Tuesday, January 31, 2017

TTT: Ten Comics on My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme put on by The Broke and the Bookish

All about the visuals: Top Ten Favorite Graphic Novels/Comics or Ten Comics on My TBR or Top Ten Favorite Picture Books
Of the three choices I have to go with Ten Comics on My TBR. I still haven't read enough to have a top ten of favorites, but I there are tons on my TBR!

Without further ado...

Civil War
This is like the comic of all comics. I meant to read it before Captain America: Civil War released, but I didn't make it. I did read the events leading up to it, however -Secret War, Avengers Disassembled, and House of M (just cut my heart out of my chest with a dull spoon, will ya?!?!) I predict I'll branch off into some of the tie-ins, but most definitely Spider-Man's.

Spider-Man: 1602
I read Marvel 1602 a while back and loved it. The Spider-Man sequel is the one I'm most interested in following up on.

From the Beginning
There are also several Marvel comics I want to read from the beginning. The first comic I ever read was the Essential Spider-Man volume one, so I jumped right in with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. So, Spider-ManIron ManDoctor Strange, and The Fantastic Four are some of the classics I want to read from their conception. It's going to take me awhile to get through, but I really want to revisit the good ol' days of comics.

Star Wars
Princess Leia
Darth Vader
Still haven't caught up on the new Star Wars canon in many formats. :P

Enchanted Tiki Room
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
I absolutely love what Disney and Marvel did with Seekers of the Weird so I'm very exited to read their other collaborations like .

A:TLA North & South
The Avatar comics have been consistently decent. They all have good and bad, all have stuff I love and stuff that makes me want to tear my head out. (It's like Cursed Child all over again, except I've been an Avatard ten years longer than I've been a Harry Potter fan, so tenfold.)

The Blacklist
I only learned recently that The Blacklist has tie-in media. I'm currently reading the first novel and I'm actually pretty impressed with it. Next up is the first comic series, The Gambler (No. 148), and I have optimistically high hopes for it.

Star Wars: Clone Wars
This is another series I've been meaning to read for awhile. It's no longer canon, I know (*sniffle*) but I've heard it's amazing so I can't pass it up. I'm watching the TV series right now, so I'll be interested to see the similarities and differences here.

Gah, my TBRs are always so long! So full of optimism! Will I ever achieve my reading goals?!
What comics are on your TBR?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

BLOG TOUR | AUTHOR INTERVIEW | Cursed by the Fountain of Youth by Holly Kelly

We're so thrilled to announce that Cursed by the Fountain of Youth is now available!!! This has been a year in the making. With a blend of true history and legends, you'll be shocked and thrilled to see the history behind places we call home.

Hey, everybody! Today I'm happy to take part in the blog tour for Cursed by the Fountain of Youth. Make sure to scroll to the end for all the goodies -an author interview, book excerpt, and giveaway!

What if the Fountain of Youth were a woman and that woman’s blood held the key to eternal youth? For Fae Miller, that is her reality and it will likely kill her.

For centuries, countless adventurers have searched for the Fountain of Youth. Those who found it thought they would gain eternal life. Instead, they find themselves murdered by its guardians. There was, however, one, lone survivor—Fae Miller. As an infant, she not only survived the Fountain, she took its power.

Twenty-two years later, Fae is hiding in plain sight at a local college. She’s is determined to leave the past behind her and live a normal life. But for one dying man, the search for the Fountain of Youth continues, and he is leaving a trail of blood and mutilated bodies in his wake. Unfortunately, that trail leads directly to Fae. Her only hope is a young, new college professor, also known as Special Agent Nick Chase of the FBI. Nick is determined to do two things: keep Fae alive, and keep his relationship with his student professional. Both of these jobs prove difficult—especially when love and magic get involved.

You Can Get Your Copy for Only $2.99!!


Interview with Holly Kelly:

Amanda: Give us some insight into your main character, Fae Miller. What does she do that is so special?
Holly: Fae has grown up in hiding. Living under the oppressive hand of a woman she discovers is mentally ill, she finds a way to escape her and for the first time, she joins the real world. She really shows her strength throughout the book as she refuses to let things stop her or get her down. 

A: If you found yourself in Fae's place, what three items would you want to help you through her trials?

H: She could use a crowbar, a taser, and a book on how to use the powers granted by the Fountain of Youth. All three of these things could have saved her a lot of trouble.

A: Were you good at English in school?
H: I was what you'd consider average. I hated grammar and I hated most the books they had me read--it showed in less than stellar grades. I much preferred to read YA romance!

A: Everyone talks about writer's block, but since this is a book blog, I want to know if you ever get reader's block? How do you overcome it?
H: I sometimes get too busy writing to read as much as I should. But truly, reading is important for my mental health--if I don't read enough, I go a bit nuts. The cure? Pick up a book and read! (I really love the cure.) Reading is my outlet. I absolutely love it and I read at least one novel a week.

A: What's the last book/movie/show that made you say, "Dang, I wish I'd written that!"
H: I don't usually wish I'd written something someone else wrote, but I often think, "I want to write something that awesome!" I have that feeling every time I read an Amy Harmon book. Her books are just...Wow!!! So amazing!!!

