Thursday, October 30, 2014

Feature & Follow Friday #22: Best YA Dystopian



Happy Friday, fellow book lovers! Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

This Week's Question: 

What books would you give to
newbies in your favorite genre?


Well, my favorite genre would definitely have to be dystopian. More specifically, I enjoy YA dystopian. The genre (to me) seems to be generally less gritty and more plot based. This is the same reason I enjoy many YA variants of adult genres... Okay, so these are the books I'd recommend:

  

Each of these books begin AMAZING trilogies! Ashfall is the story of a kid trying to escape the deadly ash from the Yellowstone supervolcano and find his family. Enclave is about a girl who has always lived underground where it's safe, but gets sent Topside faces all the dangers associated with it. Finally, The Forest of Hands and Teeth is part The Village and part World War Z. All three are amazing!



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HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Author Interview & Giveaway: Imaginary Jack by Kimmi Mc


*actual cover pending* 
Title: Imaginary Jack
Author: Kimmi MC
Publication Date: Early 2015

The stories of Imaginary Jack have been terrifying me for over a year now. Imaginary Jack is based on true events and is about a little boy's imaginary friend and how it changes from harmless to a terrifying force that threatens Kimmi's entire family.

This story was posted originally on Reddit.com and gained hundreds of fans overnight! It also won the award for best series on Reddit's Nosleep for September 2013. I'm super excited to tell you that Imaginary Jack is being rewritten in novel format and will be released early next year and you have a chance to win a copy!

Read On Reddit | Website |  Private Fan Club

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Author Interview
- How did you come to write Imaginary Jack? What was your inspiration?

Believe it or not, My Son's "Imaginary" Friend, (the starter series) was based on a true story. Loosely, maybe, however still entirely based on true events.

Mikey (herein known as Gunner) had experienced traumatic experiences when we lived through and ran from domestic violence. He experiences what the doctors call, "trauma induced psychosis." This means that my son went through something so terrifying, when reexposed to it, he escapes into an imaginary world of his own design. It was explained to me, that even though Jack is seemingly terrifying to us, in him, my son found comfort. He found solace in knowing he could control him. He and he alone had total control in the imaginary world to which he runs.

... But what if one time he couldn't?


- How long did the series take you start to finish?

A lot of things will make sense and many other stories, that are seemingly unrelated, will begin falling into places you didn't know they fit. The series took a few months. The novel took a good year.


- Is there any kind of message in your series that you want readers to grasp?

There's little lessons in there, sure. I prefer to write wanting my readers to grab the light switch. I don't always have a lesson. Sometimes, I just want you to be scared.


- Why did you choose Reddit as your outlet?

Reddit seemed the perfect place to start. I could theoretically pick and choose my audience with subs and /nosleep seemed the perfect place for everything I wanted to accomplish.

I wanted to write something entertaining, something scary, yet it wasn't how this started. I can and do write very many different genres. My son's imaginary friend started to cause concern. Things weren't normal with him and it terrified me. I wanted to learn more about imaginary friends and what my son was going through. I wanted others opinions. I wanted to not be so alone in a time when I was, truly and utterly just that. Reddit gave me instant reader to author connection that no other platform could provide. I got real time feedback and ideas on each part, like a focus group. I was able to have at least 1000 people view my work and provide their thoughts about it. Reddit seemed the best place to gain so many benefits in one spot.


- What’s your real-life, non-Reddit job? 

I do actually write for a living. Brochures, Web content, boring journalism... however I'm big into activism. I'm an Ambassador for the US Pain Foundation. It's like a patient advocate for those suffering from chronic pain.Other than that I have a little amazon store. It's all about Rockstar memorabilia.

My biggest job is being a single mom to a child and his imaginary friends. I'm mom, nanny, teacher, friend, wife, maid, chief and counselor. :D


- Have you always loved horror? 

I've been enthralled with horror since before I could remember. My first crush was Beetlejuice.

How much research did you do? Because that story was super detailed.

None. Thank you, though! It gets even more detailed in the novel. As I said before, My Son's "Imaginary" Friend was based on true events. I didn't have to research anything. It all came to me. The novel required much more research.

Luckily, I have a great group of folks around me from parapsychologists, psychologists, mechanics, cops, hunters, authors, publishers, spiritualists, plenty of big brothers, not to mention... thousands of fans, friends, and family on reddit. Anything I might have needed more information on, all I had to do was ask. Everyone was extremely supportive.


- What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological) in bringing this series to life?

This series felt like it just bled out of me. It was surreal in a sense that my son's creepy little friend was getting this much attention and support.

It was difficult to accomplish the feat of turning an in character, first person mini-series into a full length novel. Lots of re-reading and over analyzing and many a sleepless night. Once it came closer to the end I battled with writers block, something I still experience during times of stress.

Once I overcame the block, I had to disappear from the internet. My son and I were still in very real danger of his father finding and harming us once again. He actually used the mini-series in court against me, which only told me he was stalking still without really benefiting him. I had to hide behind Jude, only check posts but not reply, and I felt like a crowbar came between myself and my fans and new friends. My son's safety always comes first.

A fan club became erected in my honor, they call themselves The Jackwagon. It's very touching to have my own "bandwagon." While my safety was compromised they did band together for me. We had to stop new members signing up when my son's father and his mistress began attacking my new friends and fans, insulting me, even threatening me. The Jackwagon (Or the Jackoholics) had my back and stood by my side each step of the way. They even opened up a new sub for new members and a private sub for the fan base.

The challenge was never creating the novel, or even the mini-series, it was my instinctual want to protect or mother my new friends and fans, while still keeping my wits about me and my eyes towards what's important.


