Tag Archives: romance

Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 2

Day 2

It’s day 2 of my blog tour and today you can read an excerpt from Living Like A Vampire on the B for Bookreview blog by Els from Belgium (Hi, southern neighbor! Yes, I still feel I’m a Dutchie sometimes :D). You’ll have to scroll down a bit as I’m the third book mentioned by Els. Did I mention she likes to read, a lot?!

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The excerpt is the moment when Kate, Sue, and Charlie are hiding in the cabin on the campground. There is a false sense of security as they still haven’t met any suckers themselves. After Kate had the first night shift (just to be on the safe side), she decides to sleep in the top bunk bed, above Charlie when Sue has taken up the whole of the queen bed with her long legs. Kate’s presence surprises Charlie in the morning.

The sequence was an important moment for me. It was the first time the story began going in a completely different route than I had planned. Charlie was supposed to be the comic relief, not a love interest. But it was so much fun to write about the interaction between Kate and Charlie that they began to do their own thing. Before I knew it, Charlie became love interest #2!

So, head over to B for Bookreview and read the fun bit about Kate and Charlie!

And a big thank you, Els, for being part of my Blog Tour!


Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 1

Day 1

My Blog Tour has started, and what a great start with this lovely review by Joyful Antidotes!

Living Like A Vampire by Jacky Dahlhaus is the first part of the Suckers trilogy. It centers around Kate, a school teacher who has just begun her new job and suburban dream life. However, a virus that turns people into vampires is rapidly spreading and packs of vampires are killing everyone in sight. Kate has to pretend to be one of them to stay alive, which is further complicated when she accidentally bumps into a handsome sucker.

Yes, I agree, vampire books/films/TV shows have been a bit overdone – but give this one a chance. There is something rather unique about it that I enjoyed. The story has its own take on vampires but gives homage to past versions, even a cheeky little nod toward Twilight. Thrown into the mix is somewhat of a more advanced, smarter zombie apocalypse (without the zombies) and the result is a book really worth reading.

The language of Living Like A Vampire matches the plot: eerie and tense. Even though one would expect it, I didn’t see the ending of this book coming, nor some of the things that happened throughout. Therefore, I was always on edge and eager to move ahead to the next chapter. Likewise, the pace of the story was perfect and never had me feeling too rushed or longing for more information.

Kate is the main character in Living Like A Vampire but while she is likable and interesting, it was more what she brought to the story rather than her personality that I enjoyed most, if you catch my drift. Through the inclusion of Kate, the author touched in a number of themes. Of course, there is the idea of what exactly a person would go through to stay alive, but we also see the close bond of friendship (between Kate, Charlie and Sue) and the age-old problem of being attracted to the “bad boy” rather than the loyal, reliable option.

Finally, we have the vampire themselves, or “suckers” as they are called in this book. The vampires are complex creatures, some cruel like we expect from the creature but others more like Angel, the vampire with a soul. This added an additional layer of depth to the book and one which I would have enjoyed reading more about.

Overall, loved this book! I’m looking forward to part two already.

Thanks so much for participating in my Blog Tour, and I’m extremely happy you loved reading Living Like A Vampire!


Meet the Author… Terri Reid

October is the month of Halloween, so I’m hoping to be featuring writers of spooky stories this month. I recently I’ve had the pleasure of following Terri Reid on Twitter. Her books sparked an interest with me as I always had a love for the paranormal, and I’m sure Terri has a few good stories about it to tell. Check out her own story and the multitude of books that she has written which will send shivers down your spine.

Terri Reid

Terri_Reid

Biography

Terri Reid has been telling ghosts stories since she was a toddler. Her mother tells of a time when two-year old Terri would sit in her highchair, look past her mother into the dark back porch and say, “Look. Man.” When her mother would turn in horror, Terri would laugh delightedly.
She lives in the same area of the United States as her Mary O’Reilly character, Northwest Illinois. She lives on five acres of rolling land in a 100 year-old farmhouse, with her husband, children, dogs, cats and several dozen chickens (well, the chickens live in the barn.)
Her background is in marketing and public relations, but she has always enjoyed telling stories. For a while, she worked as a freelance journalist for the local paper and wrote the Halloween feature for many years, collecting as many local ghost stories as she could. She gave her collection of local ghost stories to the local historical society to use as a fundraiser, they are now in their third printing.

