Thursday, December 29, 2016

Movie Review: The Arrival



Amy Adams stars in The Arrival, playing an expert linguist professor needed by the FBI.  Alien spacecrafts have landed around the world.  They want to communicate, but no one has a clue on what they are trying to say.  Adam's character, Doctor Louise, makes a major breakthrough.  Her personal life is very lonely, presumably divorced and dealing with the loss of her child.  She puts all of herself into figuring out the aliens' language.  When other countries see the visitors as a threat, she wonders if there is something lost in translation.  SPOILER ALERT: (skip if going to see movie) Adam's character has direct contact with the aliens at the end of the movie and learns her life has not happened yet, she has only seen it in the future.  She decides to play out the hand she is dealt anyway, preferring to have her daughter who dies and her husband who she divorces.  Perhaps she thinks things will be different, but her reasoning is unclear.

My Review: This is one of the best movies I've seen so far this year.  Amy Adams is in another outstanding flick (Nocturnal Animals) as well.  The woman is on a roll!  She is a superb actress as is the entire cast.  But what makes this movie great is the story line.  I love how the director threw in bits and pieces of the history of language.  I love how the main character was not a cop or FBI agent, but a professor.  I love the twist of her personal life as a future vision at the end of the movie.  The special effects in this movie are low-key, but quite amazing.  The "words" that are shot out of the aliens' legs look real.  Terrific flick for sci-fi fans.  5/5 Stars.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Movie Review: LaLa Land


La La Land is a simple love story between an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) and an aspiring musician (Ryan Gosling).  The two stars keep running into each other and eventually fall in love.  Their bliss gets complicated the second success enters the picture.  Gosling gets to tour with John Legend as a pianist and then Stone gets her first big break in a film.  Sadly, they don't end up with each other with both of them having regrets.  The film is filled with dancing, singing, and music.  Gosling played the piano himself. Most of the film takes place in Hollywood.

My Review: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling can do a helluva lot more than act.  These two gorgeous stars are multi-talented across the board.  The film felt like old Hollywood with some of the musical routines.  There was a sense of magic, making me feel that I was watching a musical play.  Overall, I really liked the movie.  I think it would please women more than men.  If one is looking for something a little different and entertaining without one big sequence of special effects, this movie fits the bill. 4/5 Stars.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: At the Hearth of the Stone by Roxanne D. Howard

At the Heart of the Stone
by Roxanne D. Howard


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GENRE: Contemporary Paranormal Fantasy Romance

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BLURB:

Dreams are the perfect shelter for our fantasies, safe havens to step inside without changing our daily lives. For Lark Braithwaite, all that is about to change. During the last six months, Lark has dreamt of a mysterious Irish lover who knows what she wants and gives her exactly what she needs. In her waking life in busy London, things aren’t as ideal, as her long-term relationship with Charles, her controlling fiancé, has hit a dry spell.

When Lark is called home to Oregon for her father’s funeral right in the middle of a high-stakes corporate merger, she heads back to face the demons from her past. What she doesn’t expect is to meet her dream lover in the flesh. Niall O’Hagan steps straight out of her fantasies and right into her life, and the powerful connection they share rocks her foundation. Although she's dealing with the bitterness of being betrayed by Charles and his jealousy, Niall soon stirs Lark’s awareness of the superficiality of her existence and reawakens not only her sexuality, but her soul.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:



If the kiss had stayed careful and guarded, she might have continued to question it. But the blindfold disappeared, and she realized she’d fallen asleep. Her eyes flew open, and he was there. Oh my God. He was there! Heated eyes watched her. Rakish dark hair fell over his forehead as he breathed hard, and the morning sun lit up the world behind him. She took a deep, shuddering breath to speak, but his hands moved to cup her face. He held still and closed his eyes as his lips took her mouth. Right then and there, it was very clear that this was real. That was the weight of a real man on top of her, clothed, and smelling citrusy and clean. What in the hell is happening here?

How did he get here? He was only her dream lover.

Or was he?

Confused beyond all comprehension, Lark didn’t have any time to contemplate what was really going on. His lips delivered a breath-stealing, soul-shattering kiss, and then they were all over each other. This, ah, this she knew. Lark hooked her ankle over his and put a hand on his shoulder, trying to rid him of his jacket and draw him closer. She clenched her hand in his hair as he devoured her mouth. He tasted the same as her dream lover, and she put her tongue in his mouth to savor more of that tangy sweetness.

They were both making noises they never had in her dreams, little breathy gasps and blasts of air as their mouths met and separated as they sought new angles and depths to their passion.

