Blog Tour: Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun

Fountain Dead Blog Tour

Fountain Dead
By: Theresa Braun

Fountain Dead

Expected Publication: November 20th, 2018
Genre: Mature YA Horror/Paranormal
Publisher: Unnerving Press

Synopsis

Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.

Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.

Available on Amazon

Review

Fountain Dead is two stories intertwined together. The first is set in the 1800s and the second is set in the 1980s. Both of which have a different genre for each of the story. The one set in the past being the origin and foundation story that takes a gruesome horrific turn of events while the one set in the current state of things is more of paranormal haunted house sort of story with teens as the main character.

The biggest challenge of stories structured like this is its flow between the two stories especially when they are a different genres and feature a different set of characters. However, the trick is in the details and Fountain Dead manages to incorporate the connections as it transitions from one to the next in a rather clever way. With that said, the pacing of the novel works because it keeps us intrigued through this swap to constantly keep wanting to know what happens next with each mystery that happens in the present and how it links to the past. While the story does have a lot of horror elements to it, its definitely falls more in a paranormal fantasy sort of a story. The horror descriptions work well but somehow didn’t seem to be as creepy as needed which works for say the YA audience or in general a younger teen audience perhaps. On the other hand, the story set in 1800s doesn’t quite have the horror turn in events until much later when it gets slightly more psychological and twisted. Particularly in the last few chapters, the description there is incredibly vivid as its draws out some of the more horrific details and those fit to the genre really well. For the most part, I’d call this one more of a thriller.

Overall, Fountain Dead works well as a well-paced thriller. While some of the horror elements don’t quite land as much as some of the later moments when the story takes a turn of events, there are some engaging characters in both the past and present storyline. In terms of both the main characters of the two timelines, Emma in the 1800s story and Mark in the 1980s story both have a lot of depth and character development which makes the story even more intriguing to read. The clever connection between the two stories also show a lot of thought and detail in planning out the story. For the most part, the 1980s story does carry a more consistent paranormal element than the 1800s one. My only criticism is the imbalance of the two stories but at the same time, it never felt like it didn’t work. My biggest gripe might be that I didn’t find it quite as scary as it should be. Although, Fountain Dead does also comes with a well-written setting like the Victorian house which always makes it come to life because of these paranormal events. Pretty much, Fountain Dead might fall short a little but it has enough other well thought out elements that makes up for those small shortcomings.

Goodreads rating: 4/5

About the Author

Theresa Braun

Hmmm. What’s this? Looks like Ms. Braun left her computer on and her Goodreads bio open.

This should be fun.

What can we say about Theresa? I mean other than the fact that she’s weirdly obsessed with smiley faces :-). Like, seriously obsessed >:-*. It’s kinda scary :-O.

I think she thinks she’s from Renaissance England or Venice or something. I never could figure out which one it was. (She’s really bad at doing accents.)

She likes romance novels and crime TV, which are pretty much the same thing when you think about it. Ha! Am I right?

She has a hell of a singing voice. Seriously. It’s, like, seventh circle of hell bad.

She likes editing. A lot. Just wait till she get’s a load a this.

Cats. Shoes. Chips and salsa. In that order.

Yeah, that last part didn’t make sense to me either.

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Giveaway

The Rafflecopter giveaway is a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

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My Weekly Adventures: The Wrong Side of the Fence…

Following the last Weekly Adventures, I was on the fence about something. And well..seeing as its the title of this Weekly Adventures, suffice to say I made a decision on it. If you didn’t see the last post, don’t worry, you will know soon enough when we get there. These two weeks was a lot of eating… that’s all I got honestly. Something crazy happened at work that stressed me out so very much but really gave me the kick in the pants to motivate myself to get back into the groove of things. Find back some of the focus that I’ve seem to be missing.

MTL a Table 2018: Nom Nom Cantine

This year’s MTL a Table in place of the November Battle of Ingredients is at Nom Nom Cantine. We had a pretty good time there, eating delicious food with great company.

