Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fatal Frame III: The Tormented

 


Fatal Frame III: The Tormented, known in Japan as Zero: Shisei no Koe (lit. "Zero: Voice of the Tattoo") and in Europe as Project Zero 3: The Tormented, is the third installment in the Fatal Frame video game series. The PlayStation 2 game takes place two years after Fatal Frame and about two months after Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, introducing old and new characters, as well as a new haunted location.

Plot

23-year-old freelance photographer Rei Kurosawa has been mourning the death of her fiancé, Yuu Asou, after a car accident caused by Rei's reckless driving. About two months after his death, while on assignment for the derelict Kuze mansion, Rei discovers his image on one of the photos she had taken. Shortly after, she begins having recurring nightmares of an old Japanese manor house — the "Manor of Sleep") — during a heavy snowfall, where she is touched by a tattooed ghost. Upon waking, Rei notices a mysterious bruise on her body, where the ghost had touched her; this mark spreads each time she dreams about the Manor.

As Rei continues to explore the Manor of Sleep, she begins to receive investigation notes from Kei Amakura, a close friend of Yuu who writes in his letters that he and his niece Mio both have similar symptoms. Rei learns that her photography assistant, Miku Hinasaki, is also under the same curse. The lines between dream and reality blur when ghosts began appearing in Rei's house, and the bruise on her body continues to expand and form a snake-and-holly tattoo similar to the tattooed ghost who touched her.

Rei learns through uncovering diaries and research that the dreams are caused by Reika Kuze, the last Tattooed Priestess tasked with the duty of containing others' emotional pain within the tattoos on her body. Although meant to rest for eternity, Reika had unintentionally released "the Rift", a form of darkness which destroyed the village, after her childhood lover Kaname was murdered in front of her eyes. Now corrupted and unable to rest, she haunts people with a strong attachment to dead loved ones. Within time, the tattoos Reika had cursed her victims with will completely cover their bodies and cause them to disappear, leaving behind black soot, although following the dead would eventually lead to death as well. Because of Rei's attachment to Yuu; Miku's to her brother Mafuyu; and Kei's strong connection to Mio, mourning for her sister Mayu, all three are trapped in the Manor of Sleep.

When Miku enters a coma, Rei loses all hope of ending the curse until Kei suggests that by staking down Reika's body in the Chamber of Thorns, she can rest peacefully and no longer endanger them. However, he becomes trapped in the chamber himself upon making a horrific discovery: Reika's body has already been pinned to the ground.With only Rei remaining, she confronts Reika and exorcises her spirit. Following the lyrics of a song in the ritual, Rei puts the bodies of Reika and Kaname in a small boat and pushes it across an underground sea behind the stone ritual chamber - the Abyss of the Horizon, the passage to the spirit world. As the boat begins to vanish into the distance, other dead spirits begin to cross the sea, one of them being Yuu. The tattoo which now covers Rei's body transfers to Yuu, who insists that she must go on living and keep his memory alive.Once Rei and Miku wake up, they resume their normal lives.

Two Endings appear in the game. The Normal Ending shows that Rei and Miku have survived, while Kei has been spirited away; Mio's fate is unknown (presumed spirited away by Reika as well).

The Photograph Ending is achieved by finishing an optional sidequest only available on the second playthrough of the game. This ending shows that both Kei and Mio survive as well, and that Mio is introduced to Rei and Miku after the game. In both endings, both Rei and Miku resolve to live on, as their deceased loved ones would have wanted.

Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly

 


Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, known in Europe as Project Zero II: Crimson Butterfly, is a Japanese survival horror video game developed and published by Tecmo in 2003 for the PlayStation 2. It is the second installment in the Fatal Frame series, and features an independent story with little relation to the first title. The story follows twin sisters Mio and Mayu Amakura as they explore an abandoned village and experience encounters with the paranormal. Their lives quickly become threatened when the village spirits begin to possess the pair and target them as sacrifices for an ancient ritual. Players must use a camera with powers of exorcism to defeat enemies and uncover the secrets of the village.

Plot

Setting and characters


Fatal Frame II is set in the fictional Minakami region of Japan. The region is home to Minakami Village (lit. "All God's Village"), an abandoned town where the majority of the game takes place. The player learns that Minakami Village was host to the "Crimson Sacrifice Ritual", the failure of which caused the settlement to vanish — thus earning it the name "The Lost Village". In the game's present, there is an urban legend about the Lost Village, where people who become lost in the Minakami forest will become trapped forever in the village.