He made a disgruntled sound as he tried to get more comfortable in the cradle of her hips over the hindrance of clothes, and she realized she really wasn’t dreaming anymore. He nibbled on her lower lip as she opened her mouth to tell him to stop, but then she was carried away in the undercurrent of his large, warm hands, which were caressing the skin of her stomach beneath her hoodie and T-shirt. She continued to accept his kisses but pawed down her still zipped-up sweat jacket. Okay, so she was still clothed. He was rock hard against her, and he ground his hips into her, a disbelieving grunt escaping his lips. Lark rolled her eyes back, shivering at the jolt that went through her.

“Wh— Mmm. Whoa. Stop!” She finally managed to say against his mouth. She furrowed her eyebrows and scrutinized him as he breathed in and out, bracing himself on the weight of his hands above her, his bright green eyes bearing into hers. His face was the face of her dreams—the sensual, bowed lips and cleft chin, the built body, and the thick hair. His hair… She blinked. It was cut at the nape and styled for a day at work. She glanced down at what he was wearing.

“Um, why are you wearing a suit and tie this time?” she asked, squinting against the sunlight. Please, God, let this be a dream. He moved his head, putting her in shade.

“This time?” He lifted an eyebrow, perplexed. “You’ll have to forgive me, lass, but I’ve no idea what the devil you’re talking about.” He maneuvered himself off her and sat upright at the end of the swing.

She tucked her feet against her and sat up, unable to do anything more than blink at him in utter disbelief.

“I was coming up to knock on the door when I saw you lying here, and given how you were tossing and the noises you were making, it looked like maybe you were having some sort of a seizure.”



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Roxanne D. Howard is a romance novelist who resides in the mid-western United States. Her first award-winning novel, At the Heart of the Stone, was published in February 2016 with Loose Id. Her other titles include Chicks Dig the Accent, and the recently released three-part Costa Mesa Series. Roxanne is a U.S. Army veteran, and has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and English. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. She is also an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and loves everything related to marine biology. She is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, several pets, and loves to spend time with her husband and children when she's not writing. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and she can be contacted at author@roxannedhoward.com. To find out more, please visit her website at roxannedhoward.com.

Note:Winner of the Coffee Time Romance Reviewer's Award!

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/At-Heart-Stone-Roxanne-Howard-ebook/dp/B01BUQLMCM

149.html

howard/1123483601

Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=RXaTCwAAQBAJ&source=productsearch&utm_
source=HA_Desktop_US&utm_medium=SEM&utm_campaign=PLA&pcampaignid=MKTAD0930BO1&gclid=CJi1uaKPp9ACFYOegQod9JIJwQ&gclsrc=ds

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/at-the-heart-of-the-stone/id1089820228?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/at-the-heart-of-the-stone

Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/at-the-heart-of-the-stone.html

Social Media Links:

Website: www.roxannedhoward.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoxanneDHoward

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010437978489

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15019190.Roxanne_D_Howard

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Roxanne will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Friday, December 23, 2016

