Monday, December 7, 2015

Top Spy Movies of 2015

It's no secret I'm a big movie fan! For me TV and movies are my destressers--aka my favorite means of escapism. I totally blame my dad for my love of action and spy movies, I used to always watch Bond films and so many others with him when I was little. I've always wanted to tell a spy story, but from the YA side of it. There are many great YA spy books out there, but I feel like there can never be enough :)
But I digress..................
Since 2015 saw so many great spy movies released I wanted to do a comparison, my own kind of review for the best 4 spy movies of 2015.

#1
 At the height of the Cold War, a mysterious criminal organization plans to use nuclear weapons and technology to upset the fragile balance of power between the United States and Soviet Union. CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and KGB agent Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) are forced to put aside their hostilities and work together to stop the evildoers in their tracks. The duo's only lead is the daughter of a missing German scientist, whom they must find soon to prevent a global catastrophe.

 For me this was an easy pick for the best spy movie of the year. Yeah, it didn't get the reviews MI:5 did, (I'll address that below) but Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer....not only are they drool worthy to look at all day, but they played their parts to perfection! Napoleon Solo (Cavill) was just this cool, always calm, always in control character no matter what cra-cra situation he landed in; and he was hilarious to boot! Illya Kuryakin (Hammer) was also a-maz-ing in his performance. I didn't know he could pull such a believable Russian accent! I give that yes, Illya was the not the out of control agent in the 60's TV show, but the way Guy Richie turned this movie into a hilarious, WWII male c0*K measuring contest with plenty of action blended in, was genius. I also loved our kick a$$, snarky, you'll never guess her real purpose heroine: Gaby! The little east german chop shop girl was easily the surprise of the movie!
Clearly there was almost nothing I didn't like about this one. I even ADORED the bad guys in that yes please blow them all up kind of way! :) If you haven't seen this one yet SEE IT NOW!

Fav quotes: 
Solo: I'm here to have a friendly chat about your father, Dr. Udo Teller. Hitler's favorite rocket scientist. 
Gaby: That doesn't sound very friendly.
~~~
Solo: I told you. We're teaming up with the Russians. Doesn't get any more Russian than the Red Peril here.
~~~
Illya: We need two purses please. And every day and a clutch. And grab that belt...No...No not the Dior, the Rabanne.
Solo: You can't put a Paco Rabanne belt on a Patou.
Illya: She's not going to wear a Patou.
Solo: What's wrong with a Patou?
Illya: Nothing, if you're fat. The Dior goes with the Rabanne.
Solo: It won't match

#2
Despite having solid field training, CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) has spent her entire career as a desk jockey, working hand-in-hand with dashing agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law). Using high-tech equipment and a hidden earpiece, Susan is the guardian angel who helps Bradley avoid danger. However, when Bradley is assassinated by Bulgarian arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), Susan wrangles her way into her first undercover assignment to help capture Boyanov and avenge Bradley.

Oh let me count the many many reasons I loved this movie. Okay, there are way to many to list them all but here's the top  5 best things!
1- This ain't your typical spy film! Just look at the cast and plot!!
2- The humor was off the charts, split your side great.
3- Who doesn't love seeing the stereo typical "suave, bad ass spies" get out shined and put in their place by a big chick who's smarter than all of the CIA combined?
4- The ridiculous covers they made her use, not to mention the character's full names. Bradley Fine, Susan Cooper, Rayna Boyanov, Rick Ford and Matthew Wright?!?!!?!? Total spy standard ;P
5- Plot, Plot, Plot, Plot!!! YESSSSSS!
Basically every other great thing about this movie is related to my 5 reasons above, I totally love this one and recommend it to everyone! The only reason it's not #1 on the list is because while I loved it so hard, it fell just short of the dynamic that I saw in Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Fav quotes:
Susan: Oh my God, Fine, I don't know how you do things like that!
Fine: **fixing his hair in a mirror** Hey, who's the finest of them all?
Rayna: **cocks gun aimed at Fine's head** I don't know. I'm guessing...you?
~~~
Ford: Here's what we do. I go into the Face/Off machine, get a whole new face. I turn up, they never know it's me.
CIA Director Crocker: Do you have quarters? Because it costs 50 cents.
Ford: What, I gotta pay?
~~~
Crocker: Imagine my surprise when I saw footage from this drill back on the Farm.
Watches Susan kick total a$$
Crocker: I must have watched this 15 times now... because what the F*ck? I almost put it up on YouTube!
Susan: I was, to say the least, uncomfortable, with the event. The instructor was not harmed.

