Saturday, December 10, 2011

Save Community

The TV show Community is irreverent, sarcastic, satirical and subversive.  Should such a show be saved from cancellation?  Yes!  The answer is a resounding yes!

In today’s uber-PC world we need a show that mocks (in a good way) foibles and silliness, satirizes trends, and rifts on the geek, the chic, and the iconic.  This is the show that made paintball a spaghetti western, threw claymation and anime into the mix just because it could, and turned a goof on Dr. Who into a recurring reference.  (Their version, Inspector Spacetime, was turned into a viral fan favourite; check out the videos and websites listed at the bottom of this post if you want to see what fans did).

But alas, this gem of rebellious laughs languishes in the ratings basement and now teeters on extinction.  Even now it lashes out, with this week’s episode skewering the beloved Glee with a black mix of distorted Christmas song and fiendish style.  It is a bastion of the dysfunctional, the impudent, and embraces that dysfunction with flippant acceptance.

So I make a plea to all you geeks, freaks and TV lovers, to protect the television world from the banal, the bright and the happy.  Save Community, save this precious defiant spot of television. Save the subversive.

Inspector Spacetime Websites:

Inspector Spacetime Videos:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book Spotlight: Raven

Now Featuring:

Raven by Nuayma Jeggels:

A girl, a coma, a Plague, and an empty grave.

When Shardaie wakes up, she doesn’t know who she is, why she can’t understand emotions, why she has been unconscious for nearly nine of her thirteen years, or why the dead just won’t stay dead. The only clue to her past is a locket, but the Plague, which finally stretches its unnatural hand to her village, forces her to leave and to learn to protect herself. But everything has a cost: the protection against the undead reveals a secret that Shardaie and her classmates just don’t want to accept, and at the end, Shardaie realises that some secrets shouldn’t be revealed. Secrets have the power to destroy, and the power to change her view on humanity for ever.
Author bio:

Nuayma Jeggels lives in South Africa with her imaginary cat named Pookie. When she isn’t writing or reading, she is battling mathematics and gravity. Her favourite colour is violet. Her favourite meal is lasagne.

You can find Nuayma at her Blog, on FacebookTumblr, Twitter, or Goodreads

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Supernatural: The Death of Bobby Singer

My thought on last night's episode of Supernatural.  Alert, there are Spoilers!

 The Death of Bobby Singer

The Fall Finale episode of Supernatural, Death’s Door, may be the last we, the viewers, see of Bobby Singer.  If it is, the send-off for Bobby was done with dignity, humour and a heart-breaking touch of tragedy.
Most of the episode happens inside Bobby’s head as he travels through his memories -a step ahead of a Reaper- looking for a way to communicate vital information to Sam and Dean.  He is aided by Rufus (great to see that character again) and has to face his darkest memories.  Some secrets are revealed and we see some tender moments in the relationship between Bobby, Sam and Dean.  Overall the trip through memory lane gave some bittersweet insight and said a fine farewell to the character.
But the episode also left questions, mainly, what happens next?  Will Bobby stay dead, or return as a ghost, possibly to be hunted down?  Personally I hope they let him die in peace, as much as I would miss the character.  I think that’s the way Bobby should go out.
The other key question of course is: How will Sam and Dean handle Bobby’s demise?  Because whatever happens, whether Bobby stays or goes, there will be consequences for Sam and Dean and a major fallout storyline.  My guess is this finally flips the crazy switch in Dean’s head and he goes off on a revenge kick along the lines of dear old Dad Winchester.  This may leave Sam on his own, emotionally speaking, to deal with the loss of Bobby, and with a head full of Lucifer that could have serious ramifications.  Regardless of how things play out this episode bodes to be a turning point in Supernatural.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book Spotlight: The Sulphur Diaries

Now Featuring:

The Sulphur Diaries by Georgina Kamsika:

Alice is in deep trouble.
The police have found her covered in blood and surrounded by corpses.  The dazed teenager explains that she had befriended an angel to help her escape her tiny Yorkshire village that is situated over a gate to hell.
Why?  Because the Harvest was coming and the love of her life was up for selection.

For more information, including first three chapters to read or download, see Georgina Kamsika's author website.

Released by Legend Press, The Sulphur Diaries is available as a paperback at and WH Smith or in Kindle (UK site).  Also available from the US Amazon on Kindle.

Author Bio:

Georgina Kamsika was born in South Yorkshire, the youngest child to her Anglo-Indian immigrant parents. After attending a local catholic school, she escaped to university in Nottingham and began writing. Many years later, she began taking her writing seriously and has had several speculative short stories published in magazines and the odd anthology. She is lucky enough to have three friends who write and they work together weekly, sharing ideas, discussing writing techniques and motivating each other.