XPresso Book Tours Presents: Max Dune's The Elf


The Elf
Max Dune
Publication date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
This Christmas…it’s war. Grab your weapon and join the fight in this modern Santa Claus retelling with a dark twist. Fans of Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar will be riveted by The Elf‘s action, humor and romance!
Elves are dying in the North Pole, and none of their scientists can find a cure. They believe it’s a virus, unleashed by a powerful enemy. All signs point to Jack Frost, who’s been biding his time from afar. Watching. Waiting. Plotting. One brave elf, to save his kind, will venture out to meet evil in the eye. But he uncovers a mystery more dangerous than he could have ever imagined. Now Lucian must join a group of warriors and fight. Fuego; a flame-wielding pyro. Tiktok; a brilliant bomb expert, Yuriko; a deadly ninja assassin. And Bullets; a hot-headed gun aficionado. These unlikely heroes must learn to work together and defeat the rising evil. Or Christmas will soon be lost…forever.
BOOK TRAILER
EXCERPT:
“Where are you going?” I taunt. “There’s nowhere to hide.”
Jack Frost doesn’t answer. Under the canopy of winter-crystallized trees, he crawls across the snow. His tall, muscular body leaves a trail of berry-red blood behind him. He looks desperate to put distance between us.
I begin to whistle softly and draw closer to admire my handiwork. Broken nose. Swollen eye. An arrow buried deep in his leg. Ah, such a beautiful sight to behold. I turn to Blitzen, my most loyal of companions, and smile. “Thank you, friend. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it.”
Blitzen gives an affirmative snort, staying close to our sleigh and supplies. His strong legs and zesty spirit had kept me alive for the last two weeks. The Artic is a cold house for the unwary. Nothing in it ever stirs. Nothing moves. Nothing sings. Yet he had guided me through it, his hooves detonating like muffled grenades as they crunched the powdery snow. We’d traveled over timeworn mountains, through tomblike valleys and flash-frozen rivers. I plan on rewarding Blitzen with his favorite food once we’re back in Santa’s Village. It’ll be agaric mushrooms for life. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
First things first though: I cock my crossbow.
Clink.
Upon hearing that sound, Frost forces his knees and elbows to move faster. He fights for his life like a desperate wild animal at death’s door. The expression of terror on his face is absolutely priceless. I wonder if he’ll start begging soon. Even if he does, it won’t do him any good. I won’t hesitate to pull the trigger and send one final bolt into his black heart.
For my friends…for my parents…
“Mmm,” I utter, savoring the moment. “This is even better than I imagined.” As I loom over him, a sudden wave of fury grips me. I violently plant my boot in his shoulder, prompting a muffled groan from him. Through gritted teeth I hiss, “And I’ve imagined this a lot.”
I remove my foot. Frost rolls over onto his back and gazes up at me in defeat. “Don’t do this, Lucian. Please.”
Ah, finally.
“Do you think begging is going to help? It didn’t help my parents or the other elves. They died just the same, all shaking, bleeding, and crying…and all because of you.” I point the loaded crossbow at his chest. “Now it’s your turn to die.”
“Wait!” He lifts up a trembling hand. “I can grant you great powers, unimaginable abilities, even immortality! Y-you could be the most powerful elf who’s ever lived!”
“Power?” I scoff. “I don’t want power. This is all I want.”
“Revenge won’t bring your parents back.”
I consider his words for a moment and do see the truth in them, but the rage inside pushes me on. “No, but it’s going to feel pretty good.” My finger slides the safety off.
Frost’s eyes widen.
Bzzz-bzzz-bzzz…
Suddenly a deep, loud sound echoes all about us, seemingly coming from every direction. They disturb the serene beauty of this frozen, crystal paradise where Frost is meant to meet his doom. Puzzled, I lower my crossbow and search for the source. My eyes scan through the tall, gray trees, their skeletal wooden arms knocking against one another in the slight breeze, but I catch nothing in my gaze except the clear, blue skies beyond. What the heck’s going on? Confused, I dart my eyes in every direction. And why is that annoying buzzing getting louder?
Beep! Beep! Beep!
A sense of déjà vu hits me.
Wait! That sound… Isn’t that…?
The beeping continues to assault my ears for several more moments, muddling my senses.
“No!” I wail when I finally remember. “No! Not yet!”
My desperate cries prove futile, though, as my crossbow melts in my hands. Its liquefied remnants splash at my feet. It doesn’t take long for the surrounding trees to follow suit, forming charcoal-gray puddles on the ground. Blitzen, too, begins to disintegrate where he stands. His fur, flesh, and bones dissolves into a paste and seep into the ground
“No!” Without wasting time, I jump on Frost, wrap my hands around his cold neck, and begin to viciously choke him. “I’ll kill you with my bare hands!”
Rather than panicking or pleading for mercy, he only laughs in my face, knowing full well it’s too late. His flesh quickly melts like hot wax until my fingers are kneading the remaining mess.
I punch the ground with my fists again and again, even as they start melting away. “Come on! I just needed another minute!”
As I beg for more time, I feel my bones softening, becoming more pliable, like iron morphing into licorice. Soon I am unable to hold my weight, and I topple over, falling to the icy ground.


Author Bio:
Max Dune is a Southern writer who spent most his childhood watching TV, devouring comic books and weaving magical worlds in his head. In his mid-twenties, he decided to follow his true passion. He has since created a number of short stories, novels, screenplays and TV pilots. To be alerted to future books and giveaways, please sign up for his newsletter at http://eepurl.com/b5Is91
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Movie Review: Nocturnal Animal

Nocturnal Animal is a new movie starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllanhaal.  The story is about a wealthy woman whose marriage, money, and social standing are starting to slip away.  She receives a manuscript from her first husband and a note which asks her to read it before publication.  The movie shows scenes from the book while Adams reads it,  also shows her flashing back to her relationship with her first husband.

The novel (Nocturnal Animals) she reads is about a man, wife, and daughter who get ran off of the road in the middle of nowhere. Three men terrorize the family and eventually rape and kill the wife and daughter.  The man survives and with the help of a cop gets his revenge.
Amy Adams's (Susan) relationship with her first husband shows how she dumped him for husband number two and aborted his child.

