Showing posts with label Entertainment Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Entertainment Related. Show all posts

4 June 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade' (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History) By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade'  (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)  By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction
The Cotillion Brigade - tour banner

The Book:

The Cotillion Brigade
(A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)
By Glen Craney

  • Publication Date: 15th March 2021
  • Publisher: Brigid's Fire Press
  • Page Length: 399 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade'  (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)  By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction
The Cotillion Brigade - front cover

The Blurb:

Georgia burns.
Sherman’s Yankees are closing in.
Will the women of LaGrange run or fight?


Based on the true story of the celebrated Nancy Hart Rifles, The Cotillion Brigade is an epic novel of the Civil War’s ravages on family and love, the resilient bonds of sisterhood in devastation, and the miracle of reconciliation between bitter enemies.

“Gone With The Wind meets A League Of Their Own.” -- John Jeter, The Plunder Room

1856. Sixteen-year-old Nannie Colquitt Hill makes her debut in the antebellum society of the Chattahoochee River plantations. A thousand miles north, a Wisconsin farm boy, Hugh LaGrange, joins an Abolitionist crusade to ban slavery in Bleeding Kansas.

Five years later, secession and war against the homefront hurl them toward a confrontation unrivaled in American history.

[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade'  (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)  By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction
Glen Craney

Author Bio:

A graduate of Indiana University School of Law and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Glen Craney practiced trial law before joining the Washington, D.C. press corps to write about national politics and the Iran-contra trial for Congressional Quarterly magazine. In 1996, the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences awarded him the Nicholl Fellowship prize for best new screenwriting. His debut historical novel, The Fire and the Light, was named Best New Fiction by the National Indie Excellence Awards. He is a three-time Finalist/Honorable Mention winner of Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year and a Chaucer Award winner for Historical Fiction. His books have taken readers to Occitania during the Albigensian Crusade, the Scotland of Robert Bruce, Portugal during the Age of Discovery, the trenches of France during World War I, the battlefields of the Civil War, and the American Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. He lives in Malibu, California.

Connect with Glen Craney:

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreadsAmazon Author Page

[Blog Tour] 'The Cotillion Brigade'  (A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History)  By Glen Craney #HistoricalFiction
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3 June 2021

The World's Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Fans Through The Doors For The First Time

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The World’s Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Customers Through The Doors For The First Time
The World’s Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Customers Through The Doors For The First Time
Today, Harry Potter fans from across the world were welcomed into Harry Potter New York as the flagship store opened its doors to the public for the first time. 
Greeted by a 220lb model of Fawkes the Phoenix, fans discovered a host of magical creatures and hand-made props throughout the immersive retail experience including Voldemort's horcrux, Nagini, bursting through the ceiling in an area inspired by the Dark Arts.

With 15 themed areas and thousands of products, every aspiring witch and wizard will find something magical to add to their collection. Fans explored areas inspired by Honeydukes to find Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs before stopping under the Dirigible Plum tree to find their favourite creature soft toy. Customers were invited to step into Hagrid's boots to see how they measure up and duel other customers at the store's interactive wand table.
''We're delighted to be welcoming fans to Harry Potter New York for a completely new shopping experience," said Sarah Roots, EVP Warner Bros. Worldwide Tours and Retail. "Not only will visitors find the largest range of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products under one roof, they will also get to discover up-close some of the hand-crafted props that were seen in the films, use our unique photo opportunities and experience the incredible theming throughout the store.''

COVID-19:

  • For the safety of customers and colleagues, masks are required when visiting Harry Potter New York. The store is operating with a reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
The World's Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Fans Through The Doors For The First Time
Harry Potter New York Brings Butterbeer To New York City For The First Time

Someone Said "Butterbeer"?

Appearing throughout the stories and loved by Hogwarts students and teachers alike, Butterbeer is a much-requested fan-favorite soft drink.
Fans visiting Harry Potter New York can choose from draft Butterbeer, Butterbeer ice cream and bottled Butterbeer to enjoy in New York's only Butterbeer Bar.

Once inside the Butterbeer Bar, fans are greeted by a giant cascade of glowing Butterbeer bottles, each completed with a collectible MinaLima label. Nearly 1,000 bottles rise from the floor and 'float' over the bar as Butterbeer moves magically across the ceiling through copper pipes. Witches, wizards, Muggles and No-maj's alike are invited to enjoy a frothy cup of Butterbeer served in souvenir tankard, a refreshing Butterbeer ice cream or freshly poured bottled Butterbeer as well as range of wizarding world inspired treats.

  • Made and brewed in the U.K, bottled Butterbeer has a style which is entirely unique and comes in beautifully crafted souvenir glass bottles, each one featuring an exclusive collectible label designed by MinaLima, the design duo behind the graphic props of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films.
Best served chilled and poured straight from the bottle, the delicious soft drink features a new take on the butterscotch flavour fans know and love. The unique blend of top-secret ingredients makes bottled Butterbeer a must try for any aspiring witch or wizard.
The World's Only Harry Potter Flagship Store Welcomes Fans Through The Doors For The First Time
Harry Potter New York Brings Butterbeer To New York City For The First Time
Harry Potter New York has a virtual queueing system in place. When customers visit the store, they will scan a QR code to join a virtual queue and return when notified. Harry Potter New York is open from 10am – 9pm Mon-Sat and 11am-7pm on Sundays.

