Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Book Review & Author Q&A + GIVEAWAY: The Other Half (Revelations, #1) by Elaina Roberts

Title: The Other Half (Revelations, #1)
ISBN: 1489512543
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Theme(s): Djinn, Shapeshifters, Vampires, Elves
Length: 275 pgs
Binding: Paperback
Published: 17 June 2013

For Kristiana Latimer, the Fifth Annual Human-Other Summit creates more aggravation than hope for the future. As a security guard for the hosting hotel, her job requires that she remain civil and professional with the visiting dignitaries regardless of provocation. But the Summit has yet to address the many growing concerns of the nonhuman integration. And when Michael Zakhara, the mysterious Head Ambassador, requests that she serve as his human liaison, Kris’ civility and professionalism are tested to the limits.

Just as they acknowledge their growing attraction and begin to work together, Kris’ niece and nephew are kidnapped, along with a half-dozen other nonhuman children. Suspecting the head of the local hate group, the Human Purity League, and Kris’ former boss, the couple organizes a stunning array of humans and nonhumans alike to help search for the missing children.

As tensions rise, Michael and Kris succumb to their intense mutual attraction. Secrets are shared, and truths revealed. But the Summit only lasts a week. Will they have time to save the children, address the issues at hand, and accept that they have found their other half?

My Rating:

 *Scroll down to enter for a chance to win 1 of 5 e-book copies of The Other Half (Revelations, #1) by Elaina M. Roberts!*

My Review: I used to read paranormal romance all the time, but like most books these days, it's hard to find novels that stand out in their respective genres. I was immediately intrigued when I read the synopsis for The Other Half by Elaina M. Roberts. A story centered around an annual Human-Other Summit? A budding romance between head Ambassador Michael Zakhara (I like that the blurb didn't give away what kind of "other" he was until you actually start to read) and Kristiana Latimer, a female security guard? It sounded like a whole lot of drama (in a good way) and a story premise that hinted at some originality. And you can imagine my surprise and relief that Roberts' debut novel did not disappoint.

Here is what I liked. The author wastes no time jumping into the story and I was hooked within the first few pages which is always a good sign. I liked the fact that Kristiana "aka" Kris is a take charge, no-nonsense kind of woman. She's not interested in the latest hairstyles, makeup, or spending hours in front of the mirror. She takes her job as a hotel security guard seriously, so leading a practical lifestyle is second nature to her. You find very quickly that Kris served in the army and it suits her character and her job choice, not that she had much of a choice in the matter (don't want to give away too many spoilers). Also, Kris is quite feisty which you get to see rather early on whenever she is around her boss, Andrews, and her explosive first meeting with Michael Zakhara.

I might as well get this out of the way now...OMFG! Michael is H.O.T. Figuratively and literally, but I will get to that last part in a minute. He is sexy with a capital S. If you've read any of my reviews before, than you may already know that I am a sucker for alpha male characters. I love the multifaceted sides we get to see in Michael throughout the story. First, he is this mysterious leader of the "others" that bates Kris any chance he can get in the beginning. What I mean is, instead of calling her Kris, he addresses her by her full name (Kristiana) to her irritation (at first). He gives her pet names, like "kitten". But then we see a completely different side of him, such as when he senses Kris' distress and appears in her apartment in nothing but flames. Yes, I said flames. More on that later. Anyway, this fiery, fearsome creature is nothing like the man in the expensive suit back at the Summit. This ancient being is Micipsa. I guess I forgot to mention Michael goes by several different names because of his very long life; in this century he is called Michael but in previous centuries he was known as Micipsa. I definitely like this attention to detail. It would make sense that someone that has lived as long as Michael would possibly have several different names, even if it is just to blend in with current society. As the story progresses and we learn that Kris is Michael's mate, we get to see him as the devoted lover, and experiences doubt and fear, which are very human qualities. What if Kris doesn't want to go through with the mating ritual once she finds out the danger involved? What if he somehow loses her after waiting centuries to find his mate? It's really nice to see a well rounded character and for whatever reason, I wasn't expecting that.

Since I'm on the topic of characters, I have to give credit where credit is due. Elaina M. Roberts has an amazing imagination when it comes to not only creating characters, but characters that you feel for, that you want to know more about. In any other debut author's hands, the sheer volume of characters and species that are introduced and woven into the story could have been a complete disaster. But somehow Roberts pulls it off without taking away from her main characters, Kris and Michael. She even sets up some potential/future love stories, such as the Elven King Uruvion (who also happens to be Michael's best friend) and his Royal Advisor Lysavar. And rough around the edges (but very sexy) vampire Blake Simons and the human girl that helped the "other" children escape. I've already mentioned elves and vampires, but there are also werewolves/shapeshifters, centaurs, and pixies. I absolutely loved Sapphire and Opal and enjoyed the verbal sparring between Sapphire and Blake Simons. Imagine a tiny, feisty pixie giving her piece of mind to a big, bad vampire. Hilarious. I also must mention the Magi. Ariael Rumwynsal, a Blood Magus, was probably one of my favorite characters. 

I also enjoyed the political aspect of the novel.  Many times you will get authors that set their stories around a specific topic but end up glossing over it. It could be lack of research or fear of delving too deep into topics that may offend readers. But this isn't the case with Elaina M. Roberts. The issues that were addressed at the Summit were interesting, such as the repercussions of the "Others" coming out in human society. "Others" being hired over humans because of their supernatural/preternatural abilities. How to punish an "Other" for a crime they committed against a human or human society. You get my point. Not to get too deep here, but I can definitely see similarities between "Others" and immigrants (or even illegal aliens). I don't know if the author even had that in mind, but we have a lot of bitter people in the US who blame immigrants for taking jobs, etc. Very interesting connection.