#3

A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the beautiful widow (Monica Bellucci) of an infamous criminal. After infiltrating a secret meeting, 007 uncovers the existence of the sinister organization SPECTRE. Needing the help of the daughter of an old nemesis, he embarks on a mission to find her. As Bond ventures toward the heart of SPECTRE, he discovers a chilling connection between himself and the enemy (Christoph Waltz) he seeks.

I have seen every Bond film ever made. Many several time over. I can even quote a lot of them at the drop of a hat. SPECTER was definitely better than Skyfall! And the movie did as promised and brought back a lot of the more lighter, humorous, colorful megalomaniac villains and a more womanizer type Bond. I still have a hard time seeing Lord Voldormort as the new M...but he pulls it off. (All this one needed was a quick "he who shall not be named" drop to make it even better). But as much as I love Daniel Craig, he's jus not Sean Connery.................oh that voice..........(can we say Dagg inspiration ;D) But I digress again.
SPECTRE was good, very good, in almost every aspect. I loved the villains, I loved the action, I loved Dave Batista and so many more things. But this most recent installment of the Bond franchise just let me wanting.......what I don't know. I can't exactly put my finger on what didn't sit well with me on this one, but the amazing cast definitely helped fill this unexplainable hole, especially with BBC's Moriarty as C!!!!! SPECTRE is still a great see and something I think most everyone can enjoy!

Fav quotes:
Dr. Bad Guy: Why did you come? 
Bond: I came here to kill you. 
Dr. Bad Guy: And I thought you came here to die. 
Bond: Well, it's all a matter of perspective.
~~~
M:Not a good feeling being watched, is it? 
C: Don't tell me you're responsible for this. 
M: No, but my quartermaster is and he's extremely talented. 
C: Oh, bravo. But in case you hadn't realized it, you two are out of a job so you're trespassing. 
M: I'm afraid you've got the wrong end of the stick, Max. We're going to stop this system going online, and then I'm going to bring you in. 
C: On what grounds, exactly? 
M: Poor taste in friends.
~~~
Bond: [over the phone] Who was that? 
Moneypenny: He's just a friend. 
Bond: At this hour of the night? 
Moneypenny: It's called life, James. You should try it some time.

#4
With the IMF now disbanded and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) out in the cold, a new threat -- called the Syndicate -- soon emerges. The Syndicate is a network of highly skilled operatives who are dedicated to establishing a new world order via an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Faced with what may be the most impossible mission yet, Ethan gathers his team and joins forces with Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), a disavowed British agent who may or may not be a member of this deadly rogue nation.


And now we come to the bottom of the list. Yup, you heard me, the latest installment of this over the top-used to be something franchise comes in dead last. That's not to say this was a bad movie, it wasn't. BUT......really.......after so many years you give us the same boiler plate plot and typical humorous lines thrown into "impossible" mission dialogue............sigh.
ROGUE NATION was definitely worth seeing, and I will watch it again on netflix or with my dad or whatever, but I am so DONE with the same things over and over and over and over from the Mission Impossible movies. Ethan is always betrayed, hunted by his own people, has to rely on his friends to get him out of things...bla bla bla bla. For me there were only 4 things that salvaged this for me.
1- Ilsa Faust--talk about the most amazing and realistic bad a$$ spy chick ever!! On this I agree with the critics: she was the surprise and stand out star that stole the movie!
2- Sean Harris as Solomon Lane (aka bad guy). I adore Sean Harris! And he does bad so well.
3- The comic relief, because it kept this thing alive and from tumbling over the cliff.
4- Like you would expect from Tom Cruise and MI movies, the action! This is the one boiler plate thing I don't mind! Love me a good fight sequence :)
So yes, see this one if you want, but I would wait until you don't have to pay to see it.