She admits to being a geek and whenever she’s not writing, she loves reading and walking her two dogs in the local woods. Her partner, Andy, is very patient and supports her at all times, even when her only response is ‘shush, go away. Writing’.

The Sulphur Diaries Excerpt:

“There is blood everywhere, on the walls, on the tables; I’m not sure what I just stood in, but it’s slippery.
Johnny! I scream, to be heard over the racket from outside, but there’s no answer and I can’t see him in the dim light. There’s a wet thump against the outer wall, though I daren’t look out of the windows. If I do, I might never be able to look away.
The shrieking outside is like nothing I’ve ever heard, and I freeze. Clenching my hands to stop their trembling, I peer into the gloom. Soft red light from some torches show me nothing but a puppet-show of shadows fighting outside. I recognise some of the locals: Mr Higgins, the Croft twins, their shapes easy to pick out as they struggle against the imps.
There seem to be more of them now. Where are they coming from? I remember calling to Lyle – not even an hour ago, however much it feels like days – but why are these imps attacking, why–”

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Spotlight: The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories

Now Featuring:

The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories by Elisabeth Grace Foley:

Suspense, humor and a touch of romance await in seven short stories of the American West. In the title story, "The Ranch Next Door," a cattleman's young son dreads breaking the news to his family that he has fallen in love with the daughter of a neighboring sheep rancher despite an ancient feud between the two families. In "Cross My Heart," a boy is torn between betraying his conscience or a fugitive friend, and in "Delayed Deposit," five people are taken hostage during a bank robbery that turns into a tense standoff. The collection also includes the award-winning "Disturbing the Peace," honorable mention in the 2010 Rope and Wire short story competition.

The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories is available at:

Author Bio:

Elisabeth Grace Foley is a 21-year-old author of historical fiction who is really too young to have done anything interesting enough to put into an author bio. She is busy trying to do something about that. She lives with her family and a large stack of writer’s notebooks in the northeastern U.S.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Spotlight: Affairs of the Heart

Now Featuring:

Affairs of the Heart by Borislava Borissova:

Affairs of the Heart encompasses two novellas,  The Last Secrets of The Ancient Island and A Love In Time of War, that deal with affairs of the heart.  Two stories about love and loneliness, and the unique ways some people deal with them. We are born alone, we die alone but life is our chance to live in love. If possible... or if we so wish...

A Love In Time of War
First they faced the war… the love followed later. Peace was somewhere in between.
One day he could have killed her on the other side of the front, on the next day he fell in love and what would happen in the day after? All efforts to remain enemies seemed to be in vain with the borderline between their ability to hate or to love a thin one.  His life becomes a Byron’s passionate poem that he enters into madly and bravely. The war became past, the past became history and through the years only love is still alive in a very beautiful tale to remember.

The Last Secrets of The Ancient Island
A series of mishaps in an old town casts suspicion on a number of residents, provoking changes in an adopted practice of the underground world of relics.  A young graduate of a university proves the last mysteries of ancient National Park sites are yet unexplored by historians and archaeologists and discovers the personal secret of his older brother.  An unknown driver has a tragic motivation to take his life and that of another.
We were born alone, we die alone, but life is our chance to live in love. If we don’t lose the chance, if know why love is the most desired legend in our life.

The book is available both in paperback and Kindle format:

An excerpt from  A Love In Time of War, a story from the book Affairs of The Heart:

After a while, the older white-haired man repeated in amazement, “Let’s clear this up. You fought to the death in the Balkan War against her father, her brother and her country. And she served as a nurse to Bulgarian soldiers, among blood, wounded, dead, and the smell of formaldehyde on the opposite side of the borderline. Does it mean you are coming to ask for the hand of your enemy’s daughter? The Bulgarian general, who personally led his army from the front line against the Ottoman divisions?”
“Yes. First there was the war… the love followed later. Peace was somewhere in between.”
“Yesterday, you could have killed her on the other side of the front, today you are in love and what about tomorrow?”
“She feels the same way. All our efforts to remain enemies appeared to be in vain. The border line between our ability to hate or to love appears a thin one.”
His fellow traveler shook his head distrustfully. “Your story sounds crazy. Most probably, her father will not allow her to marry you. Hmm... Kidnap her instead. Escape together as others have done many times on the Balkans.”

