Hey, that’s the ticket--Jere can talk to the dead. If only he would answer his phone...
Kate tells Damon that her witch-friend Pearl once told her there’s a vampire who knows how to kill Klaus. Too bad Pearl's dead. Yeah, except she also revealed the vampire’s secret identity to her daughter Dead Anna, which is why Hot Jeremy is suddenly useful.
Stefan saunters into the gym, all dark knight to save his damsel. (God, I love a warrior.) Forgive me, Klaus, he says. I pledge thee my eternal loyalty. Yeah, you said that before, Klaus replies. Elena means nothing to me now, lies Stefan. I’ll do whatever you want. (How does he not see the trap he just set?) Cool, let’s drink on it, Klaus agrees. Kill the compelled seniors, Ripper Stefan. Don’t do it, he’s not gonna hurt me, E yells. But Klaus backhands her across the room to prove he will. Stefan can’t stand it and launches at K. Please let her go, he begs, I’ll do whatever you want. Okay, but to make sure this doesn’t happen again, Klaus compels Stefan to love, honor and OBEY him. Stefan vamps out and kills the Sr. girl.
Kate and Damon want Jere to contact Dead Anna, but Anna doesn’t want to help them. So D cracks Jere on the head. Anna gives up the goods but quick on Michael the Vampire Hunter.
Caroline wakes up on the floor. Bekah gives her the scoop on un-dead Tyler whilst scrolling the pix on Caro’s phone. She zeroes in on a pic of Stelena. Hey, is that my lost necklace round the doppelganger’s neck? 
Stefan’s feeding on seniors. E blames Klaus for S’s Ripperness. Bekah storms in and shows Klaus the incriminating pic then vamps out on Elena’s neck. Klaus stops her.  Where’s the necklace? Katherine stole it. Fine, if Bonnie hasn’t figured things out in 20 minutes Stefan must feed on Elena, and if she tries to run, break her spine. Oh. Snap.
Matt’s on the phone with Bon. Where’s Jere? He won’t answer, she says. Let’s find him, Matt says. I’ll get my keys...WTH? Someone’s rifled his bag and keys are gone. Vicki? He follows the trail of sweaty gym clothes to the pool. Keys are at the bottom, natch. He’s fixing to jump in. Vicki’s there. Spooks him by tossing his shoe in the water. Bzzz. Text from Unknown Caller: I can help.
Matt calls Bonnie again. Hey, I’ve got a plan. Remember how you were better than me at CPR? WTW? Bon races back to the school. Matt ties a weight to his waist and jumps into the deep end.
Bonnie crashes through the doors to see Matt floating at the bottom. She dives in and brings him up.
Damon has re-located his tossed keys, and wants his phone back from Kate. Crap, Bonnie’s been texting re: Klaus. I’m going back, he growls. To die? The old Damon wasn’t that dumb, says Kate. Well, I wouldn’t have done it for you, D states matter of fact. Yee-ouch!
One, two, three, breathe. Bon’s chest compressing. Matt’s blue. But on the other side he sees Dead Vicki. She has a message for Bonnie. Blue Matt coughs up water and is revived. 
Tick, tock. Stefan is freaking cause he won’t be able to stop feeding on his love once he starts. No, you will cause you owe me and our undying love, Elena tells him. S agrees, but once a vamp always a vamp.
Caro’s holding vigil over Ty. Bekah’s using the stopwatch feature on the iPhone. Ty wakes. Caro tries to break his terminal diagnosis to him gently, but Bekah needs to work on her bedside manner: it’s curtains for you, dude, as long as Elena’s alive. And there’s the two minute warning for Elena’s demise.
17, 16, 15 seconds to bloody times. Run, Elena, please!! Stefan begs. Fight it, Stefan! Buzzzzz. Times up. I LOVE YOU, she cries as he tries to resist the compulsion. He launches at her. She screams, but he attaches himself to the bleachers and holds on for her life. RUN!!!!! She gets a headstart, but he comes after her, fighting the urge for all he’s worth. She closes a door behind her, turns--Klaus. Shite!!
Stefan stumbles into the cafeteria, sees a broom...and, oh crap, we see where this going. Yep, ever the noble warrior, he snaps it and starts to drive it into his chest to save Elena from himself. But wait, Klaus drags Elena in the door and stops him. He’s amazed that Stefan’s love for E is stronger than his bloodlust. Just turn off your humanity, man, he tells our warrior hero. No! he won’t. Klaus gets pissed. Yes. You. Will. He compels Stefan to do so. Stefan twitches, Elena’s horrified, Klaus is pleased. Let’s see if it worked, he says, and offers E’s neck. Stefan vamps out. She screams.
Klaus enters the lab with a vial of E’s blood. Drink it, he tells Tyler. This will probably save you.  Ty drinks, writhes. It works--he’s a vampwolf. Klaus smiles.
Somehow Elena’s in the hospital, hooked up to machines. The nurse tells her to stay calm, she’s lost a lot of blood. Wait? You're taking my blood. Don’t fight, the obviously compelled nurse tells her then drugs her.
Klaus downloads to Bekah how the Original Witch tried to trick him by making him think Elena’s death was integral to breaking the Sun and Moon Curse, when her blood would be needed for him to create his vampwolf army. Now that he’s figured it out, all he wants to do is take his girl (E or Bekah, i’m not sure), his truck and get outta town.
Damon finally shows up. Where’s Elena? He and Klaus throw down, but Damon taunts him that they know about Michael. He’s on his way, he bluffs. Scared, K takes off.
Damon finds Elena and tenderly cradles her in his arms, carrying her into the darkness. Ty and Caro walk out of school, hand in hand. He’s totally stoked about this new side. They kiss. This year's going to be amazing! he declares (Stop saying this!) Bonnie lectures Matty about his suicidal tendencies. Just be the normal guy, okay? Fine. When Bon leaves, Matt finally sees Dead Vicki and they have a sibling moment.
At the Salvatore’s, Damon pours Elena a whiskey, to help her forget. Or I can compel you to, he offers. No, I need to remember, she says stoically. But when Damon tries to return her necklace, she realizes how much she’s lost. Why wasn’t he here? she asks, all waifish. Damon, blue eyes trying to emote, promises he’ll never, ever leave her again. 
Well, ain’t this cozy? Damon jumps. What are you doing here, Stefan? Uh, I live here. And since Klaus has vamosed, I’ve been compelled to watch over Elena. But, hey, carry on with snaking my girl, brother--I’ve no humanity left.
Cut to Hot Jeremy and Katherine in cemetery. Jere says Anna told him there’s a witch entombed here. K breaks into a mausoleum and opens the crypt. Inside: decrepit body wrapped in chains. Michael, I presume. Decrepit eyes fly open. Dundundun!

Biggest reveal for me this episode: Every guy on this show except Hot Jeremy, and maybe Alaric, is about 5'7".  Also, I have feeling this is going to be looooonnnng season for me: I'm finding the reversal of roles for Stefan and Damon ill-fitting on their portrayers. Paul W. is much better as the lovestruck, warrior hero, and I miss Ian S. as the snarky, bad-boy. And as far as the love triangle goes, two questions to ponder:

If everything Stefan has done and been through was to protect Elena, should he be punished by losing his love to his brother?

If Damon completely changes himself to be worthy of Elena's love (boring), does that compensate for everything he's done in the past (like killing her brother)?