Friday, October 28, 2011

Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland

Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland (Volume 1)
By:  Alinka Rutkowska
Illustrated by:  Konrad Checinski
ISBN:  9781463637422
Published July 6, 2011 by CreateSpace
Available Format:  Paperback

My Rating:  ★★★★☆

Goodreads Synopsis:  Embark on an exciting adventure with Maya and Filippo as they travel around the globe on board the “Fun Princess” -- a cruise ship full of surprises. Discover their fascinating ports of call, join them in activities at sea, and explore the magical world they create through the power of their thoughts. This time Maya and Filippo discover Auckland and meet different kinds of people depending the book to find out! Create your own reality just like Maya and Filippo do. Start coloring the world the way you want it to be through the pages of this book. It all starts in your mind. You have the crayons - have fun with them and have fun with your life!

Unfortunately, we had the ebook version of this book, and I wouldn’t be too happy if my kids took their crayons to my Kindle.  But, it is still a super cute read that we all enjoyed very much!  Maya and Filippo have such fun adventures, and there’s always a nice little lesson tucked in along the way.  This is one of those books my kids enjoy reading over and over—good for car rides and last minute bedtime stories!  I’d love to have the print version so they could go crazy coloring Maya and Filippo’s world!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows #1)

Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows #1)
By:  Gena Showalter
ISBN:  9780373618668
Published August 23, 2011 by Harlequin
Available Format: Hardcover, Paperback, ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★★

Caution:  This book contains adult themes, violence, and a little gore.  For mature readers only!

When the Blood Sorcerer ravages the kingdom of Elden, the dying king and queen cast final spells for their children—the queen scatters them for safety while the king plants a need for vengeance in each heart.  The siblings are connected only by a magical timepiece, and the time for vengeance is upon them.

Nicolai is a strong, capable, extremely sexy vampire who somehow becomes a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina.  The queen and her bratty witch daughters use and abuse Nicolai in unimaginable ways.  In his attempt to finally gain freedom and recover his memory, he lures Jane Parker into his world.  Summoned by Nicolai, Jane must obey, and she quickly finds herself mesmerized by Nicolai’s dark power.  There is more to the story of Jane and Nicolai than even they realize, and as the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place, Jane realizes she might still lose the man she desires and loves above all others.

Wow, this book is sizzling!  I received Lord of the Vampires from NetGalley, and this is my first dive into Gena Showalter’s writing (I have several of her books on my to-read list).  She most certainly can write—deep, edgy characters, heart-thumping action, and lots of steamy sex scenes; it’s enough to get a girl all hot and bothered!  What I really loved about this book, however, is that while there is a lot of passion involved, there is a solid underlying story as well.  All the layers of the plot work perfectly together to accentuate rather than distract from the storyline. 

There are fairy tale undertones to the story which I enjoyed very much.  Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella…  It was very interesting to discover those little bits and pieces as we moved along, but this book is very much its own story.  Nicolai is one of the most interesting male characters I have read about, and I loved that Jane had this history with the supernatural even in the real world.  Of course, we’re left with some unanswered questions and a dose of suspense, so I am anxious to see the next installment of the series to see where these two lovers go from here!


By: Roald Dahl
Illustrated by: Quentin Blake
ISBN:  9780141311371
Published April 5, 2001 by Puffin Books
Available Format:  Hardcover, Paperback, ebook, Audiobook

My Rating:  ★★★★★

The BFG.  The brown fig gnat?  The bright floppy goose?  Oh, the Big Friendly Giant!  This giant doesn’t seem so friend in the beginning of the story when he is creeping around in the dark and snatches Sophie up and takes her back to his cave in Giant Country.   Sophie soon learns, however, that he is quite friendly, much friendlier than his scary giant neighbors who go galloping off every night to gobble up innocent human beans.  Sophie is horrified, and vows that she and the BFG will come up with a plan to stop the dastardly deeds of the likes of the Fleshlumpeater and the Bonecruncher.  With the help of the Queen of England and the British military, they just might succeed!