You can check out the post HERE.

NaNoWriMo 2018

The wrong side of the fence is refering to this. Which can only mean one thing…that I decided to start NaNoWriMo this year. I started on Day 7 and the late start and my recent cold has impacted a lot of progress. To be honest, with all the projects right now, I don’t plan to finish but I have an idea that I kept wanting to write about so I just couldn’t resist. Of course, I wasn’t going to do this madness by myself so my awesome podcast co-host graciously joined me in working on his own thing.

My progress leaves a lot to be desired right now so I’m going to try to push myself over the next half of the month to really catch up. Next Weekly Adventures, I’ll share the final result.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Like last year, as an end of season marathon thank you for all my early mornings and such, my friend took me out for a fancy dinner at the Casino de Montreal at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. This restaurant definitely is expensive and fine cuisine but the one place that never disappoints me because of how well they adapt to making everyone feel important especially when it comes to my lactose intolerance and having French cuisine.

You can see the full recap of this restaurant experience HERE.

MEGA MTL

This past weekend marks one of the last gaming festivals that I will be going to (since there was also the summit earlier this week which I don’t go to because its on weekdays). MEGA MTL was morphed from the Montreal Independent Games Festival which used to be free and held at Dawson College. Now, it occupies the Marché Bonsecours in Old Montreal and it always shows off a lot of indie games to try out and showcase. Its a lot of games to write about so currently the post is still in the works for That Moment In but should be up soon.

My game of the festival is hands-down a game that has already been released called 39 Days to Mars, which is a coop puzzle adventure game developed by It’s Anecdotal.

Cute Kitty Pic

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures recap!
A quick and easy one this time. We had a few busy weekends so probably the next one will be even more quiet.

Whats up #9

I am so behind in What’s Up right now. It all has to get down to procrastination and plain old busy times getting the best of me. Motivation was lacking, energy was not there and this is what happens. At this point, I did one trial run of doing two videos and dropping it in the same week but just one of them alone was half an hour so I’ve decided to get things back to a little fun mix.

For the entire October What’s Up, I’m going to have it in written format just like old times and then, for the new and latest stuff, you will have a video to watch (later on). With that, we’ll be right back on track.

Let’s get started with an October recap!

October 2018

READING

nightlight tales 2

  • Annie’s 1st Break (review)
  • The Finest Supermarket in Kabul (review)
  • Nightlight Tales 2 (review)

One novel for fun, the second for blog tour and the last for Halloween marathon brings us right up to date. All reviews are already up. The only one not so good in this batch was Annie’s 1st Break. The other two are pretty great depending on whether you are in the mood for a drama or a  horror short story compilation.

GAMES

  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Super Lucky’s Tale
  • Abzu

October included a lot of fun times. For one, Game Warp reviewed our first Xbox exclusive game review and an arcade racer as well. There’s a lot to love about Forza Horizon 4 but you can watch/listen to it all in the video above. We also did get around to playing Abzu and I managed to finish up the playthrough for Super Lucky’s Tale as per a request from a mom for her toddler who likes to watch it, sprouting a newfound love to say “Come on!” just like Lucky does in the game. You can decide for yourself whether its a good or bad thing 😉

MOVIES

three billboards outside ebbing missouri

Finally, there is a lot of films. I decided to not list it all in detail mostly because I already recapped both Halloween marathon and Festival du Nouveau Cinema (FNC 2018) before in another post and you can find them all under their own page or the movies tab. I’m actually quite surprised that this entire list has also been reviewed. I have some older films that haven’t yet made it into the double feature pairings yet but that is coming up.

My recommendation in this list goes to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as well probably a few films from FNC 2018 like Ash is Purest White, Sticks and Stones and Firecrackers.

