Friday, November 28, 2014

10 fantasy movies or shows to binge watch

Posted by: Angela Campbell
Here in America, we just celebrated Thanksgiving, and now others are celebrating Black Friday. If you’re out there among the shopping hoardes, good luck, you crazy people. And then there are people like me — celebrating a long weekend at home, taking it easy with a movie, video game, or a good book. Obviously it’s hard to read a book when you have company, so let’s talk about movies.

Being an obnoxious movie fanatic in addition to a rabid reader, I thought I’d share some fantasy film options available on streaming services, for those gathered in front of a TV this weekend and looking for something fun to watch without having to leave the house.

1.  Marvel’s The Avengers – Sure, you’ve probably already seen this one (and if you haven’t, what is wrong with you?!?) but this superhero flick offers a whole bunch of awesome in one movie so it’s worth a rewatch. Hot guys with cool props, hot girls with kickass skills, and Loki. Need I say more? – Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime with subscription.

2. Galaxy Quest — This sci-fi comedy pokes fun at Trekkies while also honoring the genre they love. It’s flat-out hilarious and has Sigourney Weaver aka Ripley in it. It’s a good one for almost all ages, too, which is convenient if you have to be conscious of younger viewers. – Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime

3. Odd Thomas — This one is a little dark and has some horror elements, but if you can handle light horror, you won’t be sorry you watched this book-into-film adaptation. Personally, the book “Odd Thomas” by Dean Koontz is one of my all-time favorite books, and I thought the movie kicked booty, too. Anton Yelchin is so darn likable in the role of the small-town psychic, I could hardly stand it. – Available on Netflix

4. Stake Land — This one is for horror fans who love vampire movies. A lesser-known gem in the vampire genre, Stake Land does for bloodsuckers what The Walking Dead does for zombies. A few human survivors are fighting off hordes of vampires and the government has fallen to religious fundamentalists who are now trying to take control of all the remaining people. It’s gritty and a bit gory with good acting, and worth a watch if you like that kind of thing. – Available on Netflix

5. Cockneys Vs. Zombies — Yes, yes, I know. Another horror-ish addition, but this one is also a British comedy with a fun premise. A trio of bumbling cousins attempt to rob a bank to keep their grandfather's retirement home open, and wouldn't you know it, the zombie apocalypse happens in the midst of it. I love seeing some terrific pensioners given a chance to fight off zombies here. Because who wouldn’t? – Available on Netflix

6. Heart and Souls — This is a comedy from the early 90s that stars Robert Downey Jr. Need I say more? Fine. I will. It’s a cute kitschy movie about a creep who is forced to help four ghosts find peace to avoid losing his girlfriend. And did I mention Robert Downey Jr. is in it? – Available on Netflix

7. Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow — I mean, okay, this one stars Tom Cruise, but don’t hold that against it or you will seriously lose out on a movie that’s simply amaze-balls. This is, hands down, the best movie of 2014 that no one knows about, which is a real shame. Plus, Cruise gets killed. A lot. Seriously, he does, and it’s awesome because he keeps coming back to life to try to stop an alien race from conquering the world. Plus, Emily Blunt plays one of the best female characters in a sci-fi/fantasy film I think I’ve ever seen. Not even kidding. Watch it. Now. – Available for rent on demand, but totally worth it.

TV Show contenders

Some of you simply want to binge watch, so I’ve got you covered with some TV show suggestions, too.

1. Orphan Black — A BBC America original series, this show is ridiculously addictive, so be prepared to binge watch and then be left yearning for more (season 3 hasn’t aired yet). It’s hard to give a synopsis without spoiling the show, but let’s just say it involves clones, and they are awesome. – Season 1 is available for free with an Amazon Prime membership.

2. The Tomorrow People — Either you have never heard of this show and just went “huh?” or you know it was a remake and on the CW and expect it to immediately suck. Guess what? It doesn’t! Here’s the show’s description: “A group of young people with evolved powers battle evil using their special talents that include teleportation and telepathic communication.” It was cancelled, so there’s only one season, but it’s definitely worth binge watching. – Available on Netflix

3. Firefly — I have a hard time believing that anyone who is visiting this site hasn’t already seen the awesomeness that is Firefly, but just in case, it’s getting a spot of honor on this list. One, it’s from Joss Whedon. Two, it’s a western in space. Three, either Captain Mal as played by Nathan Fillion will become your new fantasy boyfriend or you’ll develop a serious girl crush on Kaylee or Zoe. So much to love. I can’t even. – Available on Netflix

Happy watching! And feel free to leave additional suggestions in the comments!

