Friday, July 30, 2010

What I Found At The Mall - July 30, 2010

I had to go to the Mall today. Daughter is going to a birthday party later. I had to pick up a gift. While there I visited the video game store and pre-ordered many games. My 3rd and last stop was Bath & Body Works. I found some very cool 1 fl oz (29 ml) antibacterial hand gels.


bat bite (apple)

spider's web (licorice)

vampire blood (plum)

zombie squad (marshmallow)


I had to go back to the Mall this evening and ended up wandering back into Bath & Body Works. Lo and behold they had just put out another Halloween PocketBac:

candy corn (caramel)


I almost feel compelled to check back every couple of days to see what else is new for Halloween.


These little PocketBacs are 5 for $5.00. So cute. I may just give some out at Halloween. Please note that these are not up at the Bath & Body Works website.

Photo Friday - July 30, 2010 - Old Photos

I've had a crazy busy week. I did take photos, but decided to post some older pictures. Here are some pictures that I took when we went to the Georgia Aquarium in 2006. It's an incredible aquarium!

Grouper

Chiclids

Leafy Seahorse

Manta Rays

Starfish

Whale shark

Piranhas

Hope you enjoy the break from flowers and insects!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Flicks - Gojira - July 29, 2010

I am a tremendous fan of kaiju eiga (Japanese monster films). While there are many kaiju (strange beasts or monsters), even nonfans will recognize Gojira. Gojira is Godzilla.
The film Gojira was originally released in Japan in 1954 and won a Japanese academy award for special effects. The film is clearly an Atom Age film. Gojira was created by a nuclear radiation. The film deals with the fallout of nuclear weaponry in the form of a giant monster. Many scenes were cut from the US version of the film, most of them dealing with the perils of atom bomb. Raymond Burr was (badly) added to the cut up version of the film with approximately 40 minutes of the original removed. While I enjoy his acting as Perry Mason, his character adds nothing to this film Fortunately the original version is available. This is the version that I recommend.  It has a much different feel than the American version, which is campy and choppy.  The original Gojira is really a somber film that warns about the perils of nuclear testing and the unbridled use of dangerous weapons. It alludes, of course, to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also to the fallout caused by an American nuclear test in the Pacific that resulted in radiation poisoning of the crew of a Japanese fishing boat, Fukuryu Maru (Lucky Dragon). In any event, the orginal film is simply a better film. If you have the chance you should watch it.

The Japanese Trailer for Gojira (1954)


The United States Trailer for Godzilla, King of the Monsters(1956)



A really nice montage to part of the iconic Gojira theme written by Akira Ifukube :


The full Gojira theme:


Gojira (1954)

Ishirô Honda, Director

Ishirô Honda, Writer
Shigeru Kayama, Story
Takeo Murata, Writer

Tomoyuki Tanaka, Producer
Akira Ifukube, Original Music

Masao Tamai, Cinematography

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Downside Series by Stacia Kane - Giveaway

Stacia Kane has written a compelling new dark and gritty urban fantasy series. I have not yet finished the 3rd book, City of Ghosts, but when I do I will have more to say. Until then I'd like to share a set of the books with one commenter.

THE DEPARTED HAVE ARRIVED.

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead. But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.




ENEMIES DON’T NEED TO BE ALIVE TO BE DEADLY.

For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.
 
 
 
IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN ALIVE AND UNDEAD.

Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.


To have a chance to win the three Downside books leave a comment telling The Qwillery what you are presently reading.

If you tweet the contest, we’ll give you another entry for the tweet as well. You can tweet as much as you like, but it only counts once. If you also mention the contest on Facebook, we’ll give you another entry. You can mention it on Facebook a zillion times, but you only get one extra entry. You can also mention the contest on your blog (it must be your blog) to get another entry. If you are a follower of The Qwillery you get another entry. You can get a maximum of 5 entries (comment, tweet, FB mention, blog mention, Follower). Provide us a link in the comments so we know that you tweeted or Facebooked or blogged. Please leave The Qwillery a way to contact you.

The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.

If you're a fan of the series you can pick up this nifty Downside Army badge at Stacia Kane's website.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Release Tuesday Vlog - July 27, 2010

Here's the new release vlog for July 27, 2010. I tried something a bit different today. Let me know if you like the new vlog or the older style.



video


And here is the regular vlog (book covers correct):

video



I was unable to find one book that I wanted today so I've ordered it: Shadow Chase by Serresia Glass. It's Book 2 of the Shadowchasers.

Monday, July 26, 2010

August 2010 Releases

Here's a list of some of the books that you may see in New Release Tuesday vlogs. Please note that release dates are subject to change. Also note that I generally do not list YA or Teen books. If there is something that I've missed, please leave a comment with the information. Also note that this list is always under revision.


