Amethyst Chronicles: Croceus Poison by KG Stutts’s is now available!

Happy Friday everyone!

Here’s something different from my movie reviews (don’t worry I’ll put up another tomorrow). A fellow author at DP is releasing here second novel and of course I’m happy to help. Here’s all the details on it, have a great weekend!

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How far would you go to get back what you lost?

The second installment in KG Stutts’s Amethyst Chronicles is now available!

Synopsis:

Ember Wilson lost it all when she lost her Amethyst transformation. Her abilities, her team, and her self-confidence seemed to vanish with her purple eyes. She has to find out who she is when she’s not Amethyst. Her internal conflict will tear at those who care the most.

Through her soul searching, she pushes everyone away. She’s afraid to accept herself, let alone the love of the men who desire her. When a lead to resolving her situation is presented, she will risk everything to follow it. In the end, is Amethyst worth risking her heart?

Excerpt:

She gripped the staff with both hands, moving to strike Lewis’s wrists. At the last second, she flipped it up and struck him on the side of his head. Lewis stumbled back, cursing and sputtering. She didn’t give him any time to recover before moving in. But he was ready for her tactics. The end of his weapon hit her mouth, busting her lip open, before swinging down and hitting the back of her knees. Ember fell on the mat, the air rushing out of her body as her staff fell out of her hands and rolled away. Lewis stood over her with his staff pointed at her face.

“And that’s three,” he said.

She looked up at him, breathing heavily. Her head pounded and sweat rolled down her face. She touched her lip and frowned at the red droplets of blood on her fingertips.

“So it is.”

“Are you okay?”

She nodded. He tossed the staff aside and extended his hand, moving so she could get up. He gently touched her chin and frowned.

“I didn’t mean to bust you open.”

“It’s a tiny cut.”

“Looks pretty deep to me.”

“Only because you’re used to me healing already.”

“It’s going to take a while to get used to you not being -” He stopped, sucking in a sharp breath as she raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest.

“Me not being what? Finish your sentence.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “I can’t.”

“Finish your sentence,” she ordered.

“Not being purple,” he said, letting out a haggard breath.

She smacked his hand away and walked toward her clothes.

“Come on, Wilson. You know I’m sorry.”

She snorted as she pulled on her pants. “Of course you are. Everyone is. The doctor is sorry he didn’t catch the croceus poison before it nearly cost me my life. The nurse is sorry she aided in the blood transfusion. My father is sorry I can’t rejoin my military commission. Commander Stewart is sorry he can’t recreate the procedure. Liam is sorry he can’t understand what I’m going through.” She spun around, fire raging in her eyes. “And I’m sorry I let myself wallow in misery. But I’m not sorry anymore. Now I’m just angry!”

She stormed out of the training room, leaving her shirt on the floor and Lewis alone with his jaw hanging open. She brushed past the people in the hallway, not caring about the gawking looks she got for walking away in her bra.

Amethyst Chronicles: Croceus Poison will be on sale this weekend for $.99! Amazon Get caught up on the series with Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss also on sale for $.99 available at Amazon!

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About the author:

K.G. Stutts is the author of several sci-fi romance series as well as couple of romance stories. She has a degree in massage therapy. As a contributor to Independent Writers Association (IWA) her insights can be seen regularly there and on her own blog at kgstutts.blogspot.com and her website at kgstutts.com

When she’s not weaving words, she enjoys reading, playing RPGs, hockey, wrestling, and football, and is a big sci-fi nerd. Currently she resides in North Carolina, USA with her husband, Brad.

Sci-Fi on the Rock 9, here I come! :)

Greetings everyone,

It’s spring time here (at least what passes for it with flurries still in the forecast April 18) and I’m gearing up for my first convention of the year. Last year I missed Sci-Fi on the Rock due to a family illness (he’s doing much better now) but this year I’m all set to go and will be there for 3 full days! (I know you can barely contain your excitement!) .

SFOTR9Logo  I’ll be downstairs in Diagon Alley (Salon F) on Friday from 10am-8pm, Saturday from 9am-6pm, and Sunday from 10am-5pm (with a short break around 1pm). As before I’ll have copies of my Newfoundland Vampire series (two books so far!) comics, some magic cards and of course FREE CANDY! (That always seems to bring people around).