If it is by Roald Dahl, it must be a classic, and this one certainly is!  My son and I shared this one as our bedtime read for a week and a half.  No, I didn’t exactly know what BFG stood for when we began, but we had a lot of fun guessing.  This book was just all-around fun.  The speech quirks of the BFG had us giggling ourselves silly (well, mostly my son laughing at me for getting tongue-tied).  I think his favorite part was the “whizzpoppers” which he wasn’t quite sure about until I explained it—then it was just hilarious.

There were a few slightly scary bits to the story—the giants do eat children after all.  Some readers have complained about the stereotyping that goes on, but honestly, it’s all in good fun and most children aren’t even going to pick up on these things.  On the other hand, however, a lot of those stereotypes point out some truths that we might want to acknowledge.  The giants do not harm their own kind, and the BFG quickly points out that we humans are always hurting and killing one another.  It isn’t pretty, but it’s the truth!

Overall, this was a fantastic book for my son and I to share.  We have been lucky to come across some really great stories.  If you haven’t ever read any of Dahl’s stories, I highly recommend you check them out with your children…or just for yourself!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kathryn the Grape's Colorful Adventure

Kathryn the Grape’s Colorful Adventure
By:  Kathryn Cloward
Co-author:  Ginny Hornby
Illustrated by:  Christine Winscott
ISBN:  9780982927717
Published August 1, 2011 by Kandon Publishing
Available Format:  Hardcover

My Rating:  ★★★★★

Kathryn often feels like her parents don’t listen to her and they might love her three brothers more than her.  One night after she storms into her bedroom, her special friend Maggie takes her on a colorful adventure.  With the help of a magical charm bracelet, Kathryn must learn to make her rainbow shine.  Kathryn and the reader learn that everyone has a special light and they must let it shine.

I requested this book because I knew my daughter would just love it.  Purple is her absolute favorite color, just like Kathryn, and her middle name is Catherine!  She was thrilled with the coloring pages and other goodies the author sent along with the book.  And, the book is so amazingly, well, COLORFUL!  The illustrations are big, bold, and gorgeous.  We had to go back through the book several times just to look at all the pretty pictures. 

The story itself is very informative and inspirational.  Feeling things like jealousy, inadequacy, and anger is completely normal for everyone, and sometimes it is hard to teach children about their feelings and how to manage them.  Kathryn tells a great story while teaching children to be confident in themselves, respect others, show love, and use words to calmly express themselves. 

This is a must-have book for children, especially little girls.


By:  Stephen M. DeBock
Published September 17, 2011 by Gypsy Shadow Publishing
Available Format:  ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★★

Two months after their daughter was found dead along the Appalachian Trail, the police deposit a strange young woman on the doorstep of Nate and Ellen Stark.  This young woman cannot remember anything—her name, her age, her family—except the name, Lori Stark.  Despite Ellen’s hesitation, the Starks take the young woman in and she is soon as much a part of their life as their own daughter was.  Morgen, however, isn’t what she appears to be, and she quickly pulls the Starks into her dark purpose.

Since Stephen is one of my new favorite people (and he wrote the fantastic novel, The Pentacle Pendant), I just had to check out his other work.  As I suspected, I was absolutely not disappointed.  Morgen is a dark tale with an even darker twist.  I quickly forgot the synopsis and found myself on the roller coaster of mystery that overshadowed the young woman.  I wanted to believe she was good for some reason.  I wanted her to somehow be Lori.  I wanted but did not receive!  What I did get was a tragic story of several very kind yet unfortunate people.  And, I loved it!

Morgen is a short story, easily digested in one sitting.  It is a perfect introduction to Stephen’s impeccable writing style—his ability to draw the reader into a story so completely they are sad when it is over!  

Journaljabber Recap - October 25, 2011 The Super Scary Halloween Show!

JournalJabber Super Scary Halloween Show - October 25, 2011

Tonight, on JournalJabber, we celebrated Halloween with a little testosterone and some scary book/movie talk.  Brett Talley guest co-hosted with us once again, and we sure do love him!  We had a great time just hanging out chatting about our favorite Halloween subjects.

