15 July 2021

"Is Humanity Ready for Alien Contact?"- Author Kerry McDonald Says "Yes!" in New Sci-Fi Thriller

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"Is Humanity Ready for Alien Contact?"-  Author Kerry McDonald Says "Yes!" in New Sci-Fi Thriller
'The Green Cathedral' by Kerry McDonald and Lee Tidball
Set under the canopy of a Central American jungle, author Kerry McDonald's new sci-fi thriller, The Green Cathedral, follows a corrupt DEA agent and his transformative relationship with an otherworldly being. Inspired by the literary classic, Green Mansions, by W.H. Hudson, this reimagining is supercharged with action and romance in McDonald's visually arresting style.
Today, people are no longer embarrassed about believing in extraterrestrials. Leaders around the world agree that Earth has been visited by aliens. Recently, Haim Eshed, former head of Israel's Defense Ministry space directorate, made headlines claiming to be in communication with a UFO. "The Unidentified Flying Objects have asked not to publish that they are here—humanity is not ready yet," Eshed says. Kerry McDonald thinks we are.

The Green Cathedral opens with a crash landing of an alien spacecraft in the rainforest of Costa Rica. According to the New York Times, the U.S. Air Force investigated over 12,000 UFO sightings from 1947-1969. 701 remain unexplained. McDonald explores an unexplainable UFO phenomenon, and introduces a beautiful alien woman who has a deep connection with nature. In a world immersed in crime, nature offers the only escape. Can the extraterrestrials be here to remind humanity?
DEA agent Abel has spent his life with the ugliest side of humanity. He's given in to corruption, bribery, and an illegal side hustle that has him on the run from the cartel. He stumbles upon an alien girl who lives in the jungle. Her space craft crash-landed a decade ago; his life crashed and burned well before that.

They fall in love, but Abel's past has tracked him down.


The Green Cathedral makes us believe in love at first sight, and that nature can heal lost souls, even in the depths of the cartel.
"Non-stop action . . . a real flight and fight to the finish. Absolutely worth a read." – Screencraft
"Is Humanity Ready for Alien Contact?"-  Author Kerry McDonald Says "Yes!" in New Sci-Fi Thriller
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald is an all-American gymnast and adrenaline junkie who thrives on rock climbing, base jumping, paragliding, yoga, meditation, lucid dreaming, and survival-focused getaways. An expert marksman, Kerry enjoys writing action-adventure stories that provide an adrenaline rush equivalent to life when lived to the fullest.

13 July 2021

Sam Raimi's 1981 Horror Classic 'The Evil Dead' Returns to America's Cinemas for its 40th Anniversary this October

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Sam Raimi's 1981 Horror Classic 'The Evil Dead' Returns to America's Cinemas for its 40th Anniversary this October
The Evil Dead - Movie Poster
Fathom Events and Grindhouse Releasing are set to bring writer/director Sam Raimi's original 1981 horror classic, "The Evil Dead" back to the US cinemas for its 40th anniversary. 

In addition to the movie that spawned a film, TV, and video game franchise, attendees will be treated to an exclusive introduction from Bruce Campbell, who portrayed the film's iconic lead character, Ashley "Ash" Williams. The seminal film spawned a multimedia franchise including the upcoming feature installment "Evil Dead Rise."
  • "The Evil Dead 40th Anniversary" comes to America's movie theaters on Thurs, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. (local time).
Tickets for "The Evil Dead 40th Anniversary" are on sale from Friday, August 13 at FathomEvents.com and through participating cinemas' box offices. 

For the most updated list of exhibiting movie theaters, visit the Fathom Events website. (Participating theaters are subject to change).
Sam Raimi's 1981 Horror Classic 'The Evil Dead' Returns to America's Cinemas for its 40th Anniversary this October
The Evil Dead
In the first installment of Sam Raimi's famed original "The Evil Dead" trilogy, Ash (Campbell), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), his sister Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), and couple Scotty (Hal Delrich) and Shelly (Sarah York), drive to a remote cabin in the woods for a fun getaway. While there, they find the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (aka "The Book of the Dead"), an ancient tome whose text reawakens the dead when read out loud. After unintentionally releasing a flood of evil, the five friends must fight for their lives or become possessed.

Sam Raimi's 1981 Horror Classic 'The Evil Dead' Returns to America's Cinemas for its 40th Anniversary this October
The Evil Dead
"We are thrilled to give horror fans the opportunity to gather together and celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sam Raimi's cult classic 'The Evil Dead'," said Fathom Events CEO, Ray Nutt. "Let's kick off the Halloween season with the film that started an amazing franchise."
"We are proud to present this special 40th anniversary screening of Evil Dead with Fathom Events," said Grindhouse Releasing co-founder Bob Murawski, who has edited many of Sam Raimi's films including Army of Darkness: and Spider-Man 1, 2 & 3. "The original film has always been my favorite of the series. It is truly one of the scariest and wildest horror films of all time. I'm thrilled that a new generation of fans will have the chance to experience it in the way I first did – on the big screen with a screaming audience!"
Sam Raimi's 1981 Horror Classic 'The Evil Dead' Returns to America's Cinemas for its 40th Anniversary this October
The Evil Dead
Additionally, Lionsgate Home Entertainment will be releasing a collectible box set of The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and all three seasons of Ash vs Evil Dead in fall 2021.


SOURCE: Fathom Events

[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy' (Conquest, Book 3) By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval

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[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy'  (Conquest, Book 3)  By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
The Anarchy - Blog Tour Banner

The Book:

The Anarchy
(Conquest, Book 3)
By Tracey Warr

  • Publication Date: 2nd June 2020
  • Publisher: Impress Books
  • Page Length: 218 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance

The Blurb:

Unhappily married to Stephen de Marais, the Welsh princess, Nest, becomes increasingly embroiled in her countrymen’s resistance to the Norman occupation of her family lands. She plans to visit King Henry in the hope of securing a life away from her unwanted husband, but grieving for the loss of his son, the King is obsessed with relics and prophecies.