How has your environment & upbringing colored your writing?

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I come from a large Irish family – I have two sisters and five brothers – and we all loved to gather together and tell stories. Whether it was an amusing situation we’d encountered that day or a scary, paranormal experience that had happened the night before, we loved besting each other with our tales. I also have a mother who always loved to read, and she would read to us at night. I think that was probably the seed that grew into my love of books.

What do you love most about the writing process?

I love watching the story unfold in front of me during the writing process. First, the surprise when your plot changes in front of you and suddenly, organically, the story becomes something different from what you’d originally imagined. The characters take control and lead you to where they want to go. And then when you find yourself laughing out loud at something a character just said or sobbing uncontrollably when a character you love dies – it pulls on all of your heart strings. It’s probably the best therapy ever invented.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

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I love this question! I think I would choose an owl. Sometimes an owl is considered a creature of the night, it can be portrayed as something mysterious or spooky. But, in many cases, it’s a friendly and beloved creature, like Owl in Winnie the Pooh. JK Rowling characterized owls as loyal and dependable. We have some owls in the forest beyond our home. At night, I can hear them calling to one another, a lonely sound that floats across the sky. Who? They ask. Who? Who? Who? Perhaps that’s the curiosity of the author spelled out by their spirit animal, especially when the author writes mysteries.

Do you outline or just write?

I read once that Jim Butcher had all his Dresden Files book outlined on a spreadsheet, so he knew exactly what was going to happen when. That really depressed me. Until, I read Stephen King’s book “On Writing” and discovered that Stephen King is a seat-of-his-pants writer. Whew! So am I. I do jot down notes about the main ideas I want to try and cover in the chapters I’m planning on writing that day, but that’s as far as it goes. If I wrote an outline, I’d end up throwing it away by the fifth chapter. My characters never go where I want them to go.

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

Terri_Reid_GhostGravesGroves

I just published a book, along with my friend, Ophelia Julien, about true ghost stories. Normally, I write paranormal mysteries, but I have found that people with real ghost stories are attracted to books about ghosts and they are always willing to share a story or two. Ophelia and I have both been blessed(?) to have paranormal experiences of our own. So, we combined our own experiences and some stories shared with us and wrote “Ghosts, Graves, and Groves.” It’s the perfect book for a dark, autumn night.

Generally, my books are about either paranormal mysteries, which can include ghosts, witches or the fae. Or they are fantasy stories. I love digging into the unknown. I love the idea that there’s much more out there than we understand. You will also find in my books, the underlying theme that family and friends are vital to our existence. And that faith, hope and love can conquer anything.

Are you working on another book? What are your current projects? Can you give us a small teaser?

Right now, I’m juggling far too many projects. Every year, at Halloween, I put out a short story called “Tales Around the Jack O’Lantern.” This will be the fifth year. It’s a collection of fictional ghost stories that the O’Reilly family (the family of Mary O’Reilly the protagonist in the Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery Series) share with each other on Halloween night. Most of the members of the family are police officers, so they offer an interesting take on the supernatural. All of the stories (which are family friendly) will leave you with a little chill up your spine.

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The second book in the Finders Mansion Series is nearly complete. This takes up after the novella “Maybelle’s Secret.” It’s really the further adventures of Mary O’Reilly after the final book, Book 20, in her series.

As soon as I finish that, I’m going to be writing the second book in the Willoughby Witches series. This time, I’m going to be featuring Hazel, who has such a fun personality. I’m really looking forward to finding the right partner for Hazel and seeing if he can keep up with her.

Here’s a teaser of the next Finders Mansion Series:

Stanley raised his hand and Bradley acknowledged it. “Stanley.”

“I’m thinking we need to get more disguises,” he said.

“Disguises?” Bradley asked.

“Darn tootin,” Stanley replied. “Iffen I keep going to folks’ homes with a cashier’s check and saying I’m from a lottery no one ever heerd about, people are gonna get mighty suspicious.”