11132199_738291536707_1043323700_o Killer on the Road: A Newfoundland Vampire Story Book II

If you can’t get enough of me (and really who can?) I’ll also be doing a talk Sunday at 1pm called "Adventures with Vampire Fiction and Publishing". I’ll also be having a look around the main floor upstairs, hopefully a friend will be there to watch my table. What can you see upstairs? Great costumes like these:

SciFiontheRockCostumes SciFiontheRockSteamPunkRyanSkanesSciFiOnTheRock

Lots of great vendors, information about other conventions like the first Avalon Expo (also here in St. John’s), the 4th Atlanti-Con (in Corner Brook, the west coast of Newfoundland), groups, meet the guests and of course all the fun panels (probably none as good as mine though ;) It’s always a great convention and I hope you’ll be able to make it. Come see me and I’ll tell you all about my new publisher and when to expect books 3 and 4 of my series. In the meantime have a great weekend and watch the Star Wars 7 trailer (it rules!).

Florida Trip 2015

Greetings all,

Before a post about the re-release of "The Newfoundland Vampire" (book 1, April 24th from Distinguished Press), I wanted to give my usual thoughts on our holiday down south. I’ve been home about 2 weeks and have had enough to reflect (and take a break from

watching Daredevil, which is really good!). We were in Florida (I won’t say exactly where, just on the Atlantic side and central) about 3.5 weeks. The weather was excellent (it almost always is) with just two cooler days and two afternoons of rain. For the first 4 days it was a very busy house with 8 of us (my wife and I, my parents, my brother and his wife and their two kids). I love my niece and nephew but boy are they noisy! (They’re 4 and 2) I’m just not using to being in a house with small kids for anymore than 5-6 hours but we had some laughs, went out to dinner one night and had some fun times in the pool.

586  Speaking of the pool there’s me in it. One day my Dad decided to add some more water with a hose, forgot to turn it off and the pool was overflowing. It’s not easy to tell from the picture. It the end it wasn’t a big deal (they are on a well and don’t pay for water) but it was different to swim in it being so full. But enough about pools. I have a routine I try to follow, I like to go for a bike ride in the morning, a swim until lunchtime and then do some reading/writing/watching TV/take my wife shopping or get more exercise in the afternoon (there is a punching bag and weights as well). You’d think with all that exercise I’d lose weight but no, the nonstop supply of cheap beer, chips, nuts, pies, chocolate, popcorn and eating out made it just the opposite but spring is almost here in NL and I’m back in a much healthier routine.

One of the cool things I found was a movie theater nearby that served alcohol! I know in other parts of Canada that’s no big deal but we don’t have a theater with alcohol in NL, so I was please. It was Carmike Cinemas, a very nice chain (though getting the reusable bucket of popcorn was a mistake). You can look back at my blog to see all the movies I watched.

TheMeltingPot Staying with the food theme, we went to a lot of restaurants. One of the most interesting ones was called The Melting Pot. It’s a fondue restaurant where you cook almost every park of the meal yourself and do it right at your booth! Quite a unique idea and the different dipping sauces did make for some delicious choices. It did find they gave a little too much food (that seems to often be the case with a lot of restaurants now) and the service was a little slow at the Melbourne location. Overall though a unique dining experience and one I’d recommend if you want to relax with good food and friendly staff.

My favorite restaurant there in terms of food is The Jungle. It’s an organic restaurant with lots of vegetarian options and is different because it has it’s own supermarket (which often stays open late when people are eating). They have the most unique carrot cake (it’s raw) and the best soup I’ve ever had (Butternut Squash). Of course we ate there (like we do every year). They only two things I would change if offer the Butternut soup consistently and be open more evenings (it’s just Friday and Saturday nights).

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If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know I’m a huge animal lover, as such I love to see different animals from NL (and gently interact with them if possible). In FL this year I was lucky enough to spot a turtle crossing the road (sorry don’t have a joke for it). As you can see he was a little shy so I didn’t try to touch him or move him. The frog was very friendly and had much different colors that the ones we have here. The rooster, well I know they can be almost anywhere but in Key West, FL they literally are everywhere. Which leads to the next part of our trip.

