Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: Pod

Pod by Stephen Wallenfels

Josh and his father are trapped inside their home when the alien ships arrive. Everyone caught outdoors instantly vanishes in a blue flash of light under the pod-like ships. All communications have been cut off, with no way to know what the aliens want or what happened to those that have disappeared. Meanwhile, a young teenage girl is left alone in a parking garage and has to survive on her own, among vicious, evil men who take control of the adjoining hotel in a brutal way. As food and water soon become precious commodities, everyone will have to rely on survival instincts and be forced to make extremely difficult decisions just to stay alive.

Pod is a science fiction thriller that is full of riveting suspense and psychological drama. Josh and his father have a typical father/son relationship. Josh is a teen with a sarcastic attitude and little common sense, who wouldn’t have lasted very long without his father’s careful planning. On the other hand, Megs is wise and brave beyond her years as she’s faced with the worst of humanity. But her rough home life seemed to prepare her for this. This alien invasion story is more about the struggle for survival than the aliens. In fact, we never learn anything about them or why they came. While the ending was somewhat satisfying, it was left open-ended for a sequel. I would have liked to have had some sort of explanation, if even a hint. Yet I did thoroughly enjoy the heart-pounding, fast-paced suspense and the sense of hope amidst such dark and troubling situations.

Book Giveaways: The Gathering and The Calling

Courtesy of Harper Teen, I have extra copies of The Gathering (paperback) and The Calling (hardback) by Kelley Armstrong for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US and Canada only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 18. I’ll draw a name on May 19, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaways: The Gathering and The Calling

Grimm Sneak Peek & Win a Trip to Comic-Con!

NBC will be giving away a VIP trip to San Diego Comic Con for a lucky Grimm fan! Click here to enter:

Enter to Win a Trip to Comic-Con!
NBC wants to send you and a friend to Comic-Con for the ultimate VIP Grimm experience!

Cat and Mouse
Nick discovers that the suspect in his latest case is a freedom fighter trying desperately to escape the clutches of a creature bounty hunter.

Covert Operations
Monroe and Rosalee get mixed up in some serious Grimm business.

Spring Pocket Books Spotlight and Giveaway!

Title: Blood on the Bayou
Author: Stacey Jay
ISBN: 9781439189870
Price: $7.99/$9.99
On Sale: 3/27/12

First came a terrorist attack. Then the mutations—and Fey who had lived in harmony with humans turned deadly. Now most people hide behind iron gates. But those who are immune—and those with enough courage—can venture out into the Louisiana Delta . . . and a nightmare world of magic.

Annabelle Lee, a Fairy Containment and Control agent with immunity to fairy venom, is once again called upon to help solve a murder deep in the bayou. But this one’s off the books. Her ex-lover, Hitch, needs her help searching for a secret chemical weapons lab and an FBI mole providing it with human lab rats.

Helping Hitch means certain interpersonal disaster with her estranged boyfriend, but Annabelle knows what it feels like to be a lab rat. Her new fairy-attack-induced paranormal abilities seem to have few negative side effects, but would that change if she stopped injecting herself with the mystery drug delivered to her by the even more mysterious—not to mention ridiculously attractive—Tucker? A man who can turn invisible at will, and who makes no bones about how dead she’ll be if she reveals his secrets?

As the murder investigation progresses, Annabelle quickly learns Tucker isn’t the only one with secrets, and that the only things that cut deeper than a friend’s deception are the lies we tell ourselves.

Click here to order your copy today!

March is Urban Fantasy Month on! For more of our Urban Fantasy Authors, visit our site!!
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Title: Deadly Descendant
Author: Jenna Black
ISBN: 9781451606805
Price: $7.99/$9.99
On Sale: 4/24/12

An ancient evil is unleashed in the modern world— unless one fearless P.I. can hunt it down. . . . Nikki Glass, Immortal Huntress, returns in this new novel in the acclaimed series by Jenna Black.