Meanwhile, Haith tries to avoid the reality that Nest is married to another man by distracting himself with the mystery of the shipwreck in which the King’s heir drowned. As Haith pieces together fragments of the tragedy, he discovers a chest full of secrets, but will the revelations bring a culprit to light and aid the grieving King?

Will the two lovers be united as Nest fights for independence and Haith struggles to protect King Henry?
[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy'  (Conquest, Book 3)  By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
Conquest Series - Blog Tour Banner

Buy Links:

[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy'  (Conquest, Book 3)  By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
The Anarchy - Front Cover

'The Anarchy' - Excerpt:

Chapter 21

The Beard

‘Hold still, man!’ Gwenllian cried. Einon, one of the men serving Cadell’s father, sat before her as she struggled to weave the tiny, folded message into the strands of his bushy, red beard. Cadell pinched a hand over his nose and mouth to stop his snort of laughter, but it was near impossible to hold it all in, and his stepmother Gwenllian glanced sidelong at him. ‘You’re not helping, Cadell!’ she exclaimed.

Einon was also doing his best not to laugh. ‘It’s a mite ticklish, my queen.’

Gwenllian sat back to take a frustrated break from her third attempt to entwine the parchment in the beard. Twice before she had almost got it suspended in the wiry red hairs so that it was invisible and carefully couched. But as soon as Einon stood and drew himself up to his considerable height, the tiny letter dropped to the floor. ‘This is no good! It won’t work!’ Gwenllian groaned, her face pink with frustrated effort.

‘You’ve so nearly done it, mother.’ Cadell’s stepmother was not renowned for her patience. ‘Here, let me try.’ Cadell held his hand out for the small, folded square. He had penned the letter. His parents did not write, but he had learnt to do so during visits to his Aunt Nest’s household and he had written the message to the Norse lord Raegnald in a minuscule script. It read,

Gruffudd, King of Deuheubarth, sends love to his foster-brother Raegnald. I mean to attack the Normans at Cardigan, aided by the sons of Gwynedd. Will you send boats and men to assist me in this endeavour and help me to regain the kingdom that is rightfully mine?

Cadell’s slender fingers nested the message deep into the beard. He plaited strands around it so that it could not fall—not when Einon rode, or rolled over in his sleep, or stood in a gale-force wind on the ship taking him to Dublin and Raegnald’s hall. ‘There!’

The man looked down. ‘Can’t see it at all.’

‘It will hold?’ Gwenllian asked.

‘It will hold,’ Cadell said with certainty, looking at Einon. Then he turned to Gwenllian. ‘But is this wise mother?’

‘Wise?’

‘To trust our lives and throne to your brothers?’

‘Go, with my thanks and hopes,’ Gwenllian told Einon, her brusque manner belying her words.

‘My brother and I will be ready at the gate shortly,’ Cadell told him courteously in an effort to mitigate Gwenllian’s tone.

Einon tucked the forked ends of his loaded beard into his belt, bowed low to them and strode from the room.

‘I don’t want to speak in front of him. That is why you wrote the letter rather than sending a message by mouth,’ Gwenllian told Cadell.

‘Yes, I know.’ This way Einon could not have the message tortured from him if he were captured by the Normans at the port. He would be travelling from Llansteffan. That had been Cadell’s idea too. Nest had invited her nephews to visit her again and Einon would travel as part of the boys’ escort, and then slip away to Ireland by boat at night.

‘No, it’s not wise,’ Gwenllian stated. ‘I don’t trust my brothers at all, but is it wise for us, the royal family of Deheubarth, to sit here in this backwater stirring potage all day long?’

Cadell shook his head. ‘No, for sure. That is not wise.’

Author Bio:

Tracey Warr (1958- ) was born in London and lives in the UK and France. Her first historical novel, Almodis the Peaceweaver (Impress, 2011) is set in 11th century France and Spain and is a fictionalised account of the true story of the Occitan female lord, Almodis de la Marche, who was Countess of Toulouse and Barcelona. It was shortlisted for the Impress Prize for New Fiction and the Rome Film Festival Books Initiative and won a Santander Research Award. Her second novel, The Viking Hostage, set in 10th century France and Wales, was published by Impress Books in 2014 and topped the Amazon Australia charts. Her Conquest trilogy, Daughter of the Last King, The Drowned Court, and The Anarchy recount the story of a Welsh noblewoman caught up in the struggle between the Welsh and the Normans in the 12th century. She was awarded a Literature Wales Writers Bursary. Her writing is a weave of researched history and imagined stories in the gaps in history.

Tracey Warr studied English at University of Hull and Oxford University, gaining a BA (Hons) and MPhil. She worked at the Arts Council, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Chatto & Windus Publishers, and edited Poetry Review magazine with Mick Imlah. She also publishes art writing on contemporary artists, and in 2016 she published a future fiction novella, Meanda, in English and French, as part of the art project, Exoplanet Lot. She recently published a series of three books, The Water Age, which are future fiction and art and writing workshop books - one for adults and one for children - on the topic of water in the future. She gained a PhD in Art History in 2007 and was Guest Professor at Bauhaus University and Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and Dartington College of Arts. Her published books on contemporary art include The Artist’s Body (Phaidon, 2000), Remote Performances in Nature and Architecture (Routledge, 2015) and The Midden (Garret, 2018). She gained an MA in Creative Writing at University of Wales Trinity St David in 2011. She is Head of Research at Dartington Trust and teaches on MA Poetics of Imagination for Dartington Arts School.