TV SERIES

  • Meteor Garden (2018)
  • The Chamber of Secrets Escape (review)
  • A Love so Beautiful (2017)
  • Rush to the Dead Summer (2017)
  • The Haunting of Hill House (Season 1, 2018) (review)
  • The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell (Season 1, 2018) (review)

TV series was a pretty awesome time. The last two along with The Chamber of Secrets Escape was for Halloween marathon. As for the other three, they were either on Netflix or available on Youtube for free and Chinese TV series which is what I’ve been watching a lot of lately. Its a bit of a daunting task to look at Meteor Garden so I’m working on that post as well as getting a video or something for it since it holds a really special place in my heart. While I have a huge love for A Love So Beautiful which is just really fun to watch, lighthearted and comedic. Rush to the Dead Summer is one that shifts tone from the first half and the second half and I wasn’t too happy with the way it ended bu then I read the way the actual novel ends and its even worse so…I guess I’ll settle with this one.

My recommendation for TV series would go to Meteor Garden if you want a long series or A Love so Beautiful for something short and sweet.

That’s it for this What’s Up!
Back to how it used to be, right? October is finally out of the way.
We can move on to what’s going on in the first half of November very soon and what is currently happening!

Restaurant: L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Montreal

If you want to see last year’s L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon recap HERE.

Located in the Casino de Montreal, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is tucked in a little downstairs corner accessible by elevators at one end of the casino. Different from last year is how it was bustling and full of action this time with tons of customers there. After last year’s experience, I was a little more knowledgeable about how to approach this year’s dinner so was a little less ambitious. If you had seen last year’s dinner, it took well over 3 hours, this wasn’t really that much more different.

In terms of decor, there wasn’t much change. I’m back at the same time after all so I do wonder if the decor changes especially in the display case with the seasons. Maybe one day, I’ll go not in autumn.

Green Tea

Due to the rainy weather outside and a rather under the weather feeling like a cold was creeping in, I ended up vouching to get a green tea. This is a Japanese green tea recommended by the waitress for us. It tasted great. I don’t usually drink Japanese green tea but this one definitely was a treat.

Bread

The breads here are also quite good. This time, we had the baguette one the left and the bacon and mustard braid on the right. Not shown here but my friend got two other ones which had dairy products in it. One was a flaky cheese one I believe and I can’t remember the other one right now.

Amuse Bouche

A refreshing starter amuse-bouche to kick things off. Tonight’s starter, the dairy free option, I assume since my friend got something different but he also had the 7 or 9 course seasonal discovery tasting menu. This amuse-bouche is a eggplant topped on one side with a red pepper and the other one is topped with a zucchini (or maybe eggplant) chip? I can’t remember anymore. But I can tell you that it tasted really good. I’m not much of an eggplant fan. I really just eat it for its health benefits on a daily basis but this was really lovely.

Tasting Portion Dishes

Like I said in the beginning, last year’s tasting menu traumatized me to my core. Not that the food wasn’t good but the duration and the sheer amount was just way over what I could handle. So this year, I went a different route. I asked the suggestion of the waitress to tell me what would be a good approach and she gave me a very accurate one of taking 3 tasting portion which should be enough and went along with her knowledge and suggested the ones that she knew could be modified to be dairy-free or already was dairy-free. With that I chose three (with her help):

L'atelier de joel robuchon montreal

Le Homard

Le Homard – Lobster over mashed avocado tart  and pomegranate arils

My first choice when I first saw my choices was this one. Avocado tart and pomegranate and lobster all sounds so fresh and delicious. From the presentation to the delicious balance of flavors to just the crispy different texture of the pomegranate seeds and little bits and the crunchy fresh vegetables and the lobster was such a delight. Not to mention of course the creamy avocado tart base.

l'atelier de joel robuchon montreal

La Morue Noire

La Morue Noire – Stewed Black Cod with “Malabar” peppercorn, baby spinach

The star of the show, my friends. I picked this one because the waitress highly recommended it. Normally, this one would have a frothy creamy coconut foam. Mine is just coconut sans the cream for the obvious lactose intolerance issue. With that said, this dish is absolutely heavenly. I kid you not, the cod is done so perfectly.