So here are some things that bothered me, some of which I have no doubt can be easily fixed as the author gains more experience and becomes more aware of her readers. First, why no chapters? Maybe it was just the format I was reading (paperback), but I think this story definitely could have benefited from chapters. There were some breaks in the writing which I assumed was her way of showing that a new section was coming, but why not just add the numbers?

My next issue is with Kris. I don't really have issues with insta-love like so many others do, especially if it is done right. While I totally get where Michael is coming from, I felt that Kris' transition from trying to fight the attraction to then being suddenly in love with him was a bit...awkward? Not sure if that is even the right word. Actually, no it isn't the word I am looking for. More like too rushed. It just felt like one minute she is telling Michael to back off, the next she is calling him "my love". I get that they are mates and she is supposed to have this instant attraction to him, but I guess I expected her to fight it a bit more. Don't get me wrong, I love Kris and Michael together. I just wish Kris stayed a bit truer to her character. I hope that makes sense.

Here are a few other things that I made note of as I read that sort of bothered me. I was a little surprised that hardly any "Others" were angry with Kris since she was the one who helped the Colonel get free the first time, on top of the fact that he did commit murder (I'm talking about stuff he did before the story actually starts). And to be quite honest, I'm not sure I completely agree/buy Kris' choice to help him (again, this pertains to events that happened before the initial story begins). I'm just surprised more people didn't question her decision, even Michael. After all, he is the Head Ambassador and I know she is his mate, but it doesn't mean he should be so blind as to not question her role.

Random thought. What was up with their coffee obsession??? They were either drinking it, or in the kitchen making it, or running to Ricardo's food stand to buy it. It was just a bit excessive.

Another random thought. Shae's (Kris' sister) children have been kidnapped and she is holding it together a little too well? I know everyone handles extreme situations differently and maybe she was in shock. It could just be me being extremely picky and other readers might not find it as unrealistic as I did. I just remember making note of it as I read along.

While the author does a good job at not info-dumping, sometimes she forgets that her readers are not in her head. We don't automatically know what certain things are like she does. Some examples I came across: the nickname "Kiki"? Apparently her ex-flame Brian and a few other people that are close to Kris occasionally call her "Kiki". Why? How do you get "Kiki" out of Kristiana? What is a "Circlet of Office"? I get it is some sort of crown that King Uruvion wears, but there were a few times when Roberts describes the jewels of the crown as flashing or "winking" as if they are...alive or could feel emotion? I have no idea. It's never explained. Roberts also does this with characters occasionally. In the beginning (around pg. 62), I had no idea who Jenna was until I went back and had to reread and realized it was Shae's sister-in-law. This also happened with Uruvion (around pg. 67). His name wasn't mentioned until the next page but it was assumed I was supposed to remember that Michael's best friend is Uruvion. Maybe later in the book, but not in the beginning when humans and creatures of all kind are being introduced.

I think my biggest issue is with her lack of really telling us exactly what Michael is. Yes, we know he is a Djinn(i) but he is also an "Ifrit"? The only reason I vaguely know what an "Ifrit" is is because I watch the show True Blood and there was an "Ifrit" during one of the story arcs. But obviously Michael is different than what I saw on True Blood. And I thought Djinn were like genies. Yes? No? Why is Michael also addressed as warlord?  Maybe a flashback scene of him fighting in a war would have been more informative. We know he is one of the oldest, most powerful, and most likely last of his kind. But other than that and his fire ability, the author doesn't really give us anything else. But I have to say...when he sheds his "human" form and can literally become flames? Absolutely hot and terrifying at the same time. And when he burns her bra and panties off because he grows too impatient? So sexy. Again, I have to give Roberts credit for giving us such an original male lead character.

I'm not sure if this was an inconsistency or if distance factored into the equation, but I noticed in an early scene that Michael was able to feel Kris' distress when he was at the hotel and she was in her apartment. Later in the story, Kris is in danger at the hotel and Michael is in some warehouse yet he doesn't feel her distress until he is back at the hotel. Again, just something I made note of as I was reading.

For a 275 page book, The Other Half packs a lot of punch. I absolutely love the fact that it is not your typical paranormal romance. Roberts put just as much effort and thought into creating interesting characters as she did in the Summit debates. And that is why this book just has that little extra something special that sets itself apart. I will warn everyone that there is a bit of a cliff hanger ending, and at first I was unsure how I felt about it because it led me to believe Kris and Michael's story may continue. While I love the couple, I feel that their story has been told and they had their HEA. I am really hoping the next book will feature another couple, such as Uruvion and Lysavar or Blake and the human girl.

 P.S. A few of my questions were answered in the following Q&A with the author. :)

AUTHOR Q&A WITH ELAINA M. ROBERTS, Author of The Other Half (Revelations, #1) 

1. This may be a mundane question but after reading your novel and finding it so rich in characters (everything from a Djinni to elves, to pixies to the Blood Magi) and mythology/folklore, how did you come up with the idea to write this book? 

The idea came after a 'what if' conversation with my daughter. We had been discussing various books, movies, and situations and I thought, "what if these critters really were out there, how would humanity react?" Sadly, we are a fairly stubborn race that tends to react poorly to things that are different, considering the number of hate groups we have for our own kind. The conversation continued from there but the germ of an idea had developed and eventually became The Other Half

2. I would argue that The Other Half is deeper than most paranormal romances in that it seriously explores the deep rooted issues of "others" and their integration into the human world (the good and the bad). I couldn't help but apply it real life issues, such as the prejudice and discrimination people have with immigrants and immigration in general. Did you see the similarities while writing the story? 

Of course I did! I live in the deep south where there are 39 recognized hate groups as classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center. These groups meet, march, and stand on street corners with bull horns to spew their hate to all who will listen. They raise their children in this toxic environment, creating a new generation of bigotry. If you meet them away from their groups, you might never know their beliefs - they're husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, star pupils. But all of them fear, or feel they are superior to others based on the color of their skin, their ancestry, or their religion. If we will do this to ourselves, I have very little doubt we would do this to nonhumans. 