August 1, 2010

Lord of the DesertNina Bruhns
Death Most DefiniteTrent Jamieson
Emma and the Vampires Wayne Josephson
Heiress to a CurseZandria Munson
Sins of the HeartEve Silver
Sympathy for the DevilAnthology


August 3, 2010

Bedeviled AngelAnnette Blair
Total EclipseRachel Caine
Whisper KissDeborah Cooke
The Demon HuntKris Greene
Death's Excellent VacationCharlaine Harris, ed.
Burning UpAnthology
Parallel FireDeidre Knight
Hunting SeasonShelly Laurenston
The Osiris RitualGeorge Mann
Heart JourneyRobin D. Owens
Kiss of the RoseKate Pearce
Siren's CallDevyn Quinn
LabyrinthKat Richardson
VanishedKat Richardson
Unsympathetic MagicLaura Resnick
Seduced by a WolfTerry Spear
Deeply, DesperatelyHeather Webber


August 10, 2010

Dracula in LoveKaren Essex


August 23, 2010

Zombies: Complete Guide...Charlotte Montague


August 24, 2010

Demon from the DarkKresley Cole
Sin UndoneLarissa Ione
Bond With MeAnne Marsh
Tastes of Love & EvilBarbara Monajem


August 31, 2010

KillboxAnn Aguirre
SacrificeDakota Banks
Love BitesAdrienne Barbeau
When Blood CallsJ.K. Beck
SparksLaura Bickle
A Star Shall FallMarie Brennan
BlamelessGail Carriger
Game of CagesHarry Connolly
Midnight CrystalJayne Castle
RebelClaire Delacroix
HellfireKate Douglas
Dark PerilChristine Feehan
The Darkest Edge of DawnKelly Gay
Ghost MoonHeather Graham
Wuthering BitesSarah Gray
Ghost of a ChanceSimon R. Green
Yours for EternityHannah Howell et al.
My Soul to KeepSharie Kohler
TruthseekerC.E. Murphy
Born to BiteLynsay Sands
The Secret History of MoscowEkaterina Sedia
Primal InstinctsSusan Sizemore
The Mists of TimeSusan Squires
ChosenJeanne C. Stein
Queen of ShadowsDianne Sylvan
The Beast WithinAnthology
Yours For EternityAnthology

Saturday, July 24, 2010

True Blood - The Comic Books

The True Blood comic books launched on Wednsday, July 21, 2010. The publisher is IDW Publishing. The first issue has 6 covers. There are 4 regular covers A - D and 2 Retailer Incentive covers, a photo variant and a sketch variant. There is also a special San Diego Comic-Con cover.

In April, Alan Ball announced the comic:



And from the July 21 announcement from IDW:

HBO and IDW Publishing are proud to announce the launch of the first-ever comic book series based on the network's hit show True Blood. Available today at San Diego Comic-Con and comic retailers throughout North America, this sexy, visually striking comic series will add new and unique layers of supernatural drama to the wildly original Emmy®- and Golden Globe®-winning television show. Two exclusive versions of True Blood #1 will be available at San Diego Comic-Con, each with a different cover. Fans can find a special David Messina wrap-around cover at the IDW booth #2643. Select comic retailers throughout the convention will offer a second exclusive cover, featuring a monochromatic version of Joe Corroney's cover.


Developed with the show's Oscar®-and Emmy®-winning creator, Alan Ball (HBO's Six Feet Under, American Beauty), IDW's True Blood series is the exclusive, official show comics.

"I am very excited to be introducing the True Blood comic book series," stated Ball. "These graphic novels are a great companion to the series and we are pleased that the popularity of the show is allowing it to branch out into different mediums."


Beginning with issue #1, the True Blood comic series offers the same erotically-charged romance, wry humor, intriguing mystery and suspense the show has become known for. In this comic book series, Sookie and many other Bon Temps locals find themselves waiting in Merlotte's bar for a strangely portentous raging storm to subside. Soon, they discover they've been trapped by an entity that feeds off of raw emotions and begins killing off the patrons one by one until his hunger is sated.

The plot was developed with Ball, along with series writers Elisabeth Finch and Kate Barnow, and co-written by David Tischman and Mariah Huehner. Beautifully illustrated by top tier artist David Messina, the series captures all the bloody details and sexy reveals of this exciting new adventure. Renowned artists J. Scott Campbell, Joe Corroney, and Andrew Currie join Messina in providing covers for the first issue.

The True Blood comics will explore the ongoing adventures of telepathic heroine Sookie Stackhouse, her vampire lover Bill Compton, best friend Tara Thornton, enigmatic and ancient vampire sheriff Eric Northman, loyal boss Sam Merlotte, brother Jason Stackhouse, perpetual-virgin vampire Jessica, and the flamboyant cook Lafayette Reynolds.

