Monthly Archives: July 2018

Little Lamb……

So today, we found our sheep in the yard, and with them what Grace thought to be a goat at first. Upon checking closer, we found that we had our first baby lamb. He is not more than a couple of days old. So we could not resist in capturing the moment on our camera.

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Release Blitz – The Heart of Aleppo

About the Book

Title: The Heart of Aleppo

Author: Ammar Habib

Genre: Young Adult / Coming of Age / Contemporary

Page Count: 235

After standing for over 7,000 years, Aleppo’s ruin came overnight. Separated from his family during the night the rebels attacked the city, thirteen-year-old Zaid Kadir is lost in the middle of a war zone. Alongside his friends, he is forced to survive the dangers of a civil war he does not even fully understand. Zaid witnesses the destruction of the brutal Syrian Civil War as it grows more deadly by the day and rips his city apart. However, as he braves this destruction, as he desperately tries to survive this catastrophe, he discovers something. Zaid realizes that it is in the darkest hours when humanity’s spirit of hope burns brightest.

Links

Goodreads

Amazon

About the Author

Ammar Habib is a bestselling and award-winning author who was born in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1993. Ammar enjoys crafting stories that are not only entertaining but will also stay with the reader for a long time. Ammar presently resides in his hometown with his family, all of whom are his biggest fans. He draws his inspiration from his family, imagination, and the world around him.

Social Media

Website:www.ammarahsenhabib.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ammarahsenhabib

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmmarAHabib1

@AmmarAHabib1

Blog: www.ammarhabibblog.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Ammar_Habib

Instagram: https://instagram.com/ammar.a.habib/

@Ammar.A.Habib

Giveaway

In conjunction with the release of The Heart of Aleppo, Ammar is running a giveaway from July 26th to August 3rd. The prize of the giveaway is a signed copy of his national award-winning novel, Memories of My Future. Memories of My Future is a historical/inspirational novel that was published in 2016. It received several accolades after its release, including the Independent Press Award in May 2017.

Go here to visit the giveaway!

 

Why Ammar wrote The Heart of Aleppo:

I personally believe that the Syrian Civil War is one of this generation’s greatest tragedies. With the way it is proceeding, it’ll be remembered by future generations in the same manner that we remember the Rwandan genocide and the Bosnian War of the 1990s.

The motivation for writing The Heart of Aleppo was simple: I wished to bring more global attention to this crisis. Although the characters are fictitious, this novel accurately depicts the events that transpired in Aleppo during the summer of 2012. I hope that reading this will lead readers to have a greater understanding of the plight those in Syria face, as well as those in other war-torn regions. If this work helps garner more attention for those in Syria, then I will have considered this project a success.

In an over-politicized world, my wish is for this work to humanize those we call “refugees”. The Heart of Aleppo is not about the politics of the Syrian Civil War or any other conflict. Its aim is not to convince readers to support any faction or political party. Instead, this story is about the unbreakable spirit of humanity. It is about how humanity often shows its true strength during the darkest times.

I truly hope that these themes of hope and strength will resonate with readers. I know that simply writing this The Heart of Aleppo changed me as a person, and it made me more aware of everything that transpires in the world around me. Although the world will never be perfect, I believe that if we keep our faith in the human spirit and keep striving to always better ourselves and those around us, then we can create a little piece of heaven on earth.

Writing Playlist for The Heart of Aleppo

  1. “Sadness and Sorrow”

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  1. “Sound of Hugh Glass”

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  1. “Despair”

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  1. “Man of the World”

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First excerpt from The Heart of Aleppo:

Two days before Nabeel leaves for the last time, I find him standing at the kitchen counter with his friend, Zakariah. I don’t know his rank, but Zakariah serves directly under Nabeel in the army and only lives two miles down the road. The two of them always seem to be on leave at the same time.

Their voices are low, almost secretive, but I catch the look in Nabeel’s eye. Except back then, I didn’t recognize it.