3. So, I must ask...I know book 2 is in the works but is it going to continue on with Kris and Michael's story or are they handing over the reigns to another couple, such as the Elven King Uruvion and Lysavar or Blake Simon and the human girl? 

Kris and Michael's story is, essentially, told. They have found their HEA and are settling in to their lives together. The next in the series, An Infernal Destiny, will follow the powerful vampire, Blake Simons, and Alicia Johnston, his human mate, as they search for the answers not found in The Other Half.

Elaina M. Roberts

 Enter for a chance to win 1 of 5 E-book copies of Elaina M. Roberts's Paranormal Romance The Other Half (Revelations, #1). There are 5 e-copies to be given away, so 5 winners will be announced. This is an International Giveaway, ALL are welcome to enter! Giveaway ends 8/17!

Monday, July 29, 2013

My Picks of the Week! (30th July 2013)

Happy Monday, Muses!

So, I know things have been a bit sparse on my blog and I said last week I was going to be posting double reviews since I am behind on my review schedule. Yeah, it didn't happen. But, I did finish a review over the weekend so I can promise everyone that there will be a new review posted on Wednesday! And a giveaway, so stay tuned for that :)

There are a few new releases worth mentioning this week. In adult books, check out the science fiction apocalyptic novel THREE by debut author Jay Posey. I am currently reading it now and it is totally kick ass! In Young Adult books, Indelible by Dawn Metcalf finally hits bookshelves. There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this one and can't wait to read it!

In Movies, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the highly anticipated sequel will be available this week. I'm also looking forward to Cloudbust, starring Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker. In TV shows, Cinemax's Banshee: Season 1 and Hunted: Season 1 both are released this week, but I think Hunted is an exclusive only.




Blood Warrior (Dragon Kings, #2)
by: Lindsey Piper

The second in a fierce and sensual new paranormal romance series featuring demonic gladiators, ruthless mafia villains, and the choices made by a proud race on the brink of extinction.

As a young man, sarcastic, violent Tallis Pendray believed the Dragon Kings’ survival depended on a prophecy delivered in dreams by a woman named “the Sun.” His role has been to complete inexplicable, even reprehensible tasks. First, by murdering a priest, he united his fragmented clan in their hatred of him. Dubbed “the Heretic,” Tallis fled his family’s Highland estate. Now disillusioned, he seeks revenge on the woman he holds responsible for two decades of exile.

Telepath Kavya Indranan is a charismatic, seductive cult leader born to a prominent family. However, she grew up terrorized by the ominous threat of her powerful, insane twin brother. On the run and hiding among the poor, she witnessed the destruction wrought by her clan’s centuries-old civil war. Maturity nurtures Kavya’s determination to end the cycle of bloodshed. Those who follow her call for peace have nicknamed her “the Sun.”

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Complete Me (Stark, #3)
by: J. Kenner

This sexy, emotionally charged romance continues the story of Damien Stark, the powerful multimillionaire who’s never had to take “no” for an answer, and Nikki Fairchild, the Southern belle who only says “yes” on her own terms.

Our desire runs deep. But our secrets cut close. Beautiful, strong, and commanding, Damien Stark fills a void in me that no other man can touch. His fierce cravings push me beyond the brink of bliss—and unleash a wild passion that utterly consumes us both.

Yet beneath his need for dominance, he carries the wounds of a painful past. Haunted by a legacy of dark secrets and broken trust, he seeks release in our shared ecstasy, the  heat between us burning stronger each day.

Our attraction is undeniable, our obsession inevitable. Yet not even Damien can run from his ghosts, or shield us from the dangers yet to come.

Release Date: 30th July 2013
Website | E-book | Paperback

Darkest Craving, The (Lords of the Underworld, #10)
by: Gena Showalter

Having endured weeks of torture in the bowels of hell, Kane wants nothing to do with his beautiful rescuer, Josephina Aisling. The half-Fae female threatens to awaken the demon of Disaster inside him—a beast he’s determined to kill, no matter the price.

Josephina is hunted by a brutal enemy—her royal family—and Kane is her only source of protection. He’s also the only male to ever set her aflame, and even he succumbs to the heat. But as they navigate the treacherous world of the Fae, they are forced to make a choice: live apart…or die together.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

by: Dakota Harrison

She is the one dream that never had a chance to come true…until now.

Takeshi is finishing up a brutal double shift in the ER when a familiar—and bloody—face erases all thought of heading home. The broken body of the woman fighting for her life belongs to Gabby, his best friend’s mother. A woman he has rarely seen since he turned nineteen and foolishly declared his love for her.

She’s not dying today. Not on his watch. And not with a promise left unfulfilled.

Gabby has never forgotten the taste of the kiss Taka gave her under the mistletoe all those years ago. Or the silly promise that surely by now he’s forgotten. She’s wrong. Taka remembers. And she melts as he uses every trick in his highly trained surgeon’s hands to heal her—and rekindle the heat between them.

But there’s a secret lurking in Gabby’s past. And when it follows her all the way to Seattle, it threatens to drag the one man she loves into the nightmare she thought she’d left behind.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Highlander's Desire, The
by: Margo Maguire

Lachann MacMillan's watched his older brother, the laird of his clan, find a passionate marriage, but he suffers no illusions that his path will be the same--especially as the woman he loved was stolen from him years ago. He's ready to leave his homeland and make his mark. He'll even enter into a passionless marriage to the daughter of the Laird of Kilogorra if it means a chance at his own land…and leaving behind his painful memories. A simple enough plan until he meets Anna MacIver, a mere serving maid with the face of an angel who ignites a fire in him that is anything but angelic.