Connect withTracey Warr:

[Blog Tour] 'The Anarchy'  (Conquest, Book 3)  By Tracey Warr #HistoricalFiction #Medieval
The Anarchy - Blog Tour Schedule

7 July 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Secret Mage' (Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series) By Rebecca Jaycox #Fantasy #YA

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[Blog Tour] 'Secret Mage'  (Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series) By Rebecca Jaycox #Fantasy #YA
'Secret Mage' - Blog Tour Banner

The Book:

Secret Mage
(Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series)
By Rebecca Jaycox
  • Published 9th June 2020 by Aelurus Publishing
  • Page Count: 340 pages
  • Genre: YA Fantasy

The Blurb:

Some secrets are too deadly to keep, some bloodlines too powerful to contain …

Reggie Lang might only be seventeen, but she’s had to grow up fast. Losing a father as a baby made things hard enough, but when her mom turned to alcohol for refuge, Reggie had to hold things together. She still does. If only she could escape it all …

When the other kids at school start calling her a freak, things only get tougher. What’s worse, she worries they’re right. Reggie shouldn’t be able to bring dead creatures back to life but somehow she can? If it wasn’t for her ride-or-die best friend, she’d have completely lost it by now.

When a mysterious man invades Reggie’s dreams, is it just another sign that she’s falling apart? He claims he’s her guardian – that he’s from another world. He tells her that her father’s killer is there …

… and that now an evil mage is gunning for her, destroying anything in his way.

Reggie’s always wanted to escape her life, but not like this. Does she really have to run to protect the people she loves? Who will take care of her mom? The man in her dreams says he’ll teach her about magic and protect her. That he’ll send someone he trusts to collect her. That her blood makes her powerful. It’s a hard choice, but ultimately protecting her mom is worth anything.

The magic-saturated world she discovers might be full of wonders, but the horrors are worse than she could have imagined. Can the man sent to guide her really protect her, or is the sign of his slavery an omen of what will happen to her?

Reggie will be pushed to her limits as she attempts her treacherous journey, struggling to adapt to a strange new world and learning to wield her powers. The Dark Mage isn’t easily evaded. He rules this world with a bloody fist. Because it’s blood he’s after—Reggie’s blood. And avoiding capture might just be the toughest thing Reggie has ever faced. 
[Blog Tour] 'Secret Mage'  (Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series) By Rebecca Jaycox #Fantasy #YA
'Secret Mage' - Book Cover

'Secret Mage' - Excerpt:

She ran up the stairs and closed her bedroom door, leaning against it for a moment. She placed her tea on a white wooden desk with faded pink flowers painted along its edges. Her bed stood in the middle of the room, sporting an old-fashioned wrought iron frame also painted white, and a navy blue comforter hanging over the sides. Reggie had bought the blue comforter in defense of the overtly feminine room.

She flopped on her bed, sighing with pleasure as the mattress dipped and cradled her weight. Wrapping herself in soft navy folds, she snuggled into her pillow and closed her eyes. She promised herself she would only rest for a minute, but sleep pulled her under.

Once again she sat in the high-backed chair, her face turned toward the heat of the fire. The man sat across from her, his eyes probing her face. Reggie was surprised at how comfortable she felt, despite his scrutiny; as if she knew he held the answers she sought.

“I like your duster. It’s pretty hot,” she said, breaking the silence.

His eyebrows shot up and his following laughter made her smile. He ran a hand over the leather. “Well, that’s not what I was expecting, but thank you. You’re usually much more . . .” he paused, searching for the right word.

“Bratty?” Reggie supplied

He laughed again, the deep sound soothing her nerves. “I was going to say hostile. I don’t think you’re a brat. You’ve had a busy day. How did your research mission go? Did you find out how you revived that beetle?”

“No, but I plan on looking again tonight. Or maybe I wouldn’t have to look if you’d just explain what’s going on.”

“Are you sure you’re ready to know?” he asked.

Reggie gritted her teeth, holding onto her rapidly diminishing patience. “Yes! You told me you were here to help me. Well, here I am, Professor, enlighten me!”

“You’re right. I did tell you I was here to help you.” He sighed. “It’s just people from your world are conditioned to think one way and information that doesn’t fit their worldview is usually taken badly.”

“Is something wrong with me?” she whispered.

“No,” he assured her. “You’re different than most people, but nothing is wrong with you. You see, you straddle two worlds. And the Other is finally showing you its face.”

Reggie leaned forward, her elbows on her knees. “I don’t understand. What two worlds?”

“Do you remember anything about your father?”

Surprised at the change of subject, she shook her head. Half-formed ideas flitted through her mind, but nothing took hold. “Not really. He went hiking in the woods behind the city when I was really young. He went missing. He was really handsome. He’s smiling in all the pictures I’ve seen. I mean, he seemed like a happy guy.” Reggie smiled briefly and then looked away. “My mom completely fell apart after he was gone.”

“I’m sorry,” the man said gently.

She looked at him as tears stung her eyes. She shrugged, embarrassed. “So what are you getting at? That my dad has something to do with what’s happening to me? He’s dead.”

He fingered the scar on his face. “This might be hard for you to understand. Your father wasn’t from here. He never was supposed to come here, but he was always headstrong, too curious for his own good, and very powerful,” the man said with affection. “And once he met your mother . . . I knew he was never going to be whole living in our world again.”
[Blog Tour] 'Secret Mage'  (Book 1 in The Blood Magic Series) By Rebecca Jaycox #Fantasy #YA
Rebecca Jaycox

Author Bio:

Rebecca Jaycox grew up in the tiny town of Berryman, which borders the Mark Twain National Forest and the Courtois River about 70 miles south of St. Louis. The beautiful landscape fed her imagination, and she began writing stories at age 10 and never stopped. Always seeking adventure, Rebecca moved to France after she graduated college with a journalism degree to teach English at a French high school. Bitten by the travel bug, she has recently visited Italy, Greece, Austria, Spain, and finally made it to her bucket-list destination of Istanbul last summer. Rebecca now lives in New York City with her husband, Gregory. She enjoys reading and writing fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction.