“What are you guys talking about?”

Seeing me enter and hearing my voice, they both look my way before exchanging glances. That gleam in Nabeel’s eyes disappears.

I excitedly run up to the two of them. “Tell me!”

Nabeel looks back down at me as he stops leaning against the counter. Reaching down, he ruffles my hair. “You’re too young to know about that, Zaid.”

“Aww, what’s that about? I’m not part of the group now—”

My brother playfully flicks me on the forehead as he crouches down a little. “I’m sorry, buddy. Maybe next time.”

“You’re always saying that.”

Zakariah laughs as he comes closer to me. He puts his hand on my shoulder. “That’s just not fair, Nabeel. You’re a horrible brother for leaving Zaid out like that.”

I see a concerned expression momentarily wash over Nabeel’s face.

However, Zakariah glances up at Nabeel and shoots him a quick wink as he continues. “Why don’t I just tell you then?”

My eyes light up. “Really! You’re the best, Zakariah.”

Coming to his knees, he puts his arm around my shoulders and leans close, acting as if he is about to tell me the world’s biggest secret. “You see, Zaid, your brother and I were having a discussion about which one of us would win in a wrestling match. We all know that I’m stronger, but he just won’t admit it.” He sighs and shakes his head as he looks back at Nabeel. “But you agree with me, don’t you, Zaid?”

I don’t hesitate to respond. “No way!”

He moves his head back in surprise. “Huh?”

“Sure you’re pretty strong, but my brother would beat you!”

Zakariah is slow to reply, taken aback by the statement. “C’mon, Zaid. You do realize that I’m older than him—”

“Age has nothing to do with it, Zakariah! My brother was the school’s wrestling champion. He wouldn’t lose to you.” I whip my head to look back at Nabeel. “Right, big brother?”

Nabeel is slightly smiling now.

With a chuckle, Zakariah rises back to his feet. “Alright, alright. Well, I best be off, Nabeel. We can finish our little discussion next time.”

Nabeel shakes his hand. “Give my greetings to your folks.”

“I will.” Zakariah grabs my shoulder and gives it a squeeze. “See you, Zaid—no, sorry: Dr. Zaid.”

Did he really just call me that? How did he know?

Hearing Zakariah’s footsteps grow faint, I turn back to Nabeel. He opens the fridge door and rummages through it.

“You told him?” I ask.

Nabeel doesn’t look my way. “I tell everyone.”

I watch him pull out a pound of chicken meat rolled up in brown paper as he turns back to me.

“Aisha is visiting her parents tonight and Abbi and Ummi are having dinner with friends. So looks like it’ll just be you and me.” Nabeel shoots me a wink. “I’m going to make some shwarma for dinner. Just the way you like it: tomatoes, lettuce, onions, lots of chicken, and even more spices.” He starts setting the ingredients on the countertop. “I went by Sohail’s shop today. The mangoes he was selling were ripe, so I picked some up. We can have them for dessert. That is if we have room.”

He looks back at me with a smile, but it fades when he sees my expression.

“What’s wrong, Zaid?”

I glance at the ground before replying, “I don’t think I want to be a doctor anymore.”

“Why not?”

“…I don’t think I can.”

He takes a few steps towards me before crouching down to come to my eye level, urging me to continue.

“Ms. Farooq said I’m not smart enough.”

“She did?”

“I got the lowest score in the class on the last math test. She said I’m not cut out for it.”

“I didn’t realize Ms. Farooq could tell the future.”

I don’t respond.

“Did you tell Abbi or Ummi?”

I shake my head.

He takes a deep breath and glances down at my feet. His eyes look like he’s weighing something, wondering if he should say it or not. When he does speak, his voice is different. It’s no longer speaking to me as his younger brother but as his friend. “You know, Zaid, Zakariah was joking about what we were talking about.”

“Really?”

He nods before his gaze focuses back on me. “Not even a few weeks ago, my soldiers and I were in a bit of a… well, situation.”

