The Third Book of Ore: Blaze of Embers Excerpt and Giveaway!

Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz are pleased to share an excerpt from Blaze of Embers, the conclusion to their Books Of Ore series. On-sale today!

Margaret Tanner already wished she hadn’t come home.

When she got the news that Micah had run away, Margaret had requested a leave of absence. It had taken an entire week for her submission to be processed. Tensions had spiked after President Saltern’s condemnation of the Quorum at the Council of Nations, so it was an “inopportune time” for an officer of the Foundry’s special engineering corps to be off duty. Nevertheless, she had managed it, and after a high-speed Galejet flight from Vellaroux, Trelaine, to Albright City, Meridian, she was home.

Yet international strife was nothing compared to what was waiting for her at Plumm Estate.

“Not like that,” Deirdre Tanner snapped, snatching the ornamental zigzag silverware from her daughter to properly pack it for shipping. “Fold the table linens.”

Accustomed to taking orders without question, Margaret moved with military precision to the other end of the giant brass table in the dining room. She adjusted the cuffs of her starched gray-and-gold Foundry uniform, brushed a strand of copper-blond hair from her heart-shaped face, and set about the new task. In their correspondence, her mother had neglected to mention that Dr. Plumm had fired the Tanners, and that he and Phoebe had moved out without so much as a thanks. Foundry officials had packed up all of the Plumms’ necessities, mostly files and personal effects, and shipped them to their new, undisclosed residence, leaving the staff to take care of the rest. Of course, Mr. Macaroy, Mr. Kashiri, and most of the others had abandoned ship at the first sign of trouble, leaving all the remaining work to the Tanners—namely Margaret and her mother, since Randall was utterly useless. So they had been at it for hours, working away into the night. Margaret wouldn’t have said no to a quick bite to eat, especially because a Televiewer in the kitchen was blaring with revelry from President Saltern’s campaign rally, and she was curious to hear his address.

“No, no,” Deirdre said, slamming down the box of silverware and stomping over to Margaret. “The trim folds in. Like this.” She yanked the silversilk tablecloth away.

“Mother,” said Margaret.

Deirdre flattened the pleats of the tablecloth as if she were spanking a disobedient child. Margaret placed a firm hand on her shoulder.

“Mom?”

Strands of cobweb hair framed the gouges of grief in Deirdre’s face. Bruise-colored bags hung beneath her mudbrown eyes, which swam with tears.

“I just . . . What am I going to do, Margie? Where am I supposed to go?”

“It’ll be fine.”

“It won’t be,” Deirdre sniffled. “I’ll have to go back home to Oleander. Back to . . . him.”

Margaret stiffened at the mention of her drunken absentee father.

“You’re not going anywhere,” she stated. “We’ll figure it out. I’m here. We’re together now.”

“We’re not,” Deirdre whispered. “Not all of us.” Her round shoulders quaked. “My baby . . . My baby’s gone.”

Margaret handed her mother a silversilk napkin from the table. “Not the linens, Margie.” Margaret insisted, forcing the napkin into her hand. Her mother conceded and dabbed at her eyes.

“Go lie down, Mom. You need a break.”

Deirdre appeared eager for the opportunity, but she glanced with some concern at the mountains of valuables that still needed to be packed.

“I’ll take over here,” Margaret said, offering a soothing smile. “Don’t worry, you can redo everything I touch in the morning.”

Her mother smiled in return, a little embarrassed.

“I’m so glad you’re here,” Deirdre said, kissing Margaret on the cheek. She took one last uneasy look around the cavernous dining room of Plumm Estate before shuffling off to her quarters.

Margaret breathed a sigh of relief. She loved her mother and would do anything for her, but the atmosphere in a room always felt lighter when she left it. A sudden spray of wet coughing came from the kitchen. Concerned, Margaret put down her folding and walked over to see. Her brother, Randall, decked out in his Military Institute of Meridian uniform, sat hunched over the counter, sputtering. Tennyson the chauffeur chuckled as he pounded the teen’s back. Between them sat a brown bottle of liquor.

“Tenny’s bailin’,” Randall managed, wiping his mouth. “Just havin’ a little farewell drink, is all. Don’t tell Mom.”

Margaret huffed. “A chip off the ol’ block, aren’t ya?”

Randall narrowed his beady little eyes at her.

“Go see if she needs anything,” Margaret ordered, and her brother obliged, breezing past her. Tennyson followed, offering Margaret a sly wink as he slipped away.

A tumultuous ovation on the Televiewer grabbed her attention. On the screen, three Razorback fighter jets flew in formation, blazing a trail of golden fire above a gleeful crowd packed onto the bridge to Foundry Central. Newscam drones swept over the bay, looking for the perfect angle of the Crest of Dawn, the titanic sunburst that towered over Albright City. There, thousands of feet above the crowd, emerging onto a platform festooned with bunting and ribbons in patriotic red, white, and gold, was President Saltern with his beautiful wife and children. The leader of the free world had never looked more youthful or vibrant.