The protagonists of Fatal Frame II are Mio and Mayu Amakura, twin sisters who are visiting their favorite childhood playspot in Minakami before it is lost due to construction of a new dam. The main antagonist is the vengeful spirit of Sae Kurosawa, the sole Twin Shrine Maiden sacrificed for the failed ritual. She yearns to reunite with her twin sister Yae. Sae mistakens Mio for her sister, and wants to use Mayu to try and complete the ritual with her. Other characters include the spirit of Itsuki Tachibana, a young man who also mistakes Mio for Yae, but instead tries to help her and Mayu escape; and Seijiro Makabe, a folklorist who visited Minakami Village with a Camera Obscura prototype (the same camera Mio uses in the game) and his assistant, Ryozo Munakata.

Story

The plot of Fatal Frame II is independent from the first game in the series. During the Amakura twins' visit to their favorite childhood playspot in the Minakami region, Mayu follows a mysterious red butterfly deep into the woods. Mio, concerned for her older sister, follows, and they soon discover a village at night. While it seems abandoned, the twins soon realize that the village contains the tortured souls of the dead, forever reliving the events that trapped them in this state.

Mayu soon falls under the village's spell and is led deeper into the village by the butterflies. As Mio searches for her, she slowly learns of the Crimson Sacrifice Ritual, the failure of which caused the "Repentance", a disaster which shrouded the village in darkness. The village houses a system of tunnels underneath, where its deepest point is home to the "Hellish Abyss", a deep hole that collects the souls of the dead. To keep the Abyss from unleashing the dead, a pair of twins born in the village are required to perform a ritual approximately every decade, in which the elder twin strangles the younger, after which the soul of the younger twin stays to guard the village as a crimson butterfly.

In the past, before the Repentance occurred, twins Yae and Sae Kurosawa tried to escape their fate with Itsuki's help. During their escape, Sae was caught and brought back to the village, while Yae escaped. The Minakami villagers desperately hanged Sae to try to satisfy the Hellish Abyss; the attempt failed, causing the Repentance to occur and the village to disappear. During the Repentance, Sae returned from the Hellish Abyss as a vengeful spirit and, along with Seijiro Makabe, made a Kusabi for the Abyss, slaughtering the priests and villagers. Throughout the game, several ghosts refer to Mio as Yae and seem to expect her to perform the ritual with Mayu, who becomes possessed by Sae. Itsuki, however, tries to help her — believing the two to be the Kurosawa twins, he tries to aid their escape from the village again.

Near the end of the game, when Mio learns that in Minakami Village, the twin born second is considered the elder, as the village believes that the "elder" lets the weaker, "younger" twin be born first. This completely reverses Mio's implied fate: instead of being sacrificed herself, she must strangle her "younger" twin sister. When Mio and Mayu finally begin escaping, the villagers' spirits take Mayu back to the Kurosawa house, where the Hellish Abyss awaits them below. Should the player choose to take the escape route alone, they will obtain the Lingering Scent ending, which leads to an automatic game over. If the player instead chooses to pursue Mayu, they have a chance to obtain the other endings. The "Crimson Butterfly" ending sees Mio and Mayu proceeding with the ritual, where Mayu becomes a crimson butterfly. The "Hellish Abyss" ending sees Mio rescuing Mayu from Sae, only to become permanently blinded from looking into the Hellish Abyss. The "Promise Ending", added to the Director's Cut version, sees Yae and Sae performing the ritual and freeing the villagers' spirits, thus sparing Mio and Mayu of the ritual. According to the events of Fatal Frame III: The Tormented, the direct sequel of the game, the "Crimson Butterfly" ending is the canonical ending.

Fatal Frame (Video Game)

 


Fatal Frame, titled Zero in Japan and Project Zero in Europe, is a survival horror video game developed by Tecmo for the PlayStation 2. The first installment in the Fatal Frame series, it released in 2001 in Japan and 2002 in North America and Europe. An enhanced port for the Xbox was released in 2002 in North America and 2003 in Japan and Europe. The game was published for both systems by Tecmo in Japan and North America. In Europe, the PlayStation 2 version was published by Wanadoo, and the Xbox version by Microsoft. It was re-released in North America on the PlayStation Network in 2013.

Set in the year 1986, the story follows siblings Miku and Mafuyu Hinasaki. When Mafuyu disappears while searching for a famous novellist in the haunted Himuro Mansion, his sister Miku goes to find him. During her exploration of the mansion, she discovers clues as to the fate of those who entered, must fight hostile ghosts, and discover the truth behind a dark ritual that took place there. The gameplay focuses on the siblings exploring the mansion, and fighting off hostile ghosts using a special camera.

Synopsis

The story, set in the year 1986, focuses on Miku and Mafuyu Hinasaki, siblings with the ability to see supernatural events. When Mafuyu disappears in the haunted Himuro Mansion searching for his tutor Junsei Takamine and his assistants, Miku goes to Himuro Mansion. As she explores the mansion, Miku discovers signs that Takamine's party were killed by the mansion's ghosts, and finds rope burns appearing on her wrists and ankles