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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Movie Trailer: The Wolverine

"Based on the celebrated comic book arc, this epic action-adventure takes Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), the most iconic character of the X-Men universe, to modern-day Japan. Out of his depth in an unknown world, he will face a host of unexpected and deadly opponents in a life-or-death battle that will leave him forever changed. Vulnerable for the first time and pushed to his physical and emotional limits, he confronts not only lethal samurai steel but also his inner struggle against his own immortality. Story by Christopher McQuarrie."


Friday, March 29, 2013

Excerpt & Giveaway: Along Came a Spider by Kate SeRine

As you may know I love Kate SeRine and her books so much that I recommend them left and right. Her latest book The Better to See You is one of my favorite books I have read this year. Mrs. SeRine books are unique, fun and highly addictive, so much that I’m counting the days left for the release day of her next instalment, Along Came a Spider, August 1st (125 days left).

As I said before these books are highly addictive, luckily for us Mrs. SeRine is sharing today with us the Prologue of Along Came a Spider

Hopefully this little dose of Trish and Nicky Blue will sustain us for some days. Without much further ado, here is the Prologue of Along Came a Spider


"I remember darkness—deep, impenetrable. Not even a hint of ambient light in the void that had consumed me. And falling. I was tumbling through space and time in a nauseating spiral that forced the blood to my feet and sent another sort of blackness rushing toward me. Clinging desperately to consciousness, I curled into myself, wrapping my arms around my abdomen in an attempt to stop that sickening rush that made me want to vomit and sob at the same time. 
A scream of terror surged up from the center of my chest, but I bit it back, forcing myself to remain in control. I had to keep it together, could not let the fear consume me. That’s what my father had drilled into my head time and time again. 
You must control your fear, Beatrice, or your fear will control you. Never let your mind slip into the abyss where chaos reigns. . . .
I’d been there once before and had clawed my way out of the chasm one agonizingly pitiful inch at a time. And now I was falling again—but this time the abyss was not of my own making. 
One moment I’d been playing on the floor of our cottage with my niece Mariella, and the next, my body had been snatched away from all I’d known and loved. I’d heard my family’s cries of surprise, caught the look of horror and panic in my father’s eyes as his arm shot out to grab my hand, but his fingertips had just barely brushed mine before I’d been jerked into the void. 
And then I was falling. In darkness.
Suddenly there was light. A blinding flash that made me wince even though my eyes were already squeezed shut. Then a sudden impact jolted the breath from my lungs. I had to blink several times before I realized I was lying on my back in a field, staring up at a sky that was not familiar, at stars that didn’t shine nearly as brightly as they should have. 
Slowly, I sat up and looked around, seeing others nearby—just as dazed and disoriented as I was. They were Tales, some of whom I recognized from my little village. But we were no longer in Make Believe. That was clear. Gone was the scent of dew-kissed roses and sunshine on daisies. The air that now filled my lungs was stale, thick, heavy. The wind that whispered through the trees did not bring with it the laughter of fairies or the secrets of the pixies flitting about in the night. And the grass beneath me was no longer the velvety soft bed I’d lain upon as a child, watching the clouds drift lazily into fluffy white knights on pudgy steeds as they leisurely made their way to battle. Coarse and savage, these blades poked through my muslin dress, stabbing my skin like a thousand Lilliputian swords. 
“Are you hurt?”
My gaze darted toward the sound of the voice. The man standing over me was devilishly handsome, his chiseled features stark and sharp, giving him an air of danger, but his dark amber eyes were kind as he gazed down at me. 
“Are you all right?” he asked, phrasing the question differently in response to my blank stare. 
This time I nodded and took the hand he extended, letting him pull me to my feet. “I think so.”
“Good,” he said, the corner of his mouth hitching up in a mischievous grin that completely altered his countenance. He lifted his hand and wrapped one of my buttercup yellow ringlets around his index finger. “Hate to see harm come to a girl as pretty as you.”