- Was Imaginary Jack actually based on true events? 

Based. Yes, it was based off a true story. The violent ex existed, Mikey/Gunner really has an imaginary friend, Jack, and I did date "R." I'd say everything is close to the truth, and if it's not, it's because I took the creative liberty to embellish for entertainment purposes... But not nearly as much as you might think. The truth behind the truth and what's NOT embellished might shock you more so than . I guarantee there is not a single person who could guess it all correctly. To protect those involved, not get sued by anyone, and maintain just enough anonymity, I've changed basic facts such as names, dates, exact locations, and relationships. The story's events all stem from their roots in the truth.


- If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Oh man! I've never properly been able to answer this. I once thought telepathy because it's a broad answer that umbrellas telepathy, telekinesis, and maybe even teleportation or mind control. Still I think life would be no fun if I knew what everyone was thinking. Maybe the ability to talk to animals, or better yet, understand them.

If I can't loophole my way into getting multiple powers, though, I'd want the ability to teleport from one place to another instantly, with ease. I hate being late, but always end up that way, somehow. If not, maybe a power to change myself to be whatever I want the person looking at me to see.  I'm not sure why, but I know everyone of us has had at least one time in our lives where we wish the person looking at is saw us for the beautiful person we are both inside and out. Plus never losing prank wars? Um, yes, please. Sign me up.


- If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of this series, who would play your characters?

Hmmm...  This one is hard. I don't know the kid stars to know who'd play Mikey and don't know who I would even think to play myself. The Jackwagon thinks Jude looks like the lead singer of five finger death punch, but that isn't an actor. Jack- I could see Michael Keaton, maybe Rick Mayall.

I'd say, hey! I'm a new author that got a chance, give me all no name actors with extreme talent!


- How have you enjoyed the reader response?

I couldn't ask for a better response! People came to support me, voted for me, begged for more, pushed me when I thought I couldn't go any further. All the advice, suggestions, and support shot me through some pretty hard times.

It was surreal to read that someone would call themselves my "biggest fan" or tell me I'm "their favorite author." I had a "fanclub" overnight and the Jackwagon was born. I love each and every single reader and I try my best to get to everyone who has a question.


- Is this your first series? What other stories have you written prior (if any)?

No, this isn't my first series and it isn't my first novel. This just so happens to be the biggest novel I've written. The piece became too big for itself. As I continued complying with the demands from readers requesting more updates, the series grew in popularity. People all over the world had access to my work and it was breathtaking. This novel definitely took off much harder and faster than I ever imagined it could have. Two of my prior works have been put on hold in order to keep up with demand and supply the readers with something that they will finish, put down, and need to instantly pick up to begin reading all over again.

I have three novels that were written prior to Imaginary Jack. One is a romanticized twist on life after death that is action meets psychological thriller. Another is about a person of normal mental ability living with the mind and body of someone who has severe autism. I also have a somewhat autobiographical story about life, love, drugs, sex, money and failure.

As far as novels, keep your eyes out for those in the future. I bounce ideas off of reddit often, so if you are able to catch a mini-series on there, odds are it's an idea I'm running with, collecting ideas and thoughts about it prior to it becoming a full novel. If you see me (/u/intyze) give me your feedback, good or bad! I want it all!

I do tend to write poetry often and sometimes I create the occasional short story. Most times its a tiny idea I had and contemplating running with. It's part of my process.

My journalism is boring and not something I'm especially proud of. It's more of a job, typical grind, writing what your boss tells you. Website and brochure content is never very fascinating, however my debate skills are impeccable and my medically related work is something I can see myself taking pride in, as it may actually make a difference.


- If so, how can readers discover more about your work? 

The best way to reach me or discover more information would be the Fanclub subreddits, my twitter, my email or any of the contact information listed below.


- What secret talents do you have?

Oh, secrets! Talents! Let's see...

I am spiritually sensitive which manifests itself into mediumship. Read more about this in Imaginary Jack.

I have some wicked awesome pipes, as I was classically trained to sing when I was younger. This lead me in the direction of starting my band which got me features on tracks with other artists. Shocking, author reads own books, writer sings own songs.

Anything linguistically related (reading, writing, editing, explaining, debating, singing) tend to be my strong suit.


- Are you working on anything new at the moment?

I'm always working on something new. Right now its a few short stories that I'm writing for a collaboration with a retired horror director/screenwriter. This book is a collection of short stories and novellas or poems from up and coming horror authors across the globe! I'm honored to be chosen to be part of it!


- I heard that Imaginary Jack will be a book soon! Tell me more about that!

Sure doesn't feel like it! I feel like there are all these setbacks. I've gone through different publishers, editors, etc all to ensure I do this novel and its fans justice. The due date was to be Halloween, but unfortunately the deadline has been pushed back once again. Publication takes time, energy, many talented people, and lots of money. It's been difficult paying for everything without cutting corners and creating works that I'm not 110% proud to call my own.

To help quicken the pace of publication, visit, share, or donate @
http://www.gofundme.com/Imaginary-Jack


- What have you changed from the original Reddit stories? 

Fluidity, names, editing, and not to mention there's an entire novel no one has read attached to it as well. It doesn't read as me speaking to reddit. Instead it reads me speaking about speaking to reddit. The original series hasn't changed much, just added much much more.


- How excited are you to be a published author? 

Its my career of choice and will probably feel amazing. It's surreal, to say the least. I fear that it's close yet so far. However, I know that together, the Jackwagon (jackaholics/fans, ) the readers, the literature websites, those who like to spread good karma, and I can get the word out about the upcoming novel, releases, updated social media and the fundraiser so that my dreams become closer to a reality reality.