Fans can keep up to date by following Harry Potter New York's social channels:

Related Stories:

1 June 2021

Actor Jason Momoa Takes A Stand Against Single-Use Plastics In Hollywood

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Actor Jason Momoa Takes A Stand Against Single-Use Plastics In Hollywood
Jason Momoa, actor and Mananalu Founder.
Today, Mananalu and Earth Angel, a sustainable production service provider, announced a partnership that advances the mission of both organizations to protect our planet. Mananalu will provide its aluminum-packaged water to Earth Angel's film and television production sets, effective immediately.
"Seeing the entertainment industry take meaningful steps toward sustainability is a passion of mine and one of the reasons I founded Mananalu," says actor and Mananalu Founder Jason Momoa. "There is a lot of work to be done, but this partnership with Earth Angel is a big step in the right direction."
While communal water stations were once a staple of Earth Angel's on-set programs, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a desire for more single-use options to mitigate the spread of the disease. Plastic water bottles were not an option, as they are counter to Earth Angel's work to reduce the entertainment industry's impact on the environment. To date, Earth Angel has avoided using over 2.5 million single-use plastic water bottles on their sets.
Mananalu's water offers the perfect solution—single-use cans of water, packaged in aluminum, a material that is infinitely recyclable. "We strive for sustainability in everything we do at Mananalu. It's the reason we exist," says Mananalu CEO David Cuthbert. "In this way, we are very proud to partner with the exceptional Earth Angel team in the sharing of these values and supporting sustainability around the world."
  • Mananalu is also able to meet the volume and demands of a production set, with Earth Angel's client roster including The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Steven Spielberg's The Post, Emmy-winner The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Lin Manuel Miranda's upcoming In the Heights. Momoa's involvement in the industry is another added bonus.
"What Jason is doing in terms of leveraging his status in the industry to invest in sustainable solutions and companies is exactly what we advocate for," says Earth Angel Founder & CEO Emellie O'Brien. "We want to make sure our clients have access to sustainable products and options. With Mananalu, they get to avoid single-use plastics and support a mission-based company, while still remaining COVID-compliant."
Actor Jason Momoa Takes A Stand Against Single-Use Plastics In Hollywood
Jason Momoa in 'Sweet Girl' (Image via jasonmomoanews.com)

About Mananalu:

Mananalu is a sustainable water brand on a mission to empower the world to stop drinking from single-use plastics. "Mana" means the sacred spirit of life in Hawaiian. "Nalu" means a powerful wave that pushes across the ocean. 

Founded by actor, environmentalist, and Hawaiian-native, Jason Momoa, Mananalu is creating a wave of change and fighting plastic pollution by canning water with infinitely recyclable aluminum. 

About Earth Angel:

Earth Angel is the leading sustainable production service provider in the U.S. founded on the vision that entertainment should never be made at the expense of the environment. Their collective of production and sustainability experts provide the strategy, skilled labor, supplies and analytics to help the entertainment industry reduce its environmental impact.

Since 2011, Earth Angel has helped films and series avoid almost 9,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, divert over 10 million pounds of waste, and donate over 135,000 meals to local communities. Earth Angel is headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles and Atlanta.

SOURCE: Mananalu

[Blog Tour] 'The Usurper King' (The Plantagenet Legacy, Book 3) By Mercedes Rochelle #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'The Usurper King'  (The Plantagenet Legacy, Book 3)  By Mercedes Rochelle #HistoricalFiction
'The Usurper King' - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Usurper King
(The Plantagenet Legacy, Book 3)
By Mercedes Rochelle
  • Publisher: Sergeant Press
  • Page Length: 308 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

From Outlaw to Usurper, Henry Bolingbroke fought one rebellion after another.

First, he led his own uprising. Gathering support the day he returned from exile, Henry marched across the country and vanquished the forsaken Richard II. Little did he realize that his problems were only just beginning. How does a usurper prove his legitimacy? What to do with the deposed king? Only three months after he took the crown, Henry IV had to face a rebellion led by Richard's disgruntled favorites. Worse yet, he was harassed by rumors of Richard's return to claim the throne. His own supporters were turning against him. How to control the overweening Percies, who were already demanding more than he could give? What to do with the rebellious Welsh? After only three years, the horrific Battle of Shrewsbury nearly cost him the throne—and his life. It didn't take long for Henry to discover that that having the kingship was much less rewarding than striving for it.
[Blog Tour] 'The Usurper King'  (The Plantagenet Legacy, Book 3)  By Mercedes Rochelle #HistoricalFiction
'The Usurper King' - Front Cover

'The Usurper King' - Excerpt:

The Duke of York confronts Henry Bolingbroke:

York was waiting for them at the Church of St. Mary's. It was an old edifice hosting many generations of the Berkeley family within its humble vaulted nave. Accompanied by his nobles, Henry pushed open the door and slowly entered, looking over the silent effigies lining both sides of the church. The Duke of York stood before the altar, waiting in the gloom. At his side hovered John Beaufort and a handful of knights like so many ghosts.

Henry could just imagine that the king's regent wanted nothing more than to sit down; he knew his uncle suffered from severe arthritis, and this audience was undoubtedly a strain for him. The newcomers moved closer. York's face, usually so affable, was drawn and frowning. Despite himself, Henry felt a pang of guilt.

Putting his hands on his hips, the duke stuck out his chin. "You have much to answer for, Henry Bolingbroke. How dare you drag your horde of bandits across England, pillaging the good people who have done nothing to deserve this outrage?"

Henry extended his hands. "Uncle, uncle. Give me a chance to explain."

"Don't uncle me! You have been forbidden to return these six years, and here you are, just as soon as the king conveniently leaves the country. Surely you must know I speak for him."