A: Last but not least, what's next for The Unnatural States of America'?
H: Next comes Beauty and the Horseman's Head. It's like Beauty and the Beast meets...you guessed it...The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It's in the world of eighteenth-century Sleepy Hollow, but the plot line follows the Beauty and the Beast story--except beauty is a school teacher/former Revolutionary war nurse, and the beast is a bewitched, severed head of the Headless Horseman. The banter between the two has been soooo fun to write. I really cannot wait to release this book!

  Book Excerpt:

Bathed in moonlight stood the most beautiful scene Fae had ever laid eyes on. A fountain sat on top of a hill. Stone steps at her feet led up to the structure. Water flowed over the side of it, as if someone had been filling it and left the water running too long. The water continued its flow down the steps and seeped into the mossy ground at her feet.
Sloshing through the water, Fae made her way up the steps. Even though the air around her felt cold, the water warmed her feet. When she got to the top, she gasped at the breadth of the fountain. It was the size of a swimming pool, brimming with water that spilled over the side.
The singing stopped, and then a voice spoke, filling her with inexplicable joy. Fontaine. You’ve returned to me.
She’d heard this voice before, but couldn’t quite place where.
Come join me in the water.
“I’ll drown,” she said.
There was a warm chuckle. You won’t drown, my child. You are born of my waters.
“Who are you?” Fae asked, uncertain whether she should be terrified or not.
I am the Lady of the Fountain.
“Is that kind of like the Lady of the Lake? The one in King Arthur’s legend?”
You speak of Freya, my sister. My name is Ester.
Fae looked around at the forest of the Between and wondered if this was the place she was born, and not the bayou in Florida. Could her mother be buried around here?
This is not my original home, Ester said, as if she could read Fae’s thoughts. I have been moved twice in my lifetime. My first home is in a place you call Ethiopia. I lived happily there for many centuries. But then I was stolen from my home and brought to the Americas. For many years, I was kept safe by my guardians, but then one betrayed me and wished to exploit my powers. I did not allow him to use me to further his evil designs. But then I was left alone—until a man named Conall found me and brought me here.
“Why didn’t he return you to your home in Africa?”
He told me my home has been corrupted. I would not be safe there.
“I’m really sorry.”
Don’t worry over me, child. This place is wholly adequate.
“That’s good to hear.” Fae paused, the question she’d been dying to ask on the tip of her tongue. Finally, she asked, “Do you remember my mother and father? Do you know where I can find them?”
I’m sorry. Where they are, you cannot go. I am truly sorry.  
"So they truly are dead?"
Fae’s heart sank. She hoped that Brigitte had been lying and her parents were alive somewhere. Fae could feel the remorse emanating from the fountain and felt the need to comfort Ester.
“But, you saved me.”
Yes, I did.”
“Thank you,” Fae said.
You are welcome, my child.
Fae reached out her hand and touched the water. Her spirits immediately lightened. The water took on a green glow as a breathtaking face appeared just below the surface, haloed in long, black hair. The Lady smiled at her but remained beneath the water.
“So, you can grant youthfulness?” Fae asked.
Or take it, from anyone that touches my waters.
 “What happens when they drink?”
They are not meant to drink. That is a theft. Youth stolen without permission. For most, the punishment is immediate—madness.
An errant leaf drifted and landed on the surface of the water. Fae expected it would float, but it didn’t. It dropped like a stone. This water wasn’t like any other she’d seen. Fae wondered what those waters had done to her.
The waters did nothing to you. I gave you my power. I saw what was planned from the beginning. I could not stop him from destroying my guardians, but I could keep him from succeeding in his quest for eternal life. So, I gave you my power—leaving me weak and powerless. That act accomplished two things—it kept the power from falling into evil hands, and it saved your life.
“Are you still powerless?”
No, my dear.  I am now fully restored.
“That’s good to know, but I’m sorry to tell you that he found me. He came after me. He got his youth back.”
That is unfortunate. I only meant to protect. Instead, I cursed you.
“I wouldn’t call eternal youth a curse.”
It can be. There is no fear as universal as the fear of death. Men will kill to stop it. They will do the most heinous and terrible things to avoid it. And giving you the power to grant eternal life will make you forever a target. Now, will you please join me in my waters?



About the Author:

Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation--she hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls. She was born in Utah but moved around a bit, living in Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii where she studied marine biology. She's now back in Utah--"happy valley". She's married to a wonderful husband, James, and they are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, creating Halloween props, and spending time with family.

Visit Holly at AuthorHollyKelly.com


The History behind the Mystery:

St. Augustine, Florida is rich in history, murder, intrigue, and ghost stories—making it the perfect setting for this book. You might be interested to know that some of the most outrageous tales in this novel are actually based on true history—including the tale of Captain Abela and Dolores. The tragic end to their love story occurred over two hundred years ago in a secret room located in St. Augustine's Castillo de San Marcos—a castle-like fort built by the Spanish over three hundred years ago. Tourists are able to sign up for the St. Augustine Ghost Tour to learn more about the ill-fated lovers. The image at the right is the actual room in which they died. You'll learn more about their story by reading Cursed by the Fountain of Youth.

Another interesting note: The legend of the Fountain of Youth has long been tied with St. Augustine and there is talk of a society that exists to protect the Fountain of Youth from discovery. No one knows if the society truly exists. If it does, it is cloaked in secrecy.

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