- As an author of horror, what is your biggest fear?

I don't fear much, surprisingly. I think my biggest fears would be failure and loneliness.


- Do you read much and if so what is your favorite book?

I do read quite often. I like many different genres and authors. I'm really into Jackie Collins lately. Her novels are very well written and leave you guessing until the last page.

I draw a blank off the top of my head, but I feel nosleep fills the void. Horror has become romanticized in a sense, which makes everything seem so unoriginal. Horror needs to get back to its roots. We need original ideas, original characters, original plotlines and NO MORE REMAKES! We need to put the scary back into the horror genre.


- Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 

I'd just like to thank you for taking interest and allowing me to be part of your wonderful website! I want to thank everyone who supported the mini-series, the novel, and the process. Your love and support got me through!

Please take a moment to follow me on your social media accounts to stay updated with what's coming up with Imaginary Jack and other novels and characters, become part in the publication, or even join the Fanclub! If you can find a moment, please view, share and/or donate to our fundraiser for publication. 

Author Links

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #21: The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Russell Brand


Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is: 


 The Pied Piper of Hamelin
by Russell Brand
Publication Date: November 11, 2014

With this first book in Russell Brand’s Trickster Tales series, the famed comedian, actor, and bestselling author delivers a hilarious retelling of an old fairytale favorite that will appeal to adults and children alike.

Once upon a time, long ago, in a time that seemed, to those present, exactly like now except their teeth weren’t so clean and more things were wooden, there was a town called Hamelin. The people of Hamelin were a pompous bunch who loved themselves and their town so much that if it were possible they would have spent all day zipped up in a space suit smelling their own farts. But space suits hadn’t been invented yet so they couldn’t.

Then one day without warning a gang of rats bowled into the town and began causing a right rumpus…

So begins Russell Brand’s wildly funny and surprisingly wise retelling of the classic tale The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Whether you’re a kid or a grown-up kid, you’ll be chuckling the whole way through this zany story that bypasses Brand’s more adult humor for the outrageous, the madcap, and the just plain silly.

Maybe you’ve heard about the Pied Piper before, with his strange music and those pompous townspeople and pesky rats. Or maybe you haven’t. But one thing is for sure: you’ve never heard it quite like this.

Okay, so, it's a new book by Russell Brand. This time it's fiction. Need I say more? I think this guy is absolutely brilliant! I love his movies, his books (what I've read anyway), and his shows. I even love The Trews (it's the only way I watch the news, to be honest). This book is at the top of my Christmas list!



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #17: Getting in the Halloween Spirit


Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Movies To Watch 
To Get In The Halloween Spirit


Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all.

Americans Chris, his girlfriend Natalie and their friend Amanda travel to Europe on vacation. They meet up with Chris' brother Paul living in Kiev, Ukraine. Chris wants to travel to Moscow to propose to Natalie, but Paul convinces the group to first visit Chernobyl with an extreme tourism guide. They meet the guide Uri and another couple who are also going on the tour. Uri explains that because of the radiation levels he can only take them to Pripyat, a deserted city very near Chernobyl. They travel by van, but are stopped by a military checkpoint that makes them turn back. Not giving up, Uri finds an alternative route to the town. The group spends the day taking photographs and exploring abandoned buildings. Uri becomes nervous and decides it's time to head home. However, the van won't start and they discover the engine was sabotaged. Soon they discover that they are stranded, no one knows they are there and that they are definitely not alone.

A woman goes on vacation with her friends after her husband and daughter encounter a tragic accident. One year later she goes hiking with her friends and they get trapped in the cave. With a lack of supply, they struggle to survive and they meet strange blood thirsty creatures.



Lance Preston and the crew of "Grave Encounters", a ghost-hunting reality television show, are shooting an episode inside the abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital, where unexplained phenomena have been reported for years. All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera. They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted - it is alive - and it has no intention of ever letting them leave. They find themselves lost in a labyrinth maze of endless hallways and corridors, terrorized by the ghosts of the former patients. They soon begin to question their own sanity, slipping deeper and deeper into the depths of madness, ultimately discovering the truth behind the hospital's dark past...and taping what turns out to be their final episode.

Charts one family's encounter with the dark forces of the supernatural. When the Campbell family moves to upstate Connecticut, they soon learn that their charming Victorian home has a disturbing history: not only was the house a transformed funeral parlor where inconceivable acts occurred, but the owner's clairvoyant son Jonah served as a demonic messenger, providing a gateway for spiritual entities to crossover. Now terror awaits when Jonah, the boy who communicated with the dead, returns to unleash horror on the innocent and unsuspecting family.

Laura, a former orphan, raises her adopted son Simón together with her husband Carlos in an old house and former orphanage where she was raised. While at the orphanage Simón tells Laura that he has five invisible friends which she believes are a product of his active imagination. Laura decides to reopen the orphanage to cater for disabled children and throws a party. During the party Simón tries to persuade Laura to go and take a look at his friends cabin but she's too busy. Later on she sees a mysterious masked boy and realizes that Simón has also disappeared. Laura feels the presence of other people in the house and months later Laura invites a team of parapsychologists to try to unravel the mystery.

Rachel Keller is a journalist investigating a videotape that may have killed four teenagers (including her niece). There is an urban legend about this tape: the viewer will die seven days after watching it. If the legend is correct, Rachel will have to run against time to save her son's and her own life.