Anna has been a lowly servant in her uncle, the Laird of Kilogorra's home, since her mother died years ago. She has no envy for her cousin's matrimonial fate as observation of has taught her that freedom--no matter the serving chains--is far more precious that being under the command of a husband. But when Lachlann arrives to marry Anna's cousin, she finds herself longing for something she never knew she wanted. Together the maid and the highlander may find that some things are worth having, no matter the cost.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Last Blood (House of Comarre, #5)
by: Kristen Painter 

In the final showdown between the forces of dark and light, Mal and Chrysabelle face not only Tatiana, but the ancient evil that now controls her: the Castus Sanguis. Chrysabelle gathers her friends and family around her, forming a plan to bring an end to the chaos surrounding them. But the Castus is the most powerful being they've ever come up against. Defeating such evil will require a great sacrifice from someone on the side of light.

One of them will change sides. One of them will die. No one will survive unscathed. Can Chrysabelle save those she cares about or will that love get her killed? What price is she willing to pay to draw last blood?

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Pile of Bones (Parallel Parks, #1)
by: Bailey Cunningham

In one world, they’re ordinary university students. In another world, they are a company of heroes in a place of magic and myth called Anfractus……

The Cree called the area Oscana, "pile of bones," a fertile hunting ground where game abounded. The white settlers changed that to Wascana. And centuries later, it became Wascana Park, a wooded retreat in the midst of the urban sprawl of Regina.

For a select few, who stay in the park until midnight, the land reverts into a magical kingdom, populated by heroes and monsters. They become warriors, bards, archers, gladiators. In the city called Anfractus, they live out a real-life role playing game.

All harmless fun—until they find themselves in the middle of an assassination plot which threatens to upset the balance of everything.  Politics are changing, and old borders are about to disappear.  The magic of Anfractus is bleeding into the real world—an incursion far more dangerous than the students suspect. Only they know what is happening—and only they can stop it...

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Scent of Salvation (Chronicles of Eorthe, #1)
by: Annie Nicholas

Love blooms across species, culture, and time.

Stranded in another dimension, on a primitive version of Earth, Dr. Susan Barlow needs to find a way to survive. There’s no electricity, no cities, and to her shock, no humans. Instead, she faces a population of werewolves, vampires and incubi. The people are vicious but she must find her place among them. And live.

An illness is killing Sorin’s pack. As alpha it’s his responsibility to save them, but it’s a battle this warrior doesn’t know how to fight. Then a blue light in the sky brings a creature he’s never seen. She calls herself human, but to him she smells like hope.

Sorin offers Susan a safe haven in return for a cure, but she’s not that kind of a doctor. She’s a doctor of physics, not a physician. Yet as they search for a cure to save a dying people, they find something special—each other.

But even with Sorin’s protection, Susan can’t help but wonder how long she can survive in a world without humans…

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Three (Legends of the Duskwalker, #1)

by: Jay Posey

The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.
But when a lone gunman reluctantly accepts the mantel of protector to a young boy and his dying mother against the forces that pursue them, a hero may yet arise.

Release Date: 30th July 2013


All Our Pretty Songs
by: Sarah McCarry

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Boy on the Bridge, The
by: Natalie Standiford

A new breathtaking novel from Natalie Standiford about love and trust during the Cold War.

Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia--a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she's been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right?

As June approaches--when Laura must return to the United States--Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She's only nineteen and doesn't think she's ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn't she take it?

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Brother, Brother
by: Clay Carmichael

The day his grandmother dies, seventeen-year-old Billy “Brother” Grace discovers that he has a twin who has recently made headlines by nearly overdosing on drugs. His twin also happens to be the son of a powerful senator. His newly discovered family may not be all that interested in a cheery reunion, but Brother is determined to get answers. When he arrives on the secluded island off the coast of North Carolina where the senator and his family live, sparks will fly, old resentments will be released, and secrets revealed. Part coming-of-age story, part love story, Clay Carmichael's Brother, Brother is a book about finding out that who you are and where you come from aren't necessarily the same thing. 

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Earthbound (Earthbound, #1)
by: Aprilynne Pike

Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told.

Tavia immediately searches for answers, desperate to determine why she feels so drawn to a boy she hardly knows. But when Tavia discovers that the aunt and uncle who took her in after her parents' death may have actually been responsible for the plane crash that killed them--and that she may have been the true intended victim--she flees for the safety of Camden, Maine, where the boy she sees in her visions instructs her to go.

Now, Tavia is on the run with no one to trust. No one, that is, except for her best friend and longtime crush, Benson.

Tavia feels torn between the boy who mysteriously comes to her at night and the boy who has been by her side every step of the way. But what Tavia doesn't know is that the world is literally falling apart and that to save it she will have to unite with the boy in her visions. Only problem? To do so would mean rejecting Benson's love. And that's the one thing Tavia Michaels swore she'd never do.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

If I Ever Get Out of Here
by: Eric Gansworth

Lewis "Shoe" Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he's not used to is white people being nice to him -- people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family's poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan's side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis's home -- will he still be his friend?

Acclaimed adult author Eric Gansworth makes his YA debut with this wry and powerful novel about friendship, memory, and the joy of rock 'n' roll.

Release Date: 30th July 2013
Indelible (The Twixt, #1)
by: Dawn Metcalf

Some things are permanent.


And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future...and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…


Release Date: 30th July 2013

Under the Empyrean Sky (Heartland, #1)
by: Chuck Wendig

Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It's the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow ? and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it. As captain of the Big Sky Scavengers, Cael and his crew sail their rickety ship over the corn day after day, scavenging for valuables, trying to earn much-needed ace notes for their families. But Cael's tired of surviving life on the ground while the Empyrean elite drift by above in their extravagant sky flotillas. He's sick of the mayor's son besting Cael's crew in the scavenging game. And he's worried about losing Gwennie ? his first mate and the love of his life ? forever when their government-chosen spouses are revealed. But most of all, Cael is angry ? angry that their lot in life will never get better and that his father doesn't seem upset about any of it. Cael's ready to make his own luck . . . even if it means bringing down the wrath of the Empyrean elite and changing life in the Heartland forever.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

MOVIES & TV SERIES (30th July)