***
~ Angela Campbell is the author of the psychic detectives series, featuring quirky heroines, sexy heroes and adorable pet sidekicks. Learn more about her books at www.AngelaCampbellOnline.com.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Thanksgiving Giveaway

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
Here in America, today's turkey day! It's a day of feasting on roasted turkey, stuffing (or dressin'), and especially PIE! Lots of pie. I made three varieties yesterday!

In my family, we like to go around the table and share one thing that we're thankful for over the past year.

I'm thankful for all my friends I've made online.

For my Evil Day Job, I telecommute from home.  That means I work daily with people who live 600 miles away and only rarely see them when I travel to the home office.  I shuttle the kids back and forth to their after-school activities, but otherwise, I'm pretty much a recluse.

Some of my dearest friends are either just a voice on the other end of the day-job phone, or words on a screen.  For the latter, I've never even met some of these friends.

But I treasure their friendship.

What about you?  What are you thankful for this year?  Share in comments and I'll draw a name to send a print ARC of Lord Regret's Price, releasing in print Dec. 2nd.  This is book 2 in Lady Wyre's adventures, so I'll throw in a digital copy if you need it (it's not available in print).  This giveaway is open to the planet and I will ship internationally.

Happy Thanksgiving!

~ * ~

Joely Sue Burkhart has always loved heroes who hide behind a mask, the darker and more dangerous the better.  Whether cool, sophisticated billionaire, brutal bloodthirsty assassin, or simply a man tortured by his own needs, they all wear masks to protect themselves.  Once they finally give you a peek into the passionate, twisted secrets they’re hiding, they always fall hard and fast.  Dare to look beneath the mask with delicious BDSM in a wide variety of genres with Joely on her websiteTwitter andFacebook.  Be sure to check out her free reads!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Great Big Thank You - and Giveback

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy

Yesterday was the release day for THE TEARS OF THE ROSE, book 2 in THE TWELVE KINGDOMS. Whew! It was a whirlwind of a day, with so many posts and congratulations. I shared the release day with so many book birthday twins, I nearly lost track.

But it was so very fun to have my book mentioned in the same breath with so many amazing spec-fic writing women who also had books out yesterday - like Lauren Dane, Nalini Singh, Jennifer Estep, Laura Kaye and Ilona Andrews.

As a number of readers commented - what a release day, huh? And fortunately we all - or at least those of us in the U.S. and not working in retail - get the next several days off to stuff our faces and then lie about, reading.

To make the day extra special, I received a box of audiobooks of THE MARK OF THE TALA, book 1 in the series. Isn't it cool how they gave it a new cover. In some ways I like that cover even better than the original. Spookier, which is probably accurate.


With THE MARK OF THE TALA up for book of the year and THE TEARS OF THE ROSE up for best fantasy romance in the RT Reviewers Choice awards, both books are holding very steady on Amazon in historical fantasy - both in the top 50.




(Isn't it funny, all the different genres these get put into - it should be a drinking game!)

As a way of saying thanks - to the wonderful crew at Here Be Magic, to all of you amazing, enthusiastic readers, to the bloggers who work so hard to talk up our books - I'm giving away the book of choice to a commenter. Either book 1 or book 2, paper or digital, even the audiobook of book 1. I'll even spring for international shipping! (Though I reserve the right to send by slow boat.)

To win, just comment below.

If you don't want to wait - Buy Links!
Amazon
Walmart
Kobo
Indibound
Books A Million
B&N


Monday, November 24, 2014

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases


New!
AEQUANA’S QUEST
AEquana, Bk. 2
Sensuously Erotic Urban Fantasy Romance Novel
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 55.5K
$3.99
She was unique in every way, including the way she loved him.
It will take a long time before AEquana heals from the abuse and torture she endured growing up in those government labs. But Talon's love is helping her vanquish those demons and go forward with life.
Unfortunately, they stumble onto a multi-million dollar gem heist, and are targeted by those who think they're easy prey. Their enemies have no idea who they're up against when they try to take on the ex-Navy SEAL and his mermaid.

Warning! Contains a mountain-side pool, phone bashing, lubricating oil, vicious attacks, the absence of cuffs and chains, and a plea and a promise that will test the strength and depth of two people's love.
Click here for excerpt and buy links.


Mine to Hold (ES Siren #4) by Shona Husk

Getting caught between two lovers has never been more dangerous.

Captain Leo Grady is making his third trip to Solitaire. He's spent five years in space and is ready for a change. Not wanting to go back to Earth, he's chosen to pay off on Solitaire. All he needs is a woman willing to be his wife. Given that women are heavily outnumbered on the fleet of first settlers he knows he can't sit around and wait. He has to act.