"I do, your grace. And I trust your good judgment."

"My good judgment!" York sputtered. "My good judgment! I judge that you are outlawed."

Despite York's words, Henry felt his uncle spoke out of obligation rather than conviction. He took a step forward. "It was Bolingbroke who was outlawed. I speak for Lancaster."

Temporarily at a loss, Edmund opened and closed his mouth. The trembling of his thin white beard betrayed his inner conflict. Henry took advantage of his discomfiture.

"Uncle, listen to me. My poor father, whom I was not allowed to see even at the last, would have trusted you to look after my entitlements—just as he would have looked after your son's claims had they been challenged. I ask no less of you. You know I have been wronged..." He paused, waiting for an answer. None was forthcoming.

Percy stepped up next to Henry. "This issue touches all of us," he said in his gruff voice. "We stand united behind Lancaster. If such a great inheritance can be thus taken away, then none of us are safe."

Unresolved, York lowered his head.

"And what have I done to deserve this treatment?" Henry pleaded. "What treason have I committed? I only ask to be given what I was promised: the ability to sue for my inheritance. I have come to claim my own." He dropped to one knee. "I am prepared to swear to this, before the altar."

Throwing up his hands, Edmund turned toward the sepulcher. "Then do so, nephew." He crossed his arms, waiting.

Exchanging glances with Percy, Henry moved forward, kneeling under the great crucifix. "I swear, as God is my witness, I have come to claim my inheritance. That is all." He crossed himself.

"Hmm." York was unconvinced. "Why do you need such a large army to merely claim your inheritance?"

Considering his oath discharged, Henry stood. "I am well aware that if I fell into the king's hands, my life would be forfeit."

"So you will confront the king as well?"

"If I must, uncle. I believe he seeks to enrich himself with Lancaster's patrimony. Many would call King Richard a tyrant. Many feel he needs the guidance of wiser heads."

"Like yours, I suppose?" York's voice sounded shrill.

"And yours, uncle. We have had ruling councils before."

Snorting in disgust, Edmund turned his back on Henry.

"Surely you have heard the cries of the people," Bolingbroke pleaded. "The king is not satisfied with one pardon. He requires many. He demands surety from every side. No one knows whether he is safe from arrest. No one knows whether their possessions will fall prey to the king's cupidity. As Lord High Steward of England, I have sworn to right these wrongs." He paused; whether he should be acting High Steward was anyone's guess. So far, no one debated his right to it—even York, it seemed.

Turning again, Edmund balanced on legs spread wide. "You have sworn to right these wrongs? By deposing the king?"

"That is not my intent." Henry gestured to the others. "Ask them. They would not follow a usurper."

Setting his mouth, York glared at Henry's companions. They stared back at him, not giving an inch. The silence stretched uncomfortably.

Finally, Edmund gave in, shaking his head. "All right. So be it. I no longer have the means to oppose you." Pausing, he raised a finger threateningly. "But do not assume I give you a free hand in this. You are bound by your word."

Allowing himself a smile, Henry put on his gloves. "I hope to convince you we mean to do the best for England's sake."

Grunting again, Edmund sat heavily on the nearest pew. It was the dismissal Henry was waiting for. He knew that in time, he would be able to cozen his uncle. For the moment, however, it would probably be better to let him get used to his failure as regent. It wasn't York's fault. He had done the best he could, considering that the king had left him with very few resources. Luckily for Henry. Luckily for Lancaster. So far, things had gone amazingly well. Henry almost couldn't believe it.

[Blog Tour] 'The Usurper King'  (The Plantagenet Legacy, Book 3)  By Mercedes Rochelle #HistoricalFiction
Mercedes Rochelle

Author Bio:

Mercedes Rochelle is an ardent lover of medieval history, and has channeled this interest into fiction writing. Her first four books cover eleventh-century Britain and events surrounding the Norman Conquest of England. The next series is called The Plantagenet Legacy about the struggles and abdication of Richard II, leading to the troubled reigns of the Lancastrian Kings. She also writes a blog: HistoricalBritainBlog.com to explore the history behind the story. Born in St. Louis, MO, she received by BA in Literature at the Univ. of Missouri St.Louis in 1979 then moved to New York in 1982 while in her mid-20s to “see the world”. The search hasn’t ended! Today she lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves

Connect with Mercedes Rochelle:

'The Usurper King' - Tour Schedule Banner

26 May 2021

'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan

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'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan
Lucia Heffernan "Bubble Bath"
Rehs Contemporary has announced the opening of Lucia Heffernan's Spirit Animal, which will be on view in-person and online beginning June 1st, 2021. As with all her work, these 15 freshly-painted pieces are as humorous and imaginative as ever – a collision between animal nature and human sensibilities.
Heffernan began exploring her artistic side from a very young age, inspired by her mother who was an artist herself. She would study Fine Art at Binghamton University before jumping into the world of digital art and graphic design. In 2000, her focus shifted to oil-painting as she began creating a personal body of work that touched on the "twists and turns that make our life stories a little more interesting."

The ideas for her compositions are born out of every-day life, whether she is observing others as they go about their day or simply self-reflecting on experiences. By imagining what animals might do if inserted into these situations, she injects a sense of theatrics and whimsy. As Heffernan says of her subjects, "I shine a spotlight on both their innocence and raw instinct."