An orchestra started playing “Our Shining Hearts.” The crowd sang, voices ringing throughout the glorious metal city. This was a celebration for the ages. The nation’s beloved first family sang along with the people.

“Meridian cast off all her bonds, when Creighton Albright forged the bronze.”

The sky crackled with fireworks, a frenzy of dazzling lights reflecting off the gleaming skyscrapers.

“With ball of lead and sword of steel, we’ll crush our foes beneath our heel.”

The Salterns laughed, squinting against the spectacular light show.

“So praise the gold, the brass, and chrome, of Meridian, our mighty home!”

A Newscam drone held the President’s proud visage in an iconic beauty shot. But something was wrong. His eyes went wide. His mouth went slack. Fear paralyzed Margaret as she too understood. Fireworks were speeding toward his platform. Not fireworks. Missiles. An explosion—a blinding white supernova. The gutwrenching screams of an entire city in shock. A strike against the legendary Crest of Dawn.

Thus the war began.

Excerpted from BLAZE OF EMBERS © Copyright 2017 by Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Missed The Foundry’s Edge (The First Book Of Ore) or Waybound (The Second Book of Ore)? Found out more at http://www.booksofore.com.

About The Third Book Of Ore: Blaze of Embers:
Phoebe Plumm and Micah Tanner are no longer the spoiled heiress and naïve servant boy who first stumbled upon the fiercely beautiful world of living metal known as Mehk. They have rallied to aid the mehkans and risked their lives fighting the relentless greed of the Foundry, a corporation that harvests the metal creatures to sell as products back home in Meridian. But the kids’ mission to retrieve a mysterious relic ended in devastating tragedy and with Micah as a prisoner of the enemy. Shattered, he can only watch as an unthinkable new power rises in Mehk and international war erupts in Meridian. Trapped between the Foundry and this staggering mehkan threat, Micah has no choice but to work with dangerous humans and mehkans alike, each with their own agenda. As the path of destruction spreads and hope fades, Micah leads his unlikely allies in a desperate race back to Meridian, where the two worlds are about to clash. A terrible reckoning is underway, and this time, everything is at stake.

About the Authors:
Cam Baity is an Emmy Award winning animator, and his short films have screened around the world, including at Anima Mundi in Brazil and the BBC British Short Film Festival. His credits include major motion pictures like Team America: World Police and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, and popular television shows such as Robot Chicken and Supermansion.

Benny Zelkowicz studied animation at CalArts and made the award winning film, The ErlKing. He directed and starred in the BBC/CBC animated series Lunar Jim, and worked on The LEGO Movie as well as several TV shows including Robot Chicken and Moral Orel.

Twitter: @CamandBenny
Hashtag: #BooksOfOre
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/camandbenny
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Courtesy of Disney Hyperion, I have a digital copy of Blaze of Embers by Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends April 28. I’ll draw a name on April 29, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading The Third Book of Ore: Blaze of Embers Excerpt and Giveaway!

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Dream Magic

About Dream Magic:
Things are dire for the inhabitants of Castle Gloom and the surrounding villages. The undead are leaving their graves in droves, a troll army is on the march from the north, and people are mysteriously disappearing from their homes. The people of Gehenna are blaming their misfortunes on Lilith Shadow, their young queen. They believe she has cursed them by using magic, a practice forbidden to women. With her trusty executioner among the missing and her blackguard soldiers busy battling trolls, it is up to Lily and her friend Thorn to root out the real cause of all the trouble. Their search will uncover ugly truths and eventually lead to a nightmarish confrontation with nothing less than the rulership of the realm at stake.

Zombies, ghosts, trolls, dream weavers, a black-hearted villain, and a giant hero bat are only some of the imaginative delights that await readers in DREAM MAGIC by Joshua Khan, a soaring adventure combined with a hair-raising mystery.

About the Author:
JOSHUA KHAN was born in Britain, a land filled with ancient castles, dark forests, and tales of legendary heroes and fantastical monsters. His head stuffed with magical stories, it was inevitable that Joshua would want to create some of his own. Hence SHADOW MAGIC and DREAM MAGIC. Josh lives in London with his family, but he’d rather live in a castle. It wouldn’t have to be very big, just as long as it had battlements. Follow him on Twitter @WriterJoshKhan.

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Courtesy of Disney Publishing, I have a copy of Dream Magic by Joshua Khan 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 April 28. I’ll draw a name on April 29, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Dream Magic

Book Giveaway: Gather Her Round

Courtesy of Tor Books, I have a copy of Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe 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 April 28. I’ll draw a name on April 29, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Gather Her Round

Graphic Novel Review: Cyborg Vol. 1: The Imitation Of Life (Rebirth)

Cyborg Vol. 1: The Imitation Of Life (Rebirth)

Synopsis:
When a shocking discovery about his own origin makes Victor Stone question everything he thought he knew about his identity and his humanity, it seems Cyborg might be more machine than man after all. But if that’s the case, which side will Cyborg take when a mysterious cybernetic entity decides to start a war between man and machines?