Assault on Wall Street
Directed by: Uwe Boll

Starring: Dominic Purcell, Eric Roberts

A security guard for an armored truck, Jim (Dominic Purcell) is a blue-collar New Yorker who works hard to earn a living. His wages support himself and his wife Rosie (Erin Karpluk), who is on the upswing recovering from a near-fatal illness. Yet things start to fall apart after Rosie's health insurance stops covering her treatment and Jim's life savings are lost via a disastrous investment his stockbroker had advised him to make. As a row of professional and personal dominoes falls, Jim is confronted by the realization that, after being abused and exploited by financial institutions for far too long, he has only one choice: to strike back. From the mind of notorious German writer/director Uwe Boll (House of the Dead), ASSAULT ON WALL STREET is excoriating look at the American financial system that is sure to stir up plenty of Occupy-esque sentiment.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Black Rock
Directed by: Katie Aselton

Starring: Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell

Three young women - Sarah (Kate Bosworth), Abby (Katie Aselton) and Lou (Lake Bell) - get together for a private campout at one of the iconic settings of their childhood, an empty island off the coast of Maine, to renew their bond of sisterhood. They quickly learn, though, that the island is anything but empty, when they encounter three men, who have come to the island to hunt. A misunderstanding quickly turns to tragedy, and the three women soon find themselves the targets of the hunt. What started as a simple playdate to recall old times is now a race for survival. 

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Directed by: Thom Fitzgerald

Starring: Olympia Dukakis, Brenda Fricker

This hilarious road movie co-stars Oscar-winning actresses Brenda Fricker and Olympia Dukakis as Dot and Stella, a crackerjack lesbian couple on the run from a nursing home. You ll laugh so hard you ll cry. Stella and Dot have been together for 31 years and have faithfully accompanied one another through life s ups and downs. Now in their seventies, Stella is hard of hearing and Dot is legally blind. Dotty s prudish granddaughter, Molly (played by Genie Award-winner Kristin Booth), decides the best place for Dot is a nursing home that will provide all the necessities. This forces Stella and Dot to make a bold decision: they will leave their hometown in Maine and make their way to Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal. It s a last-gasp bid to stay together. En route to Canada, they pick up a young hitchhiker, Prentice, played by newcomer Ryan Doucette. A small-town boy turned modern dancer, he is returning to Nova Scotia to visit his dying mother. Despite his bravado, Prentice is a confused and wounded soul who has much to learn from Stella and Dot as they wage their own unexpected battle after three decades, can they keep their family together?

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Filly Brown
Directed by: Youssef Delar, Michael Olmos

Starring: Gina Rodriguez

 FILLY BROWN is the inspiring portrait of a young woman striving to find her voice without compromising herself or the fate of her family. Majo Tonorio, aka, 'Filly Brown', played by Gina Rodriguez, is a young aspiring hip-hop artist from Los Angeles. With her mother, Jenni Rivera, in prison and her father, Lou Diamond Philips, struggling to provide for his daughters, Filly knows that a record contract just may be the answer to her family's financial problems. So when a record producer offers her a shot at stardom, she has to choose between selling out her dreams or saving her family. Directed by Youssef Delara and Michael Olmos, FILLY BROWN is propelled by an exceptional cast. Fueled by a fierce hip-hop score, FILLY BROWN heralds the arrival of Gina Rodriguez in the electrifying title role.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Directed by: Jon M.Chu

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum

In this sequel, the G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Old Dog
Directed by: Pema Tseden

Starring: Yanbum Gyal

In Old Dog, directed by Pema Tseden, the leading voice of the Tibetan New Wave, a family on the Himalayan plains discovers their dog is worth a fortune, but selling it comes at a terrible price. The Tibetan nomad mastiff is an exotic prize dog in China, potentially fetching millions of dollars from wealthy Chinese buyers. When a young man named Gonpo notices several thefts of mastiffs from Tibetan farm families, he decides to sell his families dog before it is stolen and sold on the black market. His father, an aging Tibetan herder, is furious when he discovers the dog missing. He sets off to buy the dog back, sparking a series of events that threaten to tear the family apart. Weaving together narrative strands of humor and gravity, Old Dog beautifully depicts life among the rural Tibetan people and the erosion of Tibetan culture under the pressures of contemporary society. 

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Teen Beach Movie
Directed by: Jeffrey Hornaday

Starring: Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell

Teen Beach Movie centers around two teen surfers, Brady and Mackenzie, who are magically transported into a 1960s beach movie where they must try to blend in until they can find their way out. They soon discover that there is an intense rivalry between the local surfers and bikers. Things don't go according to plan when our modern-day duo accidently change the plot of the movie, and the two lead characters fall for them instead of each other! As everyone around them starts singing and dancing, and a fight between the bikers and surfers breaks out, Brady and Mack must attempt to get out of the movie and back to present day.

Release Date: 30th July 2013


Banshee: Season 1

Starring: Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic

From Alan Ball, creator/EP of True Blood, this exciting new Cinemax action drama charts the twists and turns that follow Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-convict who improbably becomes sheriff of a rural, Amish-area town while searching for a woman he last saw 15 years ago, when he gave himself up to police to let her escape after a jewel heist. Living in Banshee under an assumed name, Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic) is now married to the local DA, has two children (one of whom may be Lucas’), and is trying desperately to keep a low profile – until Lucas arrives to shake up her world and rekindle old passions. Complicating matters is the fact that Banshee is riddled by corruption, with an Amish overlord, Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), brutally building a local empire of drugs, gambling and graft. With the help of a boxer-turned-barkeeper named Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison), Lucas is able to stay on even footing with Kai and his thugs, and even manages to bring a measure of tough justice to Banshee. But eventually, Lucas’ appetite for pulling heists pulls him and Carrie into a dangerous cauldron of duplicity, exacerbated when Mr. Rabbit (Ben Cross), the NY mobster they once ripped off, closes in with vengeance on his mind. 