Author Bio:

In the author's own words:  "I consider myself a writer by soul because, although I have been working in the field of Human Resources for years, in my free time, history and writing are the important passions of my life. I am more than happy to share both of them with you! I love ancient parts in the towns, which are like museums under open sky. I like discovering these scenes of legends and secrets, history and culture.
Million thanks for being with me on my lifelong adventure through the ages, through countless earthly and celestial places, to meet my characters in their settings, to be part of their life... I am content that my imagination have created them. They keep a very friendly company of mine during the long hours of writing. Welcome on the seat next to me and feel the stories!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Coffin Hop: A Supernatural Quiz

Over at A. F. Stewart's Blog the official Coffin Hop Web Tour post has landed, but over here I'm doing a side hop for the event as well.  As regular readers of this blog know, I'm a big fan of the TV show Supernatural, so in honour of Coffin Hop and for Halloween, I've put together a small quiz about the show, Supernatural.
Anyone who can answer every question correctly will win a three ebook prize pack (via free Smashwords download coupons) of Once Upon a Dark and Eerie..., Killers and Demons, and Ruined City.  In the event no one answers all the questions correctly, I'll pick a winner at random.  Also, a second prize of one ebook (winner's choice) will be awarded to a random commenter (so it pays to give the quiz a try, even if you get it wrong).

Supernatural Quiz:

1. What did the Winchester boys call the demon that killed Mary Winchester?

2. What is the year and make of the Winchesters' car?

3. Who created the show?

4. What was the name of the ghost hunting group that made a memorable appearance on the show (and had a subsequent web series)?

5. Name two ways that Sam and Dean have each died (and yes you can use the episode where Dean died repeatedly at the hands of the Trickster)?

6. What is the Trickster’s real identity?

7. What is the name of the demon that once possessed Sam?

8. What did the Winchesters do to themselves to prevent further demonic possession?

9. Name the two weapons that the Winchesters used to kill demons.

10. What was the name of Sam and Dean’s half-brother?

11.  How did Sam and Dean’s half-brother originally die?

12.  How do Jo and Ellen die?

13. How did Dean kill Eve?

To continue back to the main Coffin Hop, please scroll down to the end of this blog to find the Linky List and click on the link of your choice.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Spotlight: Amador Lockdown

Now Featuring:

Amador Lockdown by Coral Russell

Something has moved into the Amador Hotel.
Hector, Marcos, Bev, and Tony of the Paranormal Posse are called in to either debunk the haunting or get rid of whatever is causing the problems. With the surprise arrival of Hector's son, he tries to keep his professional and personal lives separate, but whatever is haunting the Amador Hotel has other plans.

You can find it more about the book here and join the Amador Lockdown mailing list to find out about new releases and updates.

Author Bio:

Coral Russell won the 2003 McCaleb Peace Initiative which produced the non-fiction articles Peace on the Peninsula about South Korean's view on reunification. You can also find various articles written by her on Technorati and BlogCritics. After winning a fiction writing contest (a fluke), she caught the fiction bug. An encounter with something paranormal on a local ghost tour inspired her to start writing the ghost hunter series.

Her titles include Peace on the Peninsula, Twelve Worlds, Playing with Fire, The DIY Guide to Social Media Marketing and eBook Publishing, and Amador Lockdown.

Ms. Russell runs the blog alchemyofscrawl and you can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Spotlight: Twin-Bred

Now Featuring:

Twin-Bred by Karen A. Wyle:

Can inter-species diplomacy begin in the womb?  

After seventy years on Tofarn, the human colonists and the native Tofa still know very little about each other.  Misunderstanding breeds conflict, and the conflicts are escalating.  Scientist Mara Cadell’s radical proposal: that host mothers of either species carry fraternal twins, human and Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species.  Mara lost her own twin, Levi, in utero, but she has secretly kept him alive in her mind as companion and collaborator.

Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas.  Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee.  Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?

You can find Twin-Bred at:

Smashwords (multiple ebook formats):

CreateSpace (paperback):

An Introduction to the Excerpt- The human colony on Tofarn and the indigenous Tofa have great difficulty communicating with and basically comprehending each other.  Scientist Mara Cadell is running a project where host mothers carry twins, one human and one Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species.  Alan Kimball, a member of the governing human Council, is hostile to the Tofa and has inserted agents into the project.