Listen to internet radio with JournalJabber on Blog Talk Radio

Scary books we mentioned: 

That Which Should Not Be by Brett Talley
Jokers Club by Gregory Bastianelli  (Will be featured on JJ November 15th!)
Cinema of Shadows by Michael West
Phone Call from a Ghost by Daniel Cohen
Everything’s Eventual by Stephen King

Things moved from books to movies, and we discussed all sorts of horror/thriller movies from The Shining to The Ring to Quarantine to Shaun of the Dead and Napoleon Dynamite.  You’ll have to listen to the show to see how all that ties together J

S. Patrick Pothier, the winner of our scary short story contest read his story live on air!
Around the halfway mark you can catch “The Den” by S. Patrick Pothier

Next week, the lovely Lynn Rush, author of Wasteland, will be our guest author.  Tune in November 1, 2011 at 9PM EST to Catch the Rush!

We had a few fantastic Halloween costume pictures sent in, but we would love to see more!!!  After you venture out for loads of candy this weekend, email us your pictures to

We’re already planning our Christmas show!  We want to hear your children reading their favorite Christmas stories.  Please let us know if your kiddos are interested in being on the radio!  Email

Links You Should Check Out:
Cambria’s Blog:  

For a little Halloween fun, I’d love for you to comment here and answer one or all of these questions:

What is the scariest book you’ve ever read?
What is the scariest movie you’ve ever watched?
What is your favorite Halloween costume?  OR What have you always wanted to dress up as?

Hope you all have a safe and super fantastic Halloween!!!  See you next Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dinétah Dragon (Phantom Squadron #2)

Dinétah Dragon (Phantom Squadron #2)
By: Don A. Martinez
Published February 23, 2011 by CreateSpace
ISBN: 9781456431075
Available Format: Paperback, ebook

My Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis: In 2015, the author discovered by accident a budget accounting for a mysterious Special Forces team operated solely by the CIA. In questioning its origins, he was put in contact with Ariel Sharpe, one of the team's members, who agreed to meet with him in a secret location to share the story of the team and that of her own life. Ariel's life is one of isolated existence, both physically in the Arizona desert and emotionally from her surrounding peers. The isolation becomes even greater when she volunteers to become among the first wave of the nation's new Super Soldiers, only to wind up bound to a genetically-engineered dragon, complete with the scaly complexion and beastly abilities.

When she escapes this sinister project, she crosses paths with a Navy man who steers her into Special Forces. This team of professional soldiers, all of which embody legendary archetypes, becomes her new family, a place where she truly feels welcomed among people for the first time. The team's adventures in the shadowy supernatural world, though, hold the fate of the entire world in the balance, culminating in their final mission to stop Armageddon itself from commencing in the place where Ariel's story first began, the deserts and mesas of the American southwest. Through pain and joy, through suicide attempts and vicious fighting, Ariel survived to tell her tale. Learn how she not only reached a peaceful existence...she truly earned it.

This book has a little bit of everything! Native American life, college, military operations, supernatural soldiers, terrorists, religion, demons, angels, magic, and a sweet love story or two. Phew! Martinez does a fantastic job of weaving such a diverse story together to make sense and above all, entertain. I was very impressed.

I haven’t read the first book of the series, so I cannot compare. The writing was smooth and perfectly descriptive. All of the scenes and characters were easy to picture and follow. I love the way the story was told by Ariel through the author with his little notes here and there.

My favorite part was near the end where the team essentially prevents Armageddon, led by “Gabe.” I don’t want to give anything away, but having a certain someone call on the cell phone and perform a miracle—priceless! I was a little surprised that it took a more religious turn toward the end. It worked, but earlier in the book, the tone isn’t quite the same. They are fighting evil, but it’s not necessarily a demon/angel sort of thing. It didn’t bother me; the shift just struck me.

