Tag Archives: fantasy

Box Review: Bam Box – December 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.

Again, there was no mini mag this month, so I had to search again for a link to the description sheet: http://www.thebambox.com/decspoilersheet
If they’re going to continue to do this, they really need to put a card in the box providing the link.

Bam Box

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Pin and Nightmare Before Christmas Bill

Bam Box

Supernatural Dean’s Amulet – Prop replicas are a fun addition. And there is a cult following for this show, so I’m sure there will be many happy fans.

Bam Box

A Christmas Story Mini Leg Lamp Kit – I don’t want to open this, because it’ll make a great White Elephant gift next Christmas!

Bam Box
Bam Box

Deep Roy Signed Willy Wonka Print – Thankfully, the back says who signed it.

Bam Box

Christmas Deadpool Art Print – There were several variants available as 1-ups for this.

Summary:
The ebooklet that you have to go searching for was a big disappointment again. The only think I’ll be keeping is the Leg Lamp Kit as a gag gift. The others are misses for me.

Box Review: TeeBlox – December 2017

TeeBlox

TeeBlox is a t-shirt subscription service that brings 100% authentic licensed geek and gamer shirts to your doorsteps every month. No hidden fees. Cancel anytime. Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

Get 1 shirt and 2 other items starting at $12.99/mo and use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Subscribers can pick from the following categories: SciFi, Marvel, DC Comics, Cartoons, Movies and TV, Games, Hot Meex, or Disney!

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Tee Blox

Star Wars Shirt – You can never have too many Star Wars shirts, right?

Tee Blox

Pins – I’ve received the same pins many times now. But it’s just filler, so no biggie.

Summary: Though the shirt was black once again, it’s still a nice design.

Remember, use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Received in December

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

Blu-Rays:
Interstellar 4K Blu-Ray

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box

Amazon Publishing / 47North:
The King of Bones and Ashes by J. D. Horn
Roar of the Storm by Adam Burch
Points of Impact by Marko Kloos

Del Rey / Ballantine:
Star Wars: Canto Bight by Saladin Ahmed
Into the Fire by Elizabeth Moon
Tarnished City by Vic James
Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
Blood Fury by J. R. Ward

Disney Hyperion / Marvel:
Black Panther The Young Prince by Ronald L. Smith
Runaways by Christopher Golden
Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Tales of Hope & Courage by Elizabeth Schaefer

Gallery Books:
Apart in the Dark: Novellas by Ania Ahlborn

Harlequin Teen:
Zenith by Sasha Alsberg

Harper Voyager:
Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden
Sinless by Sarah Tarkoff

Kensington Books:
Dawn in Damnation by Clark Casey

Lore Seekers Press
Tales of the Thieftaker by D B Jackson

Page Street Kids:
Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Random House Children’s Books / Crown / Delacorte Press:
Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier
The Dragon’s Curse by Bethany Wiggins
The Death Cure by James Dashner
The Fever Code by James Dashner

Scholastic:
Wrath of the Storm by Jennifer A. Nielsen
World of Warcraft: Traveler: The Spiral Path by Greg Weisman
The Width of the World by David Baldacci
Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts, Book 7: Stormspeaker by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers:
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

St Martin’s Press:
Glass Town by Steven Savile

Subterranean Press:
I Met a Traveller in an Antique Land by Connie Willis

Titan Books / Titan Magazines:
Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell
Thor: Ragnarok The Official Movie Special by Titan Magazines
Star Trek Discovery: Official Collector’s Edition by Titan

Tor:
All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault by James Alan Gardner
Mississippi Roll edited by George R. R. Martin
Survival by Ben Bova
Nemo Rising by C. Courtney Joyner

Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Beneath the Haunting Sea

Excerpt:

Her mother was sitting at the dining table in the great cabin, scribbling something on a piece of paper. She looked up and smiled. “There you are, dearest.”

Talia settled into the chair across from her. “You’re looking very well.”

Another smile. “I’m feeling much better.” Scritch scritch scratch went her pen. Moonlight poured in through the windows, illuminating her elegant handwriting.

“What are you doing?” Talia asked carefully.

“I’m transcribing the story my father told me when he took me to the seaside as a child. I just remembered it.” She beamed at her paper, and kept writing.

The moon rose a little higher over the sea, and Talia saw sweat glimmering on her mother’s brow. “Are you sure you wouldn’t like to lie down again?”

“When I’ve finished.” Scritch scritch scratch.

Talia wondered if she ought to go for Hanid or Captain Oblaine. “What’s the story about?”

“You’ll see. I’m so pleased I remembered! It explains everything.” She paused to dip her pen in an inkwell.