 Excerpt from Twin-Bred:

Tilda looked at her twins, cuddled close together in the crib. Mat-set had all four arms wrapped around Suzie. They seemed to cuddle any chance they got. Maybe they were glad to be free of separate amniotic sacs.
She looked down at Mat-set and remembered the rumors of Tofa with five arms instead of four. She had even seen pictures, but who knew whether they were authentic. Certainly none of the Tofa Twin-Bred babies had been born with extra limbs.
Tilda glanced over at the big dormitory clock and then back down at the babies. She gasped and staggered a step back. Mat-set was still holding Suzie with four arms. So how was he scratching his head with another one?
Tilda looked around wildly for a chair, found one blessedly nearby, and sank down on it. She pinched herself. Nothing changed. Well, who said you couldn’t pinch yourself in a dream and keep on dreaming?
She got up and walked, a bit unsteadily, to the intercom and buzzed for a nurse. Then she went back to the crib. Of course. Four arms, only four, and what was she going to do now?
She decided to be brave and sensible. If she had really seen it, the staff had to know. And if she hadn’t, and she didn’t wake up, then she was ill, and she should get the help she needed.

The chief nurse tucked Tilda in and watched her drift off to sleep, sedative patch in place. Then she went back to her station and called up the monitor footage on Tilda’s twins.
Well, well.


LEVI Status Report, 12-15-71
Executive Summary

Anatomical Developments

Observation of the Tofa infants has shed some light on the longstanding question of whether the number of Tofa upper appendages is variable among the Tofa population. The thickest of the four armlike appendages is apparently capable of dividing when an additional upper appendage is desired. . . .

Councilman Kimball bookmarked the spot in his agent's report and opened his mail program. He owed an apology to the young man who had claimed his poor showing against a Tofa undesirable was due to the sudden appearance of an extra appendage. Apparently the man had been neither dishonest nor drunk.
After discharging that obligation, Kimball made a note to seek further details as to the divided arms' placement, reach, and muscular potential. His people needed adequate information to prepare them for future confrontations. After all, forewarned — he laughed out loud at the thought — was forearmed.

Author Bio: 
Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University.  She now considers herself a Hoosier. Wyle's childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist.  While writing her first novel at age 10, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age 9. 

Wyle is an appellate attorney, photographer, political junkie, and mother of two daughters. Her voice is the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction.  It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of law practice.  Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book Spotlight: Basement Blues and Other Stories

Now Featuring:
Basement Blues and Other Stories by J. H. Sked:
Basement Blues and Other Stories is a spooky short story collection. The title story introduces the Blue Moon Detective Agency series.

Basement Blues:

Billy's client has a couple of problems.
She's dead, for starters.
She smells bad.
And her laundry equipment is trying to kill her all over again.
Saving the (undead) girl shouldn't be this hard..


An unsettling look at what lurks in the shadows and a man with a very justified fear of the dark.

Pushing Janey:

Phan is being haunted on the London underground. But is he hunted - or is he hunting?
Book Links:
Excerpt from Basement Blues:

The woman sitting in my office chair was stunning. White blonde hair carefully slicked into a chignon, Dolce & Gabanna bag, smartly tailored blue pants suit. She was also dead, which I was having a bit of an issue with.

Not that I'm prejudiced - my own partners are what you might call life challenged, and I have a little condition of my own - but the smell was getting to me. She'd sprayed some very expensive perfume over herself, and the average human wouldn't have noticed it through the  scent. 
I am not average. I'm also not human, and the scent of decomp was growing stronger by the minute.

Eventually I lunged for the window, pushing the sill up and leaning out for great gulps of fresh night air. It was either that or throw up on our latest client, and I was fairly sure that suit was designer. I couldn't afford the bill.

 "I'm sorry," Susan Armstrong said from behind me. Her vocal cords were starting to rot, giving her a husky, slightly grating voice.
"It isn't your fault," I said, still leaning as far out of the window as I could. I didn't have to turn around to know that she was crying. I could smell it.

Sunset had been nearly twenty minutes ago. Astrid was late and Ruth was in the field. I needed at least one of them here. I never know what to do with a crying woman. How to handle a crying zombie was so far out of my league I might as well be on Pluto.

Author Bio:

J. H. Sked lives in London, England, with several hundred books and a long-suffering flatmate.
When not writing, she reads, paints, works at a day job and is completing a university degree.
Every now and then she finds time to sleep.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book Spotlight: Haunted

Now Featuring:

Haunted by Chris Eboch:

John doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not even if his mother does, and married a man who researches ghost sightings for his own TV show. Not even when they travel with the show, and visit “haunted” places.

But his younger sister Tania claims she can see the ghosts. Deciding to believe her is just the first challenge. Softhearted Tania wants to help the ghosts. First the siblings have to find out what happened to keep each ghost trapped in this world. Then they have to help the ghosts move on—sometimes by letting them take over Tania’s body. All this while dealing with their overprotective mother, a stepfather who’d want to exploit Tania’s gift, and a production assistant who’s totally hot but impossible to impress.

Life gets interesting when your sister sees ghosts. And the TV show’s shooting season is just beginning....