l'atelier de joel robuchon montreal

L’Agneau

L’Agneau – Quebec lamb ribs with eggplant and lemon pulp confit caviar

Talking about the final dish in my selection is the lamb. I’m starting to realize that I have a tendency to get lamb whenever I go out, mostly because I wouldn’t eat it at home. This was done the perfect doneness. The eggplant caviar as they call it is really delicious along with the eggplant chips which are both very good. Paired up with the lemon pulp, it worked so well together. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of based on personal preference is the date puree thing. I’m personally not a fan of dates so it didn’t quite appeal to me. Overall, the whole dish worked together really well.

Dessert

La Bulle – Blown sugar ball with coconut cream, fresh coriander sorbet

The original La Bulle is made with yuzu lemon in the menu. However, this version is dairy-free version so its made with coconut cream. I have to say that the coriander sorbet is somewhat of an acquired taste that took a moment to get used to but it cuts through the sweetness from the coconut so it works out well.

Overall, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Montreal is a great dining experience. It offers fantastic cuisine, comfortable ambiance, flexible with their dishes to accommodate allergens as well as great service. Its honestly one of the restaurants that I love going to. It is quite pricey but worth every penny.

Double Feature: Call Me By Your Name (2017) & Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Call this a 2017 double feature and a drama as well. Two movies that got a lot of recognition and praise at the beginning of this year so its surely two well-matched double feature.

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Call Me By Your Name

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel

In 1980s Italy, a romance blossoms between a seventeen year-old student and the older man hired as his father’s research assistant. – IMDB

I’ve only ever seen one other movie from Luca Guadagnino earlier this year, A Bigger Splash. I’m going to be honest that this director has a very similar way of approaching stories or maybe its the stories that he chooses and the setting that distinguish it apart because while watching Call Me By Your Name, while the story itself is very different, there is this same feeling that I got as I was watching A Bigger Splash and that was before I realized that these two films were directed by the same person. I can’t say that the story itself is particularly unexpected but what works even better is that the story is made really great because of its cast who delivers some fantastic performances.

What this movie does a great job at doing besides yet again giving us a beautiful Italian setting and the love of filming in waterholes or pools or something or another like this (like in A Bigger Splash), is how Armie Hammer’s Oliver and Timothée Chalamet’s Elio deliver a powerful story about first love. One of the most powerful points here though is that it breaks barriers of how romance no matter what gender is still the same. Its as valid and the same for everyone. Oliver and Elio’s first love might be something they try to hide around the people around them which leads Elio to find also a romantic feeling with Marzia (Esther Garrel) and there he finds something different as well. There is a feeling of exploration and getting in touch with their feelings while also having that uncertainty and vulnerability of not being sure how much to show. There is a lot of depth to this story. It kind of is one of those stories that creeps up on us with every scene that in the end when we get the final moments between Elio and his father who has this incredibly touching speech and that final ending conversation with Elio and Oliver, it just tugs on all kinds of heartstrings.

Its been a while since I’ve seen Call Me By Your Name and yet, there is something so beautiful and so raw about how this whole story is set up and told from the details of the setting to the interactions that make this journey, especially for Elio’s first love that makes it so powerful. So many scenes resound in my mind and the story seems to just linger on.

On that note, I’m not exactly sure I’m into watching a sequel or even where this story can go, especially since that seems to be in the works but we will see, I guess.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

three billboards outside ebbing missouri

Director (and writer): Martin McDonagh

Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Caleb Landry Jones, Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Lucas Hedges

A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit. – IMDB

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a film that I liked a lot. There is a nice mix between drama and dark comedy. Plus, the film is packed with fantastic performances. Between Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Frances McDormand, these three deliver on their characters. The story itself is pretty dark and in some ways, the drama behind it is actually quite heartbreaking to watch in the sense of how the case was treated and the pain of a mother trying to force some justice and action in a desperate way. Call it her way to find closure.