'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan
Lucia Heffernan "Political Mooovment"
Take, for instance, her work Bubble Bath… You could imagine pouring a glass of wine and filling a warm bubble bath after a hectic workweek; but now swap yourself for an adorable seal in a shower cap, lounging peacefully beside her favorite rubber duck. Some of the works truly make you burst out laughing at the sight of them… Political Mooovement portrays a herd of cows mid-protest; signs read "Make Milk Not War" and "I'm Not Just A Piece of Meat," as one shouts into a bullhorn. Or Dirty Bird Saloon – a small 7x5 inch oval-shaped work, which depicts a little fluffy bird with an edge; he's seated at a wood-top table wearing his favorite cowboy hat, with a lit cigar and half pour of bourbon.

The animals Heffernan chooses to employ in her artwork range wildly… from critters commonly found in our communities like birds and mice to wildlife we may not cross paths with as often, such as otters and narwhals. Regardless of the species, Lucia's unique sense of humor coupled with her incredible artistic talent allows for the creation of such fanciful paintings. Ultimately, it is her respect for animals and nature that continue to inspire her, as well as a desire to bring a smile to the faces of all that view her work.

  • Spirit Animal featuring the artwork of Lucia Heffernan will remain on view for the month of June and is open to the public during normal business hours, as well as on weekends by appointment. Please be advised that face masks are still required when visiting the gallery in person.
'Spirit Animal' - A Solo Exhibition Featuring the Artwork of Lucia Heffernan
Lucia Heffernan (Photo via Rehs Contemporary)

About Lucia Heffernan:

(Via luciahefferman.com)
My body of work is an expression and exploration of my lifelong fascination with animals. Through my paintings, I seek to give animals a voice and a personality, while making light of our uniquely human existence. By imagining what animals might do if put in human situations, I stage tableaus that shine a spotlight on both their innocence and raw instinct. This collision between animal and human sensibilities creates a whimsical, theatrical, and often humorous world that viewers can relate to on an emotional level.

A graphic designer by trade and an oil painter by design, I am continually experimenting with different styles of contemporary realism that balance my artistic sensibilities, technique, and unique sense of humor. As I evolve, what remains constant is my respect for the animals that inspire me, and my desire to bring a smile to the face of every viewer

About Rehs Contemporary:

Rehs Contemporary is regarded as one of the top galleries in New York City and is a platform for new, emerging and established contemporary artists; many of whom have received extensive academic training. The gallery offers high quality works to art lovers of all kinds, from first-time buyers to major collectors.

25 May 2021

[Book Tour] 'Chateau Laux' By David Loux #HistoricalFiction

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[Book Tour] 'Chateau Laux' By David Loux #HistoricalFiction
Chateau Laux - Tour Banner

The Book:

Chateau Laux
By David Loux
  • Publication Date: April 6, 2021
  • Publisher: Wire Gate Press
  • Page Length: 292 Pages
  • Genre: Historical/Literary Fiction

The Blurb:

A young entrepreneur from a youthful Philadelphia, chances upon a French aristocrat and his family living on the edge of the frontier. Born to an unwed mother and raised by a disapproving and judgmental grandfather, he is drawn to the close-knit family. As part of his courtship of one of the patriarch’s daughters, he builds a château for her, setting in motion a sequence of events he could not have anticipated.
[Book Tour] 'Chateau Laux' By David Loux #HistoricalFiction
Chateau Laux - Front Cover

'Chateau Laux' - Excerpt:

Excerpt from Chateau Laux, starting on Chapter TWELVE, Page 95 . . .

Long before Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, and the Protestant Reformation, there were a number of groups, in addition to Catholics, who called themselves Christians, and while their beliefs differed in fundamental ways, one of the problems they all shared was explaining how a just, all-powerful God could countenance evil in the world. The Cathar solution was simple. According to them, there were two gods—a New Testament god of goodness and light, and an Evil One, who ruled the physical world, where unholiness prevailed. Pierre may have reached the point where he no longer wished to think of himself as a religious man, because he had witnessed firsthand the malevolence of the followers of a so-called loving god, be they Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise. But his mother had been a devoutly religious woman, whether he liked it or not. He could reject her Catharism. But he couldn’t reject her love, no matter how problematic it seemed, and the seed of her faith followed him to the New World, where all things were not as new as he might have hoped.

Little prepared him for that desperate ocean passage into what was then still largely an unknown. People left the European ports and but precious few came back, and at the age of thirteen, Pierre found himself on a ship crammed with hollow-eyed men, huddled women, and sickly children. In extremis, a person needs a sustaining thought, something to hold onto, and he thought of horses. The manoir had had a stable and he remembered the smell of them, their sighs and shuddering vocalizations, their settlings and shufflings. As a young child, he would press his cheek against the massive velvet noses and breathe the same air they breathed, imagining he was running with them through lush green fields. He dreamed he was one of them, heart to heart and soul to soul, and on the rolling and tossing ship to the New World, the word for them was the first that he learned in English.

His teacher was a Norman boy who worked as a deckhand and whom he would meet on the bow, where the fresh breezes blew. The Norman had a blistered, brick red face and blue eyes pale as water.

“You talk funny,” the Norman said.

“If that’s what you think, then you should hear yourself. I can hardly understand a word you say.”

The Norman gave a snort.

“You’re kind of quiet, aren’t you, and now maybe I know why. If people can’t figure out what you’re saying, then why say anything at all? Right?”

The Norman laughed at his own joke, but both boys knew it was not always easy for one person to understand another. In the land they were from, residents of one village struggled to talk to the residents of another, and a person from as far away as another valley was sometimes impossible to understand. The fact that the boys could speak to each other at all was due to Pierre’s education—which was not at all a common thing—and his familiarity with the language of the Far Court, as his father had called it.