Connect with Rebecca Jaycox:

Vision Films Brings Post-Apocalyptic Contamination Flick 'Lethal Virus' to Audiences This Summer [Trailer Included]

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Vision Films Brings Post-Apocalyptic Contamination Flick 'Lethal Virus' to Audiences This Summer [Trailer Included]
'Lethal Virus' - Movie Poster
Vision Films Inc. announced the North American release of the contagion horror film Lethal Virus on July 27. The film, partially shot during the pandemic, is a production of Virtual World Pictures and World Real Games, with the collaboration of Canary Film Factory and directed by filmmaker Daniel H. Torrado, who also co-produced, co-wrote and post-produced. 
Eerily familiar, a deadly and highly contagious Corona virus sweeps across the globe, this time unleashing flesh-eating zombies. Although the film is to entertain with a good dose of action and suspense, it is a warning about the dangers of climate change and the need for a more caring society. Can anyone survive?

The Synopsis: 

In a post-apocalyptic world where food is scarce and danger is high, a new super virus begins to infect the remaining population and threatens to destroy what's left of humankind. As a special forces group transports a young scientist, their last hope for a cure, to her lab against all odds of survival, they encounter zombie-like creatures who are the newest victims of the super virus.

The Trailer:


Starring an international cast including Christian Stamm (Westworld, Malnazidos), Loretta Hope (Barren, Hexagon), Ramón Álvarez (Justice League, Jurassic World) and Tomas Paredes (James Bond, El Cid). And for the action scenes, the team of specialists from films such as Assassin's Creed, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Rambo 5, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Terminator 6, among others, were used.
Lise Romanoff, CEO/Managing Director of Vision Films shares, "Lethal Virus is such a timely film that brings together an international cast and great effects for a harrowing and gruesome escapade to save humanity."
Writer/Director Daniel Torrado says, "During the filming, the pandemic began and we watched in amazement as the script was transforming into reality before our eyes. During the shooting we also suffered the inclemency of climate change, in the form of unexpected snowfalls and torrential rains, but we decided to use the setbacks to our advantage, adapting the scenes and including snowy sequences of great visual beauty."

  • The zombie thriller will be available on VOD and cable platforms across the US and Canada, and on DVD. Official Selection of the NIAFFS International Action Film Festival 2021.

5 July 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy

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[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
Ariadne Unraveled - Blog Tour Banner

The Book:

Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling
By Zenobia Neil
  • Publication Date: 7th July 2021
  • Publisher: Hypatia Books
  • Page Length: 345 Pages
  • Genre: Mythic retelling/ Historical Romance
[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
Ariadne Unraveled - Front Cover

The Blurb:

Ariadne, high priestess of Crete, grew up duty-bound to the goddess Artemis. If she takes a husband, she must sacrifice him to her goddess after no more than three years of marriage. For this reason, she refuses to love any man, until a mysterious stranger arrives on her island.

The stranger is Dionysus, the new god of wine who empowers women and breaks the rules of the old gods. He came to Crete seeking vengeance against Artemis. He never expected to fall in love.

Furious that Dionysus would dare meddle with her high priestess, Artemis threatens to kill Ariadne if Dionysus doesn’t abandon her. Heartbroken, the new god leaves Crete, vowing to become better than the Olympians.

From the bloody labyrinth and the shadows of Hades to the halls of Olympus, Dionysus must find a way to defy Artemis and unite with his true love. Forced to betray her people, Ariadne discovers her own power to choose between the goddess she pledged herself to and the god she loves.
[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
Ariadne Unraveled - Teaser

Ariadne Unraveled - Excerpt:

The sacred olive grove, which usually gave Ariadne such peace, was dry and brittle with the heat of the long summer. Leaves and a few neglected olives crunched under her feet as she walked with Thalia. Manko and Talos followed behind at a distance.

“I brought honey and oil if you desire it,” Thalia said.

“Thank you, Little Leopard.” Years ago when Zoe had teased Thalia for her freckles, Ariadne had given Thalia the name to show how much she liked the spots.

Ariadne had told no one that the goddess had ceased speaking to her long before Dionysus had come. The goddess did not always speak to her high priestesses, but this felt different. Sometimes a high priestess could reach the goddess by swinging to epiphany.

They stopped before the sacred swing that Daedalus had built for Pasiphae. In early spring, novice priestesses wove flower braids around the two cedar posts. Musicians would play, and priestesses and novices would sing while Ariadne swung.

But now, at the height of summer, the swing appeared dried out, as if the sacred doorway would yield nothing. Still, Ariadne would try. She smoothed her skirt down and sat on the swing.

This is as close as you will come to flying, her mother had said when she and Phaedra first learned how to pump their legs on the swings designed for children. This one was different. The pillars were wider at the top, so the ropes hung at an angle. She had to work much harder, but that often led to epiphany.

She gripped the hot ropes and kicked off. As a child, she had thought Phaedra would travel this path with her, believing the two daughters of Pasiphae would both become priestesses. Ariadne’s crescent-shaped mark had begun to tingle at her first blood, but the goddess had never spoken to Phaedra.