I definitely recommend this one for anyone who is into the supernatural, especially mixed in with military themes. It might get off to a teensy bit of a slow start, but it is well worth the read!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Little Monday Link Love

Add your blog and show some love to the other participants!! Then grab the code and share... Thanks!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Angels Are Here (Paradox Book 1)

This review is a little different than usual.  Patti requested some specific feedback from me, so I thought I'd use her questions to help format my review.  I've tried to be careful to answer her questions without any spoilers, so I hope she and you all can get enough information here! :-)

Paradox:  The Angels are Here
By:  Patti Roberts
Published October 18, 2010
Available Format:  ebook, Paperback

My Rating:  ★★★★☆

In the blink of an eye, it seems little Grace’s world has fallen apart.  Her father is gone and her mother isn’t coping well at all.  If it weren’t for the sensitive, quiet Officer Wade or her new neighbor friend, Grace might not find her way through the grief and sadness that threatens to suffocate her.  There’s more to Grace than meets the eye, more than she even knows.  What ties does she have with an ancient, timeless world?  What role do the angels, good and evil, play in her life?

Did you have a favorite character and if so why?
It was really hard to choose.  There are so many great characters in this story.  I have to go with Grace because we get to spend the most time getting to know her.  In no time, I was completely wrapped up in her life, her grief, everything.

Who was your second favorite character and why?
Officer Wade.  He’s the perfect guy, and there is obviously so much more than we know about him.  I love the way he takes care of the family, and then the way he relates to Grace and especially Angela—the way he guides her along.  Angela is a VERY close third.  Her awkwardness is endearing.

What part of the book did you enjoy the most?  The Angel parts (The ancient world) or Grace (today's world).
I love the Angel parts, but I want to know so much more about them.  So, I related more to Grace’s world. 

What parts or chapters did you enjoyed reading about the most?
I love the beautiful writing style.  It was so poetic and flowed so nicely.  The descriptions were extremely well-written and easy to follow.  I could feel everything Grace was feeling—even what her mother must have been feeling.  Each character had their own unique voice and mannerisms, making them all stand out in my mind. 

What parts did you like the least?
I think I wish the “evil” characters had a bit more depth to them—more layers.  I want to connect with them on some level, but they are just so unlikable.  There is nothing to make me feel anything for them or give them any dimension. 

What aspects of the story would you like to know more about?
I’d like to know why Grace has the flashbacks and what they mean.  She obviously has these angels in her life protecting her, but we don’t really get to see exactly why that is necessary.  Why did her father have to die? 

If you could change one thing about the story, what would it be?
While I think Ms. Roberts has a beautiful, poetic writing style, I felt the story needed a bit more meat.  There wasn’t a truly clear plot line throughout, at least to the reader.  I know this is the first of a series, and I am certain more questions will be answered as we move further, but I just wanted more of an arc and more of a solid ending.  It took me a while to really get into the groove of the book, to get to know the characters a bit more, and to start to understand what was really going on.  There are fantastic elements to the story; there’s just too many things left unexplained and unanswered in the end.  That’s really the only complaint I had!

What are you hoping to read more about in book 2?
Who is Grace, really?  What does the other realm have to do with her life?  What really happened to her father?  Was he really her father in the first place?  I hope the story really comes together and we see how all these different elements fit together.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  I am looking forward to continuing the series, enjoying more of Patti’s gorgeous writing, and getting all these questions answered!! J

Learn more about Patti Roberts and the Paradox series at her website:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Feature: The Moon Coin by Richard Due

The Moon Coin
By:  Richard Due
ISBN:  9780983886723
Published August 25, 2011 by Gibbering Gnome Press, A Division of Ingenious Inventions Run Amok, Ink
Available Format:  ebook

My Rating:  ★★★★★

Lily and Jasper’s Uncle Ebb is full of mystery and fabulously imaginative tales—uh, stories packed with dragons, merfolk, giants, and faeries.  But, it is all just fun and bedtime stories or so they believe.  When Uncle Ebb vanishes, Lily and Jasper stumble upon something much more powerful than they could have imagined.  Lily is swept into a world she knows so very well but could not have believed truly existed.  There’s no denying it now.  Not only do she and her brother have to find their uncle, they must also help unite the moons of the Realm and bring prosperity and peace once again. 

This book is one of the reasons why I absolutely love my “job”; I get to read these incredible (all too often undiscovered) gems and share them with all my friends and family!  I never turn down a good children’s/YA book, so I immediately told Richard I would certainly love to read and review his book.  I cannot express to you how impressed I have been! 