The horror of the novel seems to metaphorically match up with the horror her first husband felt after the divorce.
My Review: Can't say enough about this movie.  Adams is beautiful, sad, and even cold as the middle-aged wife who regrets leaving her first husband.  Gyllanhaal is also brilliant as the first husband along with the main character in his book.  The story was so original.  I don't want to give anything away, but the ending threw me for a loop.  At first I was mad and then I understood.  The movie has it all-action, style, great acting, and brilliant writing.  Hope to see it do something at the Oscars this year.  5/5 Stars.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Frank Fontaine Rant: Rothchild Banks and New World Order

The Rothchilds have the reputation for secretly ruling the world.  When one brings up New World Order, they are one of the first names who come to mind.  The family's banking empire began with Mayor Amschel Rothchild, a Jew who started banking with German elites back in the 1700s.  His banking business expanded among his five sons all over Europe.  While they grew more powerful and wealthy, they also acquired tight relations with some of the most wealthy and famous families in Europe- De medici to Queen of Elizabeth of modern day.  The family is said to be worth 500 trillion as a conservative estimate.  

Besides banking, the family has been known to finance wars so that they insure themselves a profit as well as manipulating the stock market.  They even have their own coat of arms.  The Rothchilds also marry within the family.  Mayor, the first Rothchild banker, started the tradition that women cannot inherit any of the family fortune.  This gives the incentive to marry their cousins to keep the money within the family.  
James Rothchild and Nicky Hilton married.
The Rothchilds quietly control the IMF and World Bank.  They are famous for putting pressure on the government to deregulate and then allow private banks to loot and steal off of the economy.  Then comes the bailout-sound familiar?  Anyway, the government is forced into bailing out the deregulated banks of whom they were forced to deregulate in the first place.  Where do they get the money?  From the IMF and World bank of course.  What's the price?  Besides interest, a selling-out of their sovereignty with many other problems.
Bolivia is the first country to kick out the Rothchild banks!  Way to go, President Evo Morales!  By combating the nation's debt, allowed him to stand up to the indirect Rothchild way of takeover.

Friday, December 16, 2016

XPresso Book Tours Presents: The Secret Billioinaire by Teymour Shahabi

The Secret Billionaire
by Teymour Shahabi
Publication date: September 26th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

Synopsis:

March 24. Billionaire Lyndon Surway takes off in his private plane and never returns.
His will leaves the entirety of his wealth—one of the largest fortunes in history—to his “dear friend Lucian Baker.” Only there is no trace of anyone by that name. And the fortune itself is nowhere to be found.
Andrew Day knows nothing of wealth and privilege, but he won a scholarship to study at the most exclusive school in the country, in the town where the mystery, decades later, remains unsolved. There he discovers friendship and danger with the aristocratic Cameron and the beautiful Olivia. But watchful eyes follow him everywhere… Until, one night, he comes across a secret that will change his life. As he begins to unravel what really happened to the Surway fortune, the question remains: who is Lucian Baker?
Inspiration for the book!

Winner: Northern California Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016
Winner: Great Midwest Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016




Purchase:


AUTHOR BIO:
Teymour Shahabi was born in Paris in 1985 of Persian parents. He moved to the United States to study Comparative Literature and Mathematics at Harvard University. He lives in New York City where he’s spent the last few years among serious professionals, many of whom probably prefer to read nonfiction. The Secret Billionaire is his first published book.
You can watch (and help) him try to figure out writing and life at www.facebook.com/teymour.shahabi.

Author links:

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At nine o’clock yesterday morning, following ninety days of fruitless searching, billionaire industrialist and businessman Lyndon Surway was officially pronounced dead. Mr. Surway was last seen by members of his staff departing from the main airplane hangar of his estate a few minutes past eight in the morning, flying alone aboard one of his aircraft. His last recorded words to the command center crew of his hangar were: “Clear skies and mild winds. Perfect visibility, or as perfect as I could hope, for as long as I can tell. Gentlemen, I wish you a thorough enjoyment of this fine day.” Nothing unusual was noted in his language or behavior.
The late Mr. Surway often took his plane out with no stated destination. But this time, he failed to return at the customary hour of six in the evening. As no word had been received from him, the kitchens were advised that he would likely dine outside. At ten o’clock on the following morning, when there was still no news of Mr. Surway or his aircraft, the Steward of the House alerted the municipal, state, and federal authorities, and a search began for the missing magnate. But no airport, hotel, hospital or inn within fuel’s range of the estate could provide any information. Dozens of interviews bore no result. Countless journalists and detectives rushed in from every corner of the country, but none of them could unearth a single clue regarding Mr. Surway’s whereabouts. Not even the Steward could guess where Mr. Surway had gone. On the morning of his disappearance, Mr. Surway had only told him: “My day is free and so am I.”
Fifteen infantry troops were dispatched, with over a hundred hound dogs, across more than two hundred miles of hills and valleys surrounding the town of Spring Forge, where Mr. Surway lived. The infantry and the dogs found nothing. The Air Force then loaned eighteen jet-powered aircraft to continue the search. The Navy joined the effort with five ships, sixteen helicopters, and four submarines to scour the coastal regions, islands, and ocean floor within flying range of the Eastern Seaboard. Again nothing was found. Finally then, a large-scale search was conducted through the grounds and the buildings of Surway House itself, led by seven hundred volunteers from Spring Forge and other towns throughout the valley. Still they found nothing. Yesterday marked three months since Mr. Surway’s disappearance. The aircraft was legally declared lost, and its owner deceased. Mr. Surway, estimated for each of the past twelve years to be the wealthiest man in the Western Hemisphere, leaves behind no known relatives. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: Final Kill by Leslie McKelvey