Alex Boettcher, Stephenson County District Attorney, nodded. “That’s true,” he agreed. “But I don’t know if disguises are really what we need.”

“I brought some with me,” Stanley continued. “So’s you can see.”

He moved his chair back, reached under the table to a shopping bag next to his chair and pulled out an item. Then he bent forward, placed the item on his head and sat up.

“Stanley,” Mary exclaimed, muffling her laughter. “That’s a mask, that’s not a disguise.”

“Same difference,” Stanley said behind the large rubber mask.

“And you look like our president,” Alex added. “I don’t think it’s going to work.”

“Two things,” Stanley said, his voice slightly muffled by the rubber. “First, it was on sale, so I kept expenses low. Second, if anyone was going to be handing out money, it would be him. He’s got plenty.”

“But you don’t sound like him,” Bradley tried to reason.

Stanley pulled the mask off, his face wet with perspiration. “I can get a recording,” he improvised.

“You don’t think someone in a mask of our president giving away thousands of dollars isn’t going to cause a little commotion?” Mary asked.

Stanley sighed. “Well, I ain’t thought of it that way,” he said. “But we gotta do something, if we want to keep this on the down low.”

What writing/publishing wisdom would you bestow upon new writers?

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Write the best story you can – because you only get one chance to make a first impression. Think about it, if you rush this story, but assure yourself that next time you’ll take more time, get an editor, pay for a nicer cover – who is going to give you a second chance? There are too many other books out there to pull your readers away from your work. If they feel that your first book felt incomplete, sloppy, amateurish – what is going to entice them to try you again?

Make sure you offer the very best you have and then, go on to the next book.

What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

I wrote a scene in a book where Mary (a woman who can see and talk to ghosts) is driving home from meeting a little girl ghost who had been abused and killed. The man who killed her had pretended to be a pastor, but he really was a sex-trafficker. Mary has a guardian angel who works with her, his name is Mike. When the little girl saw Mike, she was terrified. To her, Mike represented God and God let the pastor hurt her. So, Mike is in the car with Mary and he asks her something like, “Why did God let her die, Mary? Why didn’t He let an angel come down and save her? He could have done that, why didn’t He?”

Mary turns to him and explains that during her near-death experience (that actually gave her the ability to see and communicate with ghosts) she made one of the hardest decisions that she had ever had to make. She was given the choice to continue to the light or go back and be with her family. She said, “I wanted to go to the light, Mike. But I knew my family needed me, so I came back. God didn’t let her die, Mike. God took her home.”

Terri_Reid_RowansResponsibility

After the book had been published I received am email from a reader. She explained that she was only a little way into the book, but when she’d read this passage, she knew she had to write to me. She and her brother had been very close. She worked with her brother, he had been her boss. One morning, she came into work and found her brother at his desk. He’d been working late and had a heart attack. He was dead. She said that she couldn’t understand why God had taken her brother. He was a good man, he did wonderful things in the community. Then she read my passage and was filled with peace. God didn’t take her brother, He just brought him home. She told me that she knew that God had used me to send a message directly to her. I will always cherish that email.

Anything you would like to say to your readers?

I am so grateful to my readers. I could not do what I love to do without their support and their willingness to take a chance on an indie author. I love that social media has created a vehicle where I get to know my readers, where I can share their successes and their sadness. I feel like my readership is part of my family. And, I am truly blessed with the best readers on the planet. I’ve had other authors comment to me that they’ve never seen readers so loyal and so willing to share my posts and information about my books. I don’t know what I did to deserve them, but I am so grateful they are all part of this great adventure I’m on.

Thank you, Terri, for sharing a bit about your writing with us. It’s intriguing to hear that you have had paranormal experiences. I’ve always been open to them, but so far none have come forward. The only thing I can say is that the house I now live in, a house where teachers used to live, fills me with a happiness that I haven’t found elsewhere. I am home.

If you want to follow Terri Reid, you can do so via the following social media:

Email: author@terrireid.com

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Amazon Author page:

Terri has way too many books for me to put them all in this post. I’ve put a few links of her books in here, but why don’t you guys head over to Terri’s Amazon page and check them all out there!