If I had to compare The Moon Coin to any other work, I’d say it is a cross between Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings.  It reads very well for middle grade and younger YA, like Narnia, with the immense fantasy of LOTR.  The imagery is so captivating, Lily is so mature, and the reader is swept along her adventure as if we are riding the Rinn or facing the dragon ourselves.  It is everything you want a great fantasy to be and then some. 

I shared this book with my six-year-old as our bedtime story this week.  I would read to him until he went to sleep, then continue reading ahead.  The next evening, I would condense the parts I had read and then continue on with the next chapters.  He was always full of fantastic questions about the story and the characters involved.  He loved the illustrations and, of course, wished there were more.  I actually do too, but everything is told so well, I had no trouble whatsoever imagining the story for myself.

The Moon Coin most certainly rates up there with my absolute favorite books and is in the top three of my favorite children’s books.  I hope Richard will publish a print version!  Everyone must give this one a try; you won’t be disappointed.  Mr. Due, PLEASE don’t take long getting the next in the series ready for us J... There are so many mysteries to be solved, I may simply burst with anticipation!

In case you missed it yesterday, Richard provided us with a lovely guest post/interview with his amazing illustrator.  Go HERE to have a look at all the goodies including the incredible book trailer his twelve-year-old daughter created for him!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Feature: Guest Post/Interview by Richard Due, author of The Moon Coin

Sometimes, incredible things just fall into my life...and The Moon Coin is one of them! Richard contacted me last week about checking out his book, and of course I couldn't pass it up.  I'm just over halfway through at the moment (I WILL finish today! :-)), and it is absolutely amazing!!!  Come back tomorrow to see my review...

Today, Richard has provided us with a guest post/interview he did with his outstanding illustrator, Carolyn Arcabascio.  Enjoy!!

From Sketch to Chapter Art, an Illustrator at Work
By:  Richard Due

For me, getting to work with Carolyn Arcabascio was a dream come true. On The Moon Coin, we worked from a master list of scene options, with Carolyn picking out scenes she liked and making sketches. For the prologue, Carolyn drafted three options. All three were great, but two in particular were spectacular. I first went with option 3 (one of my scene suggestions). I think we spent more time on this sketch and subsequent color drawing than on any other piece. But it never seemed right. At the eleventh hour, I asked Carolyn how hard she’d hit me if I suggested scrapping the thing and instead going with the pinky promise scene you see below (one of her scene suggestions).  Carolyn responded: "There would be no hitting involved!" and told me it wouldn't be a problem. You sure can't ask for better than that.

From the Prologue:  Bedtime Tales
Click to Enlarge
Richard: Did you make all these sketches in the same location, Carolyn?

Carolyn: Yes, I do all of my work at a drafting table that's situated in a little nook of my apartment in Acton, Massachusetts. There's a bookshelf to my right and a wall of "inspiration" to my left, where I hang prints of other artists' and illustrators' work. On either side of my drafting table are drawers of supplies, and stacks of sketchbooks and old paintings. The drafting table faces a window overlooking a quiet street and the woods beyond it.

From Chapter Two:  A Coin of the Realm
Click to Enlarge
Richard: Do you use models when you're sketching?

Carolyn: I use a combination of models and photo references. If I need to work out the nuances of a character's posture and really understand the perspective of it, I'll ask whatever friend or family member is handy to pose for a sketch. Often, I'll get into the position myself or mimic the facial expression I want to portray in order to get the feel of it. And sometimes, if there's a character being portrayed multiple times across scenes, I'll make a rough model of their head out of clay so I'll have it to refer to.

From Chapter Four:  To Barreth
Click to Enlarge
Richard: When drawing fantastical creatures, do you use bits and pieces of real animals for inspiration, or have you actually seen a wirtle and you're just not telling us? ;)

Carolyn: No wirtles native to Massachusetts, fortunately! When figuring out the look of fantastical creatures, I use photo references of different animals to understand the way the anatomy might work, and then combine features as I see fit and as the story calls for. To understand the wirtle's legs and paws, for example, I referred to a series of photographs of show dogs leaping over hurdles. The severely arched, scruffy back was influenced by photos of hyenas on the prowl. The bone-structure of the face ended up being something of a cross between a cow and a warthog, and I wanted the snout to be bare—kind of gross and raw-looking. Add it all up and, voila! We have a wirtle.