Fav quotes:
Benji: [Ethan wants to drive the car just after he was resuscitated after drowning in a water tank] Whoa, whoa, whoa, are you sure you wanna drive? A minute ago you were dead. 
Hunt: What are you talking about? 
Benji: [Benji gets in the car] This is not gonna end well.
~~~
Brandt: You said you could find Ethan and Benji. 
Luther: I said I could LOCATE them, you have to find them. 
Brandt: How are we gonna find them here? 
[they find Ethan and Benji, Ethan waves his hand on Brandt and Brandt waves back]
Brandt: Found them. 
[Brandt attemps to follow them just to find out that Ethan and Brandt are being chased by gang of motorcyclers which pass by their car]
Brandt:  Aw, c'mon! It's a high-speed chase and you just had to bring a four-wheels to it! 
Luther: You bought the car! 
Brandt: You just had to have it! 
~~~
Benji: She tried to shoot me! 
Ethan: That doesn’t make her a bad person.


Honorable mention (2014 title)

Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton), whose late father secretly worked for a spy organization, lives in a South London housing estate and seems headed for a life behind bars. However, dapper agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth) recognizes potential in the youth and recruits him to be a trainee in the secret service. Meanwhile, villainous Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) launches a diabolical plan to solve the problem of climate change via a worldwide killing spree.

You want a classic spy movie feel with a new edge, this is the movie for you. If this had released in 2015, it would certainly have been #3 or maybe even #2 on my list. This one had everything you could want and all done in a way only Sam Jackson movies seem able to deliver. Newcomer Taron Egerton was great in his roll of boy from the wrong side of the tracks just trying to get by and help his mom and little sister. Colin Firth proved he is Way WAy WAY more than Mr. Darcy and can do the reserved humor at the same time as totally kicking bad guy a$$ and taking names. Samuel Jackson, is there a movie that he's done that isn't good? I can't think of one, but I am also a huge fan of his so I might be biased. Like all the spy movies, it's got the action, intrigue and inappropriate humor nailed. The cast was well put together and the movie was better than I had expected it to be. The visual effects, script, plot were all on point. I just wish it had gotten more buzz than it did when it was in theaters. This is a hidden gem in the spy movie world and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do! It's a great movie night choice :)

Fav quotes:
Hart: [to bigoted church lady] I'm a Catholic whore, currently enjoying congress out of wedlock with my black Jewish boyfriend who works at a military abortion clinic. So, hail Satan, and have a lovely afternoon, madam.
~~~
Hart: The suit is the modern gentleman's armour. The Kingsmen are the new knights.
Eggsy: How deep does this fucking thing go? 
Hart: Deep enough
~~~
Valentine: Do you like spy movies, Mr. DeVere? 
[Hart notices Gazelle sitting behind him, pointing one of her bladed legs toward him]
Hart: Nowadays, they're all a little serious for my taste. But the old ones... marvelous. Give me a far-fetched theatrical plot any day. 
Valentine: The old Bond movies. Oh, man. Ah, when I was a kid, that was my dream job: gentleman spy. 
Hart: I always felt that the old Bond films were only as good as the villain. As a child, I rather fancied a futuristic colorful megalomaniac. 
Valentine: What a shame we both had to grow up.

And my movie rant/gushing is done for today.........
<3 always L.H.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Relics of Camelot Sneak Preview

I've been gone quite a while but I have a way to make up for it :)
For those of you who have read the first book of my series LEGENDARY you may remember a few lines about Aliana learning she needed to make her own maps a she went traveling after an unfortunate incident in China. Remember? If not here's the part:

Pausing to check her GPS, Aliana pulled out a small notebook and marked her spot on the map she’d made. After an unfortunate incident in the mountains of China not long ago, she’d become paranoid about getting lost when traveling by herself. Fortunately, she wasn’t likely to run across anything more dangerous than a snake in these woods.
“Then again, considering how much I hate snakes, that could still be pretty bad.” 

And now that you memory has been refreshed I'll get to the point. For those who asked and wondered, you'll finally get the story behind that little adventure. And to help that along, here's a nice teaser from that part of RELICS OF CAMELOT!