Chris Eboch's Haunted series, for ages 8-12, includes three books. The Ghost on the Stairs is set at a Colorado hotel haunted by a ghost bride from the 1880s who is waiting for her missing husband to return. The Riverboat Phantom features a steamboat pilot still trying to prevent a long-ago disaster. In The Knight in the Shadows, a Renaissance French squire protects a sword on display in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.

Read the first chapters:

See the Haunted book trailer at

Author Bio:

Chris Eboch’s novels for children include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; and the Haunted series. Her book Advanced Plotting helps writers fine-tune their plots. Learn more at her Amazon page or check out her writing tips at

Chris also writes for adults under the name Kris Bock. Rattled launches her new action/suspense series featuring treasure hunting adventures in the New Mexico wilderness. Read the first three chapters at

Friday, September 16, 2011

Who’s the Best Doctor Who?

The have a guest at In the Spotlight today, writer Dee Mason, who brings us one fan's overview of the show, Doctor Who:

Who’s the Best Who?

I love sci-fi. Well, some sci-fi. I sit here in my best writing chair, watching Dr Who and wondering what direction it could possibly go in next. Those of you who love sci-fi may also be into Dr Who. The show originally aired in England on November 23rd, 1963 and was played by William Hartnell. It received mixed reviews from critics but soon gained a massive fan base. It was famous for its creaky scenery and dodgy props, but people loved it. In 1966 William Hartnell was replaced by Patrick Troughton in the first ever replacement of a living actor on TV. The idea to keep the Doctor going resulted in decision which as yet unprecedented. He would regenerate. This became part of the Doctor’s life and history and when Patrick Troughton left Jon Pertwee took over the role from 1970 through 1974.

Enemies of the Doctor

By then, the graphics were in color but still as comical as ever. The story lines were so engrossing that fans had no problem ignoring the little faults of the show. The Doctor faced many enemies, but none scarier than the Daleks. In 1963 the Daleks made their appearance, during the second season. Children all over the land hit behind the sofas on a Saturday, covering their faces with their hand. However, they were still morbidly fascinated enough to watch between their slightly opened fingers. Another of the Doctor’s mortal enemies are the Cybermen. The particularly creepy thing about the cybermen is that they used to be human. They retain their human brains but their entire skeletal systems are replaced by cyborg parts. Their feelings are also removed, which makes them especially frightening enemies.
Of the many enemies the Doctor faced, the cybermen and the Daleks have remained his main two nemesis’, with the exception of The Master. First appearing in 1971 and played by Roger Delgado—until his death in 1973—The Master is also a Time Lord. However, unlike the Doctor, the Master is a renegade and totally insane. His quest to destroy the Doctor ended with actor Anthony Ainley, in 1989, when the series was cut from the BBC schedule. No Dr Who fan ever expected the show to be dropped, but owing to low audience viewing figures, the BBC decided it was time to put the Time Lord to bed. After Jon Pertwee (1974), came Tom baker, Peter Davison, Colin baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann.

The Revival

In 2005 Russell T Davies, a long-time fan of the show attempted to woo the BBC with a revived, up-to-date version of the Doctor. He wrote cleverly calculated scripts and had some bright new ideas about graphics and scenery. The entire show was brought into the 21st century and beyond, with stunning locations and exceptionally brilliant plots. The first revival Doctor was played by Christopher Eccleston, who excelled at playing the part. His role rekindled the old generation of Dr Who fans, as well as creating a brand new generation of loyal followers. New enemies, like the Slitheen were brought in, as well as a host of massive TV personalities, queuing up to get a part on the show. Billie Piper played Rose Tyler, who meets the Doctor when the store she works at is attacked by plastic window dummies. Rose and the Doctor become travelling companions—much to the chagrin of Mickey, Rose’s long-suffering boyfriend. Eccleston only wanted to do one series of Dr Who, for fear of getting typecast. Another actor was needed to fill the charismatic role. Enter the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant. Rose watched as Christopher Eccleston started to fade away. His face altered slightly and went a little blurry. Suddenly there was a tremendous bang and the Doctor’s arms spread out wide at exactly the same time his body was engulfed in a sort of weird flame. He howled in pain for a moment and then the fire stopped. There stood a stranger. “Now, where was I. Oh! I know! Barcelona!” he said. He examined his new teeth, his new voice, his new hair and complained that he never ended up ginger. He and Rose had some fantastic adventures and Rose eventually fell in love with him. The sad ending for the Doctor and Rose came in a two-part epic battle set in Canary Warf, London, between the Daleks and the Cybermen. Rose was transported into the rift and the rift was sealed, ending her partnership with the amazing Time Lord.

