Tuesday, February 20, 2007

E-book Week March 4th through 10th

As my books are both in print and e-book, I figured I should help out with Read an E-Book Week!
The Madten Authors group will be having a contest during this week where visitors can read excerpts and by answering a question for each one in the comments section, will be elligle to win a that E-book for free!

For those not in the know, E-Books come in a variety of formats and can be easily read on your PC, Laptop, PDA, and even dedicated E-Book hand held devices.

My main publisher, Zumaya Publications will also be doing a buy 1 get 1 free promotion on the E-book version of their available titles and I will post that when I get the info here as well.

Here's the Zumaya Press Release on this:

More than 30 talented authors have joined forces with their publisher, Zumaya Publications, to double your ebook fun during Read an eBook Week, March 4-10.

Between March 4 and March 12, buy one ebook from any of those authors and get another absolutely free. You can choose another book by the same author or mix and match, and have your pick of science fiction mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, paranormal romance, non-fiction and even books for kids.

"This is an opportunity for us," author M. D. Benoit says, "to show that we believe that ebooks are a fun way to read and that readers have the choice of more than one medium when they buy our books."

Take advantage of this special sale, during Read an ebook week only, by visiting http://www.zumayapublications.com/bookstore.html anytime after midnight March 4 and purchasing any of the superb Zumaya titles listed. Then, send a quick note to readanebook@zumayapublications.com from the email you used to make your purchase with your free ebook choice, and we’ll send it to you—simple as that. There’s no limit to how many times you can make a purchase, or how many titles you can buy at one time. Get one. Get them all. Enjoy.

“Zumaya Publications has a book for just about everyone’s taste. We’re delighted to give readers the chance to sample the work of these fine writers,” noted Zumaya Executive Editor Elizabeth K. Burton.

Zumaya Publications LLC is a trade publisher of fine, award-winning fiction and select nonfiction headquartered in Austin, Texas. Zumaya books are published in trade paperback and ebook formats. For the complete catalog of Zumaya titles, visit the website at http://www.zumayapublications.com.

Good Luck All!

Movie of the Week - Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider
Staring: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Matt Long, Raquel Alessi, Peter Fonda, Donal Logue, Brett Cullen, Wes Bentley

Premise: A young Johnny Blaze tries to save his father from lung cancer by making a deal with the devil. But the devil doesn't just want his soul, he wants his service. And even as he back stabs Johnny on his deal, he warns him that one day he will come to collect his debt. As Johnny reaches the peak of fame as a stunt motorcyclist (courting death with more and more daring stunts - some would say a death wish), he finds the sign he has been looking for, a possibility of a second chance. But that's when the devil decides to come collect his service.

Review: Having been a fan of the comics from way back, I was totally thrilled when I heard they were making this movie. And I was not disappointed! Flaming Skull head abounded and the demonic motorcycle was too sweet for words! Even introduced the chain and the cool jacket with metal stubs. Very much enjoyed the young Johnny Blaze segment and the stunts were cool. Nice action flick. Oh the nightmare was also very sweet. ***1/2!

Book Review - Embraced by the Shadows

Embraced by the Shadows
by Mayra Calvani

Premise: Alana has always had a fascination for the supernatural and macabre. Then she lands what seems to be a dream job, manager of a new restaurant/club called La Cueva del Vampiro (The Cave of the Vampire), with all the supernatural trappings she could ever desire. It is there, while juggling the new job, the usual clashes with her roommate, and a few issues that haunt her from her past, that Alana spies a man that appears like something from one of her recent and very vivid dark dreams.

Review: I think the setting is one of the most innovative and entrancing things about this book. Imagine - Vampires in a sunny, tropical island! Though unfortunately there is not as much description of the unusual location of San Juan, Puerto Rico as I might have liked (I have my fingers crossed this will be fixed for the print version! :P) there's still enough to give the reader a feel of a different place for these dark encounters. Alana's fall into darkness, and her eventual realization that it was never to be truly of her own choice are nicely done. Add in the extra mystery of her mother's veiled death years ago, the interesting cast of characters, and bids for immortality and you're in for an interesting ride. ***1/4! (This title is currently only available as an E-book)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Book Review - Rebel Nation

Rebel Nation
by Christopher Stires

Premise: Alternate Earth where the South succeeded with their play to separate from the Union and become their own country. Now in the present, as the Confederate States deals with a turbulent time of political change and possible brighter future for their minorities, news reporter McKenna Alexander must deal with the fact her ex-husband is rumored to have been the one who put the 5 million dollar hit on a recently released rights activist. Would even Cullen sink to such depths, or does someone else have an agenda and is just using him?

Review: Totally fascinating. If you've ever even considered reading alternate history, this book is for you! Wonderful attention to detail and world building. Great suspense, awesome prose, and plenty of hair raising excitement to boot! Characters are well developed from all sides, with plenty of insights for a nice 360 degree view. Intrigue, love, murder, hate, misguided manipulations, sacrifice, this one has it all! ***3/4!!!

