Category Archives: Fantasy

The Queen’s Poisoner Excerpt and Giveaway!

Excerpt of The Queen’s Poisoner: Chapter 17

A sound whispered from the corridor behind him. It was a footfall. Not the sound of a boot in the corridor beyond the wall. The sound of someone approaching within the tunnel. It was coming from behind him.

The queasiness blossomed inside Owen and a cold sweat started on his brow. Going back was no longer an option. The tunnel was narrow and there was no place to hide, so Owen hurried forward, hoping to find an escape into the main palace corridor. It would be infinitely better to be punished for wandering the hall at night than to be caught in the Espion corridor. His little heart started to hammer wildly in his chest and the blackness in front of him became even darker somehow.

He heard the footfalls again, coming closer.

The boy was starting to panic. Ankarette had warned him this could happen. She had told him it was dangerous to wander the tunnels alone and that he needed to be very cautious and always listen for sounds that were out of place. Such as the footfalls behind him.

The narrow pinch of the corridor suddenly filled in ahead of Owen, the walls closing like an arrowhead. It ended abruptly and finally. It was a dead-end.

Excerpted from THE QUEEN’S POISONER © Copyright 2016 by Jeff Wheeler. Reprinted with permission by 47North. All rights reserved.

About the Book:
King Severn Argentine’s fearsome reputation precedes him: usurper of the throne, killer of rightful heirs, ruthless punisher of traitors. Attempting to depose him, the Duke of Kiskaddon gambles…and loses. Now the duke must atone by handing over his young son, Owen, as the king’s hostage. And should his loyalty falter again, the boy will pay with his life.
Seeking allies and eluding Severn’s spies, Owen learns to survive in the court of Kingfountain. But when new evidence of his father’s betrayal threatens to seal his fate, Owen must win the vengeful king’s favor by proving his worth—through extraordinary means. And only one person can aid his desperate cause: a mysterious woman, dwelling in secrecy, who truly wields power over life, death, and destiny.

Jeff Wheeler-Photo-KimBillsAbout the Author:
Jeff Wheeler took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to become a full-time author. He is, most importantly, a husband and father, and a devout member of his church. He is occasionally spotted roaming among the oak trees and granite boulders in the hills of California or in any number of the state’s majestic redwood groves. He is the author of The Covenant of Muirwood Trilogy, The Legends of Muirwood Trilogy, the Whispers from Mirrowen Trilogy, and the Landmoor Series.


Courtesy of 47North, I have a copy of The Queen’s Poisoner by Jeff Wheeler for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 20. I’ll draw a name on May 21, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading The Queen’s Poisoner Excerpt and Giveaway!

Box Review: Marvel Collector Corps – April 2016 – Civil War

Marvel Collector Corps

This is the 7th box from Collector Corps and the theme was Captain America: Civil War! The Marvel Collector Corps offers these boxes starting at $25 plus s/h.

Marvel Collector Corps

Each box comes with an exclusive badge and pin.

Marvel Collector Corps

This month is the first that a nice card has been included detailing the contents of the box!

Civil War Lanyard (Retail $2-3?) – As stated on the card, this is a great way to showcase all the pins we’ve been collecting!

Marvel Collector Corps

Civil War Tshirt (Retail $10?) – I’m not a big fan of the Pop tshirt designs, but I do think I’ll be wearing this one.

Marvel Collector Corps

EXCLUSIVE Unmasked Iron Man Dorbz (Retail $10+) – I don’t buy Dorbz, but have collected several so far just from Funko boxes. And this is one of my favorites so far.

Marvel Collector Corps

Black Panther #1 Variant (Retail $4.99) – I’m excited to read this one!

Marvel Collector Corps
Marvel Collector Corps

EXCLUSIVE Captain America / Iron Man 2 Pack (Retail $35+) – An exclusive 2-pack! My day was made! I love the unique design of Iron Man, even though he has to use a stand. Captain America has his head at a 90 degree turn from his body.

For a comparison, I put Cap beside my new GameStop exclusive Captain America. He’s drastically turned to the side, so it’s awkward positioning for display on my shelf. I think I prefer the kneeling GameStop exclusive. But I’m still happy to have another Cap exclusive and a unique mold!

Marvel Collector Corps

Summary: This month was one of my favorites. 2 exclusive (new mold) POP!s AND a Dorbz AND a fun shirt design. The box itself was extra large, so I doubt they’ll do this very often. But it was a fantastic box for their 1 year anniversary!

Box Review: BAM! Box – April 2016

Bam Box - April 2016

The Bam Box was founded in 2015 by Bloof, the same team of geeks, comic book lovers and pop culture collectors that started ComiconAuction.com. We love collecting. We love the thrill of it, the mystery of it and especially that feeling you get when you have a collectible in your hands that you are really excited about. So we set out to bring something different to everyone.