Ariadne pulled back and pushed. The wind rushed through her hair, whooshing in her ears. She let the rhythm carry her to and fro. Sweat beaded her brow. The sun beat down. Let this be another show of my devotion, Goddess. Please tell me what to do. She pumped her legs, leaned back on the ropes. Had she angered the goddess by marrying Dionysus? Had the offerings Thalia, Melia, and Zoe left not appeased her? Or did the goddess no longer care?

She swung higher, pumped, and extended her legs over and over again, until her mind cleared. Now the goddess could enter and convey what she wanted Ariadne to do.

Fully entranced, Ariadne let her mind search for the goddess as her body continued to swing. She traveled to the cave sanctuaries. First, the one in the hills above Knossos, but the darkened cavern where women left offerings and came to give birth was empty. Her mind’s eye flew high, leaping from one peak to another. An old priestess alone in a cavern, staring out from the rocky crag to the sea below. Two girls who had just started their moon blood climbed up to another, eager to be able to enter the sacred space for the first time.

But the goddess was not there.

Ariadne swung, searching in her mind, calling the goddess by her names.

Mistress of Wild Things, Great Goddess, Our Lady, Artemis.

She searched across the island, from temple to temple to the uninhabited wild lands. She spied mountain goats asleep in the shade, and a griffin vulture circled above a canyon. Ariadne felt herself soar with the bird, the wind on her wings, her vision keen.

Great Goddess, where are you?

This sensation of flying with the bird, of going from cave to cave was a new one. Her power had never been this strong before.

She swung higher and higher, ignoring the pain in her hands and legs. Intense heat enveloped her, and she imagined jumping straight up into the sky, directly into the sun. Bright light and searing heat surrounded her.

Granddaughter.

The Titan Helios stood before her, his bronze skin giving off its own light. His eyes glowed with the sun itself; a crown of flames danced on his pure gold hair.

I have had a vision of you, child. Your fame will be great, but you will be abandoned and remembered as a girl left behind, though you will be far more than that. Your service to Crete is near its end.

Ariadne gasped. What did he mean? She could not speak. The fire of the sun consumed her, blinding her so she lost her connection to her strength. She put her hands up to feel where she was and began to fall, out of the sky, plummeting to the earth below.

She imagined falling into the sea, being extinguished by the water, but no, she fell toward Crete, past the griffin vulture, gliding on the wind, past the sleeping mountain goats and back toward her vacant body in the dried-out grove.

Thalia screamed as Ariadne’s body pitched backwards off the swing. Ariadne opened her eyes to see a flash of blue sky, the crooked olive branches. She had flown, and now she fell. She had reached an epiphany only to be thrown back to earth. Was she to die? Was that the goddess’s message to her?
[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
Zenobia Neil

Author Bio:

Zenobia Neil was named after an ancient warrior queen who fought against the Romans. She writes historical romance about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun. Visit her at ZenobiaNeil.com

Connect with Zenobia Neil:

[Blog Tour] 'Ariadne Unraveled: A Mythic Retelling' By Zenobia Neil #HistoricalFantasy
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1 July 2021

Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) to Christen the Real World Federation Headquarters

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Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) to Christen the Real World Federation Headquarters
Nichelle Nichols
On September 10-12, 2021, Nichelle Nichols will meet with fans for autographs, photos and other activities during her trip to Northwest Ohio to officially christen the headquarters of the International Federation of Trekkers on Cleveland Road in Huron.
  • The Federation is the only Star Trek fan club founded with the approval of series creator Gene Roddenberry. After 36 years of service, the organization moved into its new headquarters facilities in fall of 2020. Fans, donors, volunteers and tourists are welcome to visit the new facility.
"The new facility is the culmination of a dream. It is a testament to the selfless work and gifts of our volunteers and donors over these many years," mentioned Russ Haslage, cofounder of The Federation. "And there is nothing more fitting than to have my long-time friend and 'adopted' showbiz mom here to officially christen the location."
Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) to Christen the Real World Federation Headquarters
Lt. Uhura (screengrab)
In a career spanning seven decades, Nichols has been a singer, dancer and actress on stage, television and movies, but is best known in her groundbreaking role as Lt. Uhura, the communications officer on the U.S.S. Enterprise in Star Trek, the original series, and six subsequent movies.

While at Federation headquarters, Nichols will sign autographs and pose for photos with fans in the replica of Captain James T. Kirk's chair on the Enterprise bridge. An opportunity to have dinner with Nichols is also available. All proceeds from the meet-and-greet will benefit Nichols' retirement fund.

Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) to Christen the Real World Federation Headquarters
Star Trek, the original series (screengrab)
The Federation was founded in 1984 by fan Russ Haslage and Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the show. Its mission is to maintain shared interest in the Star Trek universe and, in keeping with the mission of the United Federation of Planets, to help others.

  • The Federation has more than 30 chapters with a total of more than 2,100 members, with charitable works including the funding of local museums, offering food, clothes and school supplies to local children, feeding the homeless and much more including even a mission in Zimbabwe.
Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) to Christen the Real World Federation Headquarters
The visitor's center at Federation World Headquarters.
The organization's new world headquarters facility features a visitor's center, gift shop and much more. It is open to fans and visitors and can be found at 501 Cleveland Road West, in Huron, Ohio. 

Their website can be found at trekfederation.com.
  • The Federation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible.
SOURCE: The Federation

Related Star Trek Stories:

29 June 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Art of Love' (The Golden City, Book One) By A.B. Michaels #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'The Art of Love' (The Golden City, Book One) By A.B. Michaels #HistoricalFiction
The Art of Love - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Art of Love
(The Golden City, Book One)
By A.B. Michaels
  • Publication Date: 4th May 2014
  • Publisher: Red Trumpet Press
  • Page Length: 360 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

Your Journey to The Golden City begins here...