After the continuous sleep walking episodes of Sharon, the young daughter of Rose Da Silva, the decision is made to take Sharon to the place only mentioned in her restless dreams- Silent Hill. However, the road to Silent Hill is anything but easy to access, and Rose creates a high speed chase between herself and a police officer only to end in a crash for them both. When she wakes up, Sharon has disappeared and Rose is at the entrance to the deserted, dream-like town of Silent Hill. As Rose begins the search for her daughter, she does not realize the terror and mystery surrounding her. Rose is led on a blind search for her beloved daughter, finding herself getting more and more entwined into disturbing past of Silent Hill.

After returning from a wedding reception, a couple staying in an isolated vacation house receive a knock on the door in the mid-hours of the night. What ensues is a violent invasion by three strangers, their faces hidden behind masks. The couple find themselves in a violent struggle, in which they go beyond what either of them thought capable in order to survive.


In London, lawyer Arthur Kipps still grieves the death of his beloved wife Stella on the delivery of their son Joseph four years ago. His employer gives him a last chance to keep his job, and he is assigned to travel to the remote village of Cryphin Gifford to examine the documentation of the Eel Marsh House that belonged to the recently deceased Mrs. Drablow. Arthur befriends Daily on the train and the man offers a ride to him to the Gifford Arms inn. Arthur has a cold reception and the owner of the inn tells that he did not receive the request of reservation and there is no available room. The next morning, Arthur meets solicitor Jerome who advises him to return to London. However, Arthur goes to the isolated manor and soon he finds that Eel Marsh House is haunted by the vengeful ghost of a woman dressed in black. He also learns that the woman lost her son drowned in the marsh and she seeks revenge, taking the children of the scared locals.




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish -  a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. Click here to get involved!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review: The Merciless by Danielle Vega


Title: The Merciless
Author: Danielle Vega
Publication Date: June 12, 2014

Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 279
Add to Goodreads

Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned.

Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and gagged. No one outside of these dank basement walls knows she’s here. No one can hear her scream.

Sofia Flores knows she shouldn’t have gotten involved. When she befriended Riley, Grace, and Alexis on her first day at school, she admired them, with their perfect hair and their good-girl ways. They said they wanted to save Brooklyn. They wanted to help her. Sofia didn’t realize they believed Brooklyn was possessed.

Now, Riley and the girls are performing an exorcism on Brooklyn—but their idea of an exorcism is closer to torture than salvation. All Sofia wants is to get out of this house. But there is no way out. Sofia can’t go against the other girls . . . unless she wants to be next. . . .

In this chilling debut, Danielle Vega delivers blood-curdling suspense and terror on every page. By the shockingly twisted end, readers will be faced with the most haunting question of all: Is there evil in all of us?

I just finished this and I'm sitting here wondering what the hell I just read. This book is completely insane and, let me tell you, this is not your typical YA read. The Merciless is chock-full of horror, gore, and suspense and kept me up late on more than one night hoping to see what happened!

The book opens with Sofia who has just moved to a new town. It's very "Mean Girls" in that she finds herself torn between the "cool kids," Riley, Grace, and Alexis, and the weird, gothic girl, Brooklyn, who everyone loves to hate. Sofia never really makes a choice between the two, but finds herself in a very unfortunate situation when Riley kidnaps Brooklyn, determined to save her from the demon she believes to be possessing her. From that point on, the suspense is palpable and left me never quite knowing what would happen next.

Somehow I managed to read this book without having read the full blurb (even though I thought I did) so everything was kind of a surprise! I've read some reviews that claim the blurb ruined everything, but even after having read it, I don't think this would be the case. I spent much of my time wondering if Brooklyn was actually possessed or if Riley just needed to be in an insane asylum. Vega writes in such a way that it is extremely difficult to know for sure.

Character development in The Merciless wasn't that impressive, but I honestly don't feel that much development is needed in the horror genre - especially in a story that takes place over a few days. The mean girls were mean, Brooklyn was weird, and Sofia was torn. There was one character that did seem to grow (or at least came to feel remorseful) and, while Sofia may not have grown as a character, per se, pieces of her character were being revealed up until the very end of the book.

The world building here was also so-so. Then again, the entire thing took place between a school and a couple houses, so not much needed to be said, in my opinion. The atmosphere was sufficiently creepy and that's really what matters to me.

Horror is (shockingly) the most important factor in the horror genre, and this book nailed it. The Merciless has it all - it made me cringe, if it was a movie it would have made me jump, it grossed me out. And the ending was totally unexpected (to me, at least). I'm disappointed that this doesn't seem to be a series, but Danielle Vega does have another horror novel in the works, according to Goodreads, and I can't wait to get my hands on it! I highly recommend The Merciless to any fan of horror.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Feature & Follow Friday #21



Happy Friday, fellow book lovers! Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

This Week's Question: 

Characters, sometimes our favorites, die during books.
If you'd get to choose, who would you bring back?



SPOILER ALERT!!


Allegiant: Tris and Four 
Um... what?! I'm still not over this. Unlike some others, I didn't get super pissed about it and cry for a week, but I definitely feel like Veronica Roth could have ended the series differently. I don't see what purpose the deaths of Tris and Four served. 


This one I did understand. Dumbledore's death did serve a purpose, but that didn't make it any less gut-wrenching. I did see the movies before I read the books, so I knew what was coming, at least. 

The Song of Achilles: Achilles and Patroclus
So this one isn't as spoilery - everyone knows the story. I went into this book knowing that Achilles would die, but I was still devastated. The love story made me dread what was coming so much more. 
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Master Over You by Cerys du Lys & Ethan Winters


Warning: Adult Content!