I felt my cheeks growing warm at the intensity of his gaze and quickly looked away, not wanting to look too deeply into those amber eyes for fear of what I might see. “What has happened?” I asked, glancing around the crowd as confusion and panic began to make them uneasy, their frightened voices growing louder. “Where are we?”
The man at my side shrugged and shoved his hands deep into his pockets. “Not in Make Believe, that’s for damned sure.”
I let my gaze drift over his shoulder and saw a tall Tale I recognized from the story of Aladdin trying to take control of the rapidly deteriorating situation, his deep voice booming over the din of sorrow. “My friends—please! You must remain calm!” 
A woman with long black hair and eyes as blue as robins’ eggs hurried past me, glancing my way and giving me a terse nod before joining Aladdin as he tried to herd the crowd toward a series of carriages drawn by black horses. “That was Tess Little,” I breathed. 
“Little Red Riding Hood?” my companion asked, his brows arching with interest. 
I nodded. “Yes, but . . . Well, it can’t be! She disappeared almost a hundred years ago with the others.” My heart began to pound. “Have we been transplanted, too?”
He shook his head. “No idea, but I’ll tell you one thing—I’m not letting them haul me in like a criminal just so I can find out. If I’ve broken out of Make Believe, I’m making the most of it.” 
At this, his eyes met and held mine. I felt the connection beginning and started to look away, but his gaze was so unguarded, so unapologetic, I let it come. And in that glimpse, I saw a soul so steadfast, so dauntless and true, that I gasped at the beauty of it. 
It was rare that a Tale let me past his defenses, rarer still that I was so taken with what I saw. But here was an intensely intelligent and quietly courageous man who could command respect from his friends and instill fear in the hearts of those who weren’t. He was also capable of genuine kindness and the deepest and most profound love. But I was shocked to see that he had absolutely no idea what a remarkable man he could be. 
“Want to come with me?” he asked, grasping my hand in his and severing the connection between my soul and his.
I blinked at him, hardly daring to believe what he was saying. But more surprising was that I did want to go with him even though logic and reason warned me that such a thing was reckless and foolish. I swallowed hard, hating what I was about to say. “I cannot,” I told him, wishing I had the courage to flout propriety and take my chances with a man whose name I didn’t even know. “It wouldn’t be proper.”
He chuckled and pressed a kiss to the back of my hand. “Well, maybe some other time.” He backed away, grinning a little sadly as he released my hand, his fingertips touching mine for just a moment before he gave me a wink and turned away.
“Wait!” I called, hurrying a few steps after him as he sauntered toward the tree line. “What’s your name?”
He turned and offered me a rakishly charming grin that held more than a hint of mischief. “Nicky Blue.”
“You there—with the curls!” I started at the voice behind me and whirled around to see Tess Little striding toward me, her long black duster flapping around her dark skirt and cherry red high-button boots. “Time to go.”
I obediently moved toward the carriages with her. “Is it true?” I asked. “Have we been transplanted?”
“Afraid so,” she replied. “But don’t worry—we have people with the FMA who will help you settle in.”
“The FMA?”
“Fairytale Management Authority,” she explained. “I’ll tell you everything on the way to headquarters. By the way—I’m Tess Little. But everyone calls me Red.”
“Beatrice Muffet,” I replied, attempting a smile. “Everyone pretty much just calls me Beatrice. Or Ms. Muffet.” I chuckled a little. “Except my niece Mariella—she has trouble pronouncing my name.” My voice caught in my throat, the words lodging around the lump of sorrow that had rapidly developed at the thought of never seeing little Mari again. I coughed, forcing my emotions away, and blinked rapidly to clear the tears that pricked the corner of my eyes. “She calls me Trish.”
Tess motioned me toward the last remaining carriage. “Well, welcome to the Here and Now, Trish.”
I placed my foot on the step, but paused and turned to search for Nicky Blue, hoping that perhaps he had changed his mind and had decided to come with the rest of us after all. My heart sank when I didn’t see him. I sighed, a part of me already regretting that I hadn’t gone with him. But it was too late to change my mind. Nicky Blue had vanished, having faded deep into the shadows like a spider in the night."