FORTUNE…SACRIFICE…PASSION...and SECRETS


A tale of mystery, social morality and second chances during America’s Gilded Age,
The Art of Love will take you on an unforgettable journey from the last frontier of the Yukon Territory to the new Sodom and Gomorrah of its time - the boomtown of San Francisco.

After digging a fortune from the frozen fields of the Klondike, August Wolff heads south to the “
Golden City,” hoping to put the unsolved disappearance of his wife and daughter behind him. The turn of the twentieth century brings him even more success, but the distractions of a hedonistic mecca can’t fill the gaping hole in his life.

Amelia Starling is a wildly talented artist caught in the straightjacket of Old New York society. Making a heart-breaking decision, she moves to San Francisco to further her career, all the while living with the pain of a sacrifice no woman should ever have to make.

Brought together by the city’s flourishing art scene, Gus and Lia forge a rare connection. But the past, shrouded in mystery, prevents the two of them from moving forward as one. Unwilling to face society’s scorn, Lia leaves the city and vows to begin again in Europe.

The Golden City offers everything a man could wish for except the answers Gus is desperate to find. But find them he must, or he and Lia have no chance at all.
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The Art of Love - front cover

'The Art of Love' - Excerpt:

New York, 1899

Over the next several days, under the guise of carrying artwork to and from school, Lia moved her most important belongings to the apartment Sandy had rented. She packed clothing, art supplies, her jewelry, and most important, the items that would remind her of the one real treasure she was giving up. Every evening she sat and watched Little Georgie, sketching him at play and at rest, trying to memorize every part of the precious child she had brought into the world. His tiny, exquisitely formed little ears; his soft cheeks (which someday, she imagined, would grow angular like his father’s); his mouth shaped like a cupid’s bow, rooting quietly as he slept.

She gave Polly and the housekeeper time away to visit their families and spent her last day at home with her son, sitting with him on the floor of the nursery as he built tall castles out of blocks and laughed delightedly when they fell. She held up the carved wooden cow and asked him what a cow says and he said “Moo.” The sheep? “Baa.” The horse? “Eee eee eee.”

“That’s my smart little man,” she whispered, tears running unchecked down her face.

“Mama,” he said, waddling over and patting the wetness of her cheeks.

“Yes, my darling boy,” she whispered. “Mama loves you. Mama will always love you.”

She put him to bed one more time and crooned his favorite lullaby. “Sleepyhead, close your eyes. Mother’s right here beside you. I’ll protect you from harm, you will wake in my … my … ” she couldn’t go on. He lay on his back looking up at her and smiled and reached for her. She leaned down and hugged him one last time and stayed with him until he fell asleep.

You can do this you can do this you can do this, she chanted to keep herself in one piece. She filled her small suitcase, donned her coat, and went downstairs to confront George. He was working in the library. The light in the room was dim except for the lamp on his desk. It lent an intimacy to the space. It was quiet; only the tic, tic, tic of the Ormolu clock marred the silence.

“George?” she called from the doorway.

“Yes, come in,” he replied, still engrossed in the report he was reading.

She checked the pendant watch he had given her on their first anniversary. Sandy would arrive to pick her up shortly; she had only to get through this last charade. She walked over to his desk.

“George, look at me.”

George looked up, a puzzled expression crossing his face as he saw that she was dressed to go out. He frowned. “Where are you going?”

“I’m leaving you for someone else.”

He leaned back in his chair, disbelieving. “What did you say?”

“I said I’m leaving you for someone else.”

“Lia, that’s not funny.”

“It’s not meant to be.” She leaned over his desk. “Do you understand? I’m leaving this marriage and I’m committing adultery to do it. Do. You. Understand?” She drew the words out as she held his eyes.

Comprehension cast a shadow over his features, and he slowly shook his head. “No, Lia. No. You don’t have to do this.”

She stood up straight and repeated the words she’d rehearsed many times. “I love someone else and I no longer love you. I’m moving in with my lover and I’m never coming back.”

“Wait. Who—”

“Sandy,” she said.

George rolled his eyes and snorted. “Ah, yes. The sodomite.”

Lia drilled him with her stare until he felt compelled to face her again. “Ask your mother and her friends about that … and thank you for the insult to one of the finest men I know. You are making this easier.”

George stood up as if to overpower her. “I’ll fight you on this.”

It was Lia’s turn to scoff. “Will you, George? Think long and hard about that. What will you gain? What will you lose?”

“What about your son?” he asked, frustration lacing his tone. “Our son. You’re just going to abandon him?”

You can do this you can do this you can do this. “My son will be loved,” she replied. “You talk to Emmaline about that.”

“Em? What does Em know about this?”

“Nothing. Only that she is a woman with so much to give who is ready to be loved … do you understand me, George?”

He stared at her, not speaking, and she could practically see the wheels turning in his head as he processed all that she was saying, all that she implied. His own eyes welled with tears as he realized what she was doing for him, for them. He reached for her. “Lia—”

She held out her arm to ward him off. “You must hate me until this is over, it is the only way,” she whispered. “Hate me to your parents, to your friends, to your lawyer, to everyone except Em and our son, and do not call Sandy a sodomite ever again. Do you understand me?” she repeated. She heard the near hysteria in her voice.

His eyes clear with comprehension, he nodded. “What will you do?”

“Lay low until the storm passes, then San Francisco, I think.” She smiled sadly. “So, you won’t have to pay that invoice from the Institute after all.”

“Lia?” Sandy stood in the doorway to the library, hat in hand. “I’m sorry. No one answered, so I let myself in. Are … are you ready to go?”

Lia continued to look at George. After a moment she inclined her head and saw George echo her, ever so slightly. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and opened them again, smiling through her tears.

