NEW RELEASE: The Sapphire Sacrifice (Gem Apocalypse Book Three) by Ravyn Rayne

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The Sapphire Sacrifice

Author: Ravyn Rayne

Series: Gem Apocalypse Book Three

Publisher: Blushing Books

Genre: Dystopian, Romantic Erotica


detail_3496_200x300A virus designed to murder Sapphire’s.

No one from Brayleigh saw it coming.

Neither James nor Aria expected four men in a deserted city to attack. Thrown into the back of a van, James is captured by claimers – men that hunt Sapphire’s and bring them into quarantine, where they must settle their debt for treatment. Those that can’t pay off their debt are held in the broker’s quarters until they’re bought by angels, often resulting in slavery, hunting humans, and a host of other horrendous atrocities.

Aria is different. She’s naturally immune, or so she’s told. On a mission to rescue James, she finds herself in danger and quickly learns the power of friendship, commitment, and undying love.

With a taste of age play, spanking, and a master/slave relationship with voyeurism, this dystopian erotic adventure is sure to leave you satisfied.


Amazon | Blushing Books


Five Questions with James

(a character interview for The Gem Apocalypse series)


Of all the places you’ve lived, what is your favorite?

That’s a tough question to answer. I loved Brayleigh, before the uprising. I know it wasn’t a perfect society, but I was happy. It will always be my home as I have fond memories of my childhood growing up at the royal palace.


If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Give me bacon! It’s hard to come by but I absolutely love it.


You’ve had you’re share of women at the royal harem. Any aside from Aria that you’ve loved?

I’ve loved all the women I’ve invited into my home. Who’s to say you can’t love everyone?


Do you prefer dominating or being dominated?

I love to spank Aria. So yes, I prefer to dominate my partner.


Would you ever let Aria spank you?

I wouldn’t bend over and let her spank me, but she can certainly try. I like to remain in charge.




Aria screamed. The air left her lungs, and her cheeks burned red. Sweat trickled down her forehead. Adrenaline pumped through her veins as she fought off their attackers. All four of them were men, a few years older, and they wore black tactical gear. Were they militia? Their eyes were similar with a deep green stoic expression. They could all be brothers.

After the genocide of anyone not a sapphire, a person with blue eyes, Aria had taken notice of eye color. They still couldn’t get past their differences, not a hundred or even a thousand years later. The world always seemed to be at war over something. Besides, she had never met another person with emerald eyes, and now four of them were attacking James and herself. What the hell was going on?

James kicked at the assailant, trying to gain distance between him and the man attacking them, slamming his fist into the assailant’s face. Blood oozed from the man’s nose. Who was he? What did he want with them?

One man grabbed Aria, pinning her arms back, keeping her from stopping the attack on James. Why were they doing this? She attempted to shake the man off her, but his grip tightened. “Let me go!” She stomped hard on the man’s toe and then used her elbow to attack his chest behind her. Breaking free, she headed for James, wanting to help him any way that she could.

James fought two men and Aria ran forward, slamming her knee into the groin of a third assailant.

“Run!” James grabbed her hand and they took off on foot. His hand was wet and gross from the blood caked to his skin. James and Aria were a mess. Thunder rumbled in the distance. The sky a dark murky gray filled with low-lying clouds.

Aria’s heart beat wildly as if it would leap out of her chest. The pain unbearable, but neither of them slowed. Darting through streets and around broken down vehicles, she knew the men were close. She heard the engine of their vehicle one street over.


Grab the The Emerald Virgin and start at the beginning of the series.


9781627509121The Emerald Virgin (Gem Apocalypse #1)

Published: June 19, 2015 by Blushing Books

Emerald – a girl with green eyes and a rarity after the horrific genocide that slaughtered millions.

After the war, King Gideon rose in power. A lust-filled and greedy king that believed in the power of slavery.

At eighteen, women were required to come before King Gideon and his four sons, to offer themselves as a courtesan. The princes took only those they found most attractive and alluring. The rest were returned to their homes with a brand on their wrist proving they had been through the process and rejected. Ignoring the ritual was punishable by death.

Aria Stone had been kept hidden from the princes and the ceremony, because she was an Emerald. At twenty-three, the royal guards storm her home, murder her mother, and drag her to court. She must face the four princes.

A dystopian erotic adventure.

Now available on Kindle Unlimited! Borrow for FREE or purchase on Amazon



“Your guards murdered my mother, dragged and drugged me from my home. Anything else you wish to know?” Aria asked, short-tempered.
James stepped close enough to feel his breath against her cheek. “I can see your reluctance to be here, but I assure you no harm will come to you, Aria.”
It was hard to believe him given the circumstances. Aria crossed her arms defensively. She didn’t say a word. There was nothing to say that would please him and make her happy. She wouldn’t lie or pretend to care about him when anger ebbed away at her and boiled in her blood. Not when he made Aria think of her mother and asked her about what happened, as if he pretended to care. Unlike the other women here looking for something, she just wanted her freedom returned. Pretending eluded her.




The Amber Voyeur (Gem Apocalypse #2)9781627509824

Published: July 20, 2015 by Blushing Books

No longer safe in Brayleigh, Aria and James travel by ship to find refuge and discover what’s left of the world.

