GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: April 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Comic Reviews: X #0 (The Pigs) by Duane Swierczynski

X issue #0 (The Pigs)
Writer: Duane Swierczynski

Artist: Eric Nguyen
Colorist:Michelle Madsen
Cover Artist:Raymond Swanland
Genres:Superhero
Release date:04/10/2013

Three crime lords in the decaying city of Arcadia have received photographic death sentences from the mysterious “X Killer.” Their cunning defenses won’t stop Arcadia’s vigilante from making sure each one of them suffers.

From the pages of Dark Horse Presents.

Duane Swierczynski (Punisher, Godzilla) and Eric Nguyen brutally relaunch Dark Horse’s classic vigilante!
Super Violent!

I am already a fan of Duane Swierczynski's writing, thanks to the Charlie Hardie trilogy, but until now I hadn't read any of his work in comics. Now that have, I may be an even bigger fan of his writing
.

X #0 is really a collection of a three-part story that originally appeared in issue of Dark Horse Presents. Waiting three months to get this whole story would have aggravating, so glad I got the chance to read it for the first time with this book.

Subtitled "The Pigs", this issue highlights a decayed and corrupt city called Arcadia, run by a trio of gluttonous, avarice, and wholly sadistic mobsters. Their cozy empire is being challenged, however, by a masked vigilante with a penchant for very bloody deaths, whether by sword or gun. X isn't fussy, though he shows exceptional prowess with shish-kabobing bad .

Eric Nguyen's artwork really brings out the ugliness of the personalities in this story, and he's given ample opportunity to show his proficiency with blood spatter. Oh my lord, the spatter.

As for X the vigilante, it's hard to get a read on him, as the story is essentially told through the eyes of the villains, as they try to lure X out of hiding and ambush him. X doesn't appear to have exploitable weaknesses, although if he has a superpower it would have to be the ability to withstand a metric ton of beatings and still drag himself to his feet.

This zero-issue left things off in such a way that I'm really keen on checking out X #1 when it's released. It feels a bit like Die Hard meets Punisher, and in all the right ways.


Sheep 4




Guest Reviewer: Gef Fox

Book Review: Eternal Demon (ARC) by Laura Wright

paranormal romance, cover, Demon
Releases May 7, 2013
When Erion’s son is kidnapped by the evil vampire Cruen, Erion vows to stop at nothing to find his hideaway—including intercepting the traveling party of Cruen’s beautiful bride-to-be. But instead of a vulnerable caravan, Erion is met by a feral band of female demons that includes Hellen, the bride—a creature of dark magic and darker passion.

Though the safety of his son is foremost, Erion can’t deny his unexpected connection to Hellen—inflaming a manic desire as primal as it is irresistible. As their bond intensifies, they move toward an inevitable and terrifying battle. With time running out, Erion realizes he must not only find and rescue his son but protect Hellen from Cruen and the underworld forces waiting to destroy her for her betrayal.


The latest book in author Laura Wright's Mark of the Vampire series is an erotic, dangerous and thrilling ride into the depths of hell.

Literally.

Eternal Demon picks up where Eternal Beast left off. Erion is on a mission to find his son who was kidnapped by the vampire Cruen. Erion's plan is to take Cruen's bride to be hostage and exchange her for his son. The only problem is that instead of a meek, dull female, Erion finds himself face to face with a fierce, beautiful and dangerous female demon that temps him to distraction. Did I mention that she calls hell "home"
?

Hellen's personality matches her name, she's a hellion for sure. There's not a timid or whiny bone in her body. Her only weakness is the love she has for her sisters, which is what has her betrothed to Cruen in the first place. So when she is taken by Erion, she becomes enraged and tries every trick in the book to escape him and get to Cruen before it's too late.

Eternal Demon is a fast paced story that introduces a whole new cast of characters, and answers a few questions along the way, even as it creates new mysteries. It is definitely more erotic than previous books. Erion and Hellen have some serious sexual tension going on for almost half of the book and for longtime fans, that won't be a problem because there's a continuing story going on and it certainly doesn't take a back seat to the romance!

Laura Wright even teases readers with a few scenes that hint about Syn's story and Petra's background. Surprising stuff, and designed to make fans even more eager for the next installment of the series. Did I mention an excerpt from Syn's book is at the end?

Eternal Demon lives up to the Mark of the Vampire reputation as an exciting, dangerous and sexy story that will enthrall readers and keep them wanting more.