The covers are gorgeous:
Cover A

Cover B

Cover C

Cover D

RI Sketch Variant

RI Photo Variant

SDCC

Qwill's Qwestion: Are you a fan of the show? The books? Both? Which is your favorite cover?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Photo Friday - July 23, 2010

he gardens are looking grand these days. It helps that we got some rain. I love my gardens not only because of the flowers but also because of the life they support. There are a couple of beekeepers not far away. I like to think that their bees are visiting. But they are not the only garden visitors.


2 Bees Disagree


Bees and More Bees


Incoming


Pollen Covered Bee


Cabbage Butterly


American Goldfinch


American Goldfinch Snacking on Coneflower


Monarda and Ruby Throated Hummingbird (female)


Phlox and Clearwing Hummingbird Moth

Ditto


Eastern Black Swallotail


Eastern Tiger Swallotail

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Flicks - July 22, 2010 - With Mark Henry

Please welcome Mark Henry to The Qwillery for Thursday Flicks. Grab your popcorn and perhaps a pad and paper (to take notes) and enjoy!



The Trailer


Clip


Mark is the author of the Amanda Feral series: Happy Hour of the Damned, Road Trip of the Living Dead, and Battle of the Network Zombies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dark and Stormy Knights - Giveaway

In yesterday's New Release Tuesday Vlog, I went on ad nauseum about Dark and Stormy Knights, a collection edited by P.N. Elrod. I've decided to give away a copy.



The authors included are

Ilona Andrews - A Questionable Client

Jim Butcher - Even Hand

Shannon K. Butcher - The Beacon

Rachel Caine - Even a Rabbit Will Bite

P.N. Elrod - Dark Lady

Deidre Knight - Beknighted

Vicki Pettersson - Shifting Star

Lilith Saintcrow - Rookwood & Mrs. King

Carrie Vaughn - God's Creatures

I like anthologies or collections. It gives me a chance to try out some new to me authors and visit the worlds of some of the authors I already enjoy reading.

To have a chance to win tell The Qwillery what you like or don't like about anthologies/collections.

If you tweet the contest, we’ll give you another entry for the tweet as well. You can tweet as much as you like, but it only counts once. If you also mention the contest on Facebook, we’ll give you another entry. You can mention it on Facebook a zillion times, but you only get one extra entry. You can also mention the contest on your blog (it must be your blog) to get another entry. If you are a follower of The Qwillery you get another entry. You can get a maximum of 5 entries (comment, tweet, FB mention, blog mention, Follower). Provide us a link in the comments so we know that you tweeted or Facebooked or blogged. Please leave The Qwillery a way to contact you.


The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Release Tuesday Vlog - July 20, 2010

I've finally managed to get to the vlog. Please forgive my mumbling. Turns out the novacaine is still wearing off. Ouch.

video

Giveaways and Entries

I love to read (obviously) and I also really love to share books by giving them away. I've been wondering about giveaways though. Not the actual giveaways but the way entries are acquired. Presently commenters can get extra entries for Tweeting, posting on Facebook, being a follower, etc.

So I have some questions:

Do you like being able to get extra entries?

Would you prefer entries only be given for comments?

Should followers only be given an extra entry?

It seems like an ok thing to let people get extra entries by promoting the giveaway. But it is just promotion on behalf of The Qwillery, which bothers me a bit. All this FBing, tweeting, etc. seems like a lot of work for commenters. One entry per comment seems easier.

Tell me what you think.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Winners - Nicole Peeler Giveaway & Erin Kellison Giveaway

And the winners are:

Tracking the Tempest by Nicole Peeler - Linda Henderson

and

Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison & the Flyaway necklace - Bethany C.

The winners have been notified. They have until 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Saturday, July 24, 2010 to claim their goodies.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Photo Friday - July 16, 2010

The butterflies are visiting the gardens. I was intrigued by this particular Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. I watched him for quite some time. He seemed to have no trouble flying around. Seen from this angel he looks fine.


However from the other side you can see that he's missing some of his wing.

He really enjoyed the Echinacea.





Oddly I've seen no butterfiles on the Butterfly Weed. The honeybees like it though.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday Flicks - July 15, 2010

What's Thursday Flicks? On Thursdays (if I don't post something else - how's that for vague?), I'm going to write about films that I loved growing up and still love. And not only that, special guests will also be showing up for Thursday Flicks. So grab some popcorn and enjoy.

I am a huge fan of Atomic Age films (films primarily from the 50s that react in some way to the perils of atom bombs; remember, a couple of atom bombs were dropped in 1945). I'm not going to start with one of those classic films though. Instead I'll start with Creature From The Black Lagoon, which is also from the '50s.