Dangerous seas and pirates lurking are only the start of their troubles. Forced off the boat with nothing but the clothes on their back, the crew and passengers make it to a nearby island, only to be abducted by the Knight Tribe, a clan of romantic warriors with a voyeuristic culture and a taste for nightly entertainment.

Get swept away in this dystopian erotic adventure, brimming with romance, spankings, and betrayal.

Now available on Kindle Unlimited! Borrow for FREE or purchase on Amazon




“Hey!” Aria shouted, not that it did anything to stop their fighting.
“Enough!” James’s voice echoed in the confined space.
The men let go of one another and stood, dusting off the dirt caked to their skin.
A gentleman with red hair and blue eyes stepped toward Aria. He’d been one of the three fighting, a crewmember on the ship. “Do you know what they’re having us do?” he asked.
“No,” Aria said, glancing back at the die lying on the floor. Aria rolled the large die slightly with her hand. It stood up to her waist in height, though it felt lighter than it looked. She’d never seen a die quite so large. Who made it?
“The festival tonight is entertainment for the commander and the tribe. She’s choosing two from the pit and they’ll have to do whatever the die says.”
Aria swallowed nervously as she further examined the giant die. One side showed two people battling with swords. Aria frowned, turning the die onto another side, it revealed a pictograph of two men with guns in a shoot-out. That wouldn’t end well for someone. Her heart skipped a beat, and she rolled the die onto another side, covering her lips in surprise. Was that a paddle? Her cheeks burned and she took a step back from the die.
James didn’t appear nearly as affected as Aria from the news. He stepped forward, resting his hand on her lower back. “Do we know who has been elected for the festival?”
Kali shook her head. “The commander chooses two worthy opponents from the pit of invaders and mainlanders. Seeing as how the mainlanders have assimilated or died,” Kali said, clearing her throat, “it’s safe to say that one of you that has not been chosen by a tribe member, will be selected.”


B&W close up portrait of a passionate couple


Ravyn’s Available Books

burning desire by ravyn rayne

Dating Wars by Ravyn Rayne





sapphire sacrifice

An Interview with the Author


What can we expect next from you?

About twice a month, you can anticipate a new release! In September, I’ve got quite a few books coming out, including Hot-Blooded Lust (Federal Agent Chronicles 3) and Grave Misfortune. There’s also talk of releasing The Courtesan Slave Trade series in September. It’ll be a busy month. I hope you love reading.


What book are you writing right now?

Well, it’s currently untitled. (I have a few working titles but I’m not sure any of them fit it perfectly). It’s a romantic dystopian erotica with a very edgy twist. I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of August. Right now I’m about 7k words in to the story, and I have a very busy month.


When do you typically decide the title for a book?

After the book is written or perhaps when it’s about 2/3rd’s completed. By then I’m usually writing up the book blurb at the same time and working on the title or series name.


Can you tell us about your next upcoming event?

I’ll be speaking at the Passionate Pen Conference in Arlington, Virginia beginning August 27th. It’s hosted by Blushing Books and Lazy Day Publishing.


About the Author

Ravyn RayneRavyn is a sassy, fun-loving, and adventure-seeking young woman. She loves to travel and can’t wait for her next vacation,
Ravyn writes romantic erotica. She began writing romance novels in college, spending her down time either reading a book or writing fiction. Please don’t make her choose between the two, she loves them equally.wherever it might be.
Currently on schedule to publish two books a month through Blushing Books, Ravyn is incredibly prolific. Her series include: Federal Agent Chronicles, Palace Secrets, and Gem Apocalypse. She is also writing a spin-off series to Gem Apocalypse, titled Courtesan Slave Trade. Her goal is to write two romance novels per month. She has been published professionally since 2013. You can find her young adult books here.


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BOOK BLITZ: Nacreous by Sarah Elle Emm

~ Release Day Blitz ~
About the Book:
After two members of The Freedom Front are arrested and interrogated by the UZTA’s tyrannical President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends face the alarming reality that their plans to liberate the mixed zones across the United Zones of The Authority might not come to fruition. While the resistance movement is growing outside the walls of the zones, the president’s forces are strengthening and putting citizens everywhere in more peril than ever. When Rain receives warnings that her cousin, Calista, has agreed to support plans to kill the mixed zones, and that her life could be on the line at the upcoming pure zone initiation ceremony, she must decide where her loyalties lie and if all of her allies can be trusted. As The Freedom Front use their abilities to unravel the mystery of the ceremony, The Authority captures some of their friends, forcing TFF to either go into hiding, or plan a rescue mission that could jeopardize everything they’ve been fighting for.

Buy NOW from Amazon –

Hooray, it is finally release day for Nacreous! Thanks for stopping by the fabulous Release Day Blitz, organized by b00k r3vi3w Tours. To kick off the blitz, here are a couple of “Fun Facts” about my writing process… I hope you enjoy!