Title: Master Over You
Author: Cerys du Lys & Ethan Winters 
Publication Date: October 20, 2014
Publisher: Cherrylily & Winters Edge
Pages: 506 
Add to Goodreads

There's a monster in every closet, and I'm in yours.

My name is Noah. I'm not a nice person. This isn't cupcakes and candyland, love.

I'll take you, break you, and offer you to the highest bidder without a second thought. You're mine now. It's business, nothing personal. You wouldn't understand, and I'm not going to explain it. Sorry, love, you don't mean a thing to me.

Just know that there's a monster in every closet, and I'm in yours.

Author Note - This dark romance novel contains themes that may be discomforting to some people. If you are sensitive to depictions of violence, then this book is not recommended for you. 

(Ethan Winters official debut release co-authored with USA Today bestselling author Cerys du Lys)

Man’s POV = Ethan, Woman’s POV = Cerys

There is a light at the end of every dark tunnel, no matter how dim it may seem.
Purchase


Excerpt
While finding a "Chastity White" was difficult, actually getting her was one of the easiest things I'd ever done.  It was always the same with college girls, though.  Most were easy to acquire.  Figure out their schedules, find out if they went out drinking now and again, then go collect them there.  If they were promiscuous, all the better, since I could pretend I was picking one up, then do my thing.

The hard ones are the librarian-types.  Not actual librarians, but those stuffy chicks who stay in and read books all the time.  Oh, I can't go out to a bar, I've got to read War and Peace for the eighth fucking time, alright?

I'm not against well-read women or anything.  Women can do whatever the hell they want as far as I'm concerned.  I just don't enjoy trying to figure out a way to kidnap them when they're like that.  It really pisses me off.

Chastity White was simple, though.  Not an actual whore or a book whore from what I can tell.  Some nice, simple bitch, who did things now and then, went out, but nothing illegal.  Good enough for me, even if she wasn't what I would look for in a woman.  Even better that she was turning twenty-one soon.  I couldn't be completely sure, but I thought she'd probably go celebrate her birthday somewhere with an excessive amount of alcohol like every other stupid college kid in the history of the world.

She did, too, so that worked out great.  I followed her, waited for her friends to separate a little, moved in when two of the girls she was with weren't paying attention, off dancing with some random, boring looking guys, and...

In for the kill.  Target locked.  Whatever the fuck you want to call it.

Then out.  Drunk was easy to deal with.  I knew how, and I liked how easy they made it.  Couldn't think, couldn't realize what was going on until it was too late.  Offer to help them to the bathroom so they could throw up, then be the nice guy who helps them clean up after, too.  I've done it before, and I like how easy it is.  Give them my handkerchief laced with chemicals to knock them unconscious, carry them to my car, and done.

This stupid bitch threw up on my shoes, though.  Yeah, I could clean them, but it really pissed me off.  I was planning on really enjoying myself with her once she woke up.  I always enjoyed myself because otherwise it became depressing real quick.  It worked easiest when I had a grudge.

Training would begin soon.

About the Authors

Cerys is a USA Today Bestselling Author. She has charted on numerous best sellers and hot new release lists internationally and with multiple books.


Cerys' Links

Ethan's Links

Ethan is a gentleman, an author, a lover, and occasionally a rake, a cad, and a dom, but only if you've been good (punishing good girls is more entertaining than punishing the naughty ones). He lives in the Greater Boston area in a small town in New Hampshire where he grew up.

He has a penchant for exploring and traveling, with a passion for the unique and interesting. His interests include reading, exercising, laying on the beach, spanking (good girls), romancing, smiling, going for walks that lead to nowhere, hiking, bondage, and one day he would love to travel to Alaska.

His writing delves into the human experience, with a preference towards a psychological thriller twist. He loves mystery, dark romance, and suspense. While some of his writing may be twisted, he believes in romantic true love, above all things. His books include raw, real emotions, good and bad. He believes there is a light at the end of every dark tunnel, and his writing hopes to encompass that.

He loves happy endings, kissing, and a focus on the ordinary turned extraordinary.


GIVEAWAY
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #20: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe


Happy Wednesday, fellow book lovers! This week's "can't wait to read" is: 


Earth & Sky
by Megan Crewe
Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save.

So... this book comes out really soon and somehow I haven't heard anything about it. I'm probably the only one, but I'm still pretty excited! It feels very Matrix-y, which is awesome! 



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #16: New Series to Start


Today's Topic: 
Top New Series I Want To Start 
(New..let's say within the last year or two)


Asylum by Madeleine Roux
For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane...

The Legends Saga by Stacey Rourke
The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep... 

Dark Caravan Cycle by Heather Demetrios
Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command... 

Extraction by Stephanie Diaz
Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life...

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father...

   Bloody Mary by Hillary Monahan
There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY..."

Adventures in Neverland by Anna Katmore
Why is there a boy who doesn’t want to grow up?
How can an apple start the sweetest romance in fairytale history?
And what does a ruthless pirate have to do with it all?

Angelina McFarland loves reading fairytales. But she never dreamed of falling right into one herself. That’s exactly what happens when she slips on her balcony and a flying Peter Pan catches her mid-fall...

 Parasitology by Mira Grant
A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams...

Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project...

Ash and Ruin by Shauna Granger
There are two inherent truths in the world: life as we know it is over, and monsters are real.

The Pestas came in the night, spreading their pox, a deadly plague that decimated the population. Kat, one of the unlucky few who survived, is determined to get to her last living relative and find shelter from the pox that continues to devastate the world.




Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish -  a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. Click here to get involved!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: Gabriel's Sacrifice by Noah Fregger


Title: Gabriel's Sacrifice (The Scrapman Trilogy #2)
Author: Noah Fregger
Publication Date: September 19, 2014
Publisher: T-16 Publishing
Pages: 236
Add to Goodreads

I received this book from the author 
in exchange for an honest review.
It's been only weeks since the war ended, since those things came down to offer humanity a second chance in the aftermath. But as the remaining survivors begin to hunt down the new species left behind, the rifleman stays tucked within the safety of his home, content to keep the chaos on the outside--until the hunt comes straight to his back door. And there, coming face to face with a member of this new race, the rifleman must decide whether to take part in this genocide, or to aid that which is hunted ... even if he becomes hunted in the process. 

The author of Gabriel's Sacrifice first contacted me whenever he released his first novel, Gabriel's Watch. I enjoyed that one and now he's back with Gabriel's Watch, a prequel to the first installment. It's kind of strange to see a second book in a trilogy as a prequel, but it was an interesting read, nonetheless. I don't read a lot in the sci-fi genre, so I can't really speak with too much confidence here, but I believe the concept is original and well executed.

Gabriel's Sacrifice begins when Mohammad meets Radia, the lone survivor of an alien race sent to earth. Radia is being hunted by Maddox, one of the humans who has holed up in a store to defend their own personal stockpile. Maddox has a posse of badasses, which really seems like the three stooges at times, who are responsible for his security. Unfortunately, after a bad move on their part, Mohammad comes at them with a vengeance and this is where the action begins.

The character development in this book was well done. Following Mohammad's journey from the guy who was holed up in his own fortress and hoping to stay out of view to a total badass out for blood was pretty awesome. It was unfortunate to see Radia go so soon - I would've liked to have seen more from her. I do understand why she had to leave for the sake of the story, though. Maddox was evil from start to finish, as were his cronies. It would've been nice to see more growth on the villain side of things. My number one problem with the characters was that I often got confused about who was talking at any given time. Some characters are given multiple titles - for example, Mohammad is called "the Fijian" and Maddox is called "the hunter." Honestly, I was halfway through the book before I realized that Maddox and "the hunter" were the same person!

One side note on characters: One character in particular was really weird for me to read. The son of "the hunter" is named Coda, which is my husband's name (Noah asked my husband for permission to use it). As you can imagine, this is a very rare name - Coda, not short for anything - and I've never met anyone else with it or read the name anywhere unless it was referring to music. I was so thrown off! I kept comparing the character to my husband and thinking, "no..." Of course, this has no bearing on the way anyone else will experience the book, I just thought it was funny.

Back to the point: The world of Gabriel's Sacrifice was interesting enough, though I do wish that the author had gone into more detail about the state of the world and how it came to be this way. I know this is touched on in both books, but I still wanted more. That being said, I felt like I could see the layout of the town and its buildings in my mind, which says something for quality of writing. In true Fregger fashion, little mythological tidbits were thrown in, which is always fun!

Connections to Gabriel's Watch were few, but it was just enough to make sense within the world the author has created. While it does fit with the first book, Gabriel's Sacrifice could definitely be read as a stand-alone novel or even before the first book in the series. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of adult sci-fi and post-apocalyptic fiction.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Feature & Follow Friday #20



Happy Friday, fellow book lovers! Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The goal of Feature & Follow is to meet new bloggers, make friends, and gain readers.

This Week's Question: 

Share the song you can't stop listening to.


Well, here's where the weird comes out. The truth is, I don't listen to the radio. Pretty much ever. The only things I listen to are audiobooks and Disney music. So I want to share with you the music of a friend I've known since high school - the incredibly talented Drew Kingsbury.

Note: This is NOT a video! Just music!

You can hear the rest of Drew's music on SoundCloud

Make sure to check out the first two days of my Disney World trip report if you voted for it!

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Disney Halloween Trip Report: Days 1 & 2



Hello, dear readers! This report was originally written with other Disney World junkies (also known as pixie dust snorters) in mind. I have tried to accommodate people who are less familiar by using links and trying to define terms a little more fully. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments. I hope you enjoy this trip report as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Meet the Cast

This is my husband, Coda, and me, Tracy! We're 29 and 26, respectively.


We look super fancy here because the photo was taken on our anniversary Disney Cruise earlier this year. The photos in this trip report will not be this fancy. In fact, we look pretty rough in most of our pictures this time because we went from open to close most days - something we've never done before this trip.

Anyway, Coda just finished a year-long process of upgrading to his Third Mate's license (he's a US Merchant Marine) and I've seen him for a grand total of about five months out of the last year. A trip together was much-needed! But since this trip was booked so last-minute, we were unable to get a room through the Disney Vacation Club (a Disney timeshare) and ended up booking five nights at Pop Century (a "value" resort) instead.

With annual passes and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets purchased and two reservations made (Beaches and Cream and Cinderella's Royal Table) we were ready to hit the road to Walt Disney World!


Day One

Usually I skip the travel days in my trip reports. However, this one was kind of unique as far as travel goes... mostly because it started at one in the morning. Unfortunately, day one is also very, very light on pictures, so I hope you'll bear with me! I promise the pictures pick up as the days go on! :)

So, like I was saying, we were up and moving at one in the morning. Coda, who obviously hates Disney World, convinced me to drive through the night so we could have an extra day of vacation time! We were in the car and on the road by 1:30 and I promptly passed out. I was awoken at 4am when we stopped to get gas and I was informed that it was my turn to drive. I hopped in the driver's seat and manned the wheel for a few hours until it was Coda's turn again. He took us through the final stretch and finally I saw one of my favorite sights in the world.