If sharing the prologue with us wasn’t generous enough, Mrs. SeRine is also doing an awesome giveaway. First winner will win the grand prize of a signed print copy of RED, tote bag, coffee mugs, ebook copy of Along Came a Spider (upon release), and some additional Transplanted Tales swag. She will also choose two additional winners for the chance to win an ebook copy of the Transplanted Tales novel (winner’s choice) and Transplanted Tales swag.
What do you need to participate? Very easy, just fill up the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck to all and thank you Mrs. SeRine for your generosity. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Covers of the World: Magician Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist

Lately I've been reading a lot of fantasy, one of the books I liked the most was Magician Apprentice. Magician Apprentice is the first book in the Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist.

1. English US first edition  & English UK first edition. 

 2. English US second edition & Turkish edition.

3. Spanish edition & Portuguese edition. 

4. French second edition & French last edition.

5. German first edition & German last edition. 

6. Greek edition & Hungarian edition.  

7. Czech edition & Polish edition. 

This book has many other editions/covers, using them all with be a little bit too much. One thing I found very interesting is that it has as many editions in English as it has in French. 
My favorite covers are the English US second edition, the French last edition and the Polish edition. I like them because they are simpler and in a way cleaner. If I had to pick just one I would choose the French last edition with the Polish cover a very close second.
My least favorites are the Hungarian edition, the Greek edition and the German first edition. I don't like the colours nor the art of the Hungarian cover; my first impression of it was of a Native American with a dragon, not much to do with the story. That's the same problem I have with the Greek cover, it doesn't translate anything of the story into the art. My problem with the German first edition is that the magician looks like a villain I wouldn't want to read a book with that cover. 
What do you think of these covers? Which is your favorite and least favorite? 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Early Review: Sand Castle Bay by Sherryl Woods

Title: Sand Castle Bay
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: Ocean Breeze, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Mira Books (March 26th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“In a trade-off she's lived to regret, Emily Castle left home years ago to become an interior designer. The youngest of three sisters, Emily desperately wanted to prove herself. Success, though, came at the cost of leaving behind the man she loved.  
For Boone Dorsett, losing Emily left his heart shattered, but another woman was waiting in the wings. Now a widower with a young son, Boone has a second chance with Emily when a storm brings her home. But with his former in-laws threatening a custody suit, the stakes of loving her are higher than ever.  
Will fate once again separate them-or is the time finally right for these two star-crossed lovers?” 
Sand Castle Bay is the first book in the new Ocean Breeze series by Sherryl Woods.

Ten years ago Emily Castle left her high school sweetheart, Boone Dorsett, behind to make a life for herself, hoping to one day reunite again. What she didn’t expect was for him to marry so soon after their breakup.
Boone was completely devastated after Emily left him; he found solace in Jenny’s arms and no believing Emily would ever return marry Jenny soon after.
Emily’s heart shattered when she learned about Boone and Jenny’s marriage, she always thought he’d wait for her.
A hurricane comes to the coast of Sand Castle Bay and Emily and her sisters Gabi and Samantha come to the aid of their grandmother, Cora Jane. This is the first time Emily returns to Sand Castle Bay in ten years and the last thing she was expecting was to find that Boone is not only very close to her grandmother but also that he is now a widower with a little son.
Emily is a very successful L.A. interior designer and doesn’t need any complications in her life, especially from the man that broke her heart. She will help her grandmother and leave again as she did many years ago.
Boone hasn’t been able to forget Emily and feels guilty because despite having loved Jenny he couldn’t give her all his heart. He never thought that seeing Emily again would affected him so much, but now he has a son, B.J., and needs to think about him. He knows Emily will leave again and the last thing he wants is for B.J. to get close to her because she will break his little heart as she did to him all those years ago.
Fighting against the attraction they still feel is not an easy, especially with Cora Jane’s matchmaking skills.

I have read couple of books by Sherryl Woods, I find her romances entertaining and easy reads. This was the same case with Sand Castle Bay.

Both Emily and Boone hurt each other because they weren’t clear when they broke up. Emily thought something and Boone thought something completely different. Now they have the opportunity to be honest and realize their mistakes. Life is giving them a second chance, the road won’t be easy but if there is love and they are willing to do some sacrifices, everything is possible. That is the message of this book; with love and wiliness everything is possible.

I liked Emily, but sometimes I thought she was sacrificing too much while Boone was just demanding things from her and no doing much on his side. I loved how she was with B.J., her grandmother and with her sisters.

As I just said, on the beginning I didn’t like Boone much because he was demanding things from Emily while he was doing nothing. At the end he did what I was expecting from him and made me believe in a real future for them.

Mrs. Woods did a great job while writing B.J., he brought a lot to the story while always being who he was supposed to be, an innocent and loving boy.

Cora Jane was a fun addition; she is a meddling grandmother with good intentions and wise as her yeas. I loved that she never forced things between Emily and Boone; she just set things for them to act upon, and it was always up to them.

Emily’s sisters Gabriela (Gabi) and Samantha are very different, not only personality wise but also in their lifestyles. Despite living far from one another there are very close and will be always there for each other. The following next two books in the series will be their books. Wind Chime Point (April 30th) will be Gabi’s story, and Sea Glass Island (May 28th) will be Samantha’s.

Even though I like and enjoyed reading Sand Castle Bay I have two little problems with it. The first one is that the conflict regarding Boone’s mother in law was unrealistic. I understand that she wanted to make his life as difficult as possible but legally she just couldn’t. In my opinion he gave it too much power when in reality she didn’t have any. My second problem was that while an enjoyable read Sand Castle Bay didn’t bring anything new to the genre. It felt almost as if Mrs. Woods thought, “If the formula works don’t try anything different”. Still I enjoyed reading it and left me wanting to read next books, Wind Chime Point and Sea Glass Island. So, I guess Mrs. Woods was right, the formula works.

My Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Other books in the series
Wind Chime Point (April 30th)
Sea Glass Island (May 28th)

Other reviews Goodreads

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Movie Trailer: Pain & Gain

"From acclaimed director Michael Bay comes "Pain & Gain," a new action comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie. Based on the unbelievable true story of three personal trainers in 1990s Miami who, in pursuit of the American Dream, get caught up in a criminal enterprise that goes horribly wrong. Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry, Rebel Wilson and Bar Paly also star. The film is based on magazine articles by Pete Collins, with a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and produced by Donald DeLine, Michael Bay and Ian Bryce."


Friday, March 22, 2013

Early Review: Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep

Title: Deadly Sting
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin, book 8
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books (March 26th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
*Warning: This review contains spoilers from previous books*
“Red is definitely my color. Good thing, because in my line of work, I end up wearing it a lot. 
Most people shy away from blood, but for an assassin like me — Gin Blanco, aka the Spider — it’s just part of the job. Still, it would be nice to get a night off, especially when I’m attending the biggest gala event of the summer at Briartop, Ashland’s fanciest art museum. But it’s just not meant to be. For this exhibition of my late nemesis’ priceless possessions is not only the place to be seen, but the place to be robbed and taken hostage at gunpoint as well. No sooner did I get my champagne than a bunch of the unluckiest thieves ever burst into the museum and started looting the place. 
Unlucky why? Because I brought along a couple of knives in addition to my killer dress. Add these to my Ice and Stone magic, and nothing makes me happier than showing the bad guys why red really is my color.”
Deadly Sting is the eighth installment in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep.

Deadly Sting starts a month after the events in Widow’s Web. Gin is patiently waiting for moron (I never thought I would said that) Owen to come to his senses and trying to live her life with a broken heart. Gin shows a normal fa├žade but inside she is hurting and badly. Trying to cheer her up, Finn invites her to the opening gala for the exhibit of the Jewels and art collection of the deceased Mab Monroe.
Society events are not Gin’s thing, but she’s willing to go just to appease Finn, and why not, maybe have a little fun. What Gin wasn’t expecting was to encounter (moron) Owen with a date; to make the night more unbearable they are being held at gunpoint while the museum is being robbed by some giants with a hidden agenda. Now is up to Gin to discover the real reason of the robbery while saving the night and her friends.

I have mixed feelings about Deadly Sting; there were many things that I liked and some others not so much. Let’s start with what I liked. Deadly Sting is another action packed installment that kept me glued to the pages wanting to know more. As with previous books in the series Gin has to go the extra mile to survive and save those she loves. I really liked that even though Gin is hurting she fights on and continues with her life. I also liked that she is not infallible and knows has limits; she’s very recursive and doesn’t trust only her magic to get her out of the problems.

I also liked her flashbacks to the time when Fletcher trained her; it was nice to see the girl she was and the woman she has become.

Finn is the same awesome brother that loves women and knows more about fashion than Anna Wintour. He’s loyal, funny and head over heels in love with Gin’s sister Bria. Talking about Bria, she has come a long way into accepting Gin and what she does. I really liked this new more understanding version of Bria. I also loved how she handles Finn; they are perfect together.

Now, talking about “perfect together” I come to my problem with this book. Since the moment we met Owen in Web of Lies (second book) I felt in love with him and book after book I loved him more and more. I loved how he accepted Gin for what she is and what she does, I loved that he never judged her and didn’t begrudge her for her actions. He understood what she had to do and the way she lives, I thought he was perfect for Gin… until Widow’s Web came along; still, I thought he just needed some time to realize his big mistake and was hoping to see him crawling back to Gin in this installment; sadly what I saw was him with another woman on a date and still the same stupid mad with the same prejudices he had in Widow’s Web. Unfortunately Moron Owen (that’s his new name) pulled a Donovan on Gin, again, in Deadly Sting. After being Team Owen for so long I came to a point when I don’t want him in Gin’s life. She deserves a better man, somebody who will be with her always not only when is convenient, she deserves somebody that accepts her as Moron Owen did on the beginning. She needs a constant person in her life and that one is not Moron Owen. If only Phillip wasn’t in love with Eva…

I can’t wait and see what Mrs. Estep has in store for Gin; I just hope she gives a little break to Gin’s heart. I also want to know more about certain character that was mention in this installment, a character I’m sure will play a big part in books to come.
I’m dying to get my hands of next installment, Heart of Venom. August 27th can’t come soon enough.

My Verdict: 4 Paws

Other books in the series
Spider’s Bite
Web of Lies
Tangled Threads
By A Thread
Deadly Sting (March 26th)
Heart of Venom (August 27th)

Other reviews Goodreads

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