4 Sheep




guest reviewer: Adria
Adria's Romance Reviews Among Wildlings
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About the Author:
I was born and raised in Minnesota. It’s where my love of all things green, wet and grown in the ground comes from. As you read above, before writing I was an actor, singer and dancer, specifically a BALLROOM dancer - an instructor and competitor as well. That work took me to many places like New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. I live in Los Angeles now, but I’m always thinking about greener pastures – literally.



Monday, April 29, 2013

Bayou Heat tour part II: The Character's Court + giveaway


The Judge sits on the bench and pounds gavel. “Order in the Court.”

The drunken female pointed a finger toward the tall, golden haired man with dark jade eye rimmed with gold standing at the podium to the right.

“Order? Bullshit.” Her voice was husky from cigarettes, her eyes blurry from gin. “There’s no order as long those...animals hold my daughter prisoner.”

The Judge arched a brow. It was hard to imagine anyone who looked less like an animal that the man with golden beauty and a silver Armani suit. Of course, there was...something in those unusual eyes. Something primal and dangerous.

“Is it true that Ashe is living in your community?” the Judge asked.
The Pantera envoy offered a reassuring smile, his potent charm making the stenographer gasp in female pleasure. 

“She came to us for help after her mother threw her out of her home.”

The Judge scowled, turning back to the older woman. “Did you toss Ashe out?”

The woman shrugged. “The bitch went and got herself pregnant. What else was I going to do? I didn’t mean for her to disappear in the swamps”

Before the judge could speak, the envoy stepped around the podium. “I assure you that Ashe and her baby are not only welcomed among us, but she is treasured. Something she’ll never receive with the woman who should have loved her above all others.”

“Hey now, that’s not fair,” the female protested. “I’m here, ain’t I? Wanting her home.”

The jade eyes slid in her direction, his expression one of disgust. “Because you need her to support you. Everyone knows your account at The Cougar’s Den has been cut off.”

The woman didn’t bother to look ashamed. “It’s her duty as my daughter to support me. Now send her home.”

The man turned back to the Judge. “Sir, she is home.”

The judge gave a slow nod, pounding his gavel on his desk. “Case dismissed.“


Bayon & Jean-Baptiste 
Bayou Heat Series, #3 and #4
Available now for Only $0.99 
Amazon B&N / Kobo
The fight continues in the Wildlands. Facing extinction, the Pantera have been given a miracle. A child. The first one in over fifty years. But even as they prepare to celebrate, the enemy strikes, putting at risk the fragile female who carries the hope of their people.

BAYON
Charming, drop-dead gorgeous Hunter Bayon is thirsting for revenge on the enemies who slipped into the Wildlands and attacked Ashe and her vulnerable child. Pledging to track down the cowards, Bayon goes on the hunt, pursuing the humans to a nearby town. But searching their shabby hideaway, he makes a discovery that shocks him to his very soul and might very well destroy the heart of the Pantera.

JEAN-BAPTISTE
Tattooed and pierced, sexy Nurturer Jean-Baptiste has been living in utter isolation. His cat is out of control, and the only thing that soothes the beast is a rare mineral he keeps inking into his skin. Until he meets her: Genevieve Burel. The beautiful and buttoned-up female puma is unlike anyone he’s ever met. She makes his cat purr, and he knows he must possess her, mate with her. But the secret she's keeping might threaten not only their unbridled passion for one another, but the very future of the Pantera race.


Bayou Heat Series

Raphael & Parish 
Book #1 and #2 in the Bayou Heat Series 
Available Now: 
ONLY $0.99 

Talon & Xavier
Book #5 and #6 in the Bayou Heat Series
Releases: July 9, 2013


About Laura WrightWebsite Facebook Twitter Goodreads 
Author of the Bestselling Mark of the Vampire series, Laura Wright spent the early years of her life immersed in the worlds of singing, acting and competitive ballroom dancing. But when she started writing, she knew she’d found her true calling. Laura lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, two children, three dogs, two frogs and two fish. She’s been thrice nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, and loves hearing from her readers.


About Alexandra IvyWebsite Facebook Twitter Goodreads
Alexandra Ivy is the New York Times bestselling author of the Guardians of Eternity series, the Immortal Rogues series and the Sentinels.

Alexandra graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons. 



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Swag featured author: Crista McHugh



Now you have 5 chances to get your swagger on

Our featured author is
Crista McHugh
The third book in her Soulbearer Trilogy just released, A Soul for Vengeance. Check out this selection of Crista's books. 