The ship rolled beneath them, and the lantern swung back and forth from its hook in the ceiling, creaking.

Talia watched in silence as her mother wrote three more sentences across the paper. Then she laid the pen down, and blew on the ink to dry it. Her smile reached her ears as she handed the page over to her daughter.

Talia’s eyes traveled across the words, so carefully and beautifully written.

“Well? Now do you understand?”

Talia bit her lip and met her mother’s gaze, forcing herself to smile. “I do. Thank you for writing it down for me.”
Her mother grinned, laughed, reached across the table to hug her. “I’d like to go on deck and watch for a while now.”
“The captain and I have been watching in turns so you can get some rest, Mama. Don’t worry, you can watch again soon.”
Her mother nodded. “I can’t watch all the time.”

“Of course not. No one could. Now let’s get you back to bed.”

She allowed Talia to help her up from the table, leaning on her with her good arm. Talia led her through the door to the captain’s bunk, and she climbed under the covers, pulling the blankets up to her chin.

“I’m glad you understand now,” she whispered, her eyes drifting shut.

“Me too, Mama.” Talia kissed her forehead and slipped back out of the cabin. The moon was directly overhead now, flooding the whole deck in silver.

She thought she might be sick.

The story her mother had written for her was complete and utter nonsense.

_______________________________________
Excerpted from BENEATH THE HAUNTING SEA © Copyright 2018 by Joanna Ruth Meyer. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

_______________________________________

Courtesy of Page Street, I have a review copy of Beneath the Haunting Sea by Joanna Ruth Meyer 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 January 19. I’ll draw a name on January 20, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Beneath the Haunting Sea

Book Review: Star Wars: Canto Bight

Canto Bight (Star Wars): Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Saladin Ahmed,‎ Rae Carson,‎ Mira Grant,‎ and John Jackson Miller

Synopsis:
From Star Wars: The Last Jedi, welcome to the casino city of Canto Bight. A place where exotic aliens, captivating creatures, and other would-be high rollers are willing to risk everything to make their fortunes. Set across one fateful evening, these four interconnected stories explore the deception and danger of the lavish casino city.

• An honest salesman meets a career criminal as a dream vacation turns into the worst nightmare imaginable, in a story by Saladin Ahmed.

• Dreams and schemes collide when a deal over a priceless bottle of wine becomes a struggle for survival, as told by Mira Grant.

• Old habits die hard when a servant is forced into a mad struggle for power among Canto Bight’s elite, in a tale by Rae Carson

• A deadbeat gambler has one last chance to turn his luck around; all he has to do is survive one wild night, as told by John Jackson Miller.

Review:
Canto Bight is the glamorous destination that Finn and Rose travel to for a mission for the Resistance. This collection of short stories gives fans a deeper look at the seedier side of the city. The first story has a light-hearted feel with a naive but loveable protagonist who has the worst all-expense-paid vacation ever. A fight over a rare bottle of wine becomes deadly. And mysterious sisters control its fate. When a masseuse with a dark past discover that his daughter was abducted by a mobster, he’ll stop at nothing to get her back. And lastly, a professional gambler meets a group of brothers who have a unique ability to affect fate. And he only has one night to turn his luck around. I highly recommend this fun and exciting group of stories set in the Star Wars universe. Each story has fantastic characters with captivating storylines. I thoroughly enjoyed each one.

Book Review: Hunting Prince Dracula

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Synopsis:
Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Review:
Audrey Rose Wadsworth is still grieving the traumatic loss of her brother when she arrives at a castle in Romania to study forensic medicine. But before Audrey Rose and her friend Thomas Cresswell even arrive, a murder happens on the train. And after another body is found drained of blood, they begin to wonder about the Dracula folklore.

Hunting Prince Dracula is the sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper. This Gothic horror series for young adults is dark and romantic – paying homage to the classics. Full of suspense, drama, and creepy settings – this sequel is just as exciting as the last. Audrey Rose is a wonderful character – strong and smart – yet confined by the time period because of her sex. The murder mystery builds to a twisted and thrilling conclusion that left me wanting more. I look forward to the next in this exceptional series.

Author Guest Post: D.B. Jackson

“A New Artistic Challenge”
by D.B. Jackson/David B. Coe

Today marks the release of my first short fiction collection.

Tales of the Thieftaker brings together eleven short pieces I have written over the past several years in the “universe” of my Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy series set in pre-Revolutionary Boston (Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and Dead Man’s Reach, all from Tor Books). The collection includes some previously released work, as well as pieces that have never before been published.

Among the stories in the latter category is “The Ruby Blade,” a full-length novella that serves as the centerpiece of the book.