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All of the above pics are taken from the Key West part of our trip. I enjoy going to Key West as it’s the most different part of FL, much more Caribbean with no malls (at least in the part we go to), cobblestone streets, older builders, lots of outdoor bars (lots of bars period!), all sorts of local artwork and buskers and is an interesting combination of a place to relax/party town. We stayed at a great spot called Cayo Hueso Resort. The owner, Joyce, was very friendly and accommodating. She had food and beer in the fridge for us, snacks in the house and let us check out a full hour and half later on the day we left. It was in a good location as we were close to main tourist area, Duval Street. Key West has an amazing mix of people, all the way from families, to spring-breakers, to old hippies, to tourists like us and everything in between. Being outside at a restaurant and just watching people is certainly entertaining, especially as guys are loaded drunk by 6pm at night (two men I saw didn’t even have shoes.)  As much as I enjoy Key West, this year I found some drawbacks (I know some are them are just because I’m getting older). There were so many people! I’m not a fan of crowds and there were a couple of times we had to leave places because of people, Mallory square in particular had an incredible amount the night we were there. Almost everything there is very expensive and finding decent food to cook for yourself was difficult (especially since I’m vegetarian). But I don’t want to just dwell on negative, I met some really nice and interesting people, had some great meals (the selection of vegetarian and gluten-free offerings has grown), hung out in some nice bars and pubs and had an enjoyable night at a pub crawl (drinking is cheap in Key West in case you hadn’t guessed.)

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You can see a selection of the drinks we had and the deal for serious drinkers (I don’t know if I’d bother with it now in my late 30s). I enjoyed the pub crawl but due to be being a larger group I would recommend the off-Duval crawl more (which sadly seems to be gone) if you’re an older more low-key guy like me. Key West is known for live music and almost every bar (all day, all night) and it was very enjoyable to have lunch and be able to make requests. My favorite bars would remain Sloppy Joe’s, Capt Tony’s (which has a tree in the middle of it!)  and World of Beers (a much newer one that is a chain).

This year we got there by Key West Express (a boat) and while it’s certainly easier than driving (unless you don’t mind being in gridlock for 1.5+ don’t do it!) I don’t think I’d do it again. Going down is fine, you get on early (around 7:30 or 8am) and you are in Key West by 12:30pm. Going back though the boat doesn’t leave until 6pm, you’re not back in Fort Meyers Beach until almost 10pm and then (at least for us) we drove for over 3 hours to get back to the house. Extremely long day, I’m at the point now where I’ll just pay whatever it costs to fly, whenever we go back that is.

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I guess this post proves I’m a "foodie", I do love to eat out and I try to find interesting and different places to do so. As such I can’t end my discussion of Key West without talking about Better Than Sex. This is a dessert only restaurant and it was delicious. It was a lovely atmosphere inside, dark and the wall was covered with pictures of naked women (tasteful pics, not porn). Each dessert hand a sexual innuendo in the name and the menu was on an iPad (I like gadgets and I have seen several restaurants do this). The food was delicious, relaxing atmosphere and great staff. It was, however, very expensive ($90 for the two of us with just 2 desserts and 3 drinks total) and I found it to be too much food (since we had already eaten supper). That said, I would go back again, just maybe with less food in beforehand.

The last restaurant of interest was BurgerFi in Key West. It specialized in burgers (obviously) but was not greasy, had delicious fries and onions rings and a good veggie patty. I also liked how you could sit outside and I could even have Gluten-free (in a much different way, a veggie burger wrapped in lettuce!). A lovely place, I’d call it upscale takeout and I would certainly go back (they are a chain).

I didn’t get any new writing done but I did finish almost all of the editing for the re-release of "The Newfoundland Vampire" and I read lots of comics (Afterlife with Archie & Star Wars: Vader ) and relaxed. While I didn’t get to a concert I did get to see Jay Leno. He was really good, not as funny as Seinfeld (the first time I saw him) but worth the trip. It was at the Sunrise Theater (a nice place, though very crowded) in Fort Pierce, about an hour from our FL house.

I like Flea Markets and I went to one twice, aside from cheap food there was a great deal on comics (40 for $20) and played some poker at another place nearby (only broke even after 2 visits). And that sums it up, overall we had a great trip. FL will always be my second home. The next few weeks will focus on Sci-Fi on the Rock and my book re-release but I’m sure I’ll do some movie reviews too. I’m 3/4 of the way through a book as well, so that review will be probably June or July, have a great day everyone and I’ll talk to you soon.