New Friends

Still mourning the loss of Rose, the Doctor ended up chasing an alien in a hospital. There he encounters Martha Jones, a trainee Dr, who is astonished to end up with the whole hospital building being transported to the moon, by the Judoon. He and Martha shared one entire series before Martha decided that her unrequited love would be the end of her. Once again, the Dr travelled alone. However, it wasn’t long before he bumped into his Partner in Crime, Donna Noble. He had briefly encountered her in a Christmas special called Runaway Bride—played by Catherine Tate—and when they met up again it was fight the flab in the episode with the Adipose.
Again, just one series but this enduring partnership was probably, for me, the best one. Donna was cheeky, took no prisoners and gave the Doctor some proper lip, but she had a heart of gold and they made a brilliant team. Her sad demise came in Journey’s End—having been predicted by Dalek Khan—where she took on the characteristics of a Time Lord. This being an impossible act, Donna was doomed to die unless the Doctor took swift action. His answer was to wipe her memory. Donna Noble, who had travelled the universe and left her mark on entire populations, reverted back to the shallow temp from Chiswick in one fell swoop, never knowing the Doctor and never knowing what she had achieved.
Not long after this, in a two-part special—The End of Time--David Tennant made his final exit as the Doctor. He came up against his old nemesis The Master. At the very end of the episode, the new Doctor’s face became that of Matt Smith, a previously unknown actor. Now, many people have their own ideas of who their Doctor is. Most fans have a claim on pretty much all of them because it is their personal favourite. Mine happens to be David Tennant and I personally think it would be impossible to replace him. So far, I am right.

Dee Mason is a freelance writer who has penned various articles, mainly for property and travel sites.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Spotlight: Ruined City

Now Featuring:

Ruined City by A. F. Stewart:

In the Northern Pass stands the city of Elowen, the glittering guardian between the Empire of Aloquis and the Kingdoms of Immra.  It stands proud and prosperous, never dreaming its dark past was coming to call...

On a bright winter’s day a stranger arrives in Elowen, bearing a secret. From this man a dark blight of ruin descends over the great city and this day becomes known as Winter’s Bane.
The day the world changed for the people of Elowen.
The day their existence turned into a recurring nightmare.

Read of the aftermath of revenge through the eyes of a shopkeeper, a child, ghosts, a blacksmith, a guardsman, an innkeeper, and even a King.

Twelve Stories, One Evil.

Available for free until Sept. 12th on Smashwords:
Just use coupon code, XK99S at the checkout.

Author Bio:

A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and still calls it home.  She has always had an overly creative mind, and an active imagination.   She is fond of good books (especially science fiction/fantasy), action movies, and oil painting as a hobby.
Ms. Stewart has been writing dark fantasy and horror for several years, with side trips into poetry and non-fiction.  She also has a great interest in history and mythology, often working those themes into her books and stories.  Her published books included Killers and Demons, Once Upon a Dark and Eerie..., Chronicles of the Undead, Shadows of Poetry, Passing Fancies and The Incomplete Guide to Action Movies.

You can find her thoughts about writing and various excerpts from her books at her blog,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Spotlight: 2012: Midnight at Spanish Gardens

Now Featuring:

2012: Midnight at Spanish Gardens by Alma Alexander:

What if you could make a different choice at a critical moment in your life?  What if had married someone else, turned right instead of left, had taken that job you agonized over and in the end rejected? What if you had been born a man instead of a woman? 

On the eve of the end of the world, Dec. 20, 2012, five friends meet in Spanish Gardens, the restaurant where they had celebrated their college graduation 20 years before. Over Irish coffees, they reminisce – and reveal long-held and disturbing secrets.
Each friend in turn is given a curious set of instructions by an enigmatic bartender named Ariel: "Your life is filled with crossroads and you are free to choose one road or another at any time. Stepping through this door takes away all choices except two -- the choice to live a different life, or return to this one.”
All of them pass through the portal and into drastically changed lives. They change occupations and families; one changes gender; a woman falls in love -- with another woman. In the end, four choose to return to their original lives. One doesn’t.

For more information, see Sky Warrior Books website:

Author Bio:

Alma Alexander, who has been dubbed: 'Duchess of Fantasy,' has written a string of  historical and young adult fantasies that stand out as some of the best writing in the field.
Her high-fantasy duology, published in the United States as "The Hidden Queen" and "Changer of Days," is complemented by what is perhaps her best-known work, "The Secrets of Jin Shei." Jin-shei is currently out in 14 foreign editions worldwide including such fascinating languages as Turkish, Lithuanian, Catalan and Hebrew, as well as Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian and Dutch. Both Jin-shei and its sequel, "Embers of Heaven," are high-concept alternate history which have also been received as mainstream.  "Worldweavers", a YA fantasy trilogy from HarperCollins, features Native American mythology, computer magic, a race of elves with the souls of Ferengi, and Nikola Tesla in a coming-of-age story that has received high critical and reader praise.