 

Don’t forget: all my books in the Suckers Trilogy are each now 99c/99p only!


Meet the Author… Sherrie Brown

Sherrie Brown writes time travel romances. I love any sort of travel, but if I could, I’d be traveling to all sorts of times 😀 . And, of course, I love a good romance story as well. Let’s find out how Sherrie got to write her stories.

Sherrie Brown

Sherrie_Brown

Biography

“Sherrie Brown, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I could never answer that question until now. Life for me has never been boring; it has always been an adventure. While serving in the Air Force, I married one of my best friends. I stayed at home to raise our two sons, who married two wonderful women, and one grandson. I have several incredible friends, and I love to travel. My husband and I are now living in Texas.

How has your environment & upbringing colored your writing?

Sherrie_Brown_King RoanMy 6th grade teacher told me (a young girl about 12 years old) that “I would never amount to anything without a dictionary tied around my neck.” Because I had a difficult time spelling and reading out loud. After that happened, I refused to read or write anything that was not required for me to pass my classes in school. I started reading again for enjoyment at the age of 37 when I was introduced to historical romances and then I couldn’t find enough books to read.

If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be/if you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Not to listen to anyone who tells you that you aren’t smart enough. I would have listened, participated and studied more in English class.

Who is the most famous author you have ever met?

I would have to say, Sky Corgan the author of Bully and several other books. We live in the same area and frequently enjoy having lunch together. It is never a competition for us, we write in different genres and she has a huge heart. She is also a wonderful writer, no matter what genre she writes in.

How long have you been writing?

In 2017, a good friend of mine dared me to write a book. Unable to refuse the dare, but still unconfident in my ability, I wrote my first book, The Dreams: Will Set You Free by Sherrie Brown. It is a Jane Austen fan fiction (JAFF) based on Pride and Prejudice. To my surprise it sold and during that series I wrote in my first, time traveler into the 2nd book. This created my love of writing, because I could decide what I wanted in the story and how I wanted the characters to act. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop so I wrote 3 books in The Dreams: Series and 3 in The Eternal Knot Series in one year. Book 4 has taken longer because I was sick for a few months.

Music or silence?

Definitely Music! I put in my earbuds and crank up the music. The type of scene dictates the music I listen to. I listen to rock during most of my writing, especially during a fight scene and I listen to music that is from that specific time or location if I can find it, to help set the mood.

What genre do you consider your book(s)? Have you considered writing in another genre?

Sherrie_Brown_RavenThe Eternal Knot Series by S. Brown is Time Travel Romance – they are not written as one specific genre. They have the element of science-fiction with time travel, but they include a small amount of romance because they are searching for their soulmate. The romantic scenes are kept to a minimum and the storyline focuses on the relationship development. I love writing in this genre, but I started writing with a three-book series in Jane Austen fan fiction (JAFF), titled The Dreams: by Sherrie Brown.

Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I wrote The Eternal Knot series, so it can be read in any order or only certain ones and still be able to enjoy. This series has a main event connecting them together and is included in each book. Each book tells about the events and journey related to one of nine women, who are in possession of a special necklace.

Are you working on another book?

Yes, I am working on book 4 – MacKenzie: Time Travel. This one is set in 1717 with Irish Pirates. MacKenzie (Mac) is a security guard who begins to question her career and what is fair related to the law when she interrupts a robbery at her job. When everything she thought about her father growing up is revealed to be a lie; she questions who she is. Traveling to Ireland, Mac finds herself on a 1717 Pirate ship, and must decide if those who break the law are always bad. Will she ever break the law or risk her life, for someone she loves?

When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I have a basic outline on each character. However, it is easier if I create my book cover before I write. Then I can write descriptions about my lead character that corresponds with the picture. As for their personalities, they develop as I write. Anytime I plan for something they hijack the story and it goes in a whole different direction, so I follow the lead they give me.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Sherrie_Brown_SamanthaMy toughest criticism came with my first book. I released it without allowing anyone to edit or proof read it. I had a large amount of errors and should never have been published, but I was too afraid to tell anyone other than the person who dared me to write it. I had a reader tell me that her Labrador Retriever (dog) could write better than I could. I cried and wasn’t going to write anything ever again. However, my friend Sky Corgan, convinced me to get the book edited and release it again. She told me that most authors have a bad review sometime in their career and I need to learn from it, so I can be a better writer.