“So, tell me,” the Norman said, shaking his head. “With all of the English words that I know and could tell you about, why do you want to know about horses? I’ve never had a horse—have you? Only rich people ride horses, and you don’t look any richer than I am. You’re not rich, are you?”

This was a challenge that could not go unanswered, as Pierre’s friendship with the Norman was based on what they had in common, not what set them apart. What they had in common was youth and proximity, the sense that they were impoverished vagabonds in a world that loomed large. What would set them apart was anything one had that the other lacked.

“I just like them,” Pierre said. He felt the weight of the pouch of gold coins under his shirt, against his skin, and knew that he had to guard its secret well.

“If you like them so much, why are you here? Why not just be a stable boy and spend your life cleaning up turds?”

“Let’s change the subject.”

“I’m just having some fun with you,” the Norman chided. His eyes softened and his chin relaxed, as he eased into his role as teacher. “Eh bien,” he said. “C’est ce que vous voulez. Pour le cheval, le mot en anglais, c’est horse. Ha-oh-are-ess. Ho-arse. Horse.”

“Seriously?” Pierre said, in his native Occitan.

Quoi?” the other boy said, in his Norman French.

“It’s such an abrupt, ugly word for such a noble animal,” Pierre said.

Mais oui, vous avez parfaitement raison,” the Norman said, grinning. “You can only know the true spirit of something in your own language, n’est-ce pas?

Yes,” Pierre said, nodding and thinking the statement profound. Indeed, he had already come to the realization that he might never hear his own language again, that the lyricism of his youth was gone forever.
[Book Tour] 'Chateau Laux' By David Loux #HistoricalFiction
David Loux

Author Bio:

David Loux is a short story writer who has published under pseudonym and served as past board member of California Poets in the Schools. Chateau Laux is his first novel. He lives in the Eastern Sierra with his wife, Lynn.
[Book Tour] 'Chateau Laux' By David Loux #HistoricalFiction
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24 May 2021

US: Horror-Thriller 'Blood Pageant' Set For Summer Release From Vision Films [Trailer Included]

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US: Horror-Thriller 'Blood Pageant' Set For Summer Release From Vision Films [Trailer Included]
Blood Pageant Horror Movie Poster with Snoop Dogg, Stephen Baldwin, David Chokachi, Ted Lange
Vision Films Inc. announces the North American release of the horror-thriller feature Blood Pageant from Red Velvet Entertainment in association with Snakebyte Productions and 828 Media Capital on June 29, 2021

The film was written by Chris Gilmore and Anthony J. Sands, directed by Harvey Lowry, and produced by Robert Burton. Executive producers are Stacy Fouche, Gayle Gaston, Chris Gilmore, Pamela Higgs, Todd Lundbohm, and Richard Muscio.

  • A summer theatrical release is also scheduled.
Set in the ubiquitous world of reality television, where it's easy to question whether or not a life and death situation has been fabricated for television or if it's dangerously genuine, the American Dream Pageant quickly devolves into an American Nightmare. The contestants are quickly locked in a battle for their very lives. With a wink and a nod, this good vs evil story pokes fun at the pop culture stereotypes of reality competition shows, vision boards, chakras, and life coaches.

Synopsis: 

What began as a million-dollar reality show competition between seven beautiful women turns into a battle for life itself when one contestant uses black magic to gain an edge over the competition. An ancient curse dating back to the Salem Witch Trials is unleashed and the competition becomes a Blood Pageant of death, destruction, and evil forces. Forget about who will win… who will survive?
  • Starring Stephen Baldwin (The Usual Suspects), David Chokachi (Baywatch), Ted Lange (The Love Boat), Beverley Mitchell (7th Heaven), and Ellia English as Madame Destiny (The Jamie Foxx Show)
  • The film also features Snoop Dogg, Matthew Marsden (Transformers, Resident Evil: Extinction) and Danielle C. Ryan (Criminal Minds, Lost & Found, The Cat in the Hat) playing themselves as the pageant's celebrity judges.

The Trailer:

Blood Pageant will be available on all major streaming platforms on June 29, followed by DVD at major online retailers on July 20.
  • Follow @BloodPageantTheMovie on Facebook and @BloodPageantMovie on IG and visit bloodpageant.com.

About Vision Films:

Vision Films is a leading independent sales and VOD aggregator specializing in the licensing, marketing, and distribution of over 800 feature films, documentaries, and series from some of the most prolific independent film producers in the world. Led by Lise Romanoff, Managing Director/CEO Worldwide Distribution, Vision Films releases 2-4 films a month across Theatrical, VOD, DVD, and television platforms. 

About Red Velvet Entertainment:

Red Velvet Entertainment's mission is to create feature films and television shows of such high-crafted quality and originality that they are unparalleled. We believe that by instilling thought-provoking messages in everything we produce that we inspire better lifestyles and better living through our signature brand of entertainment. Led by CEO and visionary Chris Gilmore, RVE has an incredibly talented team along with Robert Burton, Anthony J. Sands, Alan Bailey, Todd Stevenson, Leo Gilmore, and Gene Gilmore.

22 May 2021

Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]

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Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism (Screengrab)
Zalando launches its new campaign 'Activists of Optimism' celebrating people who are igniting positivity. Following a year of global lockdowns and restrictions, the campaign aims to celebrate and spread optimism through the simple act of making people smile.
Launching on May 23rd across all Zalando markets, the 'Activists of Optimism' campaign is giving people a stage to free their feelings, embrace positivity and spread joy. It is made up of 22 videos of positive action takers, all created as 15 second social shorts, which have then been woven together into a vibrant TV commercial. 