Writing Playlist:

So…Music. Some authors swear by it. They have their playlist set in the background while they pen their latest manuscript. Me? Not exactly. Music is very important to me. I believe in dance parties, and by dance parties I mean cranking up my I-pod to the music fitting my mood, be this salsa, classic rock, blues, country, classical, whatever, and dancing alone in my room or kitchen. (Yes, I said classical and country in the same list). My kids may or may not be in attendance. They like to watch and laugh. Sometimes, they join in. But as far as my writing process goes, the music is sort of my warm up. So I might turn on some music that fits my mood for parts of the story and listen to it in my car or at my desk before I write, but not while I am actually writing. I need it to be quiet in the room, so I can tell the story…(Ahem, hear what my characters are trying to tell me). ;) While I wrote Nacreous, and the other books in the Harmony Run Series, my favorite music warm-up to set the mood was Lorde. Specifically, the songs Team and A World Alone. In fact, if any of the books from my series could be made for film, I would beg producers to include one of those songs in the movies.

My Writing Process:

I can’t sit down and force myself to write everyday because it begins to feel too mechanical, but I am definitely one of those people who thinks about writing, story ideas, characters, scenarios all of the time, awake or asleep. I love using my dreams in my writing and have written a few of them into scenes in the Harmony Run Series. Back in college, the good ol’ stone ages, I had one of the most terrifying dreams of my life about a man with a triangular-shaped eye chasing me down a corridor, one door after the other, with this woman’s voice echoing all around us, telling him to kill me. When I got to the end of the corridor, I opened the last door, and he was standing there facing me. I woke up sobbing…About a year later, a psychology professor at my university asked some of us to share dreams with him so he could demonstrate dream analysis. I bravely raised my hand, (this was huge for me, since I am very shy in person), and shared my dream in vivid detail. After I finished talking, the entire class got eerily quiet and the professor told me I was dealing with issues beyond his realm of help, and went on to the next student’s dream. That student shared a dream about not being able to make a goal in a soccer match, and the professor dissected his dream in depth for fifteen minutes. Years later, I incorporated that dream, adding on some twists and turns of course, into book one from the Harmony Run Series, Prismatic. 

I also come up with ideas when I’m looking out of the kitchen window, when I’m walking, driving, cooking, gardening, taking my kids to martial arts, helping with their homework, basically, every waking moment. I take heaps of notes. I jot notes down for days. And when I’m ready, I sit down and type everything I can. I woke up the other night, and grabbed the notebook and pen beside my bed and wrote down an idea for another story. So my writing process is sort of a twenty-four hour thing. Oh, and probably the most important part of the process…How could I forget? My dog, Shorty, has to harass me to sit in my lap throughout the day. She eventually gives up and sleeps at my feet or nearby. She spares me the occasional glance or sighs every so often when I talk too much. Yes, I like to talk aloud to myself more often than not. If that dog could talk…Well, thankfully that’s not an issue. Here’s a photo of my writing pal…

Isn’t she cute? I hope you stick around to read about Nacreous. I’m going to look up that old psychology professor to see if he wants to read my latest book… ;)

Previous Books in the Series:

(Click on the Cover to know more)
About the Author:

Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.

Stalk the Author:
Website I Facebook I Twitter I GoodreadsAmazon Author Page


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COVER REVEAL: Here They Lie (The Bloodstone Legacy #1) by D’Ann Burrow

Here They Lie by D’Ann Burrow

Here They Lie by D’Ann Burrow
(The Bloodstone Legacy #1)
Publication date: October 5th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Southern Gothic
Cover Art by Mae I Design


Reese Everett’s aunt picked a bad time to die.  Just weeks after a car accident left Reese’s mother unable to travel, her aunt’s house needs to be emptied and sold, leaving Reese as the only member of the family who can do the job.  She typically wouldn’t balk at the opportunity to sift through her aunt’s collection of antiques, but when she arrives in Devil’s Vale, Georgia, she discovers the family house in a state of disrepair she won’t be able to handle alone.

Colton Waters is back in Devil’s Vale – whether he likes it or not.  After he loses his acceptance to medical school with no explanation, he’s left with a single job offer…one that will return him to the hometown he’d hoped to escape.
When an errand to help his sister ends in a meeting with Reese neither will easily forget, Colton takes a job as her temporary handyman.

The longer Reese stays in town, the more she realizes the condition of her aunt’s house isn’t the only thing she hadn’t expected when she made the trip to Devil’s Vale.  Reese isn’t the only gifted member of the family – her aunt Kate has been practicing the family business…the business Reese has been sworn never to discuss.

After a ghostly visitor arrives one night, Reese and Colton learn Kate wasn’t the only one practicing the darker arts.  They begin to uncover secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Here They Lie won the Young Adult Romance Writer’s 2014 award for New Adult fiction.



Here They Lie is not yet available for purchase yet.


Author D'Ann BurrowD’Ann Burrow once told her preschool teacher she wanted to be a witch when she grew up. That simple comment signaled the start of a life-long fondness of things that go bump in the night. As she grew older, she could most often be found with her nose buried in a book, and she was especially fond of the Nancy Drew series as well as anything by Christopher Pike or Stephen King. Occasionally she’d take a trip to the world of the classics where The Scarlet Pimpernel and A Little Princess reigned among her favorites. She’s lost count of the times she’s read Little Women.