Final Kill
by Leslie McKelvey


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GENRE: Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

The world doesn’t know Cat Beckett, CIA linguist and expert sniper. She does her best to keep her skills secret, but when a SEAL team is ambushed in the remote mountains of Afghanistan she doesn’t hesitate to take out the enemy. After saving the SEALs, the third Spec Ops team to be compromised in as many months, she realizes someone in her unit is giving classified information to the enemy. She suspects that Peter Mitchell, her supervisor and ex-lover, is behind the betrayal, and sets out on a dangerous quest to prove his treason.

Lt. Ryan Heller, US Navy SEAL, is accustomed to facing death. When his team is attacked by Taliban fighters he thinks his last day is upon him, until an unknown sniper saves their lives. The prickly, green-eyed beauty handles a rifle as easily as most women handle a purse, but who is she? And what is she doing in the middle of a war zone? He is intrigued, and attracted, but his instincts and her piercing, tiger-like stare tell him to tread carefully.

Afghanistan’s Bagram Valley is not the ideal place to find love, but these two are trained to make the best of bad situations. Geography alone makes starting a relationship challenging enough, but caught between extremists and an unhinged, obsessed Mitchell makes it downright deadly.


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Excerpt:

She remembered the face of the first man she’d ever killed: the rest of them . . . not so much.

Regulating her breathing, Cat peered through the scope of the .416 rifle as snow fell fitfully, almost as if it didn’t want to reach the ground.  The snap of AK fire interspersed with the shouts of the Taliban firing the Russian-made weapons bounced around the ravine below her.  She scowled.

Half an hour ago she’d been sitting in a hidden mountain cave, relatively warm, monitoring two-way radio and cell chatter with a pair of specially designed headphones, using very expensive, top-secret, brand new, state-of-the-art technology.  Now, because of what she’d heard she was lying on a ledge in the snow with her rifle, more than a kilometer from her relatively warm cave.

“Do you have them?” she whispered as the crosshairs found one turban-clad head.

“The SEALs are less than half a klick in front of them and losing ground.”  Tripp grunted.  “What the hell are they doing out here?”

“Dying,” she replied in a solemn voice.  “But we’re not going to let that happen, are we?”

   


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Leslie McKelvey has been writing since she learned to write, and her mother still stores boxes of handwritten stories in the attic.  When her high school Creative Writing teacher told her she needed to be a novelist, she decided to give it a try.  Finally, at the ripe old age of...forty-something...her debut novel, Accidental Affair, was contracted and published by Black Velvet Seductions Publishing.  Two follow-up novels, Right Place, Right Time and Her Sister’s Keeper completed the Accidental Encounters series, and Runaway Heart, a standalone book, was released in March of 2016.  BVS also published one of Leslie’s short stories in the erotic anthology First Submission, and her fifth novel, Final Kill, will be released in late 2016.

Leslie is a war-veteran who served with the U.S. Navy during the Gulf War, and she was among the first groups of women to work the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.  During her five years tour she was stationed at NAS Miramar and spent time on the carriers USS Independence, USS Ranger, USS Lincoln, and the USS Nimitz.  The final two years of her enlistment were spent on Guam and her squadron frequently deployed to Japan and the Middle East.

She learned everything she knows about firearms and tactics from her police officer husband, who is a weapons expert, range master, and firearms instructor for one of the most highly-respected law-enforcement agencies in the world.  She has three boys who contribute daily to her growing number of gray hairs.  Her two oldest sons are United States Marines and the youngest vows to follow suit.  She spends her off-time (kidding...WHAT off-time?) reading, taking pictures, and sending lead down range (that's shooting, for those who are unfamiliar).  One of her favorite scents is the smell of gunpowder in the morning....

Links
Amazon US   https://www.amazon.com/Leslie-McKelvey/e/B00A86ZSQW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
Smashwords   https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LeslieMcKelveyBVS
Facebook Author Page   http://www.facebook.com/lmckelveyauthor
Twitter  https://twitter.com/LMcKelveyAuthor

Blog
www.amazonred.wordpress.com


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Leslie will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Sunday, December 11, 2016

XPresso Book Tours Presents: When Blood Reigns by Barbara Custer


Blurb:
Marked for death, Alexis accompanies her lover, Yeron, and four survivors of a zombie invasion on a search for the renegades who created a chemical that induces a zombie-like state. On the way, ravenous flesh-eaters attack Alexis’s team; one survivor turns on her. She realizes too late that the renegades have been tracking her every move. When officials capture her, she becomes deathly ill. Can DNA splicing save her? Will Yeron’s attempts at rescue jeopardize all their lives?

