Book Giveaway: Dream of Legends and Crown of Vengeance

On behalf of Seventh Star Press, I have a copy of Dream of Legends and Crown of Vengeance by Stephen Zimmer for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends June 3. I’ll draw names on June 4, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Dream of Legends and Crown of Vengeance

Saturday on Syfy: Almighty Thor

For those who can’t get enough of Thor this weekend, Almighty Thor premieres Saturday, May 7, at 9PM (ET/PT) on Syfy. In Almighty Thor, a volcanic fissure bursts open in the fortress of Valhalla, freeing the demon God Loki (Richard Grieco), who steals the Hammer of Invincibility. Loki plans to obliterate Los Angeles using the Hammer and Thor (Cody Deal) is the only one who can stop him.

STARZ Torchwood Teaser

Torchwood: Miracle Day premiers Friday, July 8 at 10pm ET/PT on STARZ.

The series, featuring Bill Pullman and Mekhi Phifer as well as John Barrowman and Eve Myles (stars of the original BBC show), begins with a day when nobody dies. All across the world, nobody dies. And then the next day, and the next, and the next, people keep aging, they get hurt and sick, but they never die. The result: a population boom, overnight. With all the extra people, resources are finite. It’s said that in four month’s time, the human race will cease to be viable. But this can’t be a natural event – someone’s got to be behind it. It’s a race against time as C.I.A. agent Rex Matheson (Phifer) investigates a global conspiracy. The answers lie within an old, secret British institute. As Rex keeps asking “What is Torchwood?” he’s drawn into a world of adventure, and a threat to change what it means to be human, forever.

Movie Review: Thor

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In the remote realm of Asgard, young Thor is heir to the throne, but is arrogant with a quick temper. When Thor’s misguided actions cause the end of an unsteady peace between the Asgard and Frost Giants, King Odin banishes Thor to Earth. Thor is found by scientist Jane Foster who studies the skies. Without his powers, Thor is forced to live as a mortal and learn what it means to be a true hero.

Chris Hemsworth takes on the iconic role of Thor, the god of thunder. Hemsworth not only looks the part of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Nordic god, but he plays the part of haughty, spoiled young prince to perfection. Unlike most other superhero origin stories, Thor doesn’t go through much physical change. Instead, he grows as a man and a champion for others, learning humility and self-sacrifice.

They couldn’t have found a better actor to play Odin. Anthony Hopkins shines in whatever he does, and as Asgard’s wise and benevolent leader is no exception. And Thor’s malicious and manipulative brother Loki is played by Tom Hiddleston to creepy perfection. Natalie Portman costars as Jane Foster, Thor’s human love interest. I was skeptical at first, but the two did have great chemistry. And Jane’s small team of scientists including Stellan Skarsgard and Dr. Selvig and Kat Dennings as Darcy added a fun dynamic of humor and simplicity. Whereas, Thor’s friends from Asgard are a bit cartoonish and over-the-top.

The main story takes place on both present day Earth and on Asgard, moving at a steady pace. At 1 hour 54 minutes long, I expected there to be some slower scenes or the story to be drawn out. Instead, it felt like the movie flew by, and it was suddenly over too soon. The action scenes were intense, with incredible special effects. The drama was balanced well with humor. Full of mystery, suspense, adventure, and a bit of romance – I loved every minute of Thor. Comic book and superhero fans of all ages will enjoy this cosmic adventure. I saw this sneak preview on a regular screen, but in 3-D. I highly recommend the 3-D experience, with the fantastic special effects; it really pulls viewers into the action scenes. Though, I do wish there were a more comfortable option than those annoying plastic 3-D glasses. I’ll definitely be seeing this one again in the theaters, most likely on IMAX next time.

And like other Marvel comic book films, don’t forget to stay through the credits to see the extra clip!

Book Review: Disappearing Nightly

Disappearing Nightly, by Laura Resnick

Esther Diamond is a struggling actress, in an off-broadway show. During a performance the female lead, Golly Gee, ends up literally disappearing. And while Esther is her understudy, she becomes convinced that something ominous happened to Golly Gee. Then, Esther receives an anonymous note telling her “There is evil among us” and begins hearing of other stage performers disappearing. Esther never really believed in magic… until now.

This is the first Esther Diamond novel. Though, out of print, it was fairly easy to find on Amazon. Having read and loved the latest two, I had to go back and read the first. I had to know how Esther and Max met. And I’m so glad I did. Resnick’s characters are fantastic and flamboyant; and Esther’s narrative is completely engaging.

Like most urban fantasies, a big mystery and an element of the supernatural is involved. But unlike the rest, the main character, Esther is not (at least for now) the one doing the magic. She is just a normal girl (with some unusual friends) put into incredible circumstances. Full of humor, adventure, suspense, and magic, this series is one of my favorites. The only problem with reading this first installment last, was that the ending was fairly predictable. But knowing the identity of the bad guy did not deter at all from the story. Like the others, this was impossible to put down and pure fun from beginning to end. This is a must-read series for urban fantasy fans.

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