“What happened?”

“We were in Homs. The people we were fighting—the rebels—had heavy control of some neighborhoods. We were trying to take them back. It was…”

A silence ensues as he searches for the word.

“Difficult.” Nabeel pauses. “Some soldiers were pinned. The army tried an airstrike to break the rebel lines. It was a heavy bombardment that leveled entire streets. The cost was high. But we couldn’t break their lines.”

I don’t interrupt him.

“Our intelligence said it was a lost cause. We were ordered to abandon the soldiers. They said we would lose more men than we would save. But even the army’s ‘intelligence’ doesn’t know everything.” He looks away. “Zakariah and I disobeyed our commanding officer. As did our men. Those soldiers that were pinned weren’t just men. They were my friends… my brothers. And I would never abandon them, even if it led to…”

For a moment, his eyes again display that same gleam, but it disappears as quickly as it came.

His gaze again meets mine. It’s firmer this time, stronger. “It doesn’t matter what people say, Zaid. It doesn’t matter what the facts say. All that matters is what you say. And, maybe more importantly, what you do.”

I hang on his words, unable to say anything.

“Why do you want to be a doctor, Zaid?”

“I’ve always wanted to.”

“But why?”

“Because… I don’t want to see people suffer. I… I want to be the one to help others. I want to save lives, make a difference and put others before myself. I want to make this world a better place. Just like the Imam always talks about.”

Nabeel smiles. “Never forget that. And never go back on your word. No matter what happens. Please never forget one thing, Zaid: I love you. No matter the circumstance—no matter if I’m so far from you that you may never see me again, know that I’m with you.” He presses his finger against my heart. “I believe in you, Zaid.”

 

VBT – Memoirs of a Road Warrior

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About the Book
Title: Memoirs of a Road Warrior
Author: Fred Klein
Genre: Humor

CoverScan

Andrew Livingston, a young, naive college graduate gets a job as a sales engineer for a crazy company. Set in New York in the corporate raider 1980’s this humorous book is a recounting of all the strange history of a high-tech company with an eccentric CEO.
This character gathers together a strange assortment of employees who endeavor to manufacture and sell their products to an equally strange collection of customers. The book tells of their amusing conflicts and experiences throughout the decades.
Follow the company’s encounters with Chinese agents, horse trailers, rocket fuel disasters, con-men, bedbugs, and airplane crashes. Learn how not to run a business!

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Author Bio

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Fred Klein is a new author of his humorous novel MEMOIRS OF A ROAD WARRIOR. He was a sales engineer for 30 years selling scientific instruments throughout North America. He is a private pilot, a drummer in a band, and presently lives with his wife in California. Fred is not a natural comedian but funny things always see to happen around him.

Links

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/
webpage: http://www.humorous-book.com
email: memoirsofaroadwarrior@gmail.com
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fred.klein56232
twitter: https://twitter.com/Author3333
wordpress: www.humorousbook.wordpress.com
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/81816063

Book Blast – ARIES RED SKY

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Aries’ Red Sky
by James Young

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GENRE: Science Fiction

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BLURB:

The Confederation of Man believes all Humanity should be under Terra’s rule.

The Spartan Republic has spent seven centuries preparing to resist Earth’s tyranny.

The stars will burn as these two mindsets come into brutal conflict in Aries’ Red Sky, the newest novel by award-winning author James Young.

Teaser_AriesRedSky copy

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EXCERPT

Despite his best efforts, Agenor Acheros’ was unable to completely dodge his opponent’s whirling axe kick. Rather than a clean, visage altering hit, however, the blow thudded into the Spartan lieutenant’s thick chest.