Professional Blurb:
When Blood Reigns has the voice of a lover and the sting of a scorpion. Barbara Custer writes with keen perception and sharp imagination. ~ Charles Gramlich, Author of Midnight in Rosary

Trailers:
https://youtu.be/gIrH4YZp-uA

Enter Raffle Below!

Author Bio and Links:
Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.
Other books by Barbara include Twilight Healer, City of Brotherly Death, Infinite Sight, and Steel Rose; also novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons, and you’ll find her.

To contact her, e-mail her at barbaracuster@hotmail.com.  
Visit her at:

Excerpt:

Under a sky dark as tar, Shively and his gang left through the rear exit of Jackson Hospital. The power blackout cloaked the surrounding streets in shadow. Shively and Tyrone led them through an alley parallel to Jonasville Street, where the hospital was. Alexis stayed close to Yeron, teeth gritted, with Johnny to her left, and behind Shively. Mark followed close behind her. Despite Johnny’s and the others’ assurances that they could control Mark, she found herself shivering. She felt his intent stare on her, the way she had ten years ago right before he threw her on the couch.
“Brrrrrrr.” She rubbed her arms, moving closer to Yeron.
The warm May air carried a stench like that of rotting tomatoes. At the end of the block, the full moon splashed silver over the buildings and bushes. Yesterday they had slaughtered an army of emaciated, wasted people who smelled like they were many days dead, monsters that had trashed Jackson Hospital’s research floor. They knew more lay in wait; the offensive odor betrayed their secrecy.
Unease festered in Alexis’s stomach. A creepy feeling nagged at her, like someone had eyes on her, biding his time, planning a surprise attack.
She glanced toward Yeron. The soldier in him had replaced the lover: squared shoulders, head erect, jaw muscles tight, and mouth closed. His ruby eyes shifted right and left. With the invisible eyes on her came an overwhelming sadness. Don’t be ridiculous, she scolded herself. It’s not like he’s snubbing you at some party. He’s watching out for trouble and you should, too, so pay attention.
Still, the feeling of being watched lingered.
Aw oooooooooo! AWOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Alexis let out a yelp, and this time, she did latch onto Yeron’s elbow as if they were dancing at a party. The howling continued, loud and plaintive.
“Listen to that.” She nudged his shoulder. “Those woods are crawling with dead and their stink’s drawing the dogs.”
“The dogs smell Kryszka renegades.” Johnny’s voice faltered. His wide blue eyes remained fixed on their surroundings. “I don’t like this.”
“Whether you like it or not, deal,” Shively told them.
“That’s right.” Mark’s voice raked her with freezing contempt. “We’ve had enough of your whining.”
Alexis stiffened, then set her lips in a grim line. Damn, I’m not spending the next several weeks listening to Mark’s shit.
With her telekinesis at the ready, she whirled upon Mark and unleashed a surge of psychic energy. Mark stumbled, fell against a brick wall, and then landed in a heap. He doubled over, one hand rubbing his right arm.
“Cut the shit, asshole,” she warned him.
“Whoa!” Johnny brayed nervous laughter. “She socked it to you.”
“Bitch nearly broke my arm.” Mark scowled, struggling to his feet.
“Next time, she might hurt you bad.” Tyrone’s solemn face shone with sweat. “If I were you, I’d shut it.”
Mark’s mouth worked like a guppy’s, and in the moonlight, his face reddened. Tyrone held his finger to his lips. Mark kept quiet.
The howling continued, sending liquid fear racing through Alexis’s veins.
“Of course, the dogs will howl,” Yeron said. “This street smells gamey.”
“The animals sense danger, too.” Alexis hugged her tunic around her shoulders. She had Yeron to thank for looting the plasma guns and uniform after his compound exploded. “Weekly World Reporter had a big article on dogs and how they smell scent.”
Yeron did not comment. He continued staring ahead, his face impassive.
“I’d like to give those creatures a nice, long, dirt nap.” Johnny scowled. “Too bad Weekly World didn’t give us an easy way to make it happen.”
“Do not worry, honey.” Yeron smiled and stroked her hair. “I will not let you face those creatures alone.”
“Be quiet, all of you!” Shively darted a withering glance over his shoulder. “There’s something weird ahead.”
Shively reached into his backpack for his binoculars and flashlight. Alexis and the others stopped and kept quiet. All eyes were on Shively. There was no sound coming from the houses; most of them were cloaked in shadow. No streetlights, thanks to the power outage. The dogs continued howling, long, melancholy wails. No other sounds could be heard except for the crickets. The air thickened with its rancid odor. Alexis slid her fingers around her plasma gun. Knees bent, she braced herself for an exchange of gunfire.
“Where at?” she asked.
“The back alley.” Shively pointed and moved to his left.
Alexis and the others hustled after him. An acrid smell wafted from a garage near a doctor’s office. The buzzing came next. The garage appeared intact, but the low beam from Shively’s flashlight washed over a corpse. Swarms of flies buzzed around its skeletal legs and the two blood-spattered bushes that concealed the rest of the body.