Wow! It’s amazing to hear that your teacher had such negative influence on your reading and the fact that you proved him so wrong! It’s great to hear real-life stories like these. And I hear you about planning your stories. My characters have a habit of not following instructions either 😀 .

Where can we find you online?

Email: authorsherriebrown@att.net

Website

Twitter

Facebook (friend me)

Facebook  (follow me)

Amazon Author page

Books2Read.com

All Sherrie Brown’s books in The Eternal Knot series are available as eBook and in paperback. Don’t forget it’s under the name S. Brown, not Sherrie Brown (as her non-time-travel romances are under that name).


 


Book Trailer for Killing A Vampire – Update

I finally had some time to update the trailer for Killing A Vampire! Well, I had to as it was in my pre-order form for the Darker Side of Fiction book fair, and I had to hand the form in 😀 . I still haven’t finalized the form as I need to figure out what the price for the Prequel and my Short Shockers books are. For this, I need to upload them on IngramSpark first. So I’m working my ass off to get this done! In the meantime, enjoy the trailer again!

What To Watch? I Am Dragon

If you didn’t get your romantic fix during your summer holiday, don’t worry. You can get it when watching this fantastic (literally 😀 ), Russian movie I found on Amazon!

I Am Dragon

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Cast

The first thing that strikes you is how well the two main characters have been chosen.

Maria Poezzhaeva plays Miroslava (Mira), the girl who gets taken by the dragon. Although she was twenty-six years old when the movie was made (in 2015), she looked about fourteen which I think would be a believable age to be married in a fantasy medieval Russian setting.

My favorite of the movie is, however, Matvey Lykov as Arman. I had to look him up, to see if he plays in other movies. I was not surprised to find out he’s actually a model. He is in two other movies, Peterburg: A Selfie, a Russian movie, and Woodkid: Iron which is a French movie but English spoken. I hope to see him in more movies to come. This man’s body is fantastic. He is so skinny and sinewy. A perfect match to the dragon!

The two of them together is magic on screen. At first I thought Maria’s performance was a bit ‘wooden,’ but soon you get swept away by the chemistry between the two.

Next to these two, there are Stanislav Lyubshin as Prince (Miroslava’s father), Ieva Andrejevaite as Yaroslava (Miroslava’s sister), and Pyotr Romanov as Igor (the groom).

Matvey Lykov as Arman
Matvey Lykov as Arman

Plot

In the past, girls to be wed were offered to the dragon. The people would sing a song to accompany the ritual during which the dragon would come and take one girl away.

Two generations ago, the betrothed of the girl taken didn’t take no for an answer, went after the dragon, and killed it (although his bride-to-be had already perished).

Now, Mira is betrothed to Igor, the grandson of the dragonslayer. For years, the dragon song hasn’t been sung, but Igor insists the song is sung again to honor his heritage. To everybody’s surprise another dragon shows up and takes Mira.

Will Igor get Mira back?

What I liked about I Am Dragon

The best thing about this movie is that it takes you away into this other world and you feel the yearning of two loved ones who cannot be together. Credit to Indar Dzhendubaev, on his directing debut.

Even though the movie was 85% CG, the setting was incredibly real, and I never felt some of it was fake. Okay, sensibility tells you it can’t be real (like the waterfall at the top of the ‘mountain’), but it looked and felt real! Especially the dragon looked as real as it can get. What more does one want?

Mira and the dragon
Mira and the dragon

What I didn’t like about I Am Dragon

As mentioned earlier, Maria’s performance felt a bit fake at the start of the movie, but she soon gets into her role.

Summary

This is a movie for the whole family although probably not too young kids as some scenes may be scary/threatening. Even though there are ‘naked’ shots (without genitalia shown), at no point was there any embarrassment necessary for it.