Those familiar with the series will recognize that title: The Ruby Blade was the privateering ship on which Ethan Kaille, my thieftaking, conjuring protagonist once served. A mutiny aboard the vessel in 1745 resulted in his court-martial and imprisonment. He served fourteen years at hard labor on a sugar plantation in Barbados, a living hell that left him broken, both physically and emotionally.

Beginning with the first novel of the series, the mutiny was a touchstone of Ethan’s backstory, something referenced in the books again and again, but never fully described. For years, fans of the Thieftaker Chronicles have asked me about the Ruby Blade, wondering when I would get around to writing that episode of Ethan’s life. So, when I decided to publish Tales of the Thieftaker, I knew I would have to include this particular story. I also knew, though, that I didn’t simply want to write that old tale and slot it into the collection. Instead, I found a way to blend it with a new mystery, and to set it in the days after the end of the final book in the series.

I should pause here to say that while I consider myself a novelist, and am best known for my longer work, I love writing and reading short stories. I enjoy the challenge of shaping a complete tale in a limited number of words. I often learn something new about my craft when reading short work from my colleagues and seeing how they approach this task. And more than any other series I’ve written, the Thieftaker Chronicles has lent itself to short fiction.

But in the case of “The Ruby Blade,” I faced some unique challenges, and that is always good for an artist. For one thing, I was writing Ethan’s “origin story,” which I found daunting. I had been asked about this episode in Ethan’s background for so long, and my readers had expressed such eagerness to read it, that I felt more pressure than I have for perhaps any other work in my career. Beyond that, I knew that the story would be an odd length. Each Thieftaker novel comes in at about 100,000 words. Most short stories come in at about 6,000 words. The former would have been far too long for the story I wanted to tell; the latter far too limiting.

A novella, by definition, falls in between the two lengths–according to most definitions, a novella is any story between 17,000 and 40,000 words. Three bits of trivia: 1) At 7,500-17,499 words, a novelette falls in between a novella and short story. Who knew? 2) This particular novella, “The Ruby Blade,” came in a hair longer than 40,000. Technically, it’s a really, really short novel. Shhh. Don’t tell. And 3) Before this, I had never written a novella.

That last piece of trivia proved to be the greatest of the challenges I encountered. A novel tends to have a certain rhythm, defined in a sense by chapters. Write twenty books or so, and you kinda get a feel for how they ought to flow. By the same token, the pacing of a short story is distinctive as well. You can’t be nearly as leisurely spinning a yarn in a short piece as you can in a full-length book. I’d had plenty of experience with this, as well. But in this instance, I was writing neither a novel nor a short story, and so had to discover a new cadence for my storytelling.

The method I chose for telling this tale, facilitated the development of that unique rhythm. As I said before, “The Ruby Blade” is, in essence, two stories in one. Courtesy of Ethan’s long-time nemesis and rival in thieftaking, Sephira Pryce, he is presented with a new mystery in the winter of 1771. But in order for them to solve this case together, he must first relate to her the events of 1745 that led to the mutiny. The story shifts between the two time periods, and those transitions provide cadence and tension that make both strands of the plot work.

I find writing any sort of story akin to piecing together a puzzle. The shape and size of the puzzle may change with each new work, but usually the process remains much the same. Tackling this novella proved different. Everything felt new again, and that made the writing especially exciting. This story forced me to rethink my process a bit, to adjust my strategy for shaping narrative and character arc. And the truth is, having written one novella, I can’t wait to try my hand at another.

*****
David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the award-winning author of nineteen fantasy novels and as many short stories. As David B. Coe, he writes The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy from Baen Books consisting of Spell Blind, His Father’s Eyes, and Shadow’s Blade. As D.B. Jackson, he writes the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy from Tor Books that includes Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and Dead Man’s Reach. Tales of the Thieftaker, his first short fiction collection, has just been released by Lore Seekers Press.

David is also the author of the Crawford Award-winning LonTobyn Chronicle, which he has recently reissued, as well as the critically acclaimed Winds of the Forelands quintet and Blood of the Southlands trilogy. He wrote the novelization of Ridley Scott’s movie, Robin Hood. He is currently at work on several new projects including more short fiction, a media tie-in, and a time travel/epic fantasy trilogy. David’s books have been translated into a dozen languages.

He lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.

http://www.DavidBCoe.com
http://www.davidbcoe.com/blog/
http://www.dbjackson-author.com
http://www.facebook.com/david.b.coe
http://twitter.com/DavidBCoe
https://www.amazon.com/author/davidbcoe

Book Giveaway: Ink

Courtesy of Scholastic, I have a review copy of Ink by Alice Broadway 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 January 5. I’ll draw a name on January 6, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Ink