Ow, he thought with a grunt, the woman’s combat boot sliding off the right side of his dark green gi. Agenor did not give his sparring partner time to regain her balance, allowing his dodge to the left to flow into a crouch. Even as Lieutenant Abigail Schweizer realized her vulnerability, Agenors braced himself on his left arm. This was followed by a left leg sweep that knocked his diminutive opponent onto her back. Continuing the motion with a speed and agility no man his size should possess, Agenor completed an almost complete rotation on his straining left arm. Schweizer was just trying to regain her bearings when Agenor’s feet came back around and caught her steel-toes-first in the back. The blow elicited sharp cries and gasps from onlookers as the woman flung forward several feet.

Let’s finish this, Agenor thought, coming to his knees then springing to his feet and striding towards the stunned Schweizer. He felt a calmness descend upon him, blue eyes narrowing as he carefully stalked towards his opponent.

She might be faking. Either way, she will yield.

“Enough!” Captain Mordechai Butler barked, stopping Agenor in his tracks The tall, thin officer stood just outside the “Square of Enlightenment,” Alpha Company’s nickname for their designated sparring area. Agenor stopped to look at him, face quizzical.

“The Square has spoken,” Butler continued, signalling the end of the fight. Unlike the two lieutenants, Butler wore the standard Spartan Marine camouflage uniform. Inside of the Basile’s dark grey compartments, the clothing’s adaptive threads had adopted a mottled, random pattern of grey, white, black, and silver lozenge shapes.

“The Square tells all,” the roughly sixty Marines scattered in the open bay chanted with varying degrees of solemnity.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Picture

James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life by attending the United States Military Academy. After being set free from the Hudson River Valley, Mr. Young spent the next six years of his life in the Army repaying his education the proverbial “nickel at a time.” Along the way he collected a loving, patient, beautiful spouse…and various animals that did not fit that description. Leaving the Republic’s employ, he returned to the Midwest to pursue his doctorate—a process which took twice the time planned but is finally concluded. Having now concluded two of the prerequisites to be a super villain, Dr. Young spends his time waiting for the inevitable origin story, winning writing awards (2016 United States Naval Institute Cyber Essay Contest Winner, among others), and writing an alternate history (Usurper’s War) and military space opera (Vergassy Chronicles) series. His latest book is Aries Red Sky, the first in a new Vergassy Universe trilogy.

James Young’s Blog: https://vergassy.com/

James Young’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00AVKCQZQ?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

James Young will be awarding a 5×7 print of concept artwork from the Vergassy Universe to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a special art print – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast – THE CLOCK FLOWER

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The Clock Flower
by Barbara Casey

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GENRE: Mystery/Suspense

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BLURB:

Mackenzie Yarborough, one of the three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—finds herself facing a terrifying death of an ancient evil dragon while in China working on a secret research project and trying to discover the truth of her birth parents.

Teaser_TheClockFlower copy

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EXCERPT

Lyuba was startled awake by the screeching of the magpie. It was the third morning in a row the large bird had settled on the crooked branch of the tall elm tree outside her hut just before dawn. She had studied the Tarot late into the night to determine the meaning of the magpie’s warning, but the message was clouded and obscure—its purpose stubbornly hidden. She only knew it had to do with her precious daughter, Carolina, and the three orphaned students whom her daughter loved and cared for—Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer, all three geniuses born with special talents that couldn’t be explained.

The Comino Gypsies, or Black Tribe as they were sometimes called, had been staying near Frascati, Italy, less than 10 kilometers south of Rome, the nearest of the Castelli towns. As in times past, the gypsies camped on a hill, once called Tusculum by the ancients, in the shadows of the Villa Mondragone, so named because of the many dragons carved in its brown stone edifice. The gypsies simply called it the Old Villa, and they had made this their home during the warm months for as long as anyone could remember. Even before there was a Villa Mondragone.

Originally built on Roman ruins in the sixteenth century, it had survived through the centuries as home to various Catholic cardinals and periods of abandonment until most recently when it had been sold by the college of the Jesuits to the Second University of Rome. From their camp, it was an easy walk into the rural village of Frascati. Many of the villagers living there who were advanced in age still held on to many of the old beliefs, making it easier for the gypsies to sell their wares. Through the years, the travelers and the settlers had enjoyed a mutually beneficial association. But even in Frascati, there was the hint of change; it was a different generation—younger and less experienced to the ways of life and less patient. Lyuba noticed it; the others from the tribe who made daily visits did as well. It was just a matter of time before it would become a destination for tourists, with its fancy wine and its historical villa, and the old beliefs would be cast aside and forgotten.