Accompanying the campaign video are a series of still images of European creators who represent positivity in their own unique way. Individually shot by Spanish-based photographer Jorde Perez Ortiz, each image is overlaid with the bold statement: 'Activists of Optimism'. Cast on social media, 11 positive activists including Dutch influencer and model Rianne Meijer and French dancer, Salif Gueye, known for their optimistic content creation, bring the campaign to life.

Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
London-based musician, CKTRL for Zalando’s Summer Campaign, ‘Activists of Optimism,’ which aims to spread positivity and optimism, captured by photographer, Jorde Perez Ortiz
The campaign launch will be supported by a 360° marketing initiative - the 'Festival Of Optimism', which will be a series of events and pop-up moments across Europe designed to inspire people to smile, dance and sing, culminating in a virtual celebration of togetherness on June 21st, the longest day of the year.
"After a year of lockdowns, for our 2021 summer campaign, we wanted to celebrate the season of hope and optimism by making people smile and provide them with a stage to express optimism freely", Ralph Rijks, Zalando's Vice President of Global Marketing comments, "We define activist of optimism through people who bring joy to others and themselves - whether it is a song, a dance, or an innovative makeup tutorial on Tik Tok, it is these small optimistic acts that connect us and spread joy. The campaign brings to life our 2021 overarching narrative of turning optimism into positive action (for yourself and others) through the joy of living life."
Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
French artist and creative, Juliette Marsault for Zalando’s Summer Campaign, ‘Activists of Optimism,’ which aims to spread positivity and optimism, captured by photographer, Jorde Perez Ortiz.
The casting of the 11 'Activists of Optimism' was done entirely through social media, focused on the creators' content and activities that portrayed the campaign message, with the reach and size of the creator's social media platform being secondary. The film features positive and talented creators including dancer, Salif Gueye who is renowned for his upbeat dance style performed on the streets of Paris; Dutch influencer and model, Rianne Meijer who is known for her authentic body confident images on social media; and model and author, Naomi Shimanda who embraces positivity through fashion.

Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
TikTok twins, Sash and Lala for Zalando’s Summer Campaign, ‘Activists of Optimism,’ which aims to spread positivity and optimism, captured by photographer, Jorde Perez Ortiz.
The upbeat full length TVC is shot by London-based director, Lucy Luscombe, who has recently been included in Dazed's top 100 global creatives and set to the song, Show Me Love by Robin S. The campaign will be brought to life across numerous formats: from stills photography by Jorge Perez Ortiz, DOOH, owned social channels by the diverse cast of this campaign, 'positive listening' adverts on Spotify, and wild postering and colourful murals across key markets. The 360° campaign was created in collaboration with creative agency Kolle Rebbe.

  • All images have been shot in accordance with government guidelines on COVID-19, specific to each country at the time of capture. All safety measures were put in place on all shoot locations throughout the world to ensure every single person featured was respecting COVID safety measures.

The Video:

About Zalando:

Zalando is Europe's leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle. Founded in Berlin in 2008, we bring head-to-toe fashion to about 42 million active customers in 17 markets, offering clothing, footwear, accessories, and beauty. The assortment of international brands ranges from world famous names to local labels. Our platform is a one-stop fashion destination for inspiration, innovation, and interaction. As Europe's most fashionable tech company, we work hard to find digital solutions for every aspect of the fashion journey: for our customers, partners and every valuable player in the Zalando story. Our vision is to be the Starting Point for Fashion and a sustainable platform with a net-positive impact for people and the planet.

About Kolle Rebbe:

For over 25 years, Kolle Rebbe has been one of the most creative communication agencies in Germany, where strategists, creatives and specialists from all disciplines develop integrated communication solutions across media and country borders. 280 people from 20 nations also invent original products and support start-ups in the middle of Hamburg's iconic Speicherstadt. Kolle Rebbe is part of Accenture Interactive, the largest digital agency in the world, since 2018.

About Lucy Luscombe:

Born in London, Lucy studied at Central St Martins before quickly establishing herself as one to watch. Lucy has received a number of high profile accolades including Underwire's Outstanding Talent; BFI Future Film Award, UK Music Video Award nominations for her work with John Grant, Darkstar and Tiny Carriages in addition to being included in Dazed and Confused's top 100 global creatives

About Jorde Perez Ortiz:

Spain based Jorge Perez Ortiz is a fashion photographer. His work takes inspiration from everything that surrounds him. Issues such as gender, fashion as identity of human or the contrast of tradition and fashion is reflected in his photographs which explore a new language to show fashion. His use of bright sunlight and deep blue skies match perfectly with the Zalando 2021 summer campaign.

  • Jorge's recent work includes works for Lacoste, Nike, Loewe, Bershka and Mango.
SOURCE: Zalando

18 May 2021

Marvel Entertainment & SiriusXM to Premiere First Original Scripted Podcast Series 'Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord' on June 1 [Trailer Included]

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Marvel Entertainment & SiriusXM to Premiere First Original Scripted Podcast Series 'Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord' on June 1 [Trailer Included]
Marvel Entertainment & SiriusXM to Premiere First Original Scripted Podcast Series 'Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord' on June 1 (PRNewsfoto/Sirius XM Holdings Inc.)
Marvel Entertainment and SiriusXM announced today the launch of their first original scripted podcast series, Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord

The first two episodes will be available starting Tuesday, June 1, on the SiriusXM App, Pandora, Stitcher, and all major podcast platforms. 