There are some great subscription boxes on the market, but we felt there was still something missing. We went to the drawing board with the goal of creating the box we would want to show up on our doorstep. After a lot of ideas and prototypes we arrived at the Bam Box. From the design of the box to the items inside to the instant winners we send out, we accomplished what we wanted to do: give you the subscription box we would be jealous of.

Cost: 1 month plan starts at $24.99 plus $7.99 s/h

SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

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The box comes with a half sheet, full-color information on what’s in the box.
This month’s theme was RIP!

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Gwen Stacy Prop Replica ID Card (Retail $2-3?) – For the few people who actually liked the Amazing Spider-Man 2? Still, it’s a nice replica of the deceased character’s ID.

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Aril Lehman Signed Jason Mask (Retail $30-40?) – I’m not a horror fan at all, but this is a great item for the many who are! I was certainly impressed! And 150 subscribers received a gold variant and 150 received a silver variant.

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EXCLUSIVE “Live Long and Prosper” Leonard Nimoy Tribute Sign (Retail ?) – I was one of the lucky 200 who scored a gold sign variant! Everyone else received a silver sign. This was my favorite item in the box, so how perfect I got the 1-up version?!

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Biohazard Zombie Brass Knuckles (Retail $13.95) – These are solid, heavy knuckles. And the 1-up version for this was Zombucks mint coins.

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EXCLUSIVE Print of Heath Ledger’s Nurse Joker (Retail N/A) – Each of these are hand-signed and numbered by the artist, Chris Uminga! And I appreciate the Certificate of Authenticity that comes with the unique items.

Summary:
This box is an impressive new geek box with several exclusives. The hand-signed items alone are worth the cost of the box and are things you could only otherwise get at a comic book convention. The curation is unique and the items all fit in well with the theme. The value is great! And I love the idea of the 1-up items and how many there are!

I look forward May’s theme: “Abilities”

Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Invision

Excerpt of Invision:

He’d just gotten comfortable again when the door opened to admit a new student. Something that didn’t happen often in their small private, parochial school. And it wasn’t just because St. Richard’s was hard to get into due to its high academic standing. But rather from the fact that the school had been set up as a place for preters to learn how to mingle with humans and not let the stress throw them into their animal states.

While there were a handful of baretos, or “normal” humans who had no idea that they were attending school with shapeshifters, the majority of the student body here was either shapeshifters or the children of Squire families. Squires who had been in service to Dark-Hunter like Kyrian and Acheron for generations.

As such, the Squires usually sent their kids to private school together so that they could be watched by older Squires to ensure that no one messed with them. Especially since their enemies might want to take their kids hostage, or kill them to get back at their parents or the Dark-Hunters in retaliation for the centuries of protecting humans from their supernatural predators.

It also allowed the shapeshifter families a controlled environment for their children so that they could have playtime with humans where if they had an accident and shifted into their animal bodies, the humans wouldn’t flip out and call the authorities. As Squires or their children, they all knew about Were-Hunters, and they could help cover for them with the humans here who didn’t know about them.

Continue reading Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Invision

Box Review: BOOM!Box by Espionage Cosmetics

Boom Box - April

A Nerdy Make-up Box? Yes, please!

“Are you looking to level up and expand your nerd universe? Espionage Cosmetics presents a new, bi-monthly service that ventures to different realms collecting the finest of geek culture treasures for subscribers. We welcome you to the EC BOOM!Box!

Boom Box - April

“What’s in the BOOM!Box?!
There will be one BRAND NEW “Nailed It!” nail wrap design in each BOOM!box. Beyond that, everything else is a magical mystery! Scarves, beanies, makeup, jewelry, games, books, who knows! We’re here to expand your nerd universe one delivery at a time!”
Cost: 1 box shipped every 2 months/60 days is $30 (+tax and shipping) with other options available.

SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Boom Box - April

The shipment came with a handy card that detailed all of the contents with make-up application tips.

Boom Box - April

Valknjoggr Nail Wraps (Retail $10)- These dragon scale nail wraps are incredible. Fantasy fans will love these.

Mysctical Mane Nail Wraps (Retail $10) – Unicorns! These are fun and sparkly. My young nieces will get a kick out them, as they’re a bit too young for me. See close up pics of both of these wrap sets below.

Boom Box - April
Boom Box - April

Boom Box - April

Espionage Cosmetics Crest Sticker (Retail $3) – This is cute filler.

Banshee Lip Serum (Retail $9) – While the color looks really purple in the tube, this is actually a pretty mauve color. You can see in the little container above. Instructions said to mix it with Rumpelstiltskin to change the color a bit, but I didn’t add much.

Rumpelstiltskin Everything Shadow (Retail $7.50)- This is a shimmery gold color that will look good layered with some darker shadows.