The sky was a little scary looking, but we were undeterred! By 12pm, we were pulling into Epcot.


Our first stop was to pick up our Annual Passes, which had already been linked to our magic bands (basically a ticket/room key/credit card on your wrist). Speaking of magic bands, mine was decorated ahead of time. I used purple nail polish followed by temporary tattoos and, finally, a clear coat.


Unfortunately, this was not a good plan. I had read tons of posts from others who had done the same, but my bands ended up getting cracked and peely. I remedied my magic band situation later in the trip (pics come later)!

Once inside the park, we headed straight for Nemo with our FP+ (FastPass Plus - pretty much a reservation for a ride)! Coda loved using his magic band for his fast pass, by the way. We were both pleasantly surprised to see that all of the effects on the Finding Nemo ride were working perfectly! Even some I'd rarely seen in action were up and running - the creepy angler fish, for example.

After Nemo, we were starving! Well, we were starving before, but Nemo... Lunch had been decided on hours earlier. Les Halles, for sure! The line was very short and it took only a minute to get our orders. I had the quiche, as always, and Coda got a ham and cheese sandwich on a croissant with lobster bisque. There weren't any sit down tables available, but we were able to grab one of the standing only tables and that worked just fine for us. The food was, of course, amazing!

Next we decided to stop off at The American Adventure. Now, this was the first time we'd ever seen this show. I know, I know! This was the first time in seven trips over five years that I've stopped into the American pavilion. I'm sorry to say it'll probably be the last time. I know I might catch a lot of heat for this, but I guess that's how it works with opinions. Let me preface this next paragraph by telling you I served in the US Air Force for four years and went on one tour to Afghanistan, so I'm as American as the next person. Alright, now that I have that out of the way, if you've never seen the show, here's a video of the finale:


While the animatronics are awesome, the show was kind of... almost embarrassing. The "history" presented is so glossed over and glorified. It's honestly a little ridiculous. The pilgrim story is quickly mentioned and the only time Native Americans come up is for Chief Joseph to agree with the government. Wars are also made to look much more romantic than they were. I get that it's the American show, but... I'd really like to get a poll of reactions from people who were there visiting from other countries. My husband and I both had to try really hard to keep straight faces and agreed that we probably wouldn't go back.

By this time it was 3pm and time to check into our hotel. We hit Spaceship Earth on the way out and, for the first time ever, Coda smelled the burning libraries of Alexandria! Everything seemed to be working perfectly!

We checked into Pop Century around 3:30. The check-in went smoothly and we were very lucky to receive a room with a king sized bed, which we'd requested upon booking. The room seemed to be fine on first glance, though much smaller than the DVC rooms we usually get to stay in. I didn't get a picture, but I found an identical one via Google.


It's definitely more of, I guess, a "normal" hotel room. The Disney Magic was not as strong with this one. We passed out on top of the covers for a few hours before heading back to Epcot for the evening.


When we arrived, we were totally shocked to see that Soarin' had absolutely no line at all and we were able to walk right on without a wait. We got the back row of the middle "hang glider," which was a pretty awesome view! The video needs a serious cleaning, as always, but it's so refreshing to watch people who have never seen it before and realize how amazing the ride actually is. I cannot wait until they upgrade the video to 4k!

By this time, we were getting hungry again. It was our first time at the Food and Wine festival so we definitely wanted to take advantage of all the food! We stopped in Greece first for the griddled Greek cheese with pistachios and honey. The cheese and honey were so good! I probably would have been happy without the pistachios, but it was good either way. Next, Coda ran off to Canada where he got wild mushroom filet mignon with truffle butter sauce. It was awesome! But it was also tiny. So he went to find more food... in Hawaii. He got the tuna poke with seaweed salad, which he loved. I took his word for it because... gross. Last, but certainly not least, I stopped in Mexico for a rib eye taco, which was delicious! Somehow, Coda was still hungry. We made a detour through China so he could stop at the Lotus Blossom Cafe for some orange chicken.

Finally, it was time for our Test Track FP+! The ride was super awesome, of course! I love the new queue, even if the ride is super similar to the original Test Track. The queue is so much quieter and more fluid (if that makes sense). Afterwards we played some of the games in the aftershow and took pictures with our car. I'm not sure what the deal is with their lighting situation.


With Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (fireworks) set to start in about 45 minutes, we headed back through the World Showcase to pick up some drinks. We'd seen the chai tea with baileys on the Food and Wine menu and that was where we went! Of course, I was the only one carded. Such is life...

Here's an awesome video of Illuminations for anyone who hasn't seen it!


Illuminations was just as epic as it always is and, after the fireworks, it was time to get back to the room. I was totally exhausted!

This was where my hotel room issues started. When I pulled back the covers (and I have a pretty serious issue with sheets being spotless), there were black and orange marks on the sheets. When I pulled them back further I found hair. I promptly grabbed a sweatshirt out of my suitcase and switched which side of the bed I was on since my husband isn't fazed by things like this.

We got to sleep around midnight, with thoughts of Kilimanjaro Safaris in our heads...


Day Two 

Day two started bright and early at 7:30am. We are not morning people, but we can make an exception for Disney World! Unfortunately, we didn't have a coffee maker in our room and I knew it would be a tough, caffeine free morning. We headed out towards Animal Kingdom in our car. After driving everywhere on our honeymoon trip, we'll never go back to the buses (at least on trips together)! We got there and headed straight back to use ouf FP+ at Kilimanjaro Safaris. We weren't quite sure what to expect since it was raining, but fingers were crossed and it paid off!



It was one of the best safaris we've ever been on! The animals were super active, which made for an amazing experience.