Alma was born in Yugoslavia, grew up in Africa, and went to school in Wales. She has lived in several countries on four continents, and is quite comfortable in the new continent of cyberspace. Several years ago she was living in New Zealand when she met a man on an Internet bulletin board for writers, married him and moved to America.  She now lives with her husband and two cats in the Pacific Northwest, in the city of Bellingham (directions to her home include the phrase "Aim for Canada and just before you get there, turn right").  Her office looks out onto cedar woods, and she has frequently been known to babysit young deer left just outside her door while their mothers vanish off on some urgent deer errand.

You can learn more about Alma at her website,, and more about the Worldweavers books at their own dedicated site,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Spotlight: Summoned: Book One of The Elemental

Now Featuring:

Summoned: Book One of The Elemental by Susan Leigh Noble:

At the age of four, Lina discovered she could start fires with a mere thought – a trait which had died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she kept this Elemental power a secret to avoid being an outcast. That was easy to do growing up in the remote grasslands of Zena.
Now eighteen, she had no plans to leave her beloved homeland. So when a strange urge compels her to travel north to an unknown destination, Lina resists this unnatural feeling. But her plans to stay in Zena are taken out of her control when she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. She fears she will have no choice but to give into the compulsion. When a raging fire prevents her return home, she realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.
On her journey, Lina befriends an odd assortment of allies. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces despite the fact that such magic had died out over 800 years ago. Lina reluctantly begins to use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

Summoned is the first book in The Elemental Trilogy.

Summoned: Book One of The Elemental  is also available on Smashwords

Author Bio:

Susan Leigh Noble has always loved to read. She has been writing since childhood – anything from poetry, short stories, news articles and finally full length fantasy novels. She has always loved dragons, magic and cats so it is no wonder she put them all together in her “The Elemental” trilogy.
When she isn’t writing, Susan is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and at her children’s’ schools. She lives with her husband and two children in Texas.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Review of the movie Cowboys & Aliens

Cowboys and Aliens is a good movie, a really good movie.  However, if you’re looking for a sci-fi movie set in the Old West you may be disappointed because at its heart Cowboys and Aliens is a western.  It may have a side order of sci-fi, with alien bad guys instead of outlaws or cattle rustlers, but this movie is definitely a western, albeit an unconventional one.
You do get cool spaceships and lasers and nasty ET’s sprinkled in among the horses and the six-shooters, but the storyline is straight out of the western genre.  An outsider (Daniel Craig) wanders into town, stirs up some trouble, and gets himself arrested.  Then the bad guys shoot up the town with glowing lasers and flying ships, in order to kidnap hapless townsfolk.  The survivors eventually band together to form a rescue posse and go off to bring back the abducted, meeting bandits and Indians along the way.
The director, Jon Favreau, does an excellent job of bringing together the disparate elements in a solid plot that manages to weave the sci-fi elements into the narrative convincingly; the idea of aliens being thought of as demons by the people in town was both realistic and amusing. The film also has a stellar cast playing the classic roles, including an outstanding Daniel Craig as the amnesiac outlaw turned reluctant hero, Harrison Ford as the grizzled, severe cattle baron, Sam Rockwell as the ineffectual greenhorn and they all mesh well to give the movie some emotional depth.
Cowboys and Aliens is an enjoyable film, filled with fun dialogue, shootouts, fights, and rollicking western action, sci-fi style.

Article first published as Movie Review: Cowboys & Aliens on Blogcritics.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Spotlight: Killers and Demons

Now Featuring:

Killers and Demons by A. F. Stewart:

Warning!  Not for the faint of heart!

Craving a little blood or perhaps some horrific death?  Slake your gruesome thirst for vicarious thrills with five chilling stories that go inside the twisted world of serial killers and beyond to the dark, disturbing world of demons.

Creep into the pages to greet terror.
Killers and Demons is a collection of five horror stories where the macabre murderers don’t get caught and evil triumphs.
What happens if you awake, afraid, alone and in complete darkness?  If you find someone wants your heart for Valentine’s, literally?  Or if you come face to face with evil on the dark streets of historic London?  You would end up dead, of course.
Come spend some time with the homicidal and savour their kills, dance with demons as they hunt and watch the blood drip slowly, sweetly from their fingers. 

Killers and Demons will send chills down your spine.