Photo by Bella Photography
About the Author:
Growing up in small town Alabama, I relied on story-telling as a natural way for me to pass the time and keep my two younger sisters entertained.

I currently live in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with my husband and daughter, maintaining my alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while I continue to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

I am an active member of the Romance Writers of America (including the FF&P ,Greater Seattle Chapter, ESPAN, Passionate Ink, and the Seattle EastsideChapters), Absolute Write, and Romance Divas.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs I’ve had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And I’m also a recovering LARPer. (I blame it on my crazy college days)


Crista McHugh, paranormal romance, author

will add some sheep swag too!

Head over to these blogs and win more Swag!
The Jeep Diva
Froggarita's BookcaseBooks, Books and more Books

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sheep Book Review: Froggy Style by J.A. Kazimer + Giveaway


Froggy Style is the second raucous and irreverent book in the F***ed-Up Fairytale series by J.A. Kazimer puts a new whacky spin on a French-kissing frog looking for his princess!

Plot:
Jean-Michel La Grenouille has a lot going for him. He's a prince. Handsome. Filthy rich. And definitely charming. But he also spent his first few years as a fly-catching, pond-dwelling frog. All that saved him was the kiss of The One, the girl who saw nobility through his slimy form and fell into True Love. Okay, fine. Technically she was a toddler who tried to eat him, but whatever. The curse broke, and as long as he finds and marries her by his 30th birthday, he's a free man.

Trouble is, he's going to be 30 in ten days, and he's getting some seriously cold-blooded feet. He's pretty sure Princess Sleeping Beauty is The One. But his best man has some villain issues, his in-laws-to-be belong in a really special castle, and a smoking-hot lady biker named Lollie Bliss has him rethinking all this happily-ever-after stuff. 

Oh, and he may have accidentally put out a hit on his blushing bride. Oopsie.

The title alone was enough to perk my interest. I mean, come on it's clever! By the first chapter you know what you've just committed to reading. A classic fairytale with an adult twist, laced with dirty humor and slap stick comedy. It's absolutely over the top and meant to be. Classic tales get revamped all the time but Froggy Style takes a unique twist and makes no apologies with it's explosion of humors dialog. 

I love a good laugh that's done well and pushes the boundaries at times. You get all of that here. Add to that an arrogant Frog Prince and his witty man servant and you're sure to be entertained. I had a strong vibe of the film The Hangover with this one. 

A few plot holes that didn't add up with side characters and while I love a good twist, I wanted something a little less predictable. Add to that a wild goose chase that goes round and round and ends up landing right back where it started, left me a tad underwhelmed. 

Overall, if you're looking for a comedy paced to a classic tale and filled with enough fairy godmother antics to shake a broomstick at, then look no further. 


Getting 3 and 1/2 Sheep 
KD 



***GIVEAWAY***

Kensington Books is offering one paperback copy of Cursed to a luck commenter. This contest is for US/Canada only. To enter, please leave the following in the comments below. 

1. Your Email Address
2. Do you follow us? If so add double entries
3. What would your prince or princess charming have to do to win you over? 

Contest ends May 3rd. Good luck! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pros and Cons of Owning a Water Dragon- guest post M. R. Merrick + giveaway

Today we have M. R. Merrick, Canadian YA fantasy author of The Protector series. The 4th and last book in this series, Endure releases June 5th so now is the time to catch up and to make it even easier the first book Exiled is free right now for the kindle. 

Ever thought owning a water dragon would be a dream come true? You might want to read what M.R. has to say about his experiences before you buy especially if you love your cereal...

Pros and Cons of Owning a Water Dragon 

“When given the opportunity to do something incredible, you must. You must reach out and grab that chance before it escapes you forever. Otherwise, you could miss out on a grand adventure that will change your life.”

You know who says things like that? People trying to sell you something. And it works. At least it did for me. But I can’t blame everything on those words. Given the chance to own a dragon of any kind, let alone a water dragon, is an offer you don’t pass on. Especially for a hundred bucks!

Things were great in the beginning. She was sweet, charming, and loved to snuggle. We took walks, watched scary movies, and played catch. We were always together. She took care of herself then. Her blue and red scales used to sparkle and her fiery red eyes lit up every time I walked in the door. Back then, she really made an effort to clean up after herself too. After just six months though, the magic had already vanished. The honeymoon was over. She took over my bed, my bathtub, my couch, and worst of all, my cereal cupboard.