Boom Box - April

Mermaiden Stationery 3-Pack (Retail $10)- These are pretty but won’t get used, as I never use stationery or mail notes. Sending a birthday card is as much as I use hard copy greetings. And I don’t know many who do. Do teenagers still write hand-written notes?

Boom Box - April

EXCLUSIVE Neverland Gilded Temporary Tattoos (Retail N/A, $5 each?) – My niece loves temporary tattoos and Tinkerbell, so she’ll LOVE these whimsical designs.

Unicorn Soap (Retail around $3) – I love this soap design. I doubt I’ll want to ruin it by using it! Plus the scent is Green Apple Explosion.

Nail File (Retail $.50)- A basic nail file, but I’m always needing these.

Boom Box - April

EXCLUSIVE Rosina Leckermaul’s “Candy Cleanse” Sugar Scrub (Retail N/A, $10?) – Wow! This looks and smells edible! This delicious-looking scrub smells amazing and is a great exfoliator.

Summary: Last year a friend got me a fun Espionage Cosmetics box with comic book nail wraps that I absolutely love. Ever since, I’ve been looking forward to this new monthly mystery box. And I was not disappointed. This make-up box is a must for geeky gals of all ages. It’s fun and whimsical and completely unlike any other make-up/beauty box out there. And the value is great.

Use this link to order your box.

Book Giveaway and Excerpt: Books of Ore


Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz are excited that their Second Book of Ore novel, Waybound, is now available from Disney-Hyperion! To celebrate, here is an excerpt from the first volume of the trilogy, The Foundry’s Edge. Take a look!

The day was worse than Phoebe had anticipated. Normally, she could endure Miss Castella’s annoying enthusiasm for punctuation, she could even stomach Mr. Pomeroy’s wretched frog-puke breath. But not today. Every class was like being trapped in a sauna. The renovations on the building were causing the air-cooling units to fail, which meant long stretches of sweltering muck interspersed with rare bursts of heavenly breeze.
They wheeled a bunch of brand new Flurrys into every classroom, but even the Foundry’s top-of-the line fans, chrome devices built to resemble spinning snowflakes, did little more than stir the air like a hot, boring soup.

As the end of the day oozed closer, Phoebe shuffled down one of the gleaming remodeled hallways toward Mrs. V ondell’s dreaded history class. She saw a boisterous group of girls and locked her eyes on the ground. Two or more geese were called a gaggle, she knew, but what was the term for two or more shallow, stuck-up, catty know-it-alls? A squall? A shriek?

Yeah, that sounded about right.

She wove through the crowd and snuck past the shriek of snots, hoping to go unnoticed. No such luck.

“Seriously, that can’t be for real.”

“I would just shave my head if I were her.”

“Was it cut by a drunk?”

“More like a blind man.”

This last dig came from Candice, and it stung the worst.

Back when they were kids, Phoebe and Candice had been inseparable. But when Phoebe needed her best friend most of all, Candice had abandoned her as if she thought tragedy was contagious or something.

Phoebe’s breath felt fiery in her nostrils, and her face tingled with humiliation and outrage. She raked a hand through her butchered hair and fussed with its ragged, uneven edge.

She strode into Mrs. Vondell’s classroom and flopped into her chair by the window, more irritated than ever that she had to sit directly behind Candice. As the waddling hippo that was Mrs. Vondell began her history lesson, Phoebe envisioned all the terrible accidents that might befall her ex–best friend.

Perhaps the workers would hit a weak spot in the roof, and the ceiling would collapse on her. Or maybe Candice’s necklace would get caught in the blades of a Flurry. But between the sweaty classroom and Mrs. Vondell’s monotonous voice dripping in her ear like a drug, Phoebe’s mind drifted.

“That’s correct. By 1646, the Alloy War had been going for sixteen years, claiming over thirty million lives,” Mrs. Vondell droned, her multiple chins wagging to and fro. “And on October twelfth of that year, Meridian brought about a cease-fire by introducing . . . the what?”

Nobody raised a hand, but Mrs. Vondell carried on as if she hadn’t noticed the class’s profound disinterest. She turned back to the enameled metal whiteboard, angling her ample rump to the class, and wrote the answer.

“The Ferro-nomic Treaty, which finally permitted international trade of Foundry goods. A free market emerged for the other nations of the world, who lacked our spirit of innovation.”

Phoebe’s eyelids were heavy. She knew Mrs. Vondell expected her students to regurgitate all this stuff word for word on the test, but the day was nearly at an end.

Candice’s muffled snort of laughter snapped Phoebe awake. She stared at the nauseating waves of perfect blond hair that that cascaded down Candice’s back. The girl tittered at some private joke and flung her locks with a showy toss of her head. A handful of her curls spilled across the frame of the open window.

And an immensely satisfying snipe sprang to her mind.

Continue reading Book Giveaway and Excerpt: Books of Ore