The 10-episode series will be released weekly, kicking off season one of Marvel and SiriusXM's multi-part Marvel's Wastelanders podcast series, which will feature other Marvel heroes, including Old Man Wolverine, Old Man Hawkeye, and Grey Widow.
Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord stars Timothy Busfield (The West Wing, For Life) as Star-Lord, Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek, Eagleheart) as Rocket, and Nadine Malouf (High Fidelity, The Looming Tower) as Cora. The series will also feature Patrick Page (Hadestown, upcoming The Gilded Age) as Kraven the Hunter, with Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives) as Emma Frost and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple) as Red.
In a shadowy alternate future of the Marvel Universe, the Villains have finally won, and Heroes are nothing but a bad memory. Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord finds Peter Quill and Rocket a little paunchier, a little slower, and a lot saltier than they were during the glory days of the Guardians of the Galaxy. They quickly discover that the Earth isn't what it used to be, either, when they crash land 30 years after Doctor Doom took over a barren, desolate wasteland and all the world's super-villains seized control, including outlaw Ghost Riders and the bloodthirsty Kraven the Hunter.

 The Trailer:

"Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord is a story that throws you right into the action, antics – and danger – that fans of Star-Lord and Rocket know to expect, and the writers, cast, and crew did not hold back. We couldn't be prouder of how this story came together," said Stephen Wacker, Vice President and Head of Content, Marvel New Media. "This series is just the first chapter of our larger Marvel's Wastelanders plans with SiriusXM, and Peter Quill's story is only the tip of the iceberg for our new Marvel Audio Universe. We can't wait to share what's next with you all."
The series is produced in association with Wave Runner Studios and written by Benjamin Percy (Wolverine: The Long Night, Wolverine: The Lost Trail), directed by Kimberly Senior (Disgraced), and sound designed with original scoring by Mark Henry Phillips (Homecoming, Passenger List). 

The series is produced by Jenny Radelet Mast from Wave Runner Studios and executive produced by Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Daniel Fink, Sarah Amos, Stephen Wacker, Ellie Pyle, and Jill DuBoff from Marvel.

The cast for the series also includes actors Eric T. Miller, Elizabeth Francis, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Marylouise Burke, Blake Stadnik, Dylan Baker, and Aasif Mandvi.
Fans will also have a chance to hear from and interact with cast members and special guests in the forthcoming exclusive VIRTUAL Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord Cast Town Hall this Thursday, May 20, at 4:00 pm ET/1:00 pm PT via Zoom. 

Register early for your chance to ask a question during the broadcast, and tune in for some exciting behind-the-scenes details, previews, and reveals about Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord – and what comes next!

SiriusXM subscribers can tune in to SiriusXM Stars (ch. 109) on May 22 and 23 to hear the Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord Cast Town Hall.

17 May 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery

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[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
The Shadows of Versailles - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Shadows of Versailles
(An Affair of the Poisons Book One)
By Cathie Dunn

  • Publication Date: November 20th, 2020
  • Publisher: Ocelot Press
  • Page Length: 251 (ebook) / 277 (pb)
  • Genre: historical fiction / mystery

The Blurb:

Dazzled by Versailles. Broken by tragedy. Consumed by revenge.

When Fleur de La Fontaine attends the court of King Louis XIV for the first time, she is soon besotted with handsome courtier, Philippe de Mortain. She dreams of married life away from her uncaring mother, but Philippe keeps a secret from her.

Nine months later, after the boy she has given birth to in a convent is whisked away, she flees to Paris where she mends gowns in the brothel of Madame Claudette, a woman who helps ‘fallen’ girls back on their feet.

Jacques de Montagnac investigates a spate of abducted children when his path crosses Fleur’s. He searches for her son, but the trail leads to a dead end – and a dreadful realisation.

Her boy’s suspected fate too much to bear, Fleur decides to avenge him. She visits the famous midwife, La Voisin, but it’s not the woman’s skills in childbirth that Fleur seeks.

La Voisin dabbles in poisons.

Will Fleur see her plan through? Or can she save herself from a tragic fate?

Delve into The Shadows of Versailles and enter the sinister world of potions, poisoners and black masses during the Affairs of the Poisons, a real event that stunned the court of the Sun King!
[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
Shadows of Versailles - Front Cover

 'The Shadows of Versailles' - Excerpt:

(From Chapter Two:)
Châtelet, Paris

Jacques de Montagnac approached the gate of the Grand Châtelet. The stench of blood and carcasses from the streets lingered in the air, even though it was late evening. The lack of street lighting, recently introduced in the finer quarters of Paris, made walking through the streets around the headquarters of the new police force treacherous. He didn’t want to leave a trace on his worn leather boots of where he had been.

His hood drawn deep over his face, he looked around but found no proof of anyone following him. He slipped through the gateway that let into an inner courtyard. Cries and moans from prisoners locked up in the many oubliettes reached him. The poor devils. Jacques had seen the maze of small cells, and they weren’t a pretty sight. Many a man never left them alive.

Taking a deep breath, which he regretted instantly, he turned to the far side, towards the door to the offices of the Lieutenant General of the police, Gabriel Nicolas de La Reynie. This wasn’t Jacques’ first visit. In fact, he’d long lost count of the number of times he reported back to his superior. Ever since he’d joined La Reynie’s extensive spy network five years earlier.