I can deal with water all over the floor, and to be honest, if a six-month-old, hundred and sixty pound water dragon doesn’t want to pounce me when I first come home from work, I’m okay with that. But when I buy eight boxes of Fruity Pebbles on Sunday, and their gone when I get home from work on Monday, that’s where I draw the line.

I thought I’d be living in a fantasy world. I had a gorgeous baby dragon that would one day grow up into a magnificent beast that could take me on adventures around the world. I would be a dragon rider! Maybe I could even quit my day job. Surely we could make enough money offering photo opportunities or short flights to spend our days together. Life would be amazing!

That fantasy was quickly destroyed not only by her devouring efforts of my cereal, but her sheer laziness. She sits on the couch all day long, in MY spot. There’s now a permanent scaly dent in the cushion. Even if I do get my spot, the enjoyment has been stolen. The cushion is flat, and white fluff shoots from the side each time I try to sit down. She uses my toothbrush on a regular basis. She has absolutely no respect for personal space, or hygiene products. She doesn’t flush after she goes to the bathroom, and at only five feet long, manages to take up an entire king size bed.

I was under the impression that owning a water dragon would be an adventure, not a chore. She’s worse than a child. She talks back to me when she’s angry, she slams the doors, reads my journal when I’m at work, and just last week I told her she had to start sleeping in a different room. I’d gone an entire week with only three hours sleep because of her tossing and turning. Her response was to pee on my bed. If you’ve never seen the result of a water dragon who has released their bladder, think what it’s like to be inside a wave pool.

And now, even if I wanted to, I can’t take her back. The old man that laughed as I carried the cage from the store is gone. There’s a fitness and vitamin store there now, and they look at me like I’m crazy whenever I ask about the previous tenant. Maybe I could sell her, I thought. Nope. Apparently water dragons have the ability to make themselves invisible. Any potential buyers just end up at my house thinking I’m an unstable slob luring them to their doom. It’s resulted in two restraining orders and a written police warning.

*sigh*

I have to admit, the entire time I’ve had her hasn’t been all bad though. I once had a pair of burglars try to break into my house and when my act of defense failed, she ate them. My neighbor, regardless of my complaints, used to park his car in front of my house and block my driveway. I almost lost my job for constantly being late. Dragon finally got upset enough for the both of us and tore the tires off his car. She didn’t like the idea of me not being able to buy her Fruity Pebbles anymore. And when she’s not being horrendous, she still manages to be cute…on occasion. Just last night, she had a nightmare and crawled into my bed. It was the first time in months I let her sleep with me in bed and she didn’t swat me out with her tail. We even endured the night without her claws tearing into my new mattress. And she does have that cute smile when she knows she’s made a mistake…

Now that I think about it. Maybe this is just a phase. She’ll grow out of all this destruction eventually. She just needs more attention, and I need to spend more time showing her things. I have some money and vacation time saved up, maybe what she needs is to get away. The two of us could go somewhere nice together. This is just a phase and the best is yet to come, I know it. I don’t want to miss out on some kind of grand adventure. Every day with her is a new adventure all by itself. After all, it’s not every day you get the chance to own a dragon, let alone a water dragon!




Protector Book 1: Exiled
currently free for kindle!
Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase’s birthday, the bloodline stopped.

Exiled without the Circle’s protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle’s agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world. Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can’t do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna – a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. In their attempt to stop them, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle’s plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other’s life depending on it.




Devastated by a terrible loss, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else—a monster threatening to tear her apart.

As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.


After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.

Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father. Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.

Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made – especially regarding Rayna.

One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past – sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight
.

Protector Book 4: Endure
Cover and Synopsis coming May 1st 2013
Available for purchase via all online retailers June 5th 2013


About the Author: 
website-fb-twitter-blog
M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, a Young Adult mash-up between Urban and Epic Fantasy. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he's usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.



Giveaway
an ecopy of The Protector Book 3: Release to one winner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Movie Review: Iron Man 3 (spoiler free)

Iron Man 3 (PG-13)
Directed by: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce
Running time: 130 min

When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, Stark starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.



It doesn’t get more anticipated than this, does it? Iron Man 3, the dawn of Avengers: Phase II and the first Marvel standalone after the world conquering Avengers (Assemble).

But does it hold up? Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce and Black himself. The two gentlemen appeared on stage at the press screening we attended in London last week (yes, it nearly put us crazy not being able to tell everyone what it was like!) and both were very worried about how we would like the film. They needn’t have worried.