“I will send you the address where your attorney can reach me,” she said. “Polly and Mrs. Rudd will be back tomorrow. If Little … Little Georgie wakes up—”

“I know,” he assured her gently. “Sing him the lullaby.”

“That’s right,” she said, her voice breaking. “Good night, George, and … and bless you.” Lia turned and took Sandy by the arm. They stepped into the cool of the evening and began walking down the street.

Sandy patted her hand. “How did it go?”

She sighed and put her head on his shoulder. Her voice hitched. “I think I know what it feels like to stab oneself in the heart.”

“You are quite a woman, Amelia. If I were someone else, I think I’d do anything to make you mine.”

“You are just who I need you to be, dear friend. Let’s see how it all plays out.”

“Yes, let’s,” he said as they continued on their way.

Author Bio:

A native of California, A.B. Michaels holds masters’ degrees in history (UCLA) and broadcasting (San Francisco State University). After working for many years as a promotional writer and editor, she turned to writing fiction, which is the hardest thing she's ever done besides raise two boys. She lives with her husband and two spoiled dogs in Boise, Idaho, where she is often distracted by playing darts and bocce and trying to hit a golf ball more than fifty yards. Reading, quilt-making and travel figure into the mix as well, leading her to hope that sometime soon, someone invents a 25+ hour day.

Connect with A.B. Michaels:

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25 June 2021

China Is Using Mythology & Sci-Fi To Sell Its Space Programme To The World

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China Is Using Mythology & Sci-Fi To Sell Its Space Programme To The World
The Wandering Earth is a Chinese sci-fi film which the government promoted abroad. (Netflix)
On the morning of June 17, China launched its long-awaited Shenzhou-12 spacecraft, carrying three Chinese astronauts – or taikonauts – towards the Tianhe core module. The module itself was launched at the end of April, forming part of the permanent Tiangong space station, which is planned to remain in orbit for the next ten years.

China’s construction of its own space station stems from the nation’s exclusion from the International Space Station, a result of US concerns over technology transfers that could enhance China’s military capabilities. Undeterred by this, China has forged ahead with its own space programmes and alliances. Since, the country has demonstrated that the Chinese “brand” of space technology is reputable and can hold its own in the international arena.

An impressive track record of remarkable space endeavours is not the only thing that distinguishes China’s space brand from other national players. The government and related organisations have made concerted efforts to establish a unique “Chinese space culture” alongside the country’s advances in space technology. While the target audience for many of these cultural creations remains domestic, China’s space ambitions are directed at global audiences in a variety of ways.

Legendary beginnings

Perhaps the most obvious example of this is the naming of these programmes after China’s traditional roots.

The name Tiangong translates as “Heavenly Palace”. This was the residence of the deity who holds supreme authority over the universe in Chinese mythology, the Celestial Ruler. The name is particularly fitting for a Chinese space station, which acts as a home in the heavens for the country’s taikonauts. The meaning of Shenzhou, the missions that take taikonauts to space, is “Divine Vessel”, which is also a homophone for an ancient name for China, “Divine Land”.  

China Is Using Mythology & Sci-Fi To Sell Its Space Programme To The World
The Moon Goddess Chang'e. (Wikimeda)
China’s lunar exploration missions, meanwhile, are named after the legendary Moon goddess Chang’e. The tale goes that Chang’e flew from Earth to the Moon after stealing the elixir of immortality from her husband, Hou Yi.

According to Chinese mythology, Chang’e continues to live on the Moon with her rabbit companion, who spends its time pounding the elixir of immortality in a mortar for the goddess. The rabbit is known as Yutu, or “Jade Rabbit”. China’s two lunar rovers, the second of which became the first to land on the far side of the Moon in 2019, are named after it.

A key component of this lunar landing mission was Queqiao, a communication relay satellite. This was named after the myth of the “Magpie Bridge”, which joins the “Cowherd” and the “Weaver Girl” across the stretch of the Milky Way in a romantic folktale. The satellite acted as a vital bridge of communication between the Chang’e mission components and China’s mission control centre.

The linking of China’s traditional past to its forward-looking space activities serves to strengthen the identity of these space programmes as distinctly Chinese.

In connecting these achievements to the country’s cultural heritage, they are presented not as mere copies of their space power predecessors, but as having developed from national talents and progresses. They also serve as a reminder that while the programmes aim for the furthest reaches of space, China’s future will never be disconnected from its national and cultural roots.

Furthermore, these legendary names are a signal to the international community that space is not the exclusive domain of historical western figures such as Apollo or Artemis, but that it also belongs to the lineage of the Chinese people.

China’s future in fiction

Over the last few years, multiple corporations based in China have released space-themed commercial products and promotional campaigns in conjunction with China’s official space organisations, from upmarket fashion brands to KFC. But perhaps the most notable promotion of China’s space ambitions is in films.

In 2019, the blockbuster sci-fi film The Wandering Earth was released. The film was well received, and was publicised by the state’s international media platforms as a must-see.

Director Frant Gwo has spoken about the importance of the message behind the film, claiming that China’s way of thinking about space is vastly different from US ideologies. According to Gwo, while the US dreams of eventually leaving the Earth to move to other planets, the Chinese space dream is to improve life on Earth through the use of space resources. The film promotes the idea that we mustn’t try to flee our planet, but instead, we must strive to protect it. 


While most space-themed commercial products remain aimed at a domestic market, Chinese sci-fi is becoming increasingly popular abroad. Books such as The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin, who wrote the short story which The Wandering Earth was adapted from, Folding Beijing by Hao Jingfang, which is also being adapted for the screen, and The Redemption of Time by Baoshu have all succeeded as translations.