Once it had been a place of heart-breaking sadness for Lyuba, for it was here where her young daughter barely three years of age—Carolina—had been taken from her by the Italian authorities. In her unrelenting sadness, she had felt a great darkness toward the person responsible and taken revenge, something for which she would regret the rest of her life.

Lyuba was a choovihni—a wise woman, an exalted and envied position among gypsy women. As her birthright, she and she alone had been given the responsibility to pass on the knowledge of the travelers to those who would follow, but it was rare to find a child born with the natural gift. In all her years as a choovihni, she had only known one—her own—the beautiful one that was taken from her so long ago. And because her child—Carolina—had also been born with the gift, she was able to find her mother many years later, the Kaulo Camio, a black gypsy who went by the name of Lyuba, there in the shadows of the Old Villa. The zee, the essence of all life both animate and inanimate, had been forgiving of that one vengeful act and chose to smile upon Lyuba. Now, returning to the shadows of the Old Villa for the warm summer months was a source of great joy.

With the knowledge of gypsies from the beginning of time running through her veins, Lyuba had the ability to communicate in a way that no other could. Carolina had that same ability, although she didn’t completely understand it—not yet. But in certain situations, especially if there was danger near, she would hear her mother’s voice, warning her, telling her what to do. That ability had saved Carolina from the gypsy boy’s curse, the wicked son of the Bandoleer. It had also helped Carolina and her three gifted students when they were lost deep inside the bowels of Grand Central Terminal searching for Dara’s mother. There would come a time when Carolina would be able to communicate in the same way as her gypsy choovihni mother and also be heard. That time was drawing near.

As Lyuba listened to the sharp cry of the magpie, she prepared a cup of sassafras tea, the root and leaves taken from the tree in the early morning dew just before dawn, that time of day when the benefit of its essential oils were the strongest. Perhaps the leaves would reveal what she needed to know.

She felt a sense of urgency. Soon her tribe would be departing this place on the hill near the Villa Mondragone, for it was that time of year when the shadows lengthened and the cool darkness of night more quickly replaced the warmth of day. They would need to travel south to another place and set up their camp away from winter’s chill. She would prepare a special duk rak, her own psychic shield. Perhaps that would ease her anxiety.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPhoto_TheClockPhoto

Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.

Ms. Casey’s two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla’s Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach’s Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation,” and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary novel written for adults, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction.

The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for young/new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. In 2012, The Cadence of Gypsies was expanded into a four-book mystery series called THE FIG MYSTERIES: The Wish Rider (2016), The Clock Flower (2018), and The Nightjar’s Promise (to be released in 2019).

Ms. Casey also writes book-length nonfiction for adults. Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released in 2016 and has been optioned for a major movie. In 2018 her book Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave was released and it has been signed for a major movie.

Ms. Casey’s award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey’s essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation). Other award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery.

In 2018, Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and Benton, a hound mix who adopted her.

Website: http://www.barbaracaseyagency.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/697572.Barbara_Casey

https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-casey-a9527667/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Barbara Casey will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Clock Flower

Movie Review – Avengers Grimm: Time Wars (2018)

 

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Avengers Grimm: Time Wars (2018)
Stars:  Lauren Parkinson, Elizabeth Eileen, Marah Fairclough, Christina Licciardi, Michael Marcel,
Director: Maximilian Elfeldt
Writer: Jeremy M. Inman (screenplay)

Plot: Unhappy being ruler of the Underworld, Rumpelstiltskin frees himself and goes into hiding, making plans to take over Earth once and for all. As the Avengers Grimm fight to stop him, they quickly discover it’s not where Rumpelstiltskin is hiding, but when, forcing our heroes to fight through the ages.