Iron Man 3 is a very fast-moving film with arguably some of the most spectacular visual effects seen in any of the Marvel-verse movies so far.

It’s difficult to review without giving much away – but since it’s so important to many people we’ll keep plot details to a minimum, a more indepth, spoilerific review will be here on Thursday .

As in the previous Iron Man movies, the performances are top notch, with Downey jnr owning every scene and the inclusion of new villains Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian and a phenomenal – and surprisingly funny – Ben Kingsley as The Mandarine proving a master stroke, both tackling Stark in different ways. After all, this man saved the world in The Avengers movie, so we needed to get to the core of the man, not the hero. And Black does so with aplomb, creating a vulnerable but cocky hero who is lost at sea after the events from the aforementioned Avengers.

Black and Pearce’s script tackles more than just moneyshots, even if it uses the comics’ Extremis plot loosely. Black, the man behind the Lethal Weapon success and such awesome outings as Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang is the film’s strength, bringing home the man, the struggle, the hero, the trauma and the fun. Yes, don’t let the trailers let you think otherwise, this movie is dark in parts but so very funny – and fun – in others.

Black’s direction is pitch perfect too, with the action scenes handled with a defter touch than Favreau displayed in Iron Man 2, giving us what is arguably, outside of Avengers itself, the best Iron Man yet. Oh, and a special mention too to Gywneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts who is the perfect foil to Stark’s man on the edge.

I want to really get into the plot, but will leave it for you to enjoy but let me sum it up like this: top notch performances, a story that hits hard but is laced with fun, solid performances and a subtle use of 3D – If you see it in this format – all come together to what is an impressive kick-off for summer 2013. It’s going to be a hot time on the old cineplex this year…

It gets the highest recommendation from this reviewer… just go see it.

5 Sheep








Sheep Movie Review: TAI CHI HERO

TAI CHI HERO
DirectorStephen Fung
Starring: Jayden Yuan, Angelababy, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Eddie Peng and Daniel Wu

Producer: Zhang Dajun, Stephen Fung, Daniel Wu
Well Go USA Entertainment
Genre: Action & Adventure
Sub Genre: Martial Arts
Run Time: 100 min.
Theatrical Date: Apr 26, 2013
Original Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: English


Limited release:
AMC Metreon in San Francisco
AMC Cupertino in Cupertino


Lu Chan (Jayden Yuan) is still trying to find his place in Chen Village, the legendary town where everyone is a martial arts master…and Chen-style Tai Chi is forbidden to outsiders. But since he helped save the town from a frightening steam-powered machine, Yuniang (Angelababy), beautiful daughter of Grandmaster Chen (Tony Leung Ka-Fai), agrees to marry Lu Chan and bring him into the family. It’s only a formality, though – she is the teacher, and he is the student – and that suits Lu Chan just fine, as the mutant horn on his head gives him incredible kung-fu power, but leaves him dumber each time, and closer to death.

Chen Village still stands in the shadow of danger. A prodigal brother returns, Lu Chan’s presence invokes a curse on the town, and Yuniang’s scorned fiancĂ©e has an appetite for revenge, as well as some new partners in crime.
 


"TAI CHI HERO is a full-on, steampunk-infused, video game-influenced kung fu throwdown that will knock you out of your seat."


What they said! This movie is worth checking out. You don't have to be a fan of the genre to enjoy this. Every thing from the costumes to the music to the cinematography is exciting and well done and it manages to be campy without crossing into the cheesy martial art movie stereotypes. 


This is actually part 2 of a trilogy and picks up right after the end of the first, Tai Chi Zero. I haven't seen the first movie, but I plan too. The movies are a Chinese steampunk based on Yang Luchan, the man who founded Tai Chi in the 19th century and has become the most popular Tai Chi style in the world. They have taken some liberties with the story and the martial art abilities, but gravity defying martial art is part of the fun.


Beside being a visually captivating movie there is an eclectic selection of music used. Everything thing from the Nutcracker Suite to heavy metal. The steampunk element comes from the invasion of British soldiers and The West Indies Company that wants to bring their steam powered weapons and railroads to China. The director does a great job of bring a steam punk aspect to this movie. It never felt out of place or over done. The use of slow motion and fast motion and camera angles added a lot to the tone and action.