Today, D’Ann enjoys the world of Supernatural, stories about guys with fangs, and she’s seldom met a disaster film she hasn’t liked. When she grows up, she’d like to work at the Haunted Mansion. Until then, watching Ghost Hunters will have to count as research.

D’Ann writes about secrets people keep. Even the bravest heroine or a guy with a heart of gold has a few skeletons in the closet they’d rather not share with the world. When those secrets get out, things get interesting.

A Texas native, she knows making great guacamole is an art form. As a theater mom, she’ll happily chat about Broadway musicals by the hour. Molly and Lizzie, the family furry ones, are frequent stars of her Instagram account.





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Fear the Walking Dead, Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”

Welcome to the Beginning of the End.

FTWD Pilot Gloria

Welcome to my recaps of Fear the Walking Dead, which I will cover for the six weeks starting today. Many of us have waited for two years for this moment, and now the moment has arrived. Was it worth it? Well . . . let’s see, shall we?

The first three minutes of the pilot have floated around the Internet for a week, so we know the set up: Nick Clark, loser junkie, wakes up in a old church/shooting gallery after having gotten his fix on. He’s looking for Gloria, his junkie girlfriend, but she’s nowhere around. He goes looking, hears screams, finds blood, and eventually find some of his fellow horse fiends who are bleeding from open wounds to the neck. Then he finds Gloria—hey honey, how you doi—oh, fuck! She busy eating some guy’s face, and when she gets up to go after Nick, there’s a knife buried in her torso.

RT: Interesting fact, that sinew between her teeth is actually achieved by using pantyhose soaked in fake blood ;-) But, seriously, how good was the first few minutes?! While I was a bit concerned there would be no “edge of the seat moments” since, ultimately, we know what is coming, I think AMC did a good job of setting up the “fear” element of Fear The Walking Dead rather well.

CF:  I thought the mood was perfect, and it was a call back to the original.  Nick wakes up, looks around, and . . . DEAD INSIDE!  It’s really a homage to TWD, but with a West Coast white trash spin.  It was even pointed out that the part of the face Gloria ate was the same part Teddy Bear Girl was missing.  And they played off the whole “It’s a drug dream” theory, which is Kirkman trolling the fan base.

RT: I totally agree about Kirkman trolling. Missed the homage to Teddy Bear Girl though – thanks for pointing it out :-D

Say what you want to about Nick being a junkie, but the dude isn’t carrying the Idiot Balltm, and when Gloria comes his way, he’s gone, daddy, gone, out a window and down the street as fast as his spindly little legs will carry him—until he gets hit by a car and ends up in the hospital.

Rule Number One: Cardio!

Rule Number One: Cardio!

From there it’s a cut to the Clark Household: Mommy Madison, high school adviser, and Daughter Alicia, high school smart girl ready to blow L.A. and head for college. Add to this mix Travis Manawa, English teacher at the same high school where Madison works, and now live-in boyfriend. He’s divorced and has a son with a chip on his shoulder due to dad splitting on the family. Needless to say, the family dynamic here isn’t that good: at least Travis’ son wasn’t told daddy’s dead.

RT: I was really excited about Madison, until this episode :-( She just came across as a bit too hard-edged to be entirely likable, but, as you pointed out in our conversation earlier, she’s got a shitload on her plate, so I will give her the benefit of the doubt for now. Alicia was exactly what I expected: background noise – until she was gratingly, irritatingly perfect. I can’t WAIT to see her meltdown because she misses out on college. As for Travis, I was pleasantly surprised. In the lead up to FTWD, the actor has done little to win me over. He’s just not as badarse as TWD actors usually are – onscreen and off! But, he’s growing on me. I love the dynamic between him and Nick. The audience just knows Nick is using him because he has given an inch in regards to his “hallucinations” and Travis is just hoping anyone will like him, but I can see a real relationship developing there. As for Nick. He is my fave character at the moment. Flawed, street smart, completely untrustworthy.

CF:  Let’s also remember who was bad-ass in Season 1 of TWD.  Um . . . Glenn?  Not really.  Andrea?  Dale?  Lori?  Even Rick was scared shitless at first, because he didn’t know what to expect.  The only real step up and take it bad asses were Daryl and Shane, and that’s only because of their background.  We’re really seeing college-educated city folk here, and they aren’t that bad in the ass area–yet.  It’s going to be interesting to watch them put their skills to use.  Nick is the best, though:  now if he can just make it through kicking.

All these people show at the hospital, where the cops are getting shit from Nick, and Madison pretty much tells the cops to get the fuck out of the room. Madison’s a wreck: Nick is a stone addict, and he’s never stayed in rehab long. Alicia doesn’t care: her brother—whom she does seem to care for—is an adult, and if he doesn’t want to get clean, that’s his biz. Travis tells her to get to work; he’ll watch Nick and get someone to cover his classes.

It’s once Madison arrives at school that we hear about the “flu” going around. A lot of kids and teachers are out, and one kid, Tobias, tells Madison—after she finds he’s packin’ a blade—that something “else” is going, that people are dying over this. Madison tells him to stay the hell off the Internet, ‘cause it’s full of woo.