“Do you remember when you were in the mountains of China a few years ago?”
Boy did she! It was the first trip abroad she had taken after her parents died, well before she discovered that she was adopted. “I was there for one of Wade’s tournaments, and I went to visit a monastery in the Wudang Mountains.”
“Yes, and you decided to go wandering off just before sunset, on your own, with no map or guide.” Aliana earned his disapproving frown. “You nearly scared the life out of me when you fell down that hill, and hurt your leg like you did.”
Aliana flinched, both from the reprimand and the phantom pain of the long gash that had been torn on her calf making it hard to put weight on. “Yeah. I admit it wasn’t my smartest move.”
He sighed. “Do you remember what happened next?”
Aliana shivered. She wouldn’t soon forget. “That king cobra came along. I was so scared.”
“I know.” He stroked her hair again.
“But a tiger saved me. It came along and somehow scared away the snake.” She looked at the tiger on his silk tunic. “That was you!” 

I will tell you this has been edited slightly to keep from giving away a major spoiler. I'll be interested to see if you can figure it out before the book releases this winter :D
Also RELICS OF CAMELOT is up on Goodreads, go over and add it to your TBR list if you're as excited as I am for it to come out.



If you have stumbled onto this blog/post yet have not read or heard of my LEGENDARY SAGA then you can click the links below to learn more and download the first chapters from amazon or iBooks or B&N!
LEGENDARY (LEGENDARY SAGA # 1)
AMAZON ~ B&N ~ iTUNES ~ GOODREADS









CLAIMING EXCALIBUR (LEGENDARY SAGA # 2)
AMAZON ~ B&N ~ iTUNES ~ GOODREADS








<3 always LH







Friday, October 23, 2015

New Relics of Camelot goodness

Hey everyone! It's been a bit since I posted and I wanted to try and get back in the rhythm of posting teasers and goodies from LEGENDARY, CLAIMING EXCALIBUR and the upcoming RELICS OF CAMELOT!

Since I have been absent, I wanted to do a little more than usual to make up for it. As usual, every week I post two or three lines from Relics on the Relics extra page on my main site. If you want to check them out Click Here! The clips that are put up there are totally different to what I put out everywhere else and can only be found on my site!

Also, for those who came to play in the Fall YASH you will have noticed............RELICS OF CAMELOT is up on Goodreads!!!!!! You can head over now and add it to your TBR lists :)
Here's the official "unofficial" blurb:
Making a devil’s bargain with a Fae queen is a dangerous thing.

Thrown back to the golden days of Camelot, the Destined One needs to find the object that will lead her and the Knights of the Round Table to the Grail of Power. But Aliana must also figure out and complete a mystery task before she can return to her own time. The consequences of revealing Camelot’s future to King Arthur or any member of the Round Table family could be devastating. She is forced to keep secrets, feeling more alone than ever, even with the support of new friends and allies. With the unwelcome knowledge of their looming deaths, will she be able to resist the temptation to save the people she loves?


The attentions of Sir Galahad and King Arthur are a delightful yet confusing distraction. Her feelings for Arthur—even this version of him who doesn’t know her—continue to grow. The sparking sensation she’d felt whenever she touched Sir Galahad is mysteriously missing, but she can’t deny a continued connection with the protective knight.


Weapons powerful enough to destroy even Excalibur surface along with a shadowy figure that even seems to have influence over Mordrid. The time of the eclipse grows ever closer and everything Aliana thought she knew will once again be tossed into question again as she continues on her Legendary quest.


The cover will be coming in the next few weeks so be on the lookout for the big reveal! I also have one last little goodie: King Arthur's bookmark for RELICS OF CAMELOT
And to go with it, a deleted scene that I put out during the YASH. In the very first pages of LEGENDARY we see that King Arthur is dying and his loyal knights are willing to do anything to save him, including asking the dangerous Fae Queen Titania for her help. Titania agrees to save them all, but for a price. As Arthur is falling under Titania’s spell these are his last thoughts before he succumbs to her power, and awaits the Destined One to call him back to life.

