Monday, October 28, 2013

Leon's Lair Blog Tour ~ Guest Post & Giveaway

A guest post by Lee and Gary Jordan of the author team PHOENIX

When writing our paranormal thriller, Leon's Lair, I did some research on witches because we have a main good guy, Wolfgang Ulrich, who is a what? ... A Wizard? Sorcerer? Magician? Mage? Warlock. Witch?
It seems all of these appellations are fine if your witch has good intentions ... with the exception of the term warlock.
Most people think a warlock is simply the male equivalent of a witch. I was assured in some of my research that witch applied to both male or female. However, it bothered me to call Wolf a witch. It seemed female to me, so I started out calling him a warlock and found that was a big mistake.
The way I found out was when I was posting fun stuff on our Facebook Author Page having to do with facts about vampires, witches and warlocks. I was severely reprimanded by one visitor. It seems calling our male witch a warlock was a big no-no. People in the Wiccan religion object to that term.
So I started looking into it. What I found was there are many people who claim to be witches. I mean, there is even a school on the Internet – Witch School International – for the education and training needed to become an accomplished mage.
I also found that people, who really know their stuff tell you that warlocks, as a Christian legend, were dark or villainous, consorts of the devil and flew on pitchforks rather than on brooms. Some say that in Old English a warlock meant an oath breaker, which was a major offense when someone lived in a time where a man's word might be all you had to judge him. Warlocks in this sense were liars who could not be trusted, and they were often exiled or reviled by those who knew of their deeds.
In modern Wiccan groups, the word warlock is often used to refer to someone who has broken vows, or who is a practitioner of dark magic. It's a very insulting and derogatory term in these circles and shouldn't be used lightly.
Even in modern fiction the idea of a warlock remains dark and mystical. In games like World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons, the warlock tends to be dark if not outright evil and diabolical, with power gained from infernal sources, of or relating to hell.
The difference between a warlock and a wizard varies, depending on who you talk to, and in both cases, the terms refer to a practitioner of magic. Some people use the terms “wizard” and “warlock” interchangeably, along with terms like sorcerer and mage, while others use these terms in very specific ways. In the Wiccan community in particular, the word “warlock” has a very specific and offensive meaning.
“Warlock” is an older word than “wizard,” coming from the Old English waerloga, which means “oath breaker,” while wizard comes from the Middle English word for “wise.” The etymologies of the words illustrate the different ways in which people sometimes view them.
Wizards are generally viewed as good people with strong moral codes who also offer wise advice and assistance, and many fantasy stories feature a kindly wizard who helps the characters achieve their goals – like Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings.
And who does not love Gandalf?

Now Leon in Leon's Lair, on the other hand, is bad to the bone. He is not a warlock but a vampire. If you would like to meet him, and our wizard, Wolfgang Ulrich, a leader with the secret society called The Association for Paranormal Creatures, and find out what he and his associates propose to do about Leon, pick up a copy of Leon's Lair


What would you do if your vacation cruise ship was being attacked and you were certain you would to be killed?
Would you fight? Would you hide? Would you try to escape?
This international thriller/contemporary fantasy is a nail-biting ride that is grisly but somewhat tongue-in-cheek, a brutal tale of horror and the occult that doesn't take itself too seriously. It includes romance, continental adventure, action, suspense, and dozens of vivid characters from around the world.
The adventure starts with The Jakarta, an elegant cruise ship sailing the exotic seas in Indonesia with a passenger list of ninety, unsuspecting people. Jane and her best friend, Remy, are just getting know the rest of the small group of young twenty-something’s when the ship is attacked by pirates. However, Leon and his band are not your usual pirates - they want something else.
Jane and two male companions escape the horror, fleeing in a lifeboat. In their flight to escape Leon and his men, they become lost at sea for weeks, are out of water, and have nearly lost hope of ever finding rescue when they finally catch sight of land, a dangerous rain-forested island that seems deserted. However, their fight for survival has only just begun.
They are not alone.
Fate is cruel.

They thought they had escaped, only to find they are caught in Leon's Lair.


Now for the giveaway! Up for grabs:


One $50 Amazon Gift Certificate

One Healing Spa Bath And Body Products Therapy Gift Basket by Furniture Creations 
Open this wicker treasure chest to discover a wealth of spa delights! Spoil yourself with soothing skin-care enriched with the goodness of olive oil, avocado and lemon.

One California Delicious Starbucks Sampler Coffee Gift Basket
by California Delicious Slow down for a cup of soul-soothing Starbucks coffee: breakfast blend, house blend, caffe Verona or Sumatra, complimented with a sweet bite of biscotti.

One T-Shirt with "Vampires Need Love, Too," your choice of size and color

Five copies of Leon's Lair 6 x 9 paperback - autographed specially to you.

Four Leon's Lair Coffee Cup with the book cover on it and it says "Vampires Need Love, Too."