RT: I so want Tobias to make it out of this season alive!

CF:  I want to see him pop up, too.

It’s also at high school that we meet Alicia’s boyfriend, an artist painting a mural. They kiss and talk; it’s all so cute. Move along, ‘cause everyone’s still alive.

RT: *cough* zombie fodder *cough*

CF:  I think we’ve called this one.

Nick wakes up, gasping, and he’s freaking out. Travis asks what’s going on, if he had nightmares or hallucinations, and Nick wishes that was what happened. He tells Travis about Gloria: about the score, about nodding off, about how he work up and found her eating a dude’s face. It was all blood and dead people and Gloria eating people, like she was . . . if there was only a word starting with “Z” we could use. Nick really hopes he was high, because the alternative is he’s finally slipped his gears, and that shit ain’t cool.

RT: It was this sort of referencing to the fact they don’t know the “Z” word that I LOVED in this episode. There was some pretty great humour in spots as well as little nuggets of Walking Dead stuff for the fans to look out for, like just knowing that sick guy was a ticking timebomb in the bed next to Nick.

CF:  What we were sort of seeing was what would have happened if Rick had come out of his coma early?  I want to know what happened to the dead guy–he had to turn.

That gets Travis thinking, and he heads over to the church where Nick got high. He’s looking around, finds a scared junkie who freaks and runs off, and some gore that had to of comes from—what’s that Zed word again? Ah, shit: those don’t exist here.

RT: It’s not like the dead can just get up and walk away or anything…

CF:  I didn’t bring this up, but I should have–WHERE THE HELL DID THE DEAD PEOPLE GO?  Like you said, they didn’t just get up and walk away.  Leads me to believe that there are “clean up teams” going around and investigating things.  And stuff.  And shit.  Someone had to come and take care of Gloria and her friends.

RT: Oh, I hadn’t thought of it this way, it would also help account for the fact the school closed so early in the piece too. Although I am totally hoping Gloria will be the recurring zombie of FTWD ;-)

He finds Madison asleep with Nick the next day and hustles her off to school, but not before giving Alicia a few minutes with her brother. You can see she does like him, but when he says he’s done being crazy, she’s not really buying his shit before heading off to school—

—where she ends up behind the football field lights her boyfriend. She’s doing most of the talking, saying she wants to get out, another year and she can blow this joint. She’s talking about getting the hell out of school and how Nick probably won’t stay clean long; all the while the boyfriend is drawing a tat design on her wrist and lets her know he wants to hook up down in Venice. She shows up later, but he’s not there. He’s also not answering her texts. Alicia’s not a happy girl.

“I need a boy who doesn’t stay in the house. Where can I find one?”

At school Madison is roaming the halls while Travis is teaching, and he’s talking about Jack London’s To Build a Fire which, incidentally, I read when I was in high school. Madison and the principal listen in on Travis, and hear the message he’s spinning: in the battle of man against nature, man always gets his ass kicked. Does this mean zombies are natural?

RT: Of course Travis is having this timely lesson at school *rolls eyes*

CF:  The one thing they could have left out.  We get it:  humans are screwed.

Nick cons a nurse into releasing one of his restraints so he can use his bedpan, and fortunately for him, the dude in the bed next to him dies, giving Nick a chance to grab his shit and boogie. Madison and Travis show up a bit later, and Mommy is pissed, but the nurse is all, “Not my problem.” Madison instantly starting thinking about places her junkie son might go, and she wants to visit the shooting gallery that Travis earlier told her about.

RT: Here, let me remove one velcro restraint and leave the room of the junkie who doesn’t want ot be here. What could possibly go wrong? How rattled was that nurse though when Madison and Travis show up though?

CF:  I’m not going to say she would have stood there and watched him, because I don’t know the nursing situation in L. A. hospitals, but I would have imagined there would have been a “Watch this asshole” marker on his file.  Maybe it is a drug hallucination!

RT: *shakes her fist at Kirkman*

“I don’t know what Nick sees in this place–it’s so dead.”

The arrive and go inside. There are no bodies here, no scared junkies, nothing. Madison is loosing it, and they get in the truck and go to see Calvin, who was Nick’s friend and obviously a former student. He doesn’t know where Nick is, but he can make some calls—

RT: Hmmm… nice car and clothes you have there Cal. How did you pay for all those…

CF:  Next thing you’re gonna tell me is high school chemistry teachers are cooking meth

Speaking of which Nick is wandering the streets with a fresh burner phone and a place to crash under a bridge. Meanwhile Travis and Madison are still out on the streets looking for said Burner Phone Cowboy. They go to exit the freeway, but there’s a backup, and police, and helicopters . . . It’s L.A. for sure. But there’s way too much activity, and there’s gunshots in the distant—Sheriff Rick is in town? Travis busts a move out of there, ‘cause he’s got a beater truck and gives no fucks about jumpin’ curbs.

RT: I loved how prevalent the sound of sirens were throughout this episode. Even at the start there was a lot of them, letting the audience know that shit was about to get real.

CF:  It lets you know you’re in a city AND something’s happening in the background.