After the safari I HAD to get my hands (lips?) on some coffee! We went over to Kusafiri Bakery and I bought a cup. Oddly, they weren't able to pour hot coffee over ice... The only "iced" coffee they had was premade, so I settled on hot. I wasn't expecting it to be scalding though. It was McDonalds lawsuit hot! I took my time walking around, hoping it would cool. As you can see, the crowds were pretty rough...


I love the rain!

We walked over to Expedition Everest to check out the wait time and were suprised to see a 10 minute wait! I planned to take my time looking around the queue, hoping my coffee would cool enough to drink. Coda took a really fun picture of one of our favorite hidden Mickeys!


We got to the front of the queue and the coffee was still so hot it burned my tongue (keep in mind, this was coffee I purchased in Africa, then carried to Asia, and moseyed around in the Everest queue with), so I ended up throwing it away since I couldn't leave it anywhere. Oh well... We got really lucky and missed the rain!


That's us in the middle! We still had a FP+ to use, but we'd come back later. In the meantime, we decided to check the lines on Dinosaur next. It was at 10 minutes as well. It wasn't quite that long. The queue was super hectic...


The ride was lots of fun and all of the effects were actually working (as far as we could tell)! There was even a new smoke effect at the beginning and end. If it isn't new, it's never worked while I was there before now.


The middle again!

Next we backtracked to The Tree of Life for It's Tough To Be a Bug, a 3D show starring the bugs from A Bug's Life. For some reason, this is one of Coda's favorite shows.



There were new 3D glasses that really made the effects way better than the last time I saw the show! I could really tell a difference. Flik was also in good condition - even his derpy eye was working! It seems that Disney maintenance really stepped up since last November!

On our way back to Asia (yes, we were all over the place) we stopped to talk to a Photopass photographer about the new construction at Animal Kingdom. We learned that there will be a show on the water that is supposed to be a combo of World of Color at Disneyland and Fantasmic! It sounds like it's going to be really awesome and it's set to open sometime next year! In addition, there will be a new show on the tree similar to Celebrate the Magic at Magic Kingdom, also slotted for next year. And of course, Avatar Land will be making its appearance in 2017. He also told us about updates coming to Soarin including upgraded video and new theaters! I'm really looking forward to all these additions and improvements!

At the Maharajah Jungle Trek, our rainy luck held out. The tigers were really active, looking for somewhere to hide from the rain and take a nap.



And then it was back to Everest to use our FP+ even though we really didn't need it. People were avoiding the coaster like the plague, trying to stay dry. But we missed the rain for a second time and it was epic! We got the second row and had a phenomenal view of the park.

Lunch was at Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe. Afterwards, we headed back to Africa to the train station. Because there was no one in front of us on the train, I had a great view of some of the behind the scenes areas!


At the Conservation Station, we were in for a special treat (depending on how you look at it, I guess). While we were talking to one of the CMs by the vet clinic, two techs brought in a turtle that had been hit by a car. He needed a bandage change so we had the opportunity to see an unscheduled procedure.


The turtle was really nervous, though (understandably), and kept peeing on the technician!


I guess it comes with the job. Finally, we headed out to the petting zoo. The goats were extra... special. We found a few chewing on fences and posts. I did find out that they do this because they don't have top teeth and it feels good on their gums. It still looked pretty special.


At this point we were ready to go back to the Beach Club where we had reservations for Beaches and Cream ice cream. About the time we got to the parking lot, however, the torrential downpour began. Despite our umbrellas, I was soaked from head to toe by the time we reached the car. There was no avoiding going back to the room to change. We were miserably wet, but really glad that the rain had waited until left!

After quickly changing clothes, we were ready to head over to Beaches and Cream for ice cream! We did have the foresight to change into rain boots this time.


I found mine literally two days before the trip... in the kids section at Target. It was the only place I was able to find any! Since I don't own any skinny jeans, it was interesting trying to find ways to keep my pants in.

After checking in, we walked over to the arcade (we were still kind of early). We got a ton of compliments on our rain boots! A lot of, "they know how to plan!" comments. Haha! Finally it was time to go in. Our waitress seemed kind of irritated that we were only having ice cream (is this common?). We made reservations, though, since last time we went we walked up without a reservation and got dirty looks that way too. She did take our orders though. We both got water, I got coffee, and for the ice cream, I got the No Way Jose and Coda got some chocolately brownie thing.



It was awesome! Coda ate all of his and half of mine. I really just get it for the peanut butter... Our drinks though... they hadn't showed up. It took asking twice and probably 20 minutes for our waitress to finally get another waitress to bring our drinks. She didn't get the greatest tip. After we were done, it was time for Downtown Disney. I loved the new magic mirror in World of Disney!


Haha! Coda did it too, but he won't let me post his picture. While we were there, Coda got me a new pearl and a Cinderella's carriage to put it in. We also got some Mickey earrings for our seven year old niece. After a quick stop in the Christmas store, Disney's Days of Christmas, to get a new ornament and order personalization (pictures later!) we were ready to go back "home."

That night we really wanted to walk around the Art of Animation Resort, which was next door to our own! It was so cool! I loved the larger-than-life characters!



One interesting thing was noticing the difference at the Little Mermaid area. It was very obviously the part of Pop Century that was never completed. The remaining three sections were completely different - most noticeably the fact that they were hotel style vs. motel. Anyway, it was really fun! We had dinner while we were there and we really loved their food court. Coda spent the walk back "saving" snails from the sidewalk.


We got back to the hotel and settled in for the night. The next day would bring some fun, new experiences!

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