Friday, March 29, 2013

Wishing You a Happy Spring!

If you're celebrating the Easter or Passover holidays, I wish you very Happy Holidays! And if not...
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

TAIL OF THE DEVIL by Danielle DeVor: Book Trailer

Today I have the pleasure of showing off our own Fearless Blogger's awesome book trailer! TAIL OF THE DEVIL by Danielle DeVor releases April 26th. In celebration of the trailer going live and the book release next month, Danielle will be hosting a contest on her blog here. Be sure to check out all the details.
If Mathias thought being homeless sucked, being a vampire is worse.

Don't forget to add TAIL OF THE DEVIL to your must read list. How do you like the book trailer?

Friday, March 22, 2013

by Brenda Drake: Cover Reveal

The Freaky Friday post is postponed today because we're celebrating Brenda Drake's birthday! And what better birthday present than to help her reveal the cover for her young adult debut, LIBRARY JUMPERS, realizing from Month9Books, February, 2014!

Why not give her a birthday present too by liking her on Facebook, following on Twitter, and reading her Blog?

Be sure to add LIBRARY JUMPERS to your Must-Read List! This is not one you'll want to miss. What do you think lies behind the hidden gateways?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Freaky Friday: Black Swan

The first official review by our new Fearless Blogger is here! With a dance background, Danielle gives us an insider's look at BLACK SWAN.
"Having been a ballet dancer, I know quite a bit about how the ballet world works. So, one would think that a ballet horror film would be right up my alley. Well, a well-done ballet horror film that is.
Believe it or not, there have been several ballet based horror films over the years. The most well-known is probably Dario Argento's masterpiece, Suspiria (1977). This little gem is about a ballet school run by witches. Laugh if you must, and I admit the premise is ridiculous, but it is a great example of Italian gore. [Spoiler Alert: Highlight with mouse to see] Also, anyone with half a brain would find it bizarre that the head of the ballet school would tell a girl to ask some random girl if she could use a pair of her shoes without even asking the girl's size. The second, starring Jennifer Connelly, is called Etoile (1989). Nowhere near as well done as Suspiria, it is kind of interesting with a dream world and a ghost.
So, with that mottled history in mind, that leads us to Black Swan (2010). Nina is a principal dancer at a famous New York ballet company who still lives with her mother. This is mildly reminiscent of some dancers in the 1940's when NYCB was getting its start, but not remotely plausible today. Especially laughable when there is conversation about how beautiful a bloody grapefruit is for breakfast. Newsflash: dancers, like athletes, need lots of carbs and protein. No one in their right mind could withstand a full class eating only a half a grapefruit.
Degage', degage', degage', passe'. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Then, we get about ten stories in one. Nina and the relationship with her mother. Nina and her relationship with the other dancers in the company. Nina going insane. You get the picture. But the relationship between Nina and the Artistic Director stands out most of all. [Spoiler Alert: Highlight with mouse to see] No ballet company, in their right mind, would put up with an A.D. who sexually harasses dancers as much as this guy. Also- you do not need to have a "sexual awakening" to dance the part of the black swan from Swan Lake. The ability to do 32 fouettes --which are these insanely hard turns done on one leg with the other whirling around like a whip-- yes. Oh yes, and let's not forget the obligatory bloody feet scene that appears in every movie about ballet. If your shoe's fit right, you don't get feet this bad.
See, here is my foot. No scars. Guess Nina got her shoes fitted at the witchy ballet school.

So, the ballet sequences are beautiful, the sort of horror and switching back and forth between what is real and what is not, not so much. [Spoiler Alert: Highlight with mouse to see] I'm sorry, but an aging ballerina in a hospital stabbing herself in the face with a nail file is not scary. It's pathetic.