Movie of the Week - Epic Movie

Epic Movie
Staring: Karl Penn, Adam Campbell, Jayma Mays, Faune A Chambers, Jennifer Coolidge, Crispin Glover, Tony Cox, Darrell Hammond, Hector Himenez

Premise: Four orphans leave their crummy lives to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

Review: The cast of characters on the movie poster pretty much says it all. lol. Nothing is sacred in this film. While not a side splitter of a film, there are definitely lots of things to make you grin. The immersion of some outside pop culture items into the movies being made fun of was a nice touch. The tour of Mr Tumnus's Crib was quite interesting. Some of the films being picked on make big splashes, especially Narnia as that one is used as the glue to hold everything together, while others get almost cameos. (The V for Vendetta Michael Jackson was so bizarre! Let alone the baby dropping reference...) Make sure to sit through most of the credits!!!!! You get a fun Umpa Loompa song and a bit with the Mel Gibson look-a-like. The end credit Umpa Loompa song is a riot. Oh and so was the Pirate song. lol. ***

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Movie of the Week - Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth
Staring: Sergi Lopez, Maribel Verdu, Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil

Premise: Ofelia is uprooted to the country with her pregnant mother, to join her stepfather at his command post, where he is fighting to repress rebel forces in the mountains of Spain. While there, she encounters a fairy, who leads her down a labyrinth to a faun, who claims that she is the reborn princess of the underworld. To go home and claim her birthright, she must prove herself through a set of tests before the rising of the full moon.

Review: 1) This film is NOT for kids! Please, please, please do not take young children to this film. There is some definitely graphic violence. The R rating is well deserved. :P 2) This film is in Spanish with subtitles. While this did not bother me one bit, there are those out there who may be put off when they go in and see it is not in English. Nothing I had seen before I went to the theater even hinted at subtitles or it being in another language. So just be aware.

Very much enjoyed the film! The violence did get a little on the strong side, but it was used as a means to show the need for escapism. Ofelia is stuck in a very tense place where her new father is concerned with only two things, that his new wife bear him a son, and that he destroy the rebels. Honestly, while the Captain was a totally repugnant human being, there are hints of things never followed on showing an amazing depth and complexity to this odious man. He lives for duty and pride, but at the same time is being consumed from the inside by both. That and the legacy of his father. Enough mystery is left about the faun and the magic in the area that it is left up to the viewer as to what to believe. Most of the special effects were very subtle, but quite well done! ***3/4!!

Movie of the Week - Catch and Release

Catch and Release
Staring: Jennifer Gardner, Tymothy Olyphant, Sam Jaeger, Kevin Smith, Juliette Lewis, Joshue Friesen

Premise: Gray's fiance died during a buddy getaway. As she and her friends try to pick up the pieces after the unexpected death, unknown sides of the man she thought she knew begin to surface. As Gray comes to find out more about her lost lover, the more she also comes to know about herself.

Review: Incredibly cute movie! A totally dysfunctional group of people trying to deal, each in their own way, with their grief and the changes the loss of their friend has brought to their lives. A lot of growing up occurs in the film, as well as unexpected discoveries. Several characters must be seen to be believed. :P Some very cute moments, and many telling looks that spoke volumes. Thoroughly enjoyed its quirkiness. ***1/2

Marketing Madness

I've joined a new marketing group comprised of Zumaya Authors

We are called (no idea where the name came from) Fellow Golden Rule Authors. We now have a blog some of us will be maintaining with writing info, life, any craziness that comes up, maybe even themes. The blog is called Mad Ten "It's a Mad, Mad World - Writing Confessions of Ten Mad Authors . My assigned day is Thursday. (Thursday's Child has Far to Go!) I honestly have no idea what the hey I will be putting up there - heck I have a hard enough time keeping up with this blog! - but we'll see.

The ten authors (who are sometimes 8 and sometimes 5!) are in genres all across the board. So if nothing else, will bring some variety to readers looking for a taste of different things. ;)

Another thing we're doing with the group is trying to boost each other by doing reviews, posting info, and highlighting members on a monthly basis. For February, we're pushing Joan Upton Hall and Mayra Calvani. Both of them have new books that are being featured this month.

Joan Upton Hall - 'Ghostly Tails From Americas Jails - Curl up with 36 stories, complete with photos, of historical hoosegows from all over the U.S. Each jail or prison is now a location for good guys like you to visit, transformed to museums, offices, a theater, even a B&B where the long-deceased sheriff locks up at night.

Mayra Calvani - Embraced by the Shadows - Against the exotic backdrop of Istanbul and San Juan, Alana is a young woman torn between a vampire she cannot resist, and a life she cannot understand. Endowed with her new preternatural powers, she sets out to reveal the identity of her mother's killer... But is she ready to discover the truth?

Mayra is from Puerto Rico, like me! What are the chances of two Puerto Rican Spec Fic writers ending up with the same publisher? It boggles the mind! So it sounds exciting for this book to be set in San Juan. (Sigh - something else for the TBR pile! Wheeee!)
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