LEGENDARY DELETED SCENE
A cool touch, like fine silk, brushed my skin and the pain that ripped through my dying body vanished. My vision cleared and had I not been so injured, I would have pulled away at the sight of Queen Titania.
“Arthur Pendragon.” Her practiced, honeyed voice was laced with a faint ring of arrogant delight. “Do you want to live, Arthur Pendragon? To save the realms, to regain your life and find your happiness, will you do what is asked of you? If I save you, will you rise up and do what must be done to stop Mordrid and his evil?”
My anger burned brighter. I could feel the weakened strength of my Dragon blood rising. I wanted all those things more than my next breath. “Yes, my lady. I swear on my life I will not rest until Mordrid’s dead body lies at my feet.”
That bastard Wizard and Morgana have much to pay for. And I would be the one to see the debt fulfilled.
Her fingers trailed over my cheek. Those jewel eyes of hers filled with pleasure. “I have always had a fondness for you, dear king.”
More like my throne. It did not escape my notice that she only referred to me by my rightful title after agreeing to her demands.
I heard her ask a vow from my loyal brothers and fellow knights. Honorable men that they were, they agreed. I feared the danger they had placed themselves in; but I was too weak to do anything about it. I needed them. My physical pain may have been dulled, but the pain of failing my fallen brothers, my men, my people and my lost kingdom was nearly enough to end me as easily as another dagger in my side. All my life I had dedicated my every thought, every
deed to Camelot and her people. How could I have failed them, my family, and myself so miserably?
“Prepare yourselves.” The Fae queen’s magic surrounds us.
My muscles convulsed, and then strangely relaxed. How could the magic of a Queen I had only met once feel so familiar? Even if it was a fleeting recognition.
“Do you have the Grail of Power?”
I watched Merlin hand the Queen the coveted item as she and my men added their blood to mine in the ancient relic. I wanted to tell them not to give it to her. I had never trusted this particular Fae. Especially after her veiled attempt to worm her way into my kingdom. The gold of the Grail glinted under the rays of light streaming in from a shaft in the cavern Titania had brought us to. Apparently this was to be my tomb. I watched as blood poured from the magical object, forming the largest ruby I had ever seen.
Beyond the queen, I saw my men, Sir Lancelot, Sir Galahad and Sir Merlin. Their guilt and sorrow seemed to be killing them as surely as their own wounds. But the guilt was mine. How had I failed to predict Mordrid’s actions, his plans? We had lost everything because of him.
Titania’s swaying copper curls, golden clothed body and the blood ruby hovering over me forced my attention to her and her sparking magic. “Arthur Pendragon, you are the once and future king. I command you to sleep until the one who is destined to awaken you seeks you out and calls for your aid.”
The magic consumed me, pulled my consciousness from my dying body. The Fae’s emerald eyes demand my acceptance. Then, without warning, they changed. Hard eyes softened. The smug Queen’s fine face morphed into a youthful, enthralling girl. Her smile was genuine and comforting, easing the ache in my soul. Her goodness surrounded us both like a glimmering golden net, ensnaring me.
I did not know who she was, but my heart jumped and screamed that I should know her. I could hear her soft laugh. Feel the brush of her pink lips on mine. Her voice calmed me as she whispered my name with such overwhelming emotion.
I felt myself submitting to the Fae’s magic, pulling me closer and yet further away from this ghostly girl. She had the purist, strongest heart and soul I had ever felt. I could not recall her name but I knew, beyond a doubt, she was dear to my heart, my soul.
She was my destiny. 

So............what do we think? I personally loved it :) Anywho....that's all for now. I hope these new little goodies tide you over until the next teaser comes along :)
BTW--Got more exciting news coming down the pike :D
<3 always LH

Thursday, October 1, 2015

YA Scavenger Hunt Fall 16 Jen Brooks

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!


Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are EIGHT contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the TEAL TEAM. Each of the 8 teams will have one grand prize winner that will win copies of all the books on that team! In addition to that I am also hosting my own giveaway for the winners choice of $15 gift card to Amazon, B&N or iBooks!