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Review: Every writer knows that the first rule of being a writer is read over your own work, then edit and change as necessary. However, in the case of this film, I do think that the writer and director missed a lot.

I wonder if the writer and the director got together for a basic script read and wondered to themselves, “Do we or don’t we?”

This is one of those scenarios where they should have reviewed the script and diced it completely.

Where can I begin? The acting was lame, the Director was obviously asleep at the wheel, and I cannot image how in hell this POC got funded. Then again, this “Masterpiece of crap” does come from the gang at The Asylum, so what else can we expect….

I know that this was released to “try” and capitalize on Avengers: Infinity War, but .. Well, what can I say here? Maybe they should have stopped with the first installment, rather than carry on the charade of bad acting and bad directing.

Verdict: No. Not just no, but, Hell No!
Rating: 1 out of 10

Promo Blast – Gitanjali Pritchard

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Singer Bio

My love for singing traces back to my childhood, when I was approximately 7 years old..
I used to listen to my dad playing the violin, and somehow what I didn’t know then as a child, I know now….

“That I always wanted to SING… always wanted to write and compose lyrics…”

I began to take classical singing lessons as a child and continued till circumstances tore me apart to simply log on to a real life for survival.

My music career went into a recessive hibernation and the economical struggles made me put my “SINGING” on the shelf of my mind’s library…

And almost after 30 long years, I felt I wanted to open the closed pages of my book… to the chapter of SINGING and MUSIC..

I needed to do something different other than follow the routine work life… I first began with lessons on piano and then the sound of music did the rest for me… It took me to the platform of my dreams … to sing, to entertain and to create music..

I couldn’t have done it without my son, who encouraged me at every step, not just as a mentor, but as a guide and my best friend … with very special thanks to Jean Pritchard for making my dream a reality …. And very humble oath of honour to D/A music/ Regent Street Artists for giving me a recognition ….

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My debut single as a lyricist and singer has released on the following platforms…
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/distant-heartbeats-single/id1210879508 Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/2aY7z8dmQ0VneCBGsPBR7y

My second single released on 7th June 2017.
Title: Sound of music.
Links:
iTunes: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-sound-of-music/id1241257877?i=1241257881&mt=1&app=music
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7wBAFpenWNx8WaJ66NyLz7
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sound-Music-Gitanjali-Pritchard/dp/B0728L74S8/
GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Gitanjali_Pritchard_The_Sound_of_Music?id=B3sbwuyv4cytsgif4yph57qoctu

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VBT – Labors of an Epic Punk

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Labors of an Epic Punk
by Mark and Sheri Dursin

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GENRE: YA Fantasy, Myth Retelling

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BLURB:

Mac is an epic punk. No wonder: after his dad went off to fight in the Trojan War and never came back, Mac spent his childhood evading his mom’s scumbag suitors—all one-hundred-and-eight of them. Of course, he turned out this way—a moody, friendless sixteen-year-old who blows off work, alienates everyone at school, and pulls pranks. But when he trains a flock of birds to defecate on the headmaster, Mac (short for Telemachus) goes too far. The administrators give him an ultimatum: prove that he’s truly the son of Odysseus by doing something heroic—or get out. A school story that just so happens to take place 3,000 years ago, Labors of an Epic Punk is a tale of friendship and transformation, regret and redemption, and a reminder to us all that even heroes need to survive adolescence.

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EXCERPT

No one on the field that morning had any idea that all Hades was about to break loose.

Well, one person did.

The stands were over-crammed with students, all chirping away about their summer travels, each one trying to out-fabulous the other. But Mac wasn’t talking to any of them. (No surprise there.)  Instead, he just stared at the empty stage in fist-clenching anticipation. For the entire morning, the entire summer, the entire two years he’d wasted at this gods-forsaken school, he’d been waiting for this moment. His moment of glory, of genius. The moment when he’d finally and irretrievably cross The Line— that hard-to-define boundary between tolerable and intolerable. Between a week of detention and expulsion. All he needed was for Headmaster Gurgus to blow on that shell.