The Moon Coin, by Richard Due, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iBookstore for $2.99.

Copyright © 2011 by Richard Due. All rights reserved.
Gibbering Gnome Press, A Division of Ingenious Inventions Run Amok, Ink™
The Moon Realm™

Uncle Ebb in the flesh??? :-)
Richard Due (pronounced “Dewey”) first imagined the Moon Realm while telling bedtime tales to his children. He makes his home in Southern Maryland, where he and his wife own and operate Second Looks Books, an independent used bookstore. The Moon Coin is the first novel in the Moon Realm series. Visit for more information on the series.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

JournalJabber Recap October 11, 2011

Tuesday snuck up on us again!  This week, we welcomed Angela Yuriko Smith, the author of No Money Marketing:  All You Need Is Like and End of Mae.  Angela is not only extremely talented and beautiful, she is loads of fun.  Fun is exactly what we had on the show!

Listen to internet radio with JournalJabber on Blog Talk Radio

Angela's Books (click on the title to see my review):

By: Angela Yuriko Smith
Published August 20, 2011 by Ember Press

By: Angela Yuriko Smith
Published May 29, 2011

Examples of Angela's previously published work around the web:

The Dacyczyn Decision at The Dollar Stretcher
The Dacyczyn Decision at Just Frugal Site
When I Committed Suicide short story at Yahoo! Associated Content

Angela's Links:

Angela played our Three Facts game, but she switched things up a bit this week.  Instead of having one true fact and two false ones, she has two true facts and one false one.  So, you have to decide what is the FALSE fact!

1. Lived as an an illegal alien in Canada for nearly two years.
2. Traveled by electric car along Route 66
3. Has hitchiked across the entire US by width and length.

Email the fact that is NOT TRUE to Amy at  You could win an ecopy of both Angela's fantastic books!

Thank you so much Angela for hanging out with us!  We can't wait to have you back!

Contest Update:

Can you believe no one guessed Regina's correct fact from last week?  Her true fact was that she was married at the age of eighteen!  Better luck next time, folks!

The winner of the Lovecraft Trivia contest is:  Ken Lillie-Paetz 
The answers are...  
1. What is written on Lovecraft's tombstone?  "I am Providence"
2. In the HP Lovecraft Historical Society's newly released film, The Whisperer in the Darkness, from what planet do the "living fungi" originate?  Yugoth

3.  Complete this quote, "'The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

Thanks for all the entries and congratulations Ken!  Ken gets a $25 Amazon gift card AND a signed copy of Brett J. Talley's That Which Should Not Be!!  Woohoo!

Don't forget to send in your Halloween costume photos!  We will be putting our favorites on our show banner.  We cannot wait to see what crazy costumes you guys can come up with!  All photos should go to Amy at

Coming Up...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 9PM EST
Next week, Stephen M. DeBock, author of The Pentacle Pendant will be our super special guest.  Stephen has written a fantastic werewolf novel, that should make Cambria at least partially happy :-)!  Tune in to see if there are hairballs in the bed...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 9PM EST
Halloween Spectacular!!!  Join us and our favorite guest host, Brett Talley, for our spookily fun Halloween show!  You never know what kind of crazy we'll come up with...