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Details from IMDB:

Kingsmen-202x300

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

R  | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 13 February 2015 (USA)

Ratings: 8.2/10 from 87,959 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 326 user | 300 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Director:

Matthew Vaughn

Writers:

Jane Goldman (screenplay), Matthew Vaughn (screenplay), 2 more credits »

Stars:

Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

I had heard good things about this movie and of course Sam Jackson as a villain? That’s generally a solid choice (except for The Spirit, please don’t see that piece of crap!) This was actually my second time trying to see it, as before it was sold out and we ended up just having dinner. Plus the fact that it’s based on a comic book and the theater I saw it in served alcohol, it was an obvious choice.

Main Thoughts:

This movie starts out with a bang and some great music (Dire Straits in particular), it’s just a fun action movie that has some clever twists and some adult moments.  (It is restricted after all). Colin Firth is not who you would think of as an action hero but he pulls it off quite well. The movie does sneak in some social commentary and even made me think a little about being born into a privileged life, versus having to struggle to achieve success and overcome difficult circumstances.

The action scenes are top notch, with the only stumbling point that for an incredibly violent movie there is almost no blood. I’m not obsessed with gore by any means but when someone gets literally cut in half and there is no blood? It just bothers me. Back to the positive Sam Jackson is an excellent villain, he lends his own style to it by dresser as a rapper from the 80’s and having a slight speech impediment.

There is a nice twist that I won’t spoil and a couple of other nice surprises. I have to say that I also enjoyed Mark Hamil’s cameo, though I hardly recognized him at first. I suppose like most people I haven’t seen him in anything since Return of the Jedi, way back in 1983 and he just looks a lot different (it was over 30 years ago after all).

Final Thoughts:

I highly recommend this movie if you like action mixed in with a little comedy and a lot of fun.  I give it a solid 8/10. Of course this is not for children as it features a lot of violence, some adult language and brief nudity. Once more I have to say I loved the music here, aside from "Money for Nothing" it also prominently features "Slave to Love" to Roxy Music (Bryan Ferry), two excellent songs. Still more movies to catch up up, talk to you all soon.

Movie Review: Chappie

Details from IMDB:

Chappie

Chappie (2015)

R  | 120 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 6 March 2015 (USA)

Ratings: 7.3/10 from 29,838 users   Metascore: 41/100

Reviews: 259 user | 266 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.

Director:

Neill Blomkamp

Writers:

Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell

Stars:

Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

I like Neil Blomkamp, I enjoyed District 9 and Elysium (though the latter was better), so when his new movie came out (and it got ok reviews) and the movie theater served beer, of course we went.

Main Thoughts:

The movie is certainly not the most original. I immediately started to think of RoboCop (though on a larger scale) and even District 9 (as it’s once again set in South Africa). I shouldn’t start off negative though, the action here is top notch are there are even some touching moments as Chappie (a robot with a full working AI) begins to mature.

It’s nice to see Sigourney Weaver in a movie and she’s fine here (though her role is very small). SurprisinglyYo-Landi Visser (who plays Yolandi) does a good job here as a mother figure to Chappie and it was nice to see Hugh Jackman take on a different role (he’s certainly not a nice guy here). The idea of a full working AI has been done a lot but it was nice here to see it in early stages, learning how to behave and make decisions on its own.

As with all of Neil’s movie this one too is a comment on society and the classes in society. While there are certainly bad people here, there are others that have redeeming qualities despite them breaking the law. There is good action scenes and a few funny parts but ultimately the story falls short and has a very cliche’ ending (which I won’t spoil).

Final Thoughts:

I give this a mild recommendation (though certainly not for anyone under 17) and a 7/10. As I said the ending is disappointing, it just seemed so obvious and sews everything up far too neatly. Even though it’s only 2 hours I felt it dragged a little at times. Neil has done better work and I hope his next film is more original but as you wait for Avengers, this is a pleasant enough distraction.

Movie Review: St. Vincent

StVincent

Details from IMDB:

St. Vincent (2014)

102 min  -  Comedy | Drama  -  24 October 2014 (USA)

Ratings: 7.4/10 from 11,625 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 79 user | 139 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.

