BITTEN Q&A with Laura Vandervoort and Kelley Armstrong!

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The series premiere of Bitten airs Monday, January 13th at 10pm on Syfy. Bitten stars Laura Vandervoort. And the series is based on the bestselling author Kelley Armstrong‘s novels.

How you begin your involvement with Bitten? Kelley, what was your inspiration for the book series? And Laura, how did you first get involved in the TV series?

Kelley Armstrong: Okay. For the books, Bitten actually came out of an X-Files episode. I was in a writing group. And as part of a writing group you’re expected to actually write new stuff. I was trying to come up with an idea, sat down and watched X-Files. It was way back in their first season. Their one and only werewolf episode. It was your typical big guy who changes into some beast like thing and goes around slaughtering people under the full moon. And I said that’s not how I would do werewolves. And for a writer, that then sparks how would I do them? And I wrote a short story with this character named Elena and I loved that world so much that I wrote a book.

Laura Vandervoort: I had no idea it was the X-Files. That’s really cool for me to know as well.

Kelley Armstrong: Which goes to show you how long ago I started writing Bitten. It was the first season of the show. It is old stuff.

Laura Vandervoort: I actually – yes, I love the X-Files. Like I was watching that as well. So that’s cool to know.

Laura Vandervoort: I actually received an offer for the role. Which was amazing, first of all. And ended up speaking to J.B. on the phone just to get an idea of the premise of the show and how it would look and how the wolves would be done.

And so we spoke for about an hour. And I heard how passionate he was about the project – he’s our executive producer. And it just sounded like something I’d really been looking to do—such a layered thing—and the character who is both flawed and strong.

And so I read the books. I read Women of the Otherworld and Bitten and did a bit of research. And as soon as I realized the amazing quality of what was there I jumped on. And we did some auditions and chemistry reads with the guys and we just sort of hit the ground running—no pun intended.

And I mean it was the most challenging six months I’ve had thanks to Kelley and the writers. Every day was a challenge for me. And there were days where I didn’t know if I’d be able to handle the emotional side of it or the physical side of it or just being in every scene. And I did. And I’m so grateful for the experience.

Since one of you created Elena and one of you plays Elena, kind of tell us a little bit about her and does your interpretation of her kind of differ from each of your versions of her?

Read moreBITTEN Q&A with Laura Vandervoort and Kelley Armstrong!

Fantasy Book Review: Adventurers Wanted: Sands of Nezza

Adventurers Wanted: Sands of Nezza by ML Forman

Synopsis:
After hundreds of years without a true king, the desert land of Nezza is in danger of falling under the rule of a ruthless lord advised by an evil wizard with dark intentions. A desperate cry for help brings Alexander Taylor to this perilous land and sets events in motion that will require him to rescue an old friend from and impenetrable dungeon. Once in Nezza, Alex meets a new band of adventurers and joins them in their quest to find young Prince Rallian the man destined to become the rightful king of Nezza. In their path lies a deadly sand monster, a wise and insightful oracle, a massive army of illusions, and a host of lords and leaders ready to fight for and against the king of their land.

Review:
Alex travels to Nezza in his latest adventure. As he seeks to free his friends, Alex stumbles across a captive price who could be the next king – one who could unite the fractured land. Their journey takes them through harsh land, meeting unique characters, and exciting adventures. Meanwhile, a dark wizard has his own agenda. And Alex learns that someone even stronger is behind the scenes.

Sands of Nezza is the fourth novel in the Adventurers Wanted series. While this installment was fun, with the feel of an epic fantasy adventure – it seemed to be missing the sense of wonder and humor the first novels had. It was still a solid story, but the series seems to be changing along with Alex. Unlike previous installments, Alex seems to be sure of himself and more of an adult. As with other high fantasy tales, it’s more about the journey than the destination. And this is no exception. Fantasy fans of all ages should be sure to check out this evolving series.

SciFi Book Review: Sky Jumpers

Sky Jumpers

Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman

Synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Hope lives in White Rock, a town of inventors struggling to recover from the green bombs of World War III. But Hope is terrible at inventing and would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath—the deadly band of compressed air that covers the crater left by the bombs—than fail at yet another invention. When bandits discover that White Rock has priceless antibiotics, they invade. With a two-day deadline to finish making this year’s batch and no ingredients to make more, the town is left to choose whether to hand over the medicine and die from the disease that’s run rampant since the bombs, or die fighting the bandits now. Help lies in a neighboring town, but the bandits count everyone fourteen and older each hour. Hope and her friends Aaren and Brock might be the only ones who can escape to make the dangerous trek through the Bomb’s Breath and over the snow-covered mountain. For once, inventing isn’t the answer, but the daring and recklessness that usually get Hope into trouble might just save them all.

Review:
Hope, Aaren, and Brock like to do dangerous stunts in the deadly Bomb’s Breath. And while the dangerous substance has been a barrier for bandits, keeping their town safe – White Rock is suddenly invaded at their most vulnerable time. Hope is determined go get help no matter the risk to herself, since the bandits want to steal the rare medicine that can save her father.

White Rock is a post-apocalyptic town where inventions are the most valuable commodity since so much was lost after the war. I loved the setting and feel of the town. It was unique and fascinating. The plot, too, was engaging and fast-paced. I certainly look forward to Hope and her friends’ further adventures.

SciFi Book Review: Fallout

Fallout by SA Bodeen

Synopsis:
Eli and his family lived in an underground shelter they called the Compound for six years. They thought they were the only survivors of a nuclear attack, but when Eli learned that it was all a twisted experiment orchestrated by his tech-visionary father, he broke the family out. His father died trying to keep them imprisoned.

Now, the family must readjust to life in the real world. Their ordeal has made them so famous, they must stay in hiding—everyone from fatalists preparing for doomsday to the tabloid media wants a piece of them. Even worse, their father’s former adviser continues to control the company Eli and his twin brother are the heirs of.

As Eli tries to determine who the family can trust, he learns the nightmare of the Compound—and his father’s experiment—might not be over.

Review:
Eli and his family are finding it hard to adjust to the outside world after living underground for 6 years with no outside contact. They continue to live in hiding, to keep the media at bay. So essentially, they’re still not free. And on their infrequent outings, Eli feels like he’s being watched.

Though this is a sequel, I never once felt like I was missing part of the story. The characters are vivid and the story is intense. The suspense builds to a surprising and chilling climax that kept me on the edge of my seat. Though the science starts out as seemingly solid and built on a real disease, it takes a huge leap into comic science fiction at the end. This was a fasts-paced, exciting read that didn’t disappoint.

Fantasy Book Review: Cold Spell

Cold Spell

Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce

Synopsis:
Kai and Ginny grew up together–best friends since they could toddle around their building’s rooftop rose garden. Now they’re seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together.

But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora–a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough.

If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved–and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him?

Review:
Cold Spell is a new version of “The Snow Queen” By Hans Christian Andersen. Ginny loves Kai and has planned her whole future around just him. While it’s kind of sad that her identity is so wrapped up in Kai, Ginny is a strong and brave young woman who will stop at nothing to get him back. Meanwhile, the Snow Queen character is mysterious and complicated – a great villainess.

This romantic fantasy is enchanting. Unpredictable and full of unique and interesting characters – this was nearly impossible to put down. Fans of dark fairy tales should check out this exciting novel.

Book Giveaway: Independent Study

Courtesy of HMH, I have an extra early review copy of Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau 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 31. I’ll draw a name on February 1, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Independent Study

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