As a living descendant of Artemis the Huntress, private investigator Nikki Glass knows how to track someone down. But when an Oracle shows up, warning the Descendants about wild dog attacks in Washington, D.C., Nikki is afraid it might be a trap. The Olympians believe the “dogs” are really jackals, controlled by a blood-crazed descendant of the Egyptian death-god Anubis. Whatever. . . . If Nikki hopes to muzzle Dogboy, she’s got to catch him in the act. But when she stakes out a local cemetery, she ends up face-to-snout with a snarling pack of shadow-jackals whose bite is worse than their bark. These hellhounds are deadly—even for an immortal like Nikki. “Dog” spelled backward may be “god,” but that won’t stop Nikki from teaching these old gods some new tricks. Like playing dead.

Click here to order your copy today!

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Title: Summoning the Night: An Arcadia Bell Novel
Author: Jenn Bennet
ISBN: 9781451620535
Price: $7.99/$9.99
On Sale: 4/24/12

After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She’s gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she’s dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club’s wayward son, she can hardly say no.

Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members’ children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady’s loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she’d better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.

Click here to order your copy today!
For more of our Urban Fantasy Authors, visit
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Courtesy of Pocket Books, I have copies of all three of the above novels for two (2) lucky winners!

Contest is open to US only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 11. I’ll draw names on May 12, and notify winners via email.

Good luck!

Read moreSpring Pocket Books Spotlight and Giveaway!

Fantasy Movie Review: Dorothy and the Witches of Oz

Also titled the Witches of Oz, the director’s cut was renamed Dorothy and the Witches of Oz for the film’s release in select theaters. The story follows Dorothy Gale (Paulie Rojas), a children’s author continuing the Oz series. After her uncles death back in Kansas, Dorothy discovers that her stories were not from her imagination but from her own experiences in Oz. Now, the evil witches are in New York and looking for a key that Dorothy hid as a child. Only Dorothy and her friends can stop the Wicked Witch of the West from destroying both Oz and this reality.

Based on L. Frank Baum’s books not the popular film starring Judy Garland, fans will notice the additional characters right away. And Dorothy’s slippers are silver not Garland’s ruby red. Christopher Lloyd as the Wizard was my biggest reason for seeing the film. He was fantastic. But I was happy to see other known faces as well such as Sean Astin and Ethan Embry as the cute, funny, and miniature Frick and Frack. And Jeffrey Combs has a brief but memorable performance as Dorothy’s heartbroken father. Paulie Rojas as Dorothy is a bit wooden, but her sweetness and innocence is believable. And Eliza Swenson as Billie Westbrook was pure fun to watch in her complex role.

At first I was confused about the target audience. The mood seemed darker and suddenly violent, until I realized all of the action and fight scenes were stylized. Some of the monstrous creatures might be a bit scary for young children, but it’s still only rated PG and is certainly a family movie. The (director’s cut) special effects are clever and most of the evil creatures look like something out of a campy 70’s or 80’s film, which I think adds to the charming storybook feel. At times the movie reminded me of a favorite show ABC’s Once Upon a Time – with the campy feel meets the real world. Yet Dorothy and the Witches of Oz is much more family friendly and light-hearted. Full of adventure, magic, mystery, and colorful characters – this film was unexpectedly heartwarming and a bright homage to the classic Oz books.

The official site can be found here:

And the official trailer can be viewed here:

Fantasy – Fiction Book Review: Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar

Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

In an alternate Earth in 1870, vampires rose up and massacred humanity, pushing them to the south and the warmer climates. 150 years later, humanity is ready to fight back. Princess Adele of Equatoria is planning to marry the westerner Senator Clark in an effort to form an alliance in the coming war against the vampires. But before she can even meet her betrothed, Adele’s traveling contingent is attacked by a vampire clan. But before they can abduct her, the legendary Greyfriar comes to her rescue. The Greyfriar is a legendary, masked vampire slayer and hero.

First in the Vampire Empire Trilogy, this extraordinary debut blends vampire fantasy, alternate history, and steampunk. The Griffith’s vampires are animalistic, predatory, and give little care to civilized society and technology. Princess Adele is headstrong and trained well in fighting, yet has a kind heart and feels a strange attraction to mysterious Greyfriar. The two have a sweet chemistry that is reminiscent of a fairy tale. This is easily one of my favorite reads of the year. With plenty of fast-paced adventure, mystery, plot twists, and romance – The Greyfriar is incredibly enjoyable and entirely spellbinding.

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