There isn't much violence because Yang Luchan is known for fighting without hurting his opponents. I would say the movie is borderline PG-13. The only issue I have with the film is the subtitles. You have to be a speed reader! They move at a fast pace and sometimes you have to choose between reading and watching, but you adjust to it and I was able to figure out what was going on

If you get a chance to see this or rent it, do! Check out the trailer below. This is a case where the movie does live up to the trailer.

5 "finding Yin and Yang" sheep







Sharon Stogner (edit by Kalpar)

About the Director
A Hong Kong native, Stephen Fung Tak-Lun made his acting debut in FORBIDEN NIGHTS, playing the childhood version of the male lead. By 1998, Stephen was voted by the Hong Kong press as "Upcoming Actor of the Year." In 2004, Stephen wrote, directed, and starred in his feature film directorial debut ENTER THE PHEONIX for Jackie Chan's company JCE Movies. His second directing feature HOUSE OF FURY was the opening film for the Hong Kong International Film Festival 2005, official selection for the 18TH Tokyo International Film Festival, and at home, the highest grossing Hong Kong film for the first half of 2005. Besides continuing with his acting career, Stephen directed JUMP for Sony Columbia Pictures Asia, which was written and produced by Stephen Chow.




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Character Confession: Kate O'Hara by Cathy Yardley + Giveaway!



Kate O’Hara, TEMPING IS HELL 

(Kate O’Hara shows 
up in a rush, hair in a pony tail with curls springing like crazy and her smudged glasses askew.) 

Oh, hey, hi! Am I late? Sorry. Swear to God, I could get lost in a telephone booth.

I’m here today to talk about my author, Cathy Yardley. She tried to offer me twenty bucks and the chance to “take it easy on me” in the third act of book two if I behaved myself, but I said to myself, “Self, what other chance am I going to have to humiliate my author?”

So I decided I’d talk about my all time favorite story about her. Specifically, why she doesn't carry a purse.

(Cathy starts waving her arms and shaking her head wildly. Kate pointedly ignores her.)

See, she was going off to college at the University of California, Berkeley. That’s just north of Oakland. And a lot of the people in the small town she grew up in warned her that there was tons of crime, and that she’d probably get robbed. There’s a ton of people at the school – they’d probably just pickpocket straight out of the large purse she always carried.

No, no, she assured them. She’d be careful. She’d be vigilant. But there was no way she was abandoning the purse.

“Wear it crosswise over your shoulder,” the cautioned. “Always make sure it’s shut if you’re not using it!”

“I promise,” she responded.

So one day, she’s in a huge class… hundreds of students. They’re being dismissed. She puts her purse over her shoulder crosswise, gets up, and promptly gets crushed in the mob of students trying to escape.

Her bag’s caught behind her, and she realizes she hasn't checked to make sure it was zipped shut. So she blindly reaches back and feels for the zipper.

Only to realize that her purse feels… sort of funny.

Frowning, she looks over her shoulder…

… and discovers that she hasn't checked the zipper on her purse.

She’s checked the zipper on the pants of the man standing behind her!

Ever since, she has never, ever carried a purse! True story!

(Cathy buries her head in her hands.)

Well, to the guy’s credit, he was definitely carrying more than a change purse and a pencil. Or so I’m told.

(Cathy glares over her hands.)

I’m really going to catch hell in the second book, aren't I?

(Cathy nods slowly.)

Oh. Crap. (Grins.) Well, it was worth it. 



Temping Is Hell (Necessary Evil #1)

WORST. JOB. EVER. 
Kate O'Hara can't wait until this temp assignment is over. The woman who hired her is a psychotic pageant queen, her coworkers are convicts-turned-clerks, and it's so boringly corporate it makes her skin crawl. Even her sexy-as-sin boss, famed billionaire Thomas Kestrel, isn't enticement enough to keep her there. Once she makes enough to pay off her bills, she's out. Or so she thinks...

WHAT THE HELL?
Next thing she knows, she's accidentally signed over her soul. Literally. And she's discovered Thomas's real mission: to kill thirteen bad guys in one year, in order to get his—now his and Kate’s—souls back.

IT'S NOT JUST A JOB. IT'S A MISADVENTURE. 
From learning to boost the morale of some paper-pushing demons to navigating her way through blood-red tape, Kate has to work closely with her super-hot supervisor and get her flaky act together, before somebody clocks her out—permanently!