Links you should know:

Cambria’s Blog:
Goodreads Group:

Until next week..... :-)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Directed by: Rupert Wyatt
Released in theaters August 5, 2011
Rated PG-13 for intense and frightening sequences of action and violence

My Rating: ★★★★★

Will Rodman (James Franco) is on a quest to perfect a cure for Alzheimer’s. Not only is this his life’s work, it is personal—Rodman’s father (John Lithgow) is suffering from the degenerative disease. When laboratory chimps begin to show remarkable improvements, even enhancements, from the virus/cure, Rodman is excited to share his research with a company that can put it on the shelves. Unfortunately, his prize chimp suddenly becomes aggressive and destroys all hope he has for any outside funding, essentially shutting down his program. Afterward, Rodman and his chimp handler (Tyler Labine) find the reason for Bright Eye’s aggression—she was protecting her infant hidden away in her cage. Unable to destroy the precious life, Rodman smuggles the baby chimp home, names him Caesar (Andy Serkis) and continues his research. After a protective outburst reminiscent of his mother’s final behavior, Caesar lands himself in a primate habitat where he works to lead his peers to true freedom.

I was a little hesitant to go to the theater (drive-in) to watch this one. First of all, I wasn’t sure the content would be suitable for the kids, but we watched a couple trailers together and they wanted to go. Also, I didn’t care much for the last “revamp” of the Planet of the Apes film. I am thrilled to admit I was extremely impressed with this movie!

This was so incredibly well-written, directed, and acted. From James Franco down to Andy Serkis (who we already know is extremely talented with CGI projects), everyone was spot on. The special effects were seamless. The plot was both entertaining and thought-provoking. Every emotion that the characters, especially Ceasar, experience is felt through and through. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Just like a good book, we all want a good movie to move us—to bring us completely into that world for a couple hours of our life. Rise of the Planet of the Apes does just that, brilliantly…

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sea Lion Books Press Release: Carnal: Pride of the Lions by John Connell

October 2011
Publicity Contact for Sea Lion Books: 
David Dabel: 678-426-8330 or 
International Rights Contact: Clarice Levin 
212-689-0396 (o) | 917-648-1228 (c) or

ATLANTA, GA - October 5, 2011 – Sea Lion Books announces the release of John Connell's graphic novel CARNAL.

    Created by award winning artist, John ConnellCARNAL is a world where humans are a simple, nomadic species, at the bottom of the food chain. The animal kingdom has evolved and they can speak, walk upright and they fight for dominance. "Breathing life into the Carnal story has been a passion for most of my life. The idea originated from a nightmare that I had years ago – with Carnal, we really aim to create a graphical story that is as unique as it is intense," said Connell. "CARNAL is a completely unique concept. The book, the artwork and the story pulls the reader into this world of intense mood filled art that will draw them back to the series over and over again."

Lion prides have forged massive cities, hyena clans burrow deep into the earth, and the water buffalo race has walled themselves off from the rest of the kingdoms. Remnants of humanity fight for survival amid the warring animal societies.

The first of five graphic novels in the series, PRIDE OF THE LIONS, follows a female tracker named Omi as her inexperienced hunting party is sent to rescue a missing warrior. What they find is something that will unravel the very foundation of life for all species.
"In this war-torn world of carnage and survival, the balance of nature has been ripped apart.
Humans are left at the bottom of the food chain and it is the beasts that freely roam the land."

Writer Jason Bergenstock's says "working on the Carnal project is an honor. John's ideas and designs are incredible. I have been involved in story creation for about five years and when I look at how far we've come since the beginning sketches I'm truly amazed."

"Being given the opportunity to work with John and Jason to bring Carnal to life has been very exciting.  You can feel the love these guys have for the project in every single page. It adds an extraordinary series to an already amazing lineup of books we are producing here at Sea Lion Books."
About The Creators:
John Connell is a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston. He is a freelance artist working in many mediums, from oil paintings to digital art. His clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies. He lives with his family in Massachusetts. You can visit John Connell on the Internet at or

Jason Bergenstock  has a BS degree in Business Administration & Management and currently attends graduate school at the University of Rhode Island for Digital Forensics. You can visit Jason Bergenstock at

About Sea Lion Books:
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Sea Lion Books LLC is a newly established publishing house which specializes in all formats—hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market and in urban fantasy and young adult genres. Sea Lion Books LLC recent roster of authors include: International Bestselling author, Anne Rice, Paulo Coelho, New York Times Bestselling authors, Richelle Mead, Richard A. Knaak, F. Paul Wilson and Becca Fitzpatrick.  You can visit Sea Lion Books
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