By morning school is like a ghost town because so many kids are out with the flu. But everyone is watching leaked video from some stuff that went down the night before, the stuff that Travis and Madison heard, and—hey, dead guy biting a paramedic! Being it’s L.A. the cops first beat his ass and then shoot him—and up he gets once more! Travis says this is what Nick was talking about; everyone else thinks it’s more Internet bullshit.

RT: This was my major gripe with this episode, it just felt like panic set in a little too soon. I just don’t think the school would close early on account of leaked Internet footage. Although, I guess once people started dying and getting up, civilisation would have gone down pretty quickly.

CF:  I got the idea that the school was running on empty, and they might have been dealing with calls from parents as well.  It did seem crazy, though, and . . . was someone else giving the order to close?  We’ll find out.

Alicia is pissed and texting her boyfriend from class—YOU BETTER B DEAD she sends, and way to jinx his ass, ‘cause he’s probably Walker Chowtm by now. Feel better? She and two other girls are watching the leaked footage, and up close and personal they watch the dude getting shot, and BOOM! Straight up round the head—as one girl said, “Head shot, bitch.” Right then the school is let out for the rest of the day ‘cause most of the kids and teachers are out sick.

Nick has been making calls and finally gets through to his dealer. He heads to a cafe and there the dude is . . . and it’s Calvin. When Madison and Travis spoke with him, he looked like he was straight out of the cast of Book of Mormon, but right now he looks like the poster child for Thug Life. Calvin’s pissed ‘cause Nick’s mom was around looking for him, and he can’t have that. Nick gives no shits about that—what he wants to know is what was in the shit you sold me, Calvin? There was a fuckin’ blood bath, Gloria was killing people . . . Calvin calls bullshit, and doesn’t like the insinuation that Junkie Nick is accusing him of selling tainted meat—I mean, heroin. Sorry, I was on the wrong zombie coast for a moment. Calvin’s not letting Nick go, because the last thing he wants is word getting out about this freak out, so he asks him if he’s hurting. Nick says it’s been a couple of days since his last fix, so Calvin lets him know he’s gonna get him well—

RT: I so wanted some sort of Breaking Bad reference here. AMC needs to life their game if they want that “Breaking Bad started the zombie apocalypse” rumour to stick…

CF:  Sky Blue better show or I’ll be disappointed.

“You can totally trust me, dude. I sell you drugs, don’t I?”

—By taking him to the L.A. River to fix him up. And by “fix him up” I mean put a couple of rounds in the back of Nick’s skull. Nick isn’t going down without a struggle, and in the process Calvin gets ventilated. Once more Nick scoots.

A while later he’s having a smoke and waiting for Travis, but Mom’s along for the ride, too. He tells them he killed Calvin, and takes them to see the body which—hey, there was a body here? Where’d it go? Nick’s freaking out again, Madison’s holding him, Travis is backing the truck down the tunnel leading from the river to the street, and there’s something walking towards them. It’s Calvin! Hey, dude, you’re looking a little, um, dead, you know. He tries to bite Madison and Travis, and while they try to figure out what to do next, Nick runs Calvin’s ass over! Better than a crossbow! Calvin gets up again, and Nick runs him over again, eventually dumping his drug dealing ass next to the river. All three stand next to the truck and watch the body . . . and Calvin is still moving, minus a lower jaw. But just like a Timex watch, he’s taken a lickin’ and is still tickin’.

How does Madison respond to this? “What the hell’s happening?” Humm . . . If only there were something like a television show or a comic that could explain this—

Maybe next week we’ll find out.

Final Notes:

A few negative reviews have bitched about the slowness of the plot, how we didn’t see a lot of zombies. Last night was known as “character building” and let us wait for the next few episodes to air before deciding if we’re back at the Greene Farm, the West Coast version.

RT: I am a big fan of the “character building” episodes on TWD, so this episode was totally up my alley. Plus, if we see nothing but zombies, then we’ve obviously started the series too late once again ;-)

CF:  I thought the pacing was fine and not slow.  As someone who likes to write good characterization, I hate it when someone pulls out the “going to slow” argument.  This ain’t The Walking Dead; let’s get to know everyone before you go all in with the zombies.

RT: My point EXACTLY. If there is no character development then how are we supposed to care when they are stupidly killed in a hospital?

The Cast:

Madison Clark — Kim Dickens
Travis Manawa — Cliff Curtis
Nick Clark — Frank Dillane
Alicia Clark — Alycia Debnam-Carey

Liza Ortiz — Elizabeth Rodriguez
Christopher Manawa — Lorenzo James Henrie

Daniel Salazar— Ruben Blades
Griselda Salazar — Patricia Reyes Spindola
Ofelia Salazar — Mercedes Mason

Fear the Walking Dead airs in the US on AMC at 9 PM EDT.

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Humans, Season 1, Episode 8: Sapiens Qui Prospicit

After eight weeks, we come to the end of the line for both the Hawkins and Elster families, and the end of Season 1 of Humans. After all this time, what have we learned? A great deal, it turns out, and the feeling that some of the most inhuman beings in the show were born and not made—

RT: I always suspected with this show we would always turn out to be the greater of the two evils :-/  CF:  I believe you always have to count on humans being complete dicks most of the time.  And when it comes to having someone who we view as “non-human” do all our work for us, we don’t have a great track record.