Now, the people Victor Stone cares about the most are caught up in the crossfire, and the choices he makes may mean the difference between the survival of mankind and an artificially intelligent future. Can Cyborg display the heart of a hero…or will he be torn in two by his dual nature?

Review:
Cyborg is a fantastic character, so I was excited to check out the latest relaunch of his solo series. Victor Stone has a traumatic backstory – one that unfolds as throughout this graphic novel. It was confusing at times, trying to figure out if the scene is a flashback, dream-like sequence, or presently unfolding. There is a lot of story and action packed into this first installment. It also got very wordy at times, and I found myself wanting to skim a bit to get back to the meat of the story. The artwork varied. Sometimes it was too dark and not easy to see what was going on. Other times, it was great and bold and fit the mood. There are some really great twists to the story and a cliffhanger ending that definitely made me eager to read the next in the series.

Graphic Novel Review: Lantern City Vol. 3

Lantern City Vol. 3

Synopsis:
Sander Jorve gave up everything to change Lantern City: his family, his home, even his identity. Now, with a ruthless force of outlaws rising from the Underground, an emperor gone mad, and a desperate army from beyond the Wall converging on the city, Sander will have to choose a side…if he can remember what he’s fighting for.

Review:
Lantern City Vol. 3 is the final installment in the Lantern City saga. Sander doesn’t agree with the militant leader of the City’s rebellion, yet he also has realized that Emperor Killian Grey is no better than his predecessor. There doesn’t seem to be a good choice – until he chooses his own side.

This steampunk world is vibrant and exciting. From the beautiful artwork to the engaging story and characters – this has become a fast favorite series. And the climactic finale didn’t disappoint. It was bittersweet to finish this graphic novel, as I love this world and the characters. I enjoyed the finale, but I will miss this series.

Received in March

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received in March for review and/or giveaways:

Movies / TV:
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box

Ace:
Bound by Benedict Jacka
Gauntlet by Holly Jennings

Archaia:
Lantern City Vol. 3 by Matthew Daley

Avon Books:
White Hot by Ilona Andrews
Immortal Unchained by Lynsay Sands

Daw:
A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

Del Rey:
Alone by Scott Sigler
The Waking Land by Callie Bates
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Armistice: The Hot War by Harry Turtledove
Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Disney Hyperion:
Star Wars Join the Resistance: Book 1 by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano
Sleeping Beauty by Cynthia Rylant
Star vs. the Forces of Evil Star and Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension by Amber Benson
As Old as Time: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell
Camp Half-Blood Confidential by Rick Riordan
Star Wars Adventures in Wild Space The Heist by LucasFilm Book Group
Guardians of the Galaxy: Gamora’s Galactic Showdown by Brandon T. Snider
Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts

First Second:
Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
Wires and Nerve: Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer
The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple

Harlequin Teen:
The Black Witch by Laurie Forest
Soldier by Julie Kagawa

Harper Collins / William Morrow:
American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Harper Teen / Walden Pond Press:
Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Harper Voyager:
Flames of Rebellion by Jay Allan
The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr
The Devious Dr. Jekyll by Viola Carr

Pocket Books:
Star Trek: Section 31: Control by David Mack

Pyr:
Wilders by Brenda Cooper
Raining Fire by Rajan Khanna
A Kiss Before Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton

Subterranean Press:
Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews
The Best of Subterranean by William Schafer
Golden Age and Other Stories by Naomi Novik
The Process (is a Process All it’s Own) by Peter Straub

Thunder Bay Press:
Marvel: Spider-Man 1000 Dot-to-Dot Book by Thomas Pavitte
Marvel Universe Felt by Aimee Ray
Star Wars Even More Crochet by Lucy Collin

Tor:
Spymaster by Margaret Weis
Smells Like Finn Spirit by Randy Henderson
Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil
Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free by Randy Henderson
Gather Her Round by Alex Bledsoe

Box Review: Bam Box – March 2017

Bam Box

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.

Bam Box

The box has a mini mag called “Spoiler Booklet” with details on the box, with all possible items subscribers could receive.
This month’s theme was “Indestructible.”

Bam Box

“Indestructible Heroes” Parody Pin – There were 4 options that subscribers could receive – Superman (above), Hulk, or 2 limited edition Chuck Norris.

Bam Box

Assassin’s Creed Hidden Blade – The other option was a Captain America shield. While I’m a little bummed, this hidden blade replica is actually a much cooler, intricate design.

Bam Box

Bionic Woman – Lindsay Wagner Signed Photo – This is just awesome. I was definitely a fan of this and Wonder Woman as a child.

Bam Box

“Old Cat Logan” Print – This is pretty funny. It’d make a fun gag gift for a Wolverine fan.

Bam Box

Vampirella #1 Signed Comic – I’ll definitely be selling this, as I’m not a fan… to say the least.

Summary:
Despite the comic, I thought this was a solid box of great picks. I love the unique items – like the Incredibuilds’ Assassin’s Creed model and signed pic of Lindsay Wagner.

Next month’s theme is… Revenge: Bad Blood.

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