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Hunted: Season 1

Starring: Melissa George, Adam Rayner

Following in the footsteps of Strike Back and from creator/writer and three-time Emmy® nominee Frank Spotnitz (Strike Back, The X-Files), Hunted is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that stars Melissa George (In Treatment, Alias) as Sam Hunter, a highly skilled operative for an elite private security firm called Byzantium, who narrowly survives an attempt on her life that may have been orchestrated by members of her own team. Once Sam returns to work a year later (having told nobody her whereabouts), she must perform her secretive duties without knowing who to trust – and who might want her dead. While continuing her search for the truth – and effort that sheds light on her tragic past – Sam is ordered to infiltrate a wealthy, high-profile family by posing as a good Samaritan, which leads her into a mystery more vast, complex, and dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Brilliant, beautiful, ruthless, and efficient, Sam is a force to be reckoned with as the first season of Hunted unfolds.

Release Date: 30th July 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Picks of the Week! (23rd July 2013)

Hello, Muses!

I'll keep this short and sweet since I am late in posting the new releases for this week. I didn't list any tv series since there really isn't much coming out on the 23rd. There are quite a few awesome releases at the very end of July, so this is a perfect week to play catch up. Nonetheless, enjoy these new releases!

Best Wishes,

BOOKS (22nd-24th JULY)


Gamel, The
by: Ciaran Collins

Meet Charlie. People think he's crazy. But he's not. People think he's stupid. But he's not. People think he's innocent...

He's the Gamal.

Charlie has a story to tell, about his best friends Sinead and James and the bad things that happened. But he can't tell it yet, at least not 'til he's worked out where the beginning is.

Is the beginning long ago when Sinead first spoke up for him after Charlie got in trouble at school for the millionth time? Or was it later, when Sinead and James followed the music and found each other? Or was it later still on that terrible night when something unspeakable happened after closing time and someone chose to turn a blind eye?

Charlie has promised Dr Quinn he'll write 1,000 words a day, but it's hard to know which words to write. And which secrets to tell.

This is the story of the dark heart of an Irish village, of how daring to be different can be dangerous, and how there is nothing a person will not do for love.

Exhilarating, bitingly funny and unforgettably poignant, this is a story like no other. This is the story of the Gamal.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Lacey and Lethal
by: Laurann Dohner

Set in the same world as Scarred and Kilt and Mine to Chase.

Lacey hunts vampires—vile monsters who leave death and shattered lives in their wake. They murdered her sister and she wants revenge. Until she captures a big, sexy, blue-eyed vamp, and the strong attraction she feels contradicts everything she’s become. But she can’t resist getting closer. Just looking at him makes her mouth water and her thighs clench.

Lethal can’t believe the little lass got the better of him. He’s been drugged and chained, but he’s more insulted than concerned. She’s bold, fearless, as she straddles his hips and threatens to use his body, teach him how it feels to be taken without consent. Now he’s intrigued and eager to get her out of her clothes. She swears he’s the enemy, but he’s determined to be her lover.

Release Date: 24th July 2013

Never Deal With Dragons
by: Lorenda Christensen

Consoling a sobbing dragon and serving pig buffets are just part of the job for Myrna Banks. Working for a mediation firm, it’s her job to get humans compensated for damages caused by the dragons who now rule. But her “typical” day is interrupted by Trian Chobardan, an old flame who sneaked out of her bed two years ago, taking her heart and a handful of classified documents with him.

Myrna would love to show Trian the door, but he’s been sent by North America’s reigning dragon lord for help negotiating a truce with a powerful rival to avert war. Myrna agrees to help, even though she’ll be stuck with Trian as a partner.

As the two work together, Myrna finds Trian to be surprisingly supportive—and still irresistibly attractive. Though her brain tells her not to forget his betrayal, her body feels differently. When they learn the enemy dragon lord is planning something no one could have imagined, Myrna has to learn who she can trust before she loses not only her heart, but her life.

Release Date: 22nd July 2013

Three Parts Dead (Three Parts Dead, #1)
by: Max Gladstone

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Tiger Tiger (Chicagoland Shifters, #2)
by: A. Catherine Noon, Rachel Wilder

When you grab a tiger by the tail, sometimes he bites back.

Chicagoland Shifters, Book 2

Veterinary trauma surgeon and animal empath Sasha Soskoff has found everything he ever wanted with his new partners Neal, Steve and Carlos. Life feels as safe and secure as it can be among a group of ex-Marine tiger shifters. Until a homeless man is found, gruesomely mauled and murdered, near Neal’s BDSM club.

When it’s determined a rogue tiger did the deed, the jaguars’ accusing eyes turn toward Sasha’s lovers. The precarious balance of peace tips dangerously toward war.

Neal knows damned well none of his tigers committed the crime. Someone must be in Chicago without his knowledge or permission, and they’d better find him fast before uncertainty and conflict rip the tight-knit band apart from the inside.

As Sasha struggles to heal the stress fractures forming among his tiger family, he begins to wonder if his dreams of a home, and love, were too good to be true. And it’s precisely that moment the killer strikes at the heart of the tiger clan—Sasha himself. 

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

To Sin with a Viking (Forbidden Vikings, #1)
by: Michelle Willingham

Playing With Fire!

Caragh Ó Brannon defended herself bravely when the enemy landed—only, now she finds herself alone with one very angry Viking…

Styr Hardrata sailed to Ireland intending to trade, never expecting to find himself held captive in chains by a beautiful Irish maiden.

The fiercely handsome warrior both terrifies and allures Caragh, but he is forbidden territory. He is the enemy…and he is married. Yet Styr harbors a secret that just might set them both free… 

Release Date: 23rd July 2013


A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Strange and Lovely, #2)
by: Susan Dennard

Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

A Really Awesome Mess
by: Trish Cook, Brendan Haplin

 A hint of Recovery Road, a sample of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and a cut of Juno. A Really Awesome Mess is a laugh-out-loud, gut-wrenching/heart-warming story of two teenagers struggling to find love and themselves.