For the month of July, Killers and Demons is being offered free on Smashwords as part of the Killers and Demons Blog Tour

Book Link:

Author Bio:
A. F. Stewart was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, and still calls it home.  She has always had an overly creative mind, and an active imagination.   She is fond of good books (especially science fiction/fantasy), action movies, and oil painting as a hobby.
Ms. Stewart has been writing for several years, her main focus being in the fantasy genre.  She also has a great interest in history and mythology, often working those themes into her books and stories.  She has authored and published several books, including Killers and Demons, Chronicles of the Undead, Shadows of Poetry, Passing Fancies and Once Upon a Dark and Eerie...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day

It is time to fire up the barbeque and wave the flag for it is Canada Day.
I’m here to add a little extra Canadiana to the day with a few suggestions for your entertainment, whether you want to have movie night, go nostalgic with some TV on DVD or curl up with a good book:

  • One Week:  Joshua Jackson stars in this poignant movie, about a man who discovers he has cancer and embarks on a Canadian road trip.  It’s a touching, quiet film about the country and life.
  • Men with Brooms:  Male bonding, relationships, beavers and curling, what more could you want.  Oh yeah, it stars Paul Gross.
  • Cube: A sci-fi horror film about a group of people trying to escape a cube-shaped prison filled with death traps.
  • Away From Her: A moving film about dealing with Alzheimer disease and the effect it has on a marriage.  Staring Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie and directed by Sarah Polley.

  • The Red Green Show:  Watch Red, Harold and the boys as they get into trouble at Possum Lodge and sing the praises of duct tape.
  • Corner Gas:  The quirky life of the citizens of Dog River.
  • The Collector:  Morgan Pym collects souls for the Devil in Vancouver, until he re-works his arrangement to try and save his hapless targets.
  • Da Vinci’s Inquest: A strong crime drama set in the world of the Vancouver City Coroner’s office.
  • Trailer Park Boys:  The raunchy, crazy, beer drinking antics of Bubbles, Ricky and Julian.

  • The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay: A three book fantasy masterpiece (note: while I prefer the Sailing to Sarantium/Lord of Emperors epic, The Fionavar Tapestry is set, at least in part, in Canada).
  • No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod: A wonderful, emotional saga of one family.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Spotlight: The Alestrion Chronicles: Slaves Redeemed

Now Featuring:

The Alestrion Chronicles: Slaves Redeemed by Leanna Shields:

Aria was captured by pirates when she was five years old and sold into slavery.
At thirteen she is rescued by Jarron Latron, and she and her friend Catanya are taken to Aria’s home world of Tanul. There she meets the High King and finds a chance to be free, with a new life beckoning.
But buried deep inside this girl is a secret a man in power wishes to keep hidden.
Will she regain her forgotten memory?
Will this man's plan prevail? 

Also Available at Smashwords

Author Bio:

LeAnna Shields grew up and still lives in Colorado. She went to public schools until high school, and then chose a home school out of Chicago called Christian Liberty Academy Satellite School. This is where she excelled, learned to write and even indulged in fan fiction about Star Wars.
During college she started her series, The Alestrion Chronicles, a project dear to her heart.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Spotlight: Die Laughing

 Now Featuring:

Die Laughing by Louis K. Lowy:

Beamed aboard an alien spaceship, Las Vegas funny man Sam E. Lakeside is forced to participate in a plan to rob the earth of its oil.
When the shape-shifting aliens – who take on the form of Trixie Norton, Nat King Cole and others they’ve seen on TV – and their leader, a power-hungry mobster, murder Sam’s best friend and manager, Sam vows revenge.
He recruits a blacklisted comic book writer and the mobster’s girlfriend, and drags them cross-country to thwart the aliens. Their journey takes them to New York City and the Steve Allen Show, where the key to the alien’s conquest lies.
Sam, embroiled in an escalating tangle of violence, love, and lies, is forced to choose between what he wants most in the world – to be a star – or the planet’s survival.

Released by IFWG Publishing.
Available in e-book July, 2011, and in trade paperback August, 2011.

Author Bio:

A former firefighter, Louis K. Lowy is the recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship. His work has appeared in, among others, Coral Living Magazine, New Plains Review, Ethereal Tales Magazine, Pushing Out the Boat, The MacGuffin Magazine, and The Chaffey Review. His humor poem “Poetry Workshop” was the 2009 second place winner of Winning Writers Wergle Flomp Contest.

He resides in Miami Lakes, FL with his wife, daughter, and their two cocker-terriers, Huey and Dewey. He has a son studying Asian Literature in Tokyo.

Blog:  The Writer From Haunted Cave

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