What I like the most about this film is how it is executed. The pacing and the way it is put together works really well. While Woody Harrelson’s character is incredibly dynamic to watch and one that has quite the impactful character where Frances McDormand’s character is more of the dramatic and gritty character, the character that stood out the most to me was Sam Rockwell’s character which had the most layers and growth in this whole story. The heart of the movie lies in these performances and the characters from its many different prejudices towards race, career and other elements. Its these prejudices that create these unnecessary aggression and what causes a lot of these situations that happen. There is a lot to talk about in this film and a lot of depth to the story and its characters which makes it so awesome and one I highly recommend.

Overall, two films that I enjoyed a lot!
Somehow its two that I think the experience of watching it overpowers anything I can say about it.

Eternal Hunger (The Enchanted Bloodline #3) by Denise K. Rago

To see the reviews for the first two books of the series, you can find it below.

Book #1 Immortal Obsession
Book #2 Blood Tears

*Book received in exchange for honest review*

Eternal Hunger
by: Denise K. Rago

eternal hunger

And the romance continues with Book Three in The Enchanted Bloodline Series….. Nothing will stop Amanda Perretti from protecting her son. She hides away with him, protected by her lover, the vampire Michel Baptiste, as they both await the return of vampire Christian Du Maure, once Amanda’s lover and Michel’s best friend, now a fugitive somewhere in Europe. Convinced Christian is being held prisoner and in desperate need of her help, Amanda works to hatch a scheme that will get her and Michel to France to find Christian, and still keep her beloved son safe. But they are not the only ones who seek Christian. There are some among the vampire order who believe that his rightful place is as the king of the vampires, with a strong queen beside him, and who will use any means necessary to entrap him into a heritage he has fought against for centuries. Though Michel and Christian both carry secrets that could destroy both their friendship and their relationship with Amanda, they are only the first of many who harbor knowledge that could either see the vampire order rise to power once more in the mortal world, or destroy it completely … – Goodreads

Its been over three years since I read the last book (and 4 years since the previous book in the series was released). If you look at the reviews (or you were around then), you know that I liked and even loved this series a lot, both for the classy writing style and the beautiful romance and the dilemmas that these characters got caught up into. Its a great vampire story. I still remember a little from it but to be honest, my biggest worry about starting this one had to be how continuous it would be and whether the fragmented memory I had of it would affect my immersion to the story. Its always a challenge when it takes years for a sequel to come out. Luckily, the novel gives us a good bit of transition and description to make the crossover easier and there was a lot of little bits that pieces what happened before together so that what happened in the previous novels came back fairly easily. If not everything, the crucial parts were recounted just enough to make it easy to catch on to the foundation of what to know.

One of the aspects that I’ve always loved these books is Denise K. Rago’s writing style. Its elegant and classy and uses the power of refined vocabulary to create these relationships and mystery behind both the scenario and the characters. It has these very fluid and vivid descriptions that seem just enough. Its refreshing to read a vampire love story and use he characteristics of rather refined characters to create a history behind them that has so many layers. Especially since the vampires themselves, especially with the many new characters introduced to create a multilayer sort of story and each of these characters, because of their past, all reflect in the way they speak. The detail behind each of the characters is something to truly applaud.

At the third book, Eternal Hunger still manages to change the scene from the first two books. It still feels standalone in the sense that there is an effort to still recall events that happened in the past to make it easier. At the same time, the characters create shifts. There are twists and turns to the story and most of our main characters eventually reach their own change. While the story keeps a good pace, the only downfall is sometimes the change in the timeline creates this jump which makes it feel like it rushes through some plot lines, however, at the same time, I’m not sure if elaborating or emphasizing more would have been good either. As there are still enough twists and turns to make it quite the pageturner. For a third (and I would think final) book of the series, this definitely is quite an incredible feat.