Two teenagers. Two very bumpy roads taken that lead to Heartland Academy.
Justin was just having fun, but when his dad walked in on him with a girl in a very compromising position, Justin's summer took a quick turn for the worse. His parents' divorce put Justin on rocky mental ground, and after a handful of Tylenol lands him in the hospital, he has really hit rock bottom.

Emmy never felt like part of her family. She was adopted from China. Her parents and sister tower over her and look like they came out of a Ralph Lauren catalog-- and Emmy definitely doesn't. After a scandalous photo of Emmy leads to vicious rumors around school, she threatens the boy who started it all on Facebook.

Justin and Emmy arrive at Heartland Academy, a reform school that will force them to deal with their issues, damaged souls with little patience for authority. But along the way they will find a ragtag group of teens who are just as broken, stubborn, and full of sarcasm as themselves. In the end, they might even call each other friends.
A funny, sad, and remarkable story, A Really Awesome Mess is a journey of friendship and self-discovery that teen readers will surely sign up for.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

by: Em Garner

After the Contamination—an epidemic caused by the super-trendy diet drink ThinPro that turned ordinary citizens into violent, uncontrollable creatures—the government rounded up the "Connies" to protect the remaining population. Now, two years later, the rehabilitated are being allowed home, complete with shock collars that will either control, or kill, them.

Velvet Ellis has struggled to care for her ten-year-old sister since her parents were taken in the round up. When she finds her mother in one of the "Kennels," Velvet resolves to do whatever it takes to put her family back together. But the danger isn’t over. It’s beginning all over again…

Gritty and grabbing, Velvet is a harrowing, emotionally charged novel for fans of Carrie Ryan and The Walking Dead

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong
by: L. Tam Holland

 A hysterically funny debut novel about discovering where you come from—even if you have to lie to get there.

When Vee Crawford-Wong’s history teacher assigns an essay on his family history, Vee knows he’s in trouble. His parents—Chinese-born dad and Texas-bred Mom—are mysteriously and stubbornly close-lipped about his ancestors. So, he makes it all up and turns in the assignment. And then everything falls apart.

After a fistfight, getting cut from the basketball team, offending his best friend, and watching his grades plummet, one thing becomes abundantly clear to Vee: No one understands him! If only he knew where he came from… So Vee does what anyone in his situation would do: He forges a letter from his grandparents in China, asking his father to bring their grandson to visit. Astonishingly, Vee’s father agrees. But in the land of his ancestors, Vee learns that the answers he seeks are closer to home then he could have ever imagined.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Fury, The (The Fury, #1)

by: Alexander Gordon Smith

From the creator of the Escape from Furnace series, a ferocious epic of supernatural terror, perfect for Stephen King fans

Imagine if one day, without warning, the entire human race turns against you, if every person you know, every person you meet becomes a bloodthirsty, mindless savage . . . That’s the horrifying reality for Cal, Brick, and Daisy. Friends, family, even moms and dads, are out to get them. Their world has the Fury. It will not rest until they are dead.

In Alexander Gordon Smith’s adrenaline-fueled saga, Cal and the others must uncover the truth about what is happening before it destroys them all. But survival comes at a cost. In their search for answers, what they discover will launch them into battle with an enemy of unimaginable power.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

OCD Love Story
by: Corey Ann Haydu

In this raw and relatable romance, Bea learns that some things just can’t be controlled.

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.

But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic... and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.

Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down...and she might end up breaking her own heart.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Of Beast and Beauty
by: Stacey Jay

In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Shadows of Glass (Ashes, #2)
by: Kassy Tayler

Wren's world has changed. The thing that she fought for, escaping the dome has come to fruition, but it's not the paradise she thought it would be. Most of the shiners have died, and according to James, she is to blame for many of the deaths, a burden which sits heavy on her shoulders.  Still some have survived and Wren is determined to keep them safe as they fight to establish a home outside while hiding from the rovers who have weapons that can kill  from far away. But as long as she has Pace she knows everything will be fine. Still Wren wonders, as she sees the smoke that continually pours forth from the dome, how did her friends inside fare? Will they ever find out if Lucy, David, Jill and Harry, along with Pace's mother survive the explosions?

Meanwhile, someone else has also seen the smoke. A band of explorers from across the sea arrive in an airship, curious about the dome, and offering help to those who survive. When Wren meets the handsome Levi Addison, she suddenly questions her love for Pace as Levi offers to show her the world from his airship. Does she really love Pace? Or was it just the circumstances that made her think she did? Meanwhile, word arrives from inside via Pip, and Wren is forced to go back inside the dome, a thing that terrifies her more than anything else, to save her friends. Once she's back inside will she be able to escape again? 

A whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a dystopian world where nothing is as it seems.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Starglass (Starglass, #1) 
by: Phoebe North

Terra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn't interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he's yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she's got.

But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain's guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship's idyllic surface. As she's drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime--one that will determine the fate of her people

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

by: Paul E. Blackwell

In this suspenseful teen thriller with a touch of the otherworldly, perfect for fans of Neal Shusterman, a boy goes over a waterfall and wakes up to find himself in a twisted version of the life he knew.

A shadowy figure. An intense roar. The sensation of falling—fast.

That’s all Callum Harris remembers from his tumble over the waterfall. But when he wakes up in a hospital bed and finds his best friend trying to kill him, Callum knows something is seriously wrong. Unfortunately for him, the mysteries are just getting started.

Why are his parents acting like he’s some big sports star all of a sudden? And why are all the buildings in town more run-down than Callum remembers? Worst of all...what happened to Callum’s brother? Either Callum has gone seriously crazy or something happened when he went over the falls. Something impossible. Callum needs answers, and now. Because in this twisted new version of the life Callum knew, his former best friend isn’t the only one who wants to see him dead.