Just when he thought he couldn’t wait any longer without throwing up, Mac heard the band play the opening notes to “Yielding Never,” Pieridian Academy’s absurdly overblown fight song. The Opening Ceremonies were officially underway. From his seat high up in the stands, Mac watched intently as the members of the so-called Grand Procession marched onto Garthymedes Field: the entire faculty and staff, wearing shiny red gowns and smiles full of phony reverence; followed by the honored students, also in ritualistic red, condescendingly waving at the crowd; followed by a grotesque, nine-headed Hydra.

Lastly, waddling ten paces behind the Hydra, in all his roly-poly, four-hundred pound glory, was Headmaster Gurgus.

BookCover_LaborsOfAnEpicPunk

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

AuthorPhoto_LaborsOfAnEpicPunk

For many years Mark, a high school English teacher, and Sheri, a freelance writer and blogger, wrote independently. No matter the writing project—newspaper articles, retreat talks, college recommendation letters, fan-fiction, blog posts on spirituality or 80s pop songs—they tended to work alone. Separate rooms, separate computers. But raising their twin sons helped them discover an important truth: All Good Things Come in Twos.

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:

Mark and Sheri Dursin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author’s choice of topic

When Mark and I visit schools to talk to teen readers, the question we’re asked most often is pretty obvious: How did we become authors? I think a love of writing always starts with a love of reading. The kind of reading that results in a pile of “to be read” books that keeps growing and growing. The kind of reading that keeps you up late into the night, because you need to finish “just one more chapter!”

As kids, Mark and I were exactly those kinds of readers. We both had that experience of falling in love with the world of fiction and the amazing realization that authors could create imaginative stories out of thin air that people would read and love and relate to and talk about.  I was in 8th grade when I first tried doing this. Having joined a brand new club called The Young Authors Club, I wrote my first book, which I called The Garden Party. The story was pretty short and was inspired (more than a little) by my favorite childhood books, The Secret Garden and The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe. But it was a completed book and it was mine.

When I was young, I had this vision for my life of being a full-time author…maybe not a “famous” author, but definitely someone who wrote books for a living. And then I “grew up” and like what happens with so many childhood dreams, I thought of it less and less as my path took me in other directions.

But I never stopped writing.

I know Mark’s story is almost the same as mine. Lots of short stories and half-finished novels written on notebook paper and stuffed in drawers. When we were young, there was no Internet with fanfiction sites, Wattpad, or blogs. Stories remained hidden because there weren’t a lot of ways to share them. So it was easy for our dreams of becoming authors to remain hidden, too. Until we met and got married, and that’s when things changed.  And now here we are…all these years later, finally published authors.

It took a series of leaps for us to get to this point. The first was the lightbulb moment that we had a good idea for a story. And then came the decision to actually start it. Writing takes time and discipline and inspiration all mixed together. The conditions for writing aren’t always ideal and so just getting started is often the first hurdle.

What got Mark and I over this hurdle was our decision to work together. We had both been dragging our feet for so long…having a partner to write with made it fun, exciting, and not so scary or overwhelming.

The second big leap was the decision to publish Labors of an Epic Punk ourselves. It was the most freeing decision we ever made, and it’s how we’re finally able to hold our book in our hands and share it with the world. It took about a year and a small investment of money to go through the indie publishing process.  But we can honestly say it was worth it. We’ll have to keep our day jobs. Very few published authors make enough money to write full-time. And now that anyone can publish their own book, there’s tons of competition out there.  But there’s also tons of inspiration to be found. We’ve met authors who work as teachers, accountants, landscapers, engineers, office managers, EMTs, and lawyers. The common thread that ties us together is that writing is our passion. It’s something we fit into our lives because we love it.

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