Please tell us a little something about you.
I’ve enjoyed horror and science fiction since I was in high school back in the 1970s. My favorite was Dark Shadows, the Hammer films, and years later, Stephen King. I dabbled in writing in my early twenties but didn’t begin writing in earnest until the 1990s. By then, I’d fallen in love with Stephen King’s books, and I fantasized about writing similar tales. So I began writing horror fiction straight away, and later, when my work got into the small press magazines, an editor encouraged me to submit science fiction. Most of what I write today is a cross-genre – horror and science fiction, for example, Steel Rose and now, When Blood Reigns. Night to Dawn published some of my tales before the former editor retired. I’ve been editing the magazine for the last twelve years, and I’m publishing books through the NTD imprint. When I’m not working on my projects, I enjoy a great fright flick. Sometimes I’ll try a new recipe—it never gets too warm for baking. And of course, there’s my balloon collection. Sometimes you’ll find me at the stores, chasing and being chased by Mylar balloons.
What motivated you to become a published author?
Because finances had prohibited my schooling in the early years, my writing lay dormant until I went back to college in the late 80s. My mother died in 1990, and my instructor encouraged me to try creative writing as a way to handle my grief. I sent in my first team with the horror / SF genre, and I’ve found writing very helpful in enabling me to process my grief.
What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
Writing those “slow” but oh, so important scenes are the worst for me. I’m a pantser at heart, and I’ve never been able to follow an outline. I gave it the college try, but the best I can manage a general sense of the plotline with a satisfying ending. For example, I wrote a scene where two men are caught dragging a woman to a zombie pit. I loved writing the drama of the rescue that followed. But then it occurred to me: what led up to her being kidnapped? Was she lured or seized against her will? Where? This is where I’ve got to try and tame the pantser in me, and write a convincing scene of what happened before the her abduction.
Pick a character from your book and describe one of his/her strengths and one of his/her weaknesses?
Let’s go with Alexis. She’s makes a true blue friend and fellow soldier—so often she’ll run into danger to save her teammates. And when Yeron is badly injured, she crawls through an underground hallway to find help, despite multiple cuts and wounds. When her travels take her to a Kryszka compound, she befriends the governor and other people there. At times, though, she lets her emotions get the better of her, and she’ll act impulsively, which almost costs her life. 
What is your favorite part of your book?
I can’t say that When Blood Reigns has any one favorite part, but I get a lot of chuckles reading through the scenes that involve Johnny. Some of the things he said and did – the humor – cut through the tension between everyone holed up at the safe house. There’s also one scene I like because it speaks well of protag Alexis – when she crawls through the Kryszka’s compound hallway searching for help for her beloved Yeron despite her own serious injuries.
If you could spend a week anywhere, where would you go and what would you do during that week? Let’s start with activities. Day 1. Go to an outlet mall. Day 2. Go for a ride on a hot air balloon. Day 3. Get a treatment at the hotel spa. I’d dedicate days 4 and 5 to rest, but on those respective evenings, I’d like to take a tour through a deserted town and look for ghosts. Day 6. Back to the spa. Day 7. Take a leisurely train (or plane) ride home. Where would I like to go? Any place or time that enables me to do these activities in a warm, dry climate.
What genre do you like to read and who are some of your favorite authors?
I favor the horror and science fiction genre. Some of my favorite authors include Jonathan Maberry and Stephen King. However, I will read other genres from time to time because I feel it’s a great way to study character behavior under different circumstances. Being familiar with different genres may enrich the characters in the genre you write.
If you could have any wish granted, what would it be?
I’d like medical science to come up with a cure for Parkinson’s, the disease that took Mike, as I’d hate to see this happen to others. I don’t want just a cure but a way to reverse the damage left by the disease. It’s a gigantic ask, but…
What are you currently working on and when can we expect your next book?
I’m working on a sequel to When Blood Reigns, but I’m still in first draft – writing goes slowly when you work a day job. So the plotline is under wraps. You can expect more zombies, renegade alien soldiers, and this time out, an introduction to new characters.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Read as many books as you can, both your genre and others to get a feel for characters and what makes them act out. Assume that your first draft will become history when revising begins. And before you send any book out for submission or self-publication, hire a good editor.
Fun Facts
Favorite food – Italian pasta with meatball sauce. I have to use gluten free, but a good brand will taste like conventional pasta.
Person you’d most like to meet – I’d like to meet agent Donald Maass, author of Writing the Breakout Novel. He understands what makes characters tick. He conducts workshops for authors. Writing the Breakout Novel helped me a lot with Steel Rose and When Blood Reigns, and I plan on using it for future works.
Favorite type of movie: one with a character-driven plot. Make me care deeply enough about the characters, and you’ll have my attention, no matter the genre. Of course, with horror or SF, the stakes go up when the monsters attack.
Favorite pastime – Going to an outlet mall. This happens when I’m on vacation, and on vacation, sometimes I check the budget at the garage (or bus station).
Something you like about yourself – I have a compassionate streak – for example, I cook meals for the Aid for Friends.