The film is about tradition, arrogance, true love, and standing up for yourself. DON’T watch the trailer as it gives away way too much! Instead, let yourself be swept away by the dragon…

I am Dragon
I am Dragon

PS: I cried in the end, so keep the tissues ready!

BookFunnel Giveaway!

Dragon_Deals_Giveaway.pngIn the mood for some paranormal romance? Why not pick one of the Amazing FREE Paranormal Romance Novels and Novellas from this Dragon Deals Giveaway (including Living Like A Vampire!)?

Click here to take your pick!

This giveaway ends July 21, so hurry!

Living Like A Vampire
Living Like A Vampire; Book 1 in the paranormal Suckers Trilogy full of romance and suspense, by Jacky Dahlhaus

Great 5 Star Reviews!

I am so happy to receive reviews for my books. Today, I received two and they are both five star reviews. It’s hard to stay in my seat! 😀

This first one is from Ingrid for Book 1, Living Like A Vampire:

Ingrids_Review

The second is from Sandra for Book 3, Raising A Vampire:

Sandras_Review

Thank you so much, Ingrid and Sandy! You made my day!

via GIPHY

Killing A Vampire is ON SALE!

For three days only, Killing A Vampire is for sale on Amazon for $0.99! Grab your copy before the price goes up!

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What To Watch? The Shape of Water

This weekend we had a double whammy and went to see The Shape of Water first and The Greatest Showman straight after. Both were great movies. I actually don’t like singing in movies, so I’m not going to discuss the latter here. I do love a good romance story, so The Shape of Water it is.

The Shape of Water

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Cast and Plot

This story plays in 1962 Baltimore when racism is the norm and homosexuality is still a taboo. Elisa Esposito (played by Sally Hawkins) is a woman who lives above a movie theatre and works as a cleaning lady in a secret government laboratory. Her neighbor, Giles (played by Richard Jenkins), is a homosexual artist, trying to make a living with his drawings. Elisa is mute. She appears to have been found as a child with strange scars in her neck like someone scratched her.

When an aquatic creature (played by Doug Jones) is brought into the facility, Elisa forms a bond with it. She is delighted to have found someone like her, someone who can’t talk, and she spends her lunchtimes with the creature. The agent in charge of the creature, Colonel Richard Strickland (played by Michael Shannon), is a very cruel man and delights in torturing it. The Russian scientist studying the creature (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) notices the bond between the creature and Elisa and realizes it is an intelligent being. He tries everything in his power to make his superiors see this without spilling the beans on Elisa.

What I liked

This is a wonderfully romantic story about an outcast who becomes a hero and finds true love. Who doesn’t like a story where this happens? The fact that is was nominated so many times probably has something to do with the fact that the movie puts a spotlight on all sort of social taboos; masturbation, homosexuality, racial discrimination, and physical disabilities. The fact that it plays in 1962 only highlights that a lot still needs to change.

I like the casting of the actors. They weren’t perfect, yet beautiful. In other words, not a typical Holywood cast. Michael Shannon was a particular well-cast actor, and I think we’re going to see more of him on the big screen.

I liked that Doug Jones, who played the creature, also played Abe Sapien in Hellboy, one of my favorite movies. The creatures aren’t the same, yet their likeness was the first thing that sprung to mind when I saw the creature for the first time (before I knew Doug Jones played both roles). Loved, loved, loved the outfit!

Abe Sapien from Hellboy vs. The Creature in The Shape of Water
Abe Sapien from Hellboy vs. The Creature in The Shape of Water

What I didn’t like

Even though it is a very romantic story, I missed something. Maybe it was the short time dedicated to the build-up of the romance, I don’t know. Questioning logistics issues, explained too late, took me out of the story sometimes. And of course the WTF-moments that always seems to happen. I can accept fantasy logic, but I won’t accept things that they pretend can happen in this physical world. It just isn’t possible from a earthly-scientific point of view. You can take the girl out of science, but you can’t take the science out of the girl 🙂

Summary

All in all a bloody good movie for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Romance, and Thriller lovers. Go and see it!