While Hobb has all of the Elster family in containment—including Karen, who is watching everything from the sidelines—we watch the police going over the Hawking house with a fine toothed comb. They’re gathering as much evidence as they can and taking any recording/storage device the family owns. This isn’t setting well with Laura, and her Lawyer Feelings are twitching like mad, because she knows this whole operation is bullshit, the police are pretty much jackbooting all over them.

But the boss shows up, and he’s there just in time to get braced by DS Pete, who’s still sort of reeling from what happened with Karen. He tells the boss he wants to meet with Hobb, but is pretty much told to piss off and shut up. Inside the Hawkins home the boss is getting reamed by Laura, while Mattie is going, “You have no idea what you’ve got, do you?” on him.  Pete’s boss gives zero shits about what he has or doesn’t have, and offers the obligatory “You got a nice place here; be a shame if something happened” crap to shut everyone up.

Laura has really gone from zero to hero in the last few episodes, however, and she hauls the family off to tell them they need to go public with what they know. Unfortunately, all they have is that root code that no one will understand—oh, and yeah: Matter remembers there’s a laptop out in a police van that has Leo’s downloaded memories.

RT: That was handy…  CF:  They found the laptop at Deus ex Machina R Us.

But who comes to the rescue but DS Pete! He’s like, Hey, I hear these special synths can actually feel . . . Before he can swap stories of fast and not so great robot sex with Joe, Pete helps Mattie and Toby get access to the van where the laptop in question is kept. They get it and all three take off like it’s no big thing.

Back in Hobb Lab of Terror, Hobb is getting ready to wipe the synths, something he relates to Karen. Leo, Fred, Niska, and Mia all try to link in order to get Max back on-line, but it’s bingo conciseness. Mia figures it out: they’re not all linked together, and we know who they’re missing . . .

But all that fun is interrupted when the big wigs who seem to be bankrolling The Hobb Show arrive and want to know what the hell is going on. Hobb shows them by bringing in Fred, and showing that he, while still thinking and feeling, can’t hurt him. Hobb basically wants to continue with David Elster’s work, only he wants his thinking, feeling synths to have zero free will, because what this world needs are non-human slaves who are pretty much human and can never revolt. Now that he has Fred and the modified root code Hobb is like, fuck it, time to off the other four.

RT: Because nothing will ever go wrong with Hobb’s plan of robotic slaves…  CF:  Nope, nothing at all, it’s gonna be so shinny . . .

Mattie, Toby, and DS Pete get the root code and Leo’s memories hidden away in the back roads of the Internet, and tell Laura to get the show rolling. She tells Pete’s boss she wants to speak to Hobb and wants their phones back, and she wants it now.

However, Hobb is speaking with Leo while Karen listens in another room. Hobb tells Leo you can’t kill synths ‘cause they aren’t alive, so don’t be sad. Leo ain’t having it and wants to die the synth dead as well. Not gonna happen, Cyborg Boy, because Hobb has no idea how David Elster created the organic interfaces inside Leo’s body, so they’re gonna keep him around to run “tests”. Karen watches this go down, and she’s looking less pleased as time goes on. This leads her to speak with Leo, to get him to see reason. What he does is plead with her to link to the others, but she’s not falling for that shit. While she doesn’t want Leo to die, he wants the others to become alive. He tells her that he can see all the others in her, that she was made that way, Karen seems deeply affected as she walks out stone faced.

RT: Completely off topic for this blog, but I am getting a totally cyborg/clone vibe off this. Imagine if AMC went all Orphan Black with Humans next season?  CF:  I see Leo becoming the hunted one next season simply because he’s got all that interface gear inside his body.  I’m waiting for him to get into the Internet without a computer.

The message goes through and Hobb shows up at the Hawkins home to speak. Laura drops the bomb on his ass: we got Leo’s memories. Hobb calls bullshit; she goes all in and shows him a few images. He called the center and says don’t do anything, we’re letting them those shiny, happy synths go. Which happens, with the Elster family together—save for Karen, of course. Now that the danger is somewhat over Laura calls Mia and sets up a meeting. They split and Karen remains unhappy, but that’s when she hears from a tech: don’t worry, Hobb has a failsafe . . .

This gets Karen to looking at some of the memories Hobb took from Leo’s memories, and there’s one in particular that Leo apparently keeps playing. She watches it, and it’s her/Bernice playing peek-a-boo with Leo. You can almost hear her little synthetic heart breaking . . .

While waiting for the Elsters Joe wants to know why they’re meeting at this one place; Laura says she used to come here as a kid. She almost talks about Tom but here’s the snyths, so no time for small talk. In the internet cafe where Mattie and Toby are are hanging they get the message to meet the family and get up to leave. Pete tells them to leave the laptop with him, he’ll see that it gets to the right people.