Creature From The Black Lagoon was released in March 1954 in the US. It's a beauty and the beast type story, without a happily ever after. The beauty is Kay Lawrence, the girlfriend of one of the scientists trying to find the creature. The beast is the Gill-Man, a creature from the Devonian Era. In the barest of nutshells - the scientists capture the Gill-Man, he escapes, he captures Kay. If you've seen it you know what happens. If you haven't and you like classic creature films. you should watch it.

An attempt can be made to shoehorn Creature From The Black Lagoon in to the Atomic Age films by discussing it as a film dealing with the fear of the unknown (the Gill-Man), but that does not work well for me. It is however a really terrific black and white film. It has some excellent underwater scenes. The Gill-Man is a superb creature.

Here's a trailer:


Creature From The Black Lagoon remains one of my favorite creature features!

Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

Jack Arnold, Director

Harry Essex, Screenplay
Arthur A. Ross, Screenplay
Maurice Zimm, Story


Next week: Thursday Flicks will have a special guest.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Interview with Dakota Cassidy and Giveaway

The Qwillery is thrilled to have Dakota Cassidy as our guest today. My Way to Hell, the second book in the Hell series, was released on July 6, 2010.

TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Dakota: Everything about my writing is a quirk--no wait, that's a joke. LOLLOL I'm not sure if it's a quirk, but I worry if I don't have smokes, I'll never make it through page one.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? and who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Dakota: Nina Bangs, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Susan Elizabeth Philipps, Karen Rose. I'm all over the place as far as genre goes, but to me, these people are masters at what they do. So they've all influenced me in one way or another.

TQ: Are you a plotter or a panster?

Dakota: Damn. A Pantser. Which always gets me in trouble. Always. I get midway in a book and have no idea how to move the plot forward because I only had a vague concept and a title. That's how all books begin for me--title and crazy concept :)

TQ: How many books are planned for the Hell series?

Dakota: Not sure at this point where the Hell series is going or if it will go anywhere. I loved writing it, but I have two other series as well, keeping up has gotten hard. LOL

TQ: Who would you pick to play Marcella and Kellen in a movie or TV series?

Dakota:  You know, I don't know and that's only because I don't have a fully formed picture of them in my head at any time. What I do see very clearly is their emotions--they're each like this big ball of happy, sad, snarky, cranky or whatever. So the image I create is left open for interpretation by readers. However, I did meet someone the other night who looks exactly like I'd picture Marty from the Accidentals. I swear, she just clicked for me. I think I'd probably have to see a movie star in person for it to click. Much in the way that I can't describe what I'd like on a cover of a book, but when I see what I don't want, it clicks, ya know? That was confusing as shit, wasn't it? :)

TQ:  Do you and Marcella have anything in common?

Dakota: Yeah--I love Pier One as much as she does, and I have an incredibly fresh mouth. LOL

TQ: What's next?

Dakota: Just finished book five in the accidentals titled, Accidentally Catty.Next for release is my first in my contemporary series titled, You Dropped A Blonde On Me in Dec. 2010, and as far as writing goes, the third in this series is on my plate next!

TQ: Thank you!!

Kiss &Hell (Hell Series 1)

Delaney Markham doesn't just see dead people, she hears them too. And FYI-communicating with tortured souls all day can really wreak havoc on your love life. Sans boyfriend, Delaney makes the best of her gift by holding séances to make ends meet-that is until one incredibly annoying ghost just won't go away.

Besides being sinfully hot-in a college professor sort of way-all signs point to Clyde Atwell being much more than the ordinary spirit. In fact, he's a newbie demon whose first assignment is to take Delaney back down to hell with him. Yeah, like that's going to happen on the first date.





Dakota can be found at her website, on Twitter, on Facebook, and at her Yahoo Group.


The Goodies

One commenter will win a copy of My Way to Hell and a small Devil Duckie.

After defying Lucifer to save her best friend Delaney, ex-demon Marcella Acosta has been banished to exist in the plane between heaven and hell-and there isn't a shopping mall in sight. After numerous failed attempts to contact Delaney through a bunch of hack mediums, Marcella's at her wit's end. But there's one medium she's hasn't tried yet, and he just happens to be Delaney's scorching hot brother Kellen- the one guy who never gave Marcella the time of day.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To have a chance to win My Way to Hell and the Devil Duckie leave a comment telling The Qwillery what you would miss the most if you were banished to the plane between heaven and hell.

If you tweet the contest, we’ll give you another entry for the tweet as well. You can tweet as much as you like, but it only counts once. If you also mention the contest on Facebook, we’ll give you another entry. You can mention it on Facebook a zillion times, but you only get one extra entry. You can also mention the contest on your blog (it must be your blog) to get another entry. If you are a follower of The Qwillery you get another entry. You can get a maximum of 5 entries (comment, tweet, FB mention, blog mention, Follower). Provide us a link in the comments so we know that you tweeted or Facebooked or blogged. Please leave The Qwillery a way to contact you.

The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, July 21, 2010.