If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

HERE'S HOW THE HUNT WORKS:

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the teal team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 
--> 20 <-- 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by OCT 4th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

SCAVENGER HUNT POST

Today, I am hosting Jen Brooks for the YA Scavenger Hunt! After graduating from Dartmouth College, Jen taught high school English for fourteen years. She holds an MA and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. A competitive hurdler and jumper in high school and college, she coached high school cross-country and track & field for thirty-one seasons. When she’s not writing in her office overlooking her back yard pond, you can find her running, hiking, visiting national parks, or going out for ice cream with her husband and son.

Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

 Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.

But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan … and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever.


I was going through my In A World Just Right file folder and found a curious file titled My Real Worlds. I had almost forgotten that this was the story's very first title, because it so quickly became World Maker, which is how it sold to Simon and Schuster, before finally becoming In A World Just Right.

Anyway, I opened the file and found a journal entry written by Jonathan to explain his world-making power to Kylie. I think, subconsciously, it was the inspiration for the poem "My Tree" that Kylie writes. Some of the details became the exact details in the finished book. Some were completely different--like there is no Tess, and the plane crash happened when Jonathan was six. 

The original file goes on and on, so here I give only the beginning. If you've read the book, or if you go on to read it, you'll probably appreciate how this is an example of how a manuscript and an author's ideas change over time.


Dear Kylie,
I'm here, finally here, to fulfill my promise. And it's just as hard as I told you it would be. Everyone's dead, no big news, but the place isn't as lonely as I imagined. It's sadder, though, if that's possible. Not too far from here is a grave covered with stuffed animals and balloons.
Since I'm sitting under some old oak tree, I hope six feet under there's nothing but roots and dirt, but I can feel the coffins lying in the ground under the fallen oak leaves. I passed a whole section of them dated in the 1700's. It was easier to read those weathered letters and numbers than it was to read the fresh text closer to where I sit. I still can't bring myself to look on the one you made me come here to read. It's one section over, according to the directions I got.
So it's early, a little after six in the morning, and it's still not really light out. You must think I'm a freak for coming in the half-dark to a place I'm so superstitious about, but I thought it might take me a while to write down everything I want to say.
The truth is, you don't know the real me. At least you don't know the most important thing—my great, big secret. I'm not an undercover prince or a superhero in disguise, though I've been both. What I am, actually, is the weirdest freak of nature you can possibly imagine.
I think I'd better just start with the airplane.
You already know about the crash. The whole world knew about it when it happened. The flight out of Boston should have been the start of a pretty nice vacation, but instead it plunged into Boston Harbor not thirty seconds after the wheels left the runway. My mom and dad and I were supposed to be going to Disneyworld. I was six. They died. Somehow I, and eleven others, didn't.
It took a long time before I was let out of the hospital. Broken bones, induced coma, and all that. I was discharged with only the scars on my arm and face as evidence of the trauma,
pronounced perfectly recovered.
But four months had passed. Summer vacation had come and gone and first grade had just about reached the end of the first quarter. I didn't go home to my house. (I never saw my house again.) I went straight to my uncle's, where he had brought all of my things and made me up a room with everything a six-year-old boy could want. Especially my own TV. I spent a few days alone with him trying to understand my new life, and then he sent me off to Washington Elementary School on Kennedy Street.
My first day I remember nothing but recess. I had tried to enter a kickball game with the other kids, but one of them called me "Frankenstein" and I burst into tears. I had seen my scars in the mirror at the hospital, but somehow, if you can believe it, I'd forgotten they were there. (I don't think my uncle let me look in the mirror the whole time we were alone.) Well, now the image of the damaged skin came back to me. I did look like Frankenstein’s monster, and I've never, even after surgeries to help the way I look, ever gotten over that comment. I'm sure no one had a doubt why I grew my hair longer when I got older or why I never wore a tank top or a short-sleeve shirt, even in the summer.
I remember you, Kylie, from elementary school. You never called me names. You never called me anything. There wasn't any reason for us to be friends. The loss of my parents and the horror of my face made me pretty much mute for a few years, and by the time I found my voice and might have been able to be a good friend to someone else, friendships had already been made and sealed without me. I just got used to being alone. By then I had found my real worlds, and this is where I really, really need you to listen. This is what I could never say to you when I had the chance. I can't tell you how many times it was on the tip of my tongue as we sat together in the hospital, but I never had the courage, and you were always so tired.
It can't be too late to fix that mistake. Please don't let it be too late. And please, please don't think I'm a monster because I took advantage of an opportunity I couldn't resist . . .