Director:

Theodore Melfi

Writer:

Theodore Melfi (screenplay)

Stars:

Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

Ahh Bill Murry, he’s been someone I’ve enjoyed from way back when I first saw Ghostbusters (first one is a classic, don’t bother with the second). He’s had some other great roles too (and some crappy ones) but I’ve found that for the most part he winds up in good movies. I had heard good things about St. Vincent and with it on Netflix (in France that is, I used Unlocator which I’d recommend) I decided to watch it.

Main Points:

I like Naomi Watts as well and while I’ve never been a big fan of Melissa McCarthy, I have to give her credit for a fine performance here. Really though, this is Bill Murray’s movie and he truly shines. His character, at first glance, is a miserable, penniless and we assume lazy and dirty. The wonderful part about this movie is how well Murry takes on the role, you grow to love Vince as the layers are slowly peeled back and you see what he is really like, you see what he’s been through.

The movie is a great take on reality (I’ll admit not so much as I know but what I’m sure rings true for many people), the feeling that you just can’t win, that life (and people) are only out to screw you and you have to take whatever you can get just to make it. As the movie progresses he begins to have a friendship with the young boy next door (whom he is often paid to babysit) and you find yourself liking the kid and rooting for these two to win.

I don’t want to give the whole plot away, there are some interesting (and sad) twists that really put Vincent and some other characters to the test. It’s a movie about the seeing the good in a person and having the courage to not give up on someone. It’s a movie about sacrifice, love and the meaning of life and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Final Thoughts:

Bill Murray could win an Oscar for this role, he is just amazing. There is one particular part near the end that I found very emotional and touching. I strongly recommend this movie (though as usual not for small children). It’s a damn great movie and I give it 9/10. If you have Netflix (France) or it’s still in theater you should really check it out. Until next time (will be my thoughts on another movie I just saw today).

Movie Review: Interstellar

InterStellar

Details from IMDB:

Interstellar (2014)

169 min  -  Adventure | Sci-Fi  -  7 November 2014 (USA)

Ratings: 8.9/10 from 329,512 users   Metascore: 74/100

Reviews: 1,565 user | 530 critic | 46 from Metacritic.com

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to find a potentially habitable planet that will sustain humanity.

Director:

Christopher Nolan

Writers:

Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan

Stars:

Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain | See full cast and crew »

Initial Thoughts:

I had heard a lot of good things about this movie, lately Matthew McConaughey has been doing some amazing acting and of course it’s Christopher Nolan (I enjoyed all the Batman movies and Inception) so I plunked down $17.50 for IMAX and went with a friend last week.

Main Points:

The movie is an interesting mixture of science and science-fiction, along with some great performances and a study of human nature and our behavior. The special effects (once they leave earth) are amazing, Nolan has a talent for doing these wide shots that can really bring out the beauty and majesty of a scene. In this movie really look out for when the spacecraft goes by Saturn, it looks incredible and the ship is so small it really helps but man’s insignificance in perspective.

Mcconaughey shines in this movie with a truly interesting character that goes through a lot. Michael Caine is quite good as is Anne Hathaway (who plays his daughter in the film). As it’s in credits I don’t mind saying Matt Damon is here and also is quite good in a smaller role.

Enough about the story and performances though, so there are ideas that leave you to think about long after you’ve left. How much damage have we really done to the earth? Will there come a time when humanity will have to leave? Will governments try to re-write history for our supposed benefit? (This has already happened several times in history). What would a wormhole be like? What would a black hole be like close up? How far away are we from putting people in suspended animation for a long trip? (Or to extend their life)

What will robots look like in the future? The movie has a robot that is basically one solid block with two other blocks on each side for moving (it can extend arms from all pieces as well). The robot is very functional and has an important part to play at several points. Is there dimensions that we can’t perceive? (Like a time dimension for example) While the movie answers a couple of these questions (and it’s fictional context) the rest I don’t know, I hope that we do better as a species to preserve the earth and eventually explore more of the solar system but sometimes with the state of the world I have doubts.

Final Thoughts:

This was getting really long so I’ll stop. Overall I really enjoyed this movie and would highly recommend it (though not for young children). Some of the concepts are wacky and strain credibility of the movie and it is on the longish side at almost 3 hours (all of Nolan’s movies are long though). I give it a strong 8/10. Next will be my thoughts on St. Vincent (which was on Netflix France), until then.

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