Vance Knox has been working with vet, Silke Rask, for the last six months. He fancies her, but refuses to do anything about it because he still has a twenty year sentence to serve. He has nothing to offer any lover and he expects nothing. He made his choices a long time ago. But it burns to see her getting closer to Grady.

Silke is torn between the sensible choice of Grady and the more dangerous attraction she has for Vance, but as secrets are revealed she realizes that she has to fight for what she wants. Not everyone on the ship is there because they earned their place, and old Earth money still has power.

When disaster strikes and threatens the lives of everyone on board she realizes that that sometimes no choice has to be made. Why should love have limits?

New Release!

Falling from the Light (Night Runner book 3) - Regan Summers


Phoenix, AZ

All Sydney Kildare wants is a minute in the slow lane, some time to decide where she’s going with her vampire lover, Malcolm Kelly. But after sitting out the last battle, the powerful Master Bronson is giving orders again, and he isn’t above blackmailing his former courier to get what he wants.

With Mal sent to track a vicious killer, Syd is forced to infiltrate a pharmaceutical company responsible for a drug that turns vampires into real monsters. She’s unprepared and alone, but fiercely determined. If her investigation doesn’t satisfy the Master, Malcolm will pay the price. A wrong turn throws her into the middle of a vampire power play. Caught between twisting forces, with their freedom at stake, she’ll have to decide what’s more important: love, power or revenge. But choosing what feels right might turn out all wrong.

94,000 words

ISBN-13: 9781502236265
ISBN-10: 1502236265

Buy: B & N | Kobo | iBooks | Amazon

New Release!

Nominated for Best Fantasy Romance of 2014 in the RT Reviewers Choice Awards

The Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms book 2) - Jeffe Kennedy
Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir;the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition;and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs-and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn-or a queen?

Buy: All Links Here

Other News


Eleri Stone: I have a free Reaper short story on my website for the holidays. You can read Homecoming here: http://eleristone.com/homecoming/

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why Romance Novels?

Posted by: Danube Adele

The very first romance novel I ever read was Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts when I was in junior high. My mother was an avid reader of romance and handed the book over, likely to get me out of her hair so she could read her own romance novel, and from that first book, I was hooked. Never again was there a moment in my life that I didn’t have my nose buried in a romance novel, usually a Harlequin. Never again did I ever go to school, on a vacation or even to the doctor’s office without a romance novel, or several, in hand. As I think about the thousands of novels I’ve likely read to this point, I realize what an important role they have played in my life.

               One of the best parts of a romance novel is the predictable happily-ever-after ending that can be counted on when you open page one. I can’t underscore the importance of this convention of the genre enough. There’s always a sense of emotional safety when reading one of these novels, which allows you to emotionally invest in the main characters, know them, love them, relate to them, all the while knowing that no matter what problems they face, it will turn out all right in the end. You can leave them behind knowing they’ve been taken care of as you turn the first page of your next book. Real life has enough drama, angst, uncertainty and pain, without having to add to it in my choice of literature. Being able to read a great book that will leave me feeling happy and fulfilled is simply delightful.

Romance has always had a healthy medicinal quality. What genre is more soothing after a rough day at work? What genre is more comforting? Romance is a sure way to help me let go of stress and reach for peace and contentment. Reading about love, watching the interactions between a rough and tumble cowboy and a feisty city girl, or a quirky 19th century heroine trying to tame the wayward habits of a rogue, gives me a vicarious thrill, a way of becoming part of another world I’ve always wanted to live in that doesn’t allow me to enter with the problems of my real world. My mind and body can find a calm place, which is more healthful all around. I call it reading therapy.  

Most significant in my life, the romance genre has high standards when it comes to its heroes, their values, and how they’re expected to treat women. This was a wonderful way for a young girl to gain an education in what to require of a relationship with a man, and to have it reinforced year after year, book after book, starting from a crucial age. Respect. Tenderness. Friendship. Passion. Support. Courtship. Too often in today’s society, women allow themselves to be treated without care, without gentleness, as though they aren’t the most special person to their spouse or partner. I’m thankful that I was so influenced by the novels I’d read because, though it took some time to weed through the frogs, I was patient and refused to settle for someone who wouldn’t treat me as we both deserved to be treated. I met my prince, and we’ve been worshipping each other for fourteen years.

Thanks for stopping by today. Tell me your thoughts! What does romance mean to you? Do you remember your first book? Author? I’d love to hear from you.