CONTINUE THE HUNT

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! Karen Bao



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 19, 2015

New Teaser for Relics of Camelot!

It's been a while since I've put up a Relics of Camelot teaser so here's a fun one. But I got one question for you first? Have you ever wondered, while reading my series, what my Guinevere would be like?
Now it's your turn to find out!



“Welcome back m’lord.” His smile was easy, excited and very friendly. His dark brown eyes flicked to Aliana and he just stared.
Fighting an uncomfortable blush and the desire to shy away, she bit her cheek but offered the boy a smile. Take a picture kid, it’ll last longer.
“Are you going to stare or help the Lady Aliana down, boy?” Gawain shot him an exasperated look. “You’ve seen beautiful ladies before.”
The kid flushed brightly, ducking his head, apologizing in a soft stuttering voice as he set down a stool another boy had brought over. The guys started laughing loudly and Aliana glowered at them.
“Leave him alone, boys.”
The kid flashed her an embarrassed but grateful smile. Leaning into Merlin, Aliana lifted her leg over the horse, the boys hand was at her waist steadying her as he took her hand and helped her down.
“Thank you,” she said while Merlin and the guys dismounted. “I’m Aliana, what’s your name?”
He never got to answer.
“Raven is one of our newest stable hands.” Merlin looked like he was going to say more but another familiar voice drew his attention.
“You’ve finally returned.” Lancelot’s voice was the same as it was in Aliana’s time, accented with just a touch of superiority. But the most surprising thing was the red haired woman at his side, her arm tucked into Lancelot’s. Her skin was pale with a light dusting of freckles and rich brown eyes.
“Lancelot, Guinevere!” Percival greeted the pair with a hard pat on Lancelot’s arm and a kiss dropped on Guinevere’s cheek.
“Look who we finally tracked down,” Gawain teased taking Lancelot’s arm in a warrior’s greeting then kissed Guinevere’s other cheek.
“And I see he didn’t come alone.” Lancelot regarded her with an open and frank curiosity.
Clenching the loose pink fabric of her dress sleeve, Aliana took a breath trying to stow her building panic. As familiar as all these knights were, it was impossible to forget that these guys weren’t her knights. They didn’t know her from Eve, and it was going to take more the Merlin’s vouching for her to get them to accept her.
But then maybe it would be better if they didn’t really get to know her. It had been hard enough to not slip up with their names so far, what would happen if she slipped and gave herself away. She couldn’t risk doing damage to the world’s timeline. Though with her luck, that’s exactly what would happen.
Merlin introduced her to Lancelot and Guinevere, telling the same effortless lie that he had to Percival and Gawain. He told them about wanting to introduce her to Arthur and get her settled into a room in the castle.
“Welcome to Camelot, Lady Aliana,” Guinevere said coming to her side. “It will be so nice to have another girl around here. These men can get a bit boring at times,” she added in a fake whisper, her brown eyes twinkling laughter as she shot a glance at her knight.

Aliana giggled, it seemed like she and Guinevere would get along very well. Her delight faltered at the thought, however, since Guinevere was supposed to die.

So what do we think of the new teaser? I hope everyone liked it! We are getting closer and closer to the release of Relics, and I hope to have the official release date and cover to reveal to you all soon :)
In the mean time I am going to be doing more extras from Legendary and Claiming Excalibur!
If anyone has a thought of what they want to see next let me know! I also have one more little goodie for today, another image for the second Relics Bookmark and this one's Galahad's!
Yes, that is an iris bloom on Sir Galahad's bookmark! Wanna know why? You're gonna have to read to find out :)

If you have stumbled onto this blog/post yet have not read or heard of my LEGENDARY SAGA then you can click the links below to learn more and download the first chapters from amazon or iBooks or B&N!
LEGENDARY (LEGENDARY SAGA # 1)
AMAZON ~ B&N ~ iTUNES ~ GOODREADS









CLAIMING EXCALIBUR (LEGENDARY SAGA # 2)
AMAZON ~ B&N ~ iTUNES ~ GOODREADS








<3 always LH