My rating: C"

Human morphs into bird-dancer plus the bloody feet scenes = yuck. What do you think of Black Swan? Do you agree or disagree with our Fearless Blogger?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

THE DRAGON EMPIRE by Heather McCorkle: Book Review

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've reviewed a book on this blog. As an author, writing reviews can be like walking a tightrope. It can be perceived as a you scratch my back and I'll scratch your back "transaction" between authors from a reader's perspective. So, as much as I love my fellow authors, I don't generally review books, wanting instead to avoid this backlash. However, I am a reader too, and this particular book by my friend, Heather McCorkle, is too good not to share. I met Heather through the #Writersroad chat on Twitter and have watched her writing journey ever since. She's come so far and her newest trek into the world of adult fantasy is so well done. First, here's a little about THE DRAGON EMPIRE.

About The Dragon Empire
On Yacrana, dragons stand at the top of the evolutionary ladder instead of humans. Such an advanced species is not without its issues though.

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist.

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind. 

Grendar is officially my new favorite dragon. He's the ultimate underdog. Picked on from the egg, too shy to tell the girl he loves how he feels, and constantly bullied by an overgrown brute of a dragon, you'll be rooting for Grendar from the first page. As he grows and matures throughout the book, I found myself cheering with his every victory and sighing over each defeat. If you've never read fantasy before, this is the book to introduce you. And if you're a fantasy fan, welcome the newest star of the genre, Heather McCorkle.
Rating: 4.5 Ninja Stars!

Available Now
Find the eBook at these retailers. Paperback out in April.

Have you read THE DRAGON EMPIRE? Who is your favorite dragon?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Official Fearless Blogger

After providing the blog-o-sphere with so many killer movie reviews (pun intended), I invited Danielle DeVor to take up a permanent position on the blog. With her new title as the official Fearless Blogger, Danielle will be continuing her movie reviews with special spots on our Freaky Friday posts. Be sure to check out her review next Friday on Black Swan. And please give her a big welcome!
Danielle has a book coming out this April entitled, TAIL OF THE DEVIL from Eirelander Publishing. Here's a quick snippet and the cover art!
"Like many homeless kids, fifteen-year-old Mathias Drvar died on the streets. Unlike the rest, he came back– as a vampire.

If Mathias thought being homeless sucked, being a vampire is worse. The vampires who transformed him believe he is the reincarnation of an ancient king. They expect him to quit swearing, use a napkin, and play by their weird, ancient rules. F-- that.

But after the reigning queen assaults Mathias, he has visions of a past life in which he was that king. Turns out the current queen killed him then, and wants to kill him again. He’d better grow up fast, because if he doesn’t his second life may be shorter than his first."

Add TAIL OF THE DEVIL to your reading list and be sure to pick up a copy this Spring.

What do you think of our new Fearless Blogger? Any review requests?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Freaky Friday: The Innkeepers

"Pessimism is just a higher form of optimism. If you go through life expecting nothing from people, you wind up pleasantly surprised." Best one-liner in the movie and sums up all of my expectations of horror flicks. Alas, I was NOT pleasantly surprised. The Innkeepers lacked...everything.
The two main characters are bored at the start of the film am I. The boredom does not alleviate and the setup in the beginning is so heavy-handed, I rolled my eyes through much of it. Examples: a screeching phone, girl takes a puff of her inhaler, the staff keep messing with the bell, a cuckoo clock. All of these things I would guess play a part in the scares later.
Chekhov's gun, anyone?
And I'd be wrong. So little actually happens in this movie. It is split into three chapters and an epilogue, each with a title that honestly, I didn't pay much attention to because it wasn't important to the story. The plot is loosely tied around these innkeepers and their quest to find the ghost of Madeline O'Malley. Unfortunately that one line synopsis is more interesting than the movie itself.
This picture is creepier than the film.
The ending ties nothing together. Not one thing is resolved. All the pieces are scattered about haphazardly. I'd rate the movie, but I have no clue how to even given it a score. I'd say it was bad, but that would mean it evoked an emotional response from me, which it didn't. I'll have to pull an Ebert and say it belongs in a place where the stars don't shine.

Rating: Not enough to care

Have you been subjected to watching The Innkeepers? If you haven't, consider yourself lucky. Do you love the quote? Best part of the film.