He’d been so naïve! Aged nineteen, and with a confidence far exceeding his diminished funds, he’d presented himself to the Lieutenant General. Jacques grinned as he climbed the stairs two at a time. On La Reynie’s request, he’d had to prove himself by blending into the underworld of Paris. But he’d had to work hard for it.

“Good evening,” a fellow officer greeted him in passing. “He’s awaiting your company.”

Jacques nodded. Eventually, outside de la Reynie’s office, he pulled back his hood and straightened.

At his knock on the door, he heard the gruff voice of his superior. “Come in!”

Around him, the corridor was deserted. Still, it was worth to check. His life depended on secrecy. He slipped inside the office and lowered his head. “Lieutenant General.”

“Jacques, please sit.” La Reynie never wasted time with polite conversation so beloved by the nobility.

Jacques sat as bid and waited until his superior had placed a note into a file, then moved it to a shelf behind him.

“I’ve not seen you in over a week. Has something happened?”

The man’s sharp eyes met his. Nothing seemed to escape him.

“Yes, sir.” Jacques leaned forward, placing his elbows on his legs. “There is trouble brewing.”

La Reynie laughed. “There always is. Tell me something new!”

Jacques remained serious. “Some of the charlatans are getting devious. There has been a rise in abductions of infants.”

The Lieutenant General leaned back in his seat and folded his hands in his lap. “I’ve learned about the disappearance of several babies. Continue.”

“They are alive when they’re taken, sir. Many women in the quartiers around the former Court of Miracles worry about this. I’ve spoken to six new mothers who were told their baby had been stillborn, yet they could hear a child’s whimper when the midwives took them away.”

“Is it one particular midwife, or do they work hand in hand?”

“Oh, most definitely more than one. I have no names as yet, but I’ll get them for you.”

“Thank you. Do you think it is intentional? They deceive the mothers, removing their children against their will?”

Jacques nodded. “Yes. The men in charge of the thieves and cutpurses brush off any questions about it. I believe they have a hand in it, or at least know who does.”

La Reynie stood and walked to the window overlooking the River Seine. “We have problems finding out the truth from that quartier. You’re one of the few men on the inside, and I'm aware of the danger you put yourself into every day is real.” He turned to face Jacques, his mouth in a thin line. “We lost Etienne two weeks ago. I have no idea what gave him away.”

Jacques nodded faintly. “Ah. I’d been wondering if something had happened to him.”

“His body floated in the Seine,” La Reynie said drily. “My men fished him out last Sunday morning. His throat was cut.”

Jacques hung his head. “I’m sorry, sir.” He hadn’t particularly liked Etienne, but the man had been a comforting presence in the den of cut-throats, thieves and scheming alchemists. It confirmed his suspicion that he must look over his shoulder all the time.

“Do you know what he was working on last?”

“Not in detail.” Jacques shook his head, meeting his superior’s gaze. “When I last spoke to him, he said he’d uncovered something linked to black masses. But he didn’t share his findings with me.”

“But you think the black masses are linked to the missing children?”

“It makes sense. But it has to be a fairly important person to demand such a risky sacrifice. I’d imagine a high price.”

“Like courtiers.”

Jacques nodded. “Yes.”

“But no names came up?”

“No. I’ve heard of several persons having visited herbalists, or whatever they like to call themselves, but they’re very secretive, often sending servants in their place. That reminds me, how goes the search for the Marquise de Brinvilliers? Rumour has it she is in the Spanish Netherlands.”

A sly smile played on La Reynie’s lips. “She might be. Or in England. We are on her trail, although she tries to trick us by moving around various nunneries.”

“The news should send some people in the quartiers scurrying into their dens,” Jacques mused.

“And that’s why you, Jacques, are best placed to discover who these rats are that are going into hiding.”

Jacques didn’t like the smug look on La Reynie’s face, his thin smile and challenging glance. Everything the Lieutenant General did served a purpose. He did not waste time. “What would you like me to do?”

“There is a specific priest Desgrez has been watching, but he might be aware of it. Abbé Guibourg. There is something about him, but we have no proof of wrongdoing so far. Here is the address.” La Reynie handed Jacques a note, and he slid it into his inner coat pocket. “Keep your ears open to any gossip!”

“I shall. And what about the stolen babies?”

“Yes, keep digging. I want to discover who organises those black masses – and who attends them. People would pay a lot of money for them.” De la Reynie returned to his seat and leaned forward, elbows on his large desk. “Who knows – these incidences are likely linked.”

“That’s what I think, sir. Is that all?”

“It is, for today. Report back to me by next Monday if you can.” The Lieutenant General gave him a sharp nod, then picked up a file on his right.

Jacques stood and took his leave. As he opened the door, La Reynie said, “And Jacques?”

He turned, pulling his hood up. “Sir?”

“Be careful!”


[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
Cathie Dunn

Author Bio:

Cathie Dunn writes historical fiction, mystery, and romance.

Cathie has been writing for over twenty years. She studied Creative Writing, with a focus on novel writing, which she now teaches in the south of France. She loves researching for her novels, delving into history books, and visiting castles and historic sites.

Her stories have garnered awards and praise from reviewers and readers for their authentic description of the past.

Cathie is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

After nearly two decades in Scotland, she now lives in the historic city of Carcassonne in the south of France with her husband, two cats and a rescue dog.

Connect with Cathie Dunn:

Website ✔ Twitter ✔ Facebook ✔ Instagram ✔ Pinterest 
BookBub 
✔ Amazon Author Page ✔ Goodreads 


[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
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