Amazon BN CarinaPress Apple
 Danube Adele wrote her first romance at the age of seven when she penned the story of her dogs falling in love and having puppies. She’s been dreaming up romantic tales ever since. A lifetime resident of southern California, she spends time playing at the beach, camping in Joshua Tree National Park, and hiking Mammoth Mountain. Always a lover of adventure, she and her husband took their sons on a cross country road trip to Florida and back in an old VW Westfalia, that had no A/C, in the month of July, and still, it continues to be the best trip they ever took. Extensive travel and trying new things has kept the creative spark alive. Danube lives in Claremont with her biggest fans, her loving husband, amazing and wonderful identical twin sons, and a teddy bear of a Rottweiler. Her debut novel, Quicksilver Dreams, Book 1 of the Dreamwalker series, was released January 6, 2014, and Dreams of a Dark Summer, Book 2 of the Dreamwalker series was released June 9, 2014. Currently, she’s anxiously awaiting the release of her third book of the series, Dreams of a Wild Heart which will be out December 15th..
Amazon BN CarinaPress Apple
Coming soon!!!
Book #3, Dreamwalkers
Release Date: 12/15/14
Pre-order links:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Shona Husk: Saved by the Trickster

The fantasy romance featuring a fallen angel, Saved by the Trickster, is available in print and ebook (and also through Kindle Unlimited).

Zander has one month to prove he deserves to be let back into heaven. As a Celestial warrior he should’ve known better than to steal ambrosia. Now banished and forced to live as a mortal he has to prove that he still carries the Light in his heart and that he hasn’t succumbed to the Darkness. 

Lysanna is a Trickster, a demi-god charged with making people believe in Light and hope. She travels the world creating magic and wonder, taking human assistants to help on stage and warm her bed. Somehow they always betray her, and they always leave. 

When he meets Lysanna, he knows what she is. What he doesn’t expect to discover are the pleasures of being human, and the lust he finds in the Trickster’s bed. He’ll have to choose between his duty to heaven and Lysanna.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PPC8A7I


Jeffe Kennedy


Exciting stuff! 




Shona Husk: pre-release party


To celebrate the release of the nest three ES Siren books join the ES Siren authors Shona Husk, Denise Rossetti and Mel Teshco and friends on Friday 21 November 5pm-9pm (New York time): https://www.facebook.com/events/1521648894740628/


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Holding up the Mirror: Wars and Why Fiction Matters

Posted by: Shawna Reppert


Sometimes people ask you why you write.  The answer, I’m sure, is different for each writer, probably different for any given writer on any given day.  Society as a whole sometimes asks why writing is important.  Why, given all the pain and wars and death and prejudice, all the children orphaned and all the men forever scarred in body and soul, why should we care about words on a page, on the triumphs and failures of people who don’t exist outside the realm of imagination?

Fiction matters because of all the wars and the hatred and the anger.  Fiction matters for the hope of honor and beauty and peace.   I write because of songs like Willie McBride and River and There Were Roses that have made me cry for all the pain in our world that we humans inflict on each other.  I truly believe that there are young men and women who read Harry Potter as boys and girls and are more likely to recognize the beginnings of fascism before it’s too late, just as I as a child read To Kill a Mockingbird and learned the importance of standing up for what you believe in, read The Lord of the Rings  and saw that true heroes do not cast aside their principles when they go to war.

One of the purposes of fiction is to, in the words of Shakespeare, “hold as 'twere the mirror up to nature: to show virtue her feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.”   I would argue that things in the mirror are seen more clearly.  Studies have shown that reading fiction increases compassion and empathy, and that we are more likely to have positive feelings toward people of other races, creeds, genders and orientations after having read books in which a member of that group is a POV character.

If even one person out there reads my novel The Stolen Luck and starts thinking about where they draw their own moral lines they will not cross, reads Ravensblood and learns to believe that it’s never too late to find a conscience, reads my upcoming novel Where Light Meets Shadow and begins to question their own prejudices and take a hard look at what is and isn’t worth killing for, than I feel like I’ve done something to make this world a better place for all of us. 

While I salute all of those who have risked life and limb in defense of their people and their principles, the best way to honor veterans is to find a way to avoid the next war.

Links to the songs I mentioned in this post.  Warning: If these songs don’t make you cry, you have no soul. 
Willie McBride (AKA the Green Fields of France)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kqba0IUdiBk

River by Susan Mckeown, performed by Hanz Araki and Kathryn Claire mislabeled here as Blackwater (Not the best resolution/sound, but I was at this concert and couldn’t resist linking here) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WRCHURp6IY

There Were Roses

Author website:  www.Shawna-Reppert.com

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