We discover what the failsafe is: Fred has a trace. Once it looks like they’ve stopped moving, Hobb sics the dogs on them. This leads to the Hawkins and Elsters running off to lose themselves in an anti-synth rally, and after a few uncomfortable moments they find a place to speak. However Toby puts the finger on Fred, says he’s acting strange and shit. Leo shrugs and wants to talk to Fred, and the synth attacks him. Before too much happens, Joe turns Fred off. That’s it, baby: Leo calls Hobb and tells him he’s fucking with the wrong people, and oh, let me speak with Karen. He gets her on the phone and tells her the truth: we need you, please comes. She hangs up and leave, which Pete sees as he’s pulling up to hand over the laptop.

Humans Ep 8 Hawkins Family

The Two Families are hiding out, waiting to see what happens. Sophie is a crabby little girl and not having fun. Laura figures now’s as good a time as any to tell Joe everything about Tom, and she unloads. He listens, and when it’s over his reply is simple: “How could you think I wouldn’t understand?” Reconciliation Time, people.

Leo tries to hack Fred to remove the Hobb Code, but he’s not having any luck. Karen shows then, and the other synths freak wanting to know why she’s there. Simply, Leo says: I told her to come. Karen still isn’t digging all this consciousness stuff: she knows it’ll change the world, and not in a pretty way ‘cause humans are gonna lose their shit over this. Leo does not care: he just wants his family back and isn’t worried at all about humans.

With all the unique synths there, they decide to run to Consciousness Code. Leo will be the focus, and everyone will link through him. They turn on Fred because they have no choice, and the link starts—

Humans Ep 8 Elster Family

It’s like a forest in their minds, a pretty forest of synth linking. They are all there; they are all seeing bad things—put the blame on Karen, who is trying to shut everyone down. She doesn’t want conscious synths; she wants them all to die because she knows they’ll never be accepted—it’s better to be dead. Mia appeals, pleads with her, lets her know that while she didn’t have a choice being made, or looking like Leo’s mother, she has a choice now—she can help them: she can help him. Finally Karen feels something in that cold little robot heart of hers, she stops what she was doing, and . . . They are there, totally aware—even Max, who’s back big time! They quickly shut Fred off and Karen gets a strange look on her face and leaves.

RT: And now I am having a Sense8 moment…  CF:  It was all very pretty, but as an author you know how difficult it is to show these “group consciousness” scenes in a book, much less on the screen.  To me it had a real Cylon “Build Your Own Environment” feel.

They all now have a full set of feelings, just like real humans, and they know passing this along isn’t going to be an easy decision. Niska hands the drive with the code to Laura, because she feels they can trust her. But what are they going to do with Fred? Almost everyone wants to leave Fred, but Max is having sadness, because he likes Fred, and if there is anyone who is totally human, it’s Max. Before he leaves he tells Fred they’ll be together again, and as they prepare to go Niska tells Leo and the others she wants her own life and won’t join them. More hugs and sadness, and they let her go. Leo and Max leave the room, and Mia stays behind and hugs Laura and thanks her. Sophia wants a goodbye and a hug, and Mia gives her one, sad that she is leaving her little mouse.

At the end we see Karen is walking alone down a dark street when Pete finds her. They have a little small talk about her existence, and Karen realizes something—maybe she does like Pete. They turn and walk away together; you know, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Laura’s back home with the drive, and before going downstairs she hides it away, like she did her memories of Tom. She heads downstairs with the family, who are doing family things. Sophie is cleaning up, doing what Mia did—even mimicking the “I don’t understand your question” line, because she misses her. Mattie can’t find her flash drive that had a copy of the synth wake up code on it, and figures it’s around somewhere . . .

Yes, like on a train with Niska. Is she gonna bring everyone awake? I guess we’ll have to wait for Season 2 of Humans, which is coming next year.

Now that Humans is in the bag, next week it’s Fear the Walking Dead, and lots of pretty zombie goodness.

RT: Thank you so much for hoping on board and recapping Humans for me Cassidy. It has been such a pleasure and your recaps have always been the perfect blend of insightful and hilarious :-D

As for your recaps on Fear The Walking Dead – I really, truly can’t wait for them!

CF:  I’ve had enormous fun watching and recaping Humans, and I can’t wait for Fear The Walking Dead to raise its, um, undead head and surprise us all.

Tell me I'm pretty!

Tell me I’m pretty!  Or else!

Interesting Trivia:

Hobb is the biggest asshole on the show, and I hope he dies miserably in Season 2. I do want to see Mia and Sophie reunited—and I do wonder if Sophie will grow out of her “being Mia” act we saw.

The Cast:

Laura Hawkins — Katherine Parkinson
Joe Hawkins — Tom Goodman-Hill
Mattie Hawkins — Lucy Carless
Toby Hawkins — Theo Stevenson
Sophie Hawkins — Pixie Davies
Synth Mia — Gemma Chan

Dr. George Millican — William Hurt
Synth Odi — Will Tudor
Synth Vera — Rebecca Front

Detective Sergeant Pete Drummond — Neil Maskell
Detective Inspector Karen Voss — Ruth Bradley

Leo — Colin Morgan
Synth Max — Ivanno Jeremiah
Synth Niska — Emily Berrington

Professor Edwin Hobb — Danny Webb

Humans airs in the US on AMC at 9 PM EDT.

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