About the Author:
After years in the corporate world, Cathy Yardley managed to tunnel her way out of her cubicle with a spoon she'd stolen from the break room. She now writes urban fantasy and romance, and celebrates her freedom from the cube farm in an undisclosed location somewhere near Seattle, WA. You can read an excerpt from her latest novel, TEMPING IS HELL, on her website.



***GIVEAWAY***
e-copy of Tempting Is Hell
1.leave a way to contact you in the comments
2. what is the worst job you ever had? (if you haven't had a bad one tell us the best job you had.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: The Dark Tower Companion: A Guide to Stephen King's Epic Fantasy (ARC) by Bev Vincent

The Dark Tower Companion: A Guide to Stephen King's Epic Fantasy (ARC)
by Bev Vincent 
Paperback, 512 pages 
Expected publication: April 2nd 2013

NAL Trade 

AN ALL-NEW COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANTLY CONSTRUCTED WORLDS IN ALL OF FICTION

Stephen King’s bestselling multi-volume Dark Tower series is the author’s most inspired and imaginative creation. The story of Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last gunslinger, and his lifelong quest to reach the tower and save humanity across infinite parallel worlds is one that has consumed King throughout his career as characters and concepts crossed back and forth between the series and the rest of his fictional universe. The mythos continues to be chronicled and expanded in graphic novels overseen by King, interactive adventures on his website, a proposed film adaptation, and in a new Dark Tower novel.

The Dark Tower Companion is the ultimate compendium to King’s evolving magnum opus, presenting the mythology, history, and geography of this epic fantasy that has captivated generations of readers. Featuring interviews with Stephen King, Ron Howard, Dark Tower expert Robin Furth and others, Bev Vincent reveals The Dark Tower’s influential literary origins, examines its connections to the vast majority of King’s other novels, explores the expanded universe, catalogs the major characters, locations and concepts, and includes a travel guide to the story’s real-world locations, giving fans who have followed Roland’s journey—or those who are discovering it for the first time—a fascinating overview of the series and an inside look at the creative process of one of the world’s most popular authors.



The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.- Stephen King

The Dark Tower, comic, Roland

I love the Dark Tower series so you can guess how this review is going to go <G>. I was one of the many readers who waited patiently for each book to come out, wondering if and when it would. It was excruciating! I’ll admit The Dark Tower series isn't for everyone. It is epic in ways non-Stephen King fans can never truly appreciate, but I think this companion guide will give you some idea of the why and how.
The Dark Tower, Stephen King, covers

Longtime fans and the passingly curious can enjoy this book. It has been a long time since I finished the series and this companion was just the thing I needed to bring it all back and remind me of why I loved it so much. I am not one for rereading anything so it was fun to discover things I missed when I read the series and getting insight into Stephen King’s reasons for writing the series the way he did. If you have just read the first couple of books in the series then this companion will help refresh your memory, cause if you have read some of the books then you know how complex and crazy the Dark Tower world can be. If you haven’t read any of the books then here is a chance to learn a little about the process of writing an epic fantasy that spans over thirty years of an author’s life!

Kudos to Bev Vincent for how he organized the companion and the information he included, especially the information about the status of a movie/TV adaptation. There is also information about the graphic novel series based on the novels and how it came to be. One of the reasons I love this story so much is I felt transported to Mid-World with Roland and his ka-tet every time I opened the book and it stuck with me even after closing it. Stephen King even created a whole new language for his world! Here is a glossary http://www.stephenking.com/darktower/glossary.html because it is just that awesome <G>

Bev Vincent, I bow down to your Dark Tower knowledge and Thankee-sai for putting this together. Long days and pleasant nights…

“I do not kill with my gun;
He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father.
I kill with my heart.” - Roland


"First comes smiles, then comes lies. Last is gunfire." - Roland


5 "Gun-slinging" Sheep




Sharon Stogner (edit by Kalpar)

Bev Vincent, author, photo, Dark Tower
About the Author:
Bev Vincent has been a contributing editor with Cemetery Dance magazine since 2001, writing the News from the Dead Zone column that appears in every issue. He is also the author of The Road to the Dark Tower, the Bram Stoker Award nominated com­panion to Stephen King's Dark Tower series, and The Stephen King Illustrated Companion. 

His short fiction has appeared in places like Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, From the Borderlands and The Blue Religion. He is a contributing editor with Cemetery Dance magazine and a member of the Storytellers Unplugged blogging community. He also writes book reviews for Onyx Reviews. 

He lives in Texas with his wife.

Pre order!