Filled with mind-bending suspense and unsettling thrills, Undercurrent is a grippingly paced teen debut that will pull you under and never let go

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

MOVIES (23rd July)
(No TV Series This Week)

Directed by: Olivia Silver

Starring: John Hawkes, Ryan Simpkins

A coming-of-age story set in a vast, cross-country landscape, Arcadia begins when twelve-year-old Greta's dad Tom (Academy Awardr nominated actor John Hawkes) wakes her up before dawn and crams her and her two siblings into a dented station wagon. They set off on a 3,000 mile journey from the New England woods to the California desert. On the way, Tom tells enchanting stories, paints pictures of a California paradise, and assures the kids that Mom will soon join them. Greta believes him at first, mesmerized by the strange new scenery and clinging to her stuffed bunny Harrison. Older sister Caroline nonchalantly accepts his stories, more focused on the boyfriend she's leaving behind. And nine-year-old Nat, too young to suspect a thing, is eager to see the epic Grand Canyon. But Tom's mood shifts as often as the landscape outside their window, and the kids soon find themselves in increasingly unpleasant and even dangerous situations. Mom's presence seems to recede further with every mile they travel.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Defiant Requiem
Directed by: Doug Shultz

Starring: n/a

DEFIANT REQUIEM tells the remarkable story of Rafael Sch„chter, a brilliant young and passionate Czech opera-choral conductor who was arrested and sent to the concentration camp of Theresienstadt (Terez¡n) in 1941. Under the most brutal of circumstances, and determined to sustain dignity, humanity, and hope within his fellow prisoners, he recruited 150 prisoners and taught them Verdi's Requiem by rote in a dank cellar using a smuggled score, after grueling days of forced labor. They performed on 16 occasions for fellow prisoners, with the last, most infamous performance on June 23, 1944, in front of high-ranking SS officers from Berlin and the International Red Cross to support the charade that the prisoners were well treated and flourishing. The Nazi legacy of brutality is well established, but the Terez¡n legacy is virtually unknown. This documentary highlights how a rare form of courage, hope, and survival sparked an entirely unique method of fighting Nazi oppression, battling the worst of mankind with the best of mankind. 

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Ginger + Rosa
Directed by: Sally potter

Starring: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert

London. 1962. Two teenage girls - Ginger (Elle Fanning) and Rosa (Alice Englert) - are inseparable: they play truant together, discuss religion, politics and hairstyles, and dream of lives bigger than their mothers' frustrated domesticity. But, as the Cold War meets the sexual revolution, and the threat of nuclear holocaust escalates, the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered by the clash of desire and the determination to grow up. 

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Directed by: Ron Morales

Starring: Arnold Reyes, Menggie Cobarrubias

Intense and unpredictable, GRACELAND is the story of family man Marlon Villar, the longtime chauffeur of Manuel Chango a corrupt Filipino politician. One afternoon, while he and his daughter accompany the politician’s daughter home, their car is ambushed in a kidnapping attempt. During the confusion of the ambush, the kidnapping goes horribly wrong and the wrong girl is taken and held for ransom. Marlon is determined to save his daughter, but between the conflicting motives of the kidnappers and Chango, Marlon is forced into a terrible downward spiral. As events unfold, Marlon, Chango, and their families are forced into a game of deceit and betrayal that will leave no one innocent.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Kiss of the Damned
Directed by: Xan Cassavetes

Starring: Josephine de La Baume, Milo Ventimiglia

Beautiful vampire Djuna (Josephine de La Baume) tries to resist the advances of the handsome, human screenwriter Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia), but eventually gives in to their passion. When her troublemaker sister Mimi (Roxane Mesquida) unexpectedly comes to visit, Djuna's love story is threatened, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered...

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Love and Honor
Directed by: Danny Mooney

Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Austin Stowell

When young soldier Dalton Joiner (Austin Stowell, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) finds out that his girlfriend Jane (Aimee Teegarden, Friday Night Lights) back home has dumped him, he vows to sneak out of Vietnam during his one-week leave to win her back. His best friend Mickey Wright (Liam Hemsworth, The Hunger Games) will do anything to help his buddy out as long as there might be a few girls along the way. In just seven days they must get to the States, change Jane s mind and make it back to the war without getting caught. But when they arrive stateside they find Jane and her beautiful, committed activist friend Candace (Teresa Palmer, Warm Bodies) at the heart of the anti-war movement. Now the young soldiers must make some life changing decisions as they spend a week learning the truth about love, honor and commitment. Set against the backdrop of the landmark summer of 1969, LOVE AND HONOR is a heartwarming romantic drama featuring a passionate young cast.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Vehicle 19
Directed by: Mukunda Michael Dewil

Starring: Paul Walker

A recently paroled man unwittingly picks up the wrong rental vehicle, having just got off a long haul flight. He soon realizes that he is the target of an entire police force that will use any means necessary to stop him and the tied up female "passenger" he discovers in the trunk, from getting to the courthouse to testify against top-to-bottom local corruption.

Release Date: 23rd July 2013

Welcome to the Punch
Directed by: Eran Creevy

Starring: Mark Strong, James McAvoy

Three years ago, master criminal Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong, Sherlock Holmes, Zero Dark Thirty) escaped London during a daring robbery that left detective Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy, X-Men: First Class, Wanted) physically and emotionally scarred. When a failed heist puts Sternwood s son in a hospital, the fugitive is forced to come out of hiding giving Max his second chance to get the one criminal who got away. But as Max returns to the pursuit of his arch-nemesis, he begins to uncover evidence of a vast conspiracy that may put him in even greater danger than his personal vendetta.  From executive producer Ridley Scott, WELCOME TO THE PUNCH is a sleek, modern thriller co-starring Andrea Riseborough (W.E., Shadow Dancer) and Peter Mullan (Tyrannosaur, War Horse).

Release Date: 23rd July 2013