Goodreads Score: 5/5 (if there was half points, it would be 4.5)

Wine Recap – October 2018

Time for last month’s wine recap! We are back to our healthy selves, well, physically, I’d say so. We’ve had stuff to celebrate last month and stuff to grieve over. So, different times to relax while drinking some wine and other varieties.

Rose Nodo Bobal Garnacha Spain Wine 2017

nodo roseAlcohol Content: 12%
Location: Spain

Nodo is a wine that I picked up randomly at the supermarket. I still am in search for a Rosé wine that can beat the two that I currently like. However, if there’s anything that I’ve come to learn is that Spanish wines are fairly dry and this one was extremely on that end. If you prefer something dry, this one definitely will be up your alley. Unfortunately, for myself, it wasn’t as enjoyable.

J.P. Chenet Ice – Sparkling Wine

JP Chenet Ice

Producer: Grands Chais de France
Alcohol Content: 10.5%
Location: France
Taste Tag: Fruity and Sweet

JP Chenet is the wine that my sister in law brought over for our Thanksgiving dinner. Its light and fruity and sweet. Very beautiful and delicious. It is one that definitely is a crowd pleaser. It finds a nice balance between being very smooth but also feeling like there is a decent amount of layers in the drink itself. The star of October for us has to go to this wine for sure.

Millebois Original

MilleBois Original

Producer: Millebois
Alcohol Content: 4.8%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Light and Dry

I can’t say I agree with taste tags all the time but this one nails it. Millebois is a company that we discovered when we went to Sherbrooke to the Public Market there. You can see the haul HERE. Millebois is one that makes maple syrup based alcoholic beverages. Light it is and also dry it also is. I can’t say that I loved it but its tolerable on the dry scale, something like a semi-dry sort of feelings. I think the harder part for this drink and is more of an acquired taste is the maple syrup based portion. I’m not sure that I’m a fan but then I’ve never been a particular fan of maple syrup based alcohol.

Milton Cidre de FeuMilton Cidre de FeuProducer: Cidrerie Milton
Alcohol Content: 10%
Location: Quebec, Canada
Taste Tag: Sweet

We’re a big fan of ice cider in our home. However, if you haven’t had fire cider, well, you are missing out. Its our favorite thing ever. We’ve never had this Cidrerie Milton version though. This one is pretty good. It had all the elements of a fire cider that we love and has more layers. It tastes a lot like drinking apple juice which also makes it a silent attack for those who drink this quickly.

Willm Riesling Réserve 2017

willm riesling reserve

Producer: Alsace Willm
Alcohol content: 12%
Location: Alsace, France
Taste Tag: Fruity and Vibrant

I’m usually a big fan of Riesling. They usually find a nice balance of texture and not being too dry. Willm Riesling is definitely more on the dry side of things. Its one that took a little bit of an acquired taste. Its also the first time (in my memory) that we’ve chosen a Fruity and Vibrant taste tag (and what are the chances that the wine below also is). Dry it may be, but if you like dry wines, this one does goes down really nice. There’s still a good texture to it.

Yalumba The Y Series Viognier

Yalumba

Producer: Yalumba Wines
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Location: South Eastern Australia
Taste Tag: Fruity and Vibrant

Australian wines are something of a hit and miss for us. We’ve had some lovely ones like Jacob’s Creek who never fails to deliver. But Moscato is a different variety so can’t be compared to something like this one. Yalumba Y Series Viognier is a really dry wine. I mean, just a whiff of it and you know it. I can’t say its a bad wine though because there is a nice texture. Its just more than we usually like to handle from the dryness. However, I would recommend it for those who like dry wines. Saying all that, I was doing a little bit of research on what else they offer and they have some other variety that I wonder if the SAQ here holds to try like the Riesling and their organic wines as well.

It seems like there was a lot of dry wine varieties in October.
However, we did have a few enjoyable wines that worked for our preferences. 

Have you discovered any wines (or cocktails/liquors, etc) lately?