Twenty Two Leon's Lair Special Bookmarks

Enter using the Rafflecopter below:
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LEON'S LAIR is available in Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tell Me When I'm Dead Review & Giveaway! (Ends Oct. 31st)

Lucky to have made it to his early twenties, Dave Pulaski wandered through life lost and drunk with his best friend Jim.

Then came Holly. She made it her mission to clean him up. And he finally did it. Two years sober, Dave has plans for a family, a steady job and college.

One night Jim disappears, leaving a grisly trail of animal carcasses and murdered bodies. Now Missy, the woman Dave cheated with, threatens to destroy not only his marriage but his sobriety. Between Missy’s jealous demands for attention and the police investigation focused on Jim’s disappearance, Dave’s neatly ordered world quickly spirals out of control.
Amid the wreckage of Dave’s personal life, a contagion brings chaos to his hometown of Tres Marias. The condition, known as “the jimmies,” infects hundreds and kills quickly. But the dead find no rest. They rise as ravenous flesh-eaters.
Dave soon learns that “not all draggers want to eat your flesh, some want revenge.” And Jim and Missy, both infected, each want something from Dave.
The quarantine of Tres Marias creates hell on Earth. Badly outnumbered security forces are no match for the growing hordes of undead.
Follow Dave, Holly and a small band of heavily armed soldiers and civilians as they fight to survive looters, paramilitary nut jobs and the zombie apocalypse.
If the zombies don’t kill them, the wackos surely will. Nowhere is safe.

My Review:

Tell Me When I’m Dead is a good start to what looks to be an interesting series.  There were a few things I didn’t like, but the positive definitely outweighed the negative.

First let’s talk about what I did like. 
The story is told through the main character, Dave’s, eyes.  I don’t know if I can really say I liked Dave, ‘cause honestly there was a lot of stuff about him that I didn’t like, at least at the beginning. He cheats on his wife, he lies, and he just seems to get really whiney…  But maybe it was his imperfections that made him more interesting? Gave him more of a chance to grow? By the end of the book he is a better person all around.  But it was interesting to see the zombie apocalypse through the eyes of someone who isn’t the perfect hero, has no clue what he’s really doing, and who sometimes you wish he would get eaten.
Also I really liked the story itself.  It starts off before the zombie apocalypse actually begins.  Plus while it does happen quickly, it doesn’t happen as suddenly as in some other zombie books.  Infected are actually wandering the streets alongside non-infected.  There is even a scene where there are some kids tormenting a zombie before they turn completely.  You really get to see how something can take hold because people aren’t paying that much attention.
What I didn’t like. 
There were two main things that bothered me.
The lesser of the two was the ending. It’s one of those ‘to be continued’ endings.  I mean it does set it up perfectly for the next book, but still it’s a cliffie.
The second is my bigger issue.  The majority of the book is well detailed, then near the end there is a section that just seems to get really vague then it snaps back for the final chapters.  It just seemed completely different than the rest of the novel. 

Overall I really liked the book. Yeah there were a few things that bothered me a bit, but it was a solid read.  As I said I think it is a good start to what looks to be promising series.  Want a chance to see what you think of Tell Me When I’m Dead? Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Winner will get an e-copy of Tell Me When I’m Dead.  Contest is open internationally and in celebration of Halloween will run to the end of the month! Must be 18 or over to enter.

Can't wait that long? Click the link under the cover pic above and pick up your own copy sooner!

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Manga/Graphic Novel/Video Game Novel 2013 Review

So this year since I said that I would try to get to Level 3 of the Challenge That means I need to have at least 25 books read before the end of the year. That's at least 2 books a month. (and one extra one in at least one of those 12 months)   As a change from last year I'm gonna be putting the reviews up here as I get them done and then linking them in the monthly round-up at Mother/Gamer/Writer.  I also plan to try to remember my update my Challenge page at the end of the month. Want to see what the other people in the challenge are reading this month? Click here!

Average student Moritaka Mashiro enjoys drawing for fun. When his classmate and aspiring writer Akito Takagi discovers his talent, he begs Moritaka to team up with him as a manga-creating duo. But what exactly does it take to make it in the manga-publishing world?

My Review:

I usually don’t read manga that doesn’t have some sort of supernatural or magical twist to it, so Bakuman was definitely a change of pace for me.  It is done by the creators of Death Note so I figured I would give it a try. It was actually kinda neat.

Let’s start with the art work.  I really liked all the different characters. They were really well drawn. Also the backgrounds were very well detailed.  I also enjoyed the little storyboards that separated the chapters.  After reading about how the boys plan on setting up their book, seeing the actual storyboards for the book was neat.

The story itself was actually really interesting.  Both in how it gave a look into how a manga is created and into Japanese culture.  I didn’t know if I would enjoy it at first, but there were a lot of cute and funny parts.  I’m not sure if some of the parts I found funny were supposed to be or not, because of the cultural differences, but I didn’t get bored with the book so that is good. 
If you haven’t read a non-paranormal manga may I suggest Bakuman?  It’s well drawn and fun to read.  It has fun characters and I didn’t even miss that there wasn’t a magical fairy or fireball in sight.