Recognised by politicians as a potentially powerful tool for promoting state-approved narratives, government bodies have encouraged China’s sci-fi filmmakers to incorporate narratives that fit with the regime’s wider ideological and technological ambitions.

The fantasy aspect of sci-fi may explain why the genre is being internationally promoted first over other commercial products that feature imagery of actual Chinese space missions. Unlike China’s increasing capabilities in space, which are viewed as a threat by the US, the country’s fictional space developments pose no real-life risk. Able to incorporate the backdrop of a technologically powerful China into entertaining and compelling narratives, such stories allow foreign audiences to engage with the idea of China as a space power without the kind of political discourse that surrounds its real space activities.

Eventually, a foreign audience may begin to grow more comfortable with the notion of China as a technological world leader. And this, in turn, may cultivate an interest in the activities of the Chinese national space programme.

About Today's Contributor:

24 June 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Queen of Blood' (The Cross and the Crown, Book 4) By Sarah Kennedy #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'Queen of Blood'  (The Cross and the Crown, Book 4)  By Sarah Kennedy #HistoricalFiction
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The Book: 

Queen of Blood
(The Cross and the Crown, Book 4)
By Sarah Kennedy

  • Publication Date: 26th March 2021
  • Publisher: Penmore Press
  • Page Length: 321 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction

The Blurb:

Queen of Blood, Book Four of the Cross and the Crown series, continues the story of Catherine Havens, a former nun in Tudor England. It is now 1553, and Mary Tudor has just been crowned queen of England. Still a Roman Catholic, Mary seeks to return England to its former religion, and Catherine hopes that the country will be at peace under the daughter of Henry VIII. But rebellion is brewing around Thomas Wyatt, the son of a Tudor courtier, and when Catherine’s estranged son suddenly returns from Wittenberg amid circulating rumours about overthrowing the new monarch, Catherine finds herself having to choose between the queen she has always loved and the son who seems determined to join the Protestants who seek to usurp her throne.
'Queen of Blood' - Front Cover

'Queen of Blood' - Excerpt:

At dinner, Benjamin studied the young men who occupied one side of the long table. The four newcomers, guided by Robbie, helped themselves to the roast lamb and bread without assistance, and they finished off five bottles of French wine among them. They had been introduced simply as Tom, John, Edward, and Peter, and they laid into the custard with a vengeance, not waiting until the dirty plates had been taken away. Diana had taken a low seat, across from the newcomers and away from the others, and Veronica appraised the strangers more than she ate. Alice kicked at Catherine under the table until her shin could withstand no more abuse and she squeezed the girl’s knee. Old Moll peeked around the corner of the doorway once, and backed away.
“Have you brought your books home with you, Robbie?” Catherine finally asked.

“Books will be burned in England,” her son said. “And I am called Robert now.”

“Who has said anything of burning books?” said Catherine.

“Books. Men. It will be all the same. I have brought my necessities and no more.”

Benjamin said, “And what is necessary for a young man these days?”

The two at the end exchanged a sideways glance and dug into their sweets. Robert said, “Men will need their consciences more than anything else now.”

“Yours must be very heavy,” said Benjamin. He rose and turned his back to tend to the fire.

Robert spoke to his mother. “The reformed priests will be forced to divorce their wives. The lands will be seized for the Pope. Some of those lands are mine.”

Catherine coughed into her hand. She scanned the four feeders. “The lands are held in my name, Robbie. Robert. Until my death. The properties that will be yours were Overton land, never the Church’s. They’re safe enough.”

“The church lands will be mine, will they not, Mother?” added Veronica. She cast her brother a glare. “If anyone must worry, Brother, I am the one, not you.”

“Anyone who is the child of a priest should worry,” said Robert. “Anything owned by a person who holds old Church property will come under the scrutiny of this new court. That may mean my land.”

“You’re chasing ghosts, boy,” said Benjamin, sitting again. “England is ruled by law, and even the queen must follow it. Is this what you came back for? To raise a rabble like the drunks in the public houses?”

Again the furtive meetings of eyes.

“I’m not worried,” said Veronica. “The queen has always been a great friend to me. And the queen’s sister, as well.”

“The queen’s sister?” said one of the four. “She will need friends. She has had too few.”

“What do you mean by that?” demanded Benjamin. He leaned onto the table, and the daughters all leaned back.

“He means that the Lady Elizabeth is reformed and the new queen is not,” said Robert. “She has been ill-treated by this Roman Mary and someone must defend her rights.” He pushed himself away and stood. “This is no time for wrangling and debate. We are weary and will retire.” The others all shoveled in last bites and wiped their faces. They bowed stiffly at Catherine and crowded out.

“What a pack of hounds he’s gathered,” said Benjamin. “And what a large set of cases they carry about with them, for men who need nothing more than their consciences.”

“They’re young, and young men are often angry,” said Catherine. “They want the world to turn on them.”

“It will turn on them, in truth, if they don’t mind their mouths,” said Benjamin. “And if they are so angry, what are they doing here? Why didn’t they stay in Wittenberg, where they have allies?”

Catherine said, “He didn’t say that they came from Wittenberg. Did you not hear them speak? I think these friends of his are all Englishmen.”
[Blog Tour] 'Queen of Blood'  (The Cross and the Crown, Book 4)  By Sarah Kennedy #HistoricalFiction
Sarah Kennedy

Author Bio:

Sarah Kennedy is the author of the Tudor historical series, The Cross and the Crown, including The Altarpiece, City of Ladies, The King’s Sisters, and Queen of Blood. She has also published a stand-alone contemporary novel, Self-Portrait, with Ghost, as well as seven books of poems. A professor of English at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia, Sarah Kennedy holds a PhD in Renaissance Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing. She has received grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

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