Favorite type of music – oldies, like the Beach Boys


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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Goddess Fish Presents: Kiss Me at Last

Kiss Me at Last
by Holly Cortelyou

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

KISS ME AT LAST (A Wescott Springs Novella) by Holly Cortelyou

What's better than wine, chocolate and a little renovation magic? A sweet and sexy matchup between a handsome, hammer-swinging contractor, Sean McMallory, and a flirty and stubborn champagne bar owner, Melinda York, who's in a remodel pickle! Kiss Me at Last brings you back to the charming mountain hamlet of Wescott Springs, Colorado in a heartwarming contemporary, small town romance that's sweet with a little kiss of heat!

One tempting kiss will rock his world…

Melinda York has every last penny tied up in her business remodel so the last thing she needs is a complication—like surly Sean McMallory. But when "McGrumpy" blows through her front door with a hammer and toolbox, she knows she’s doomed…her replacement contractor is none other than the jerk who humiliated her at the town council meeting. With Melinda buried in sawdust and the exasperating, but ever-so-sexy, Sean constantly underfoot, how is she supposed to maintain her professional poise when she can’t stop daydreaming about his broad shoulders and his unexpectedly kind heart?

Sean McMallory likes his life simple and straightforward, and his plate is full with a booming construction business and family responsibilities. When a cousin begs a favor, he’s plunged neck-deep into the whirlwind that is elegant, jet-setter Melinda York and her wine bar renovation. There’s just no trusting the flirty Melinda even if he can’t forget her kissable lips and surprisingly, vulnerable eyes. So he’ll stick with his beer and country roads, and she can keep her bottles of bubbly and fancy truffles!

Can one kiss build a bridge to love and heal their wounded hearts?


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Excerpt:
He stared at her with those penetrating emerald eyes and Melinda's voice petered to a stop. There was a small furrow between his eyebrows as if he was curiously studying a new breed of beetle or a peculiar specimen of noxious weed.

Melinda gurgled a nervous laugh. So much for unnerving him with a bout of pushy flirtation. She went for broke. "One of these days, we're going to convince you to sample our wares."

Sean's gaze whisked from her face to her chest and then down to her hips before returning to her eyes. Melinda flushed. That backfired.

"I'm a beer kind of guy. I'm here for the truffles." His voice was dismissive, but his eyes widened as if he noticed the disparity in his choice of words.

Melinda blinked and refused to smile, but she had gotten under his skin…at least a smidge. "You might be surprised. Many of our goods are most approachable to any type of customer. You only have to be open-minded to new things."

A flicker of a grin played at the corner of his lips, and a glimmer of triumph streaked through her veins. Ha! She'd scored a hit. But just as quickly, his expression darkened. He glanced at the ornate clock hanging on the wall.

"I'm running late," Sean said. "I'll stick with the usual."

"Of course," Melinda replied and was careful to keep her fingers from touching his as she took the debit card from his hand.

Without another word, Sean signed the receipt, picked up the white and gold bag with its expensive cache of rich, French chocolates, and exited out the door.

She glared at his retreating back and wished for the hundredth time that he would move to a new town. Melinda scrunched her nose in irritation.




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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Holly Cortelyou is a romance author who pens sweet and spicy small town, contemporary romances as well as supernatural and paranormal romances. On any given day, you’ll likely find her posting dog and cat pics on Facebook (HollyCortelyouAuthor) or goofing off on Twitter (@HollyCortelyou) and Pinterest! And of course, you can always visit her on the web at www.HollyCortelyou.com. Holly has hazel eyes, a goofy sense of humor and…all the rest is subject to change without notice.

Nook  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125051573
iBooks  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1170953022
Kobo  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/kiss-me-at-last
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Last-Wescott-Springs-Novella-ebook/dp/B01N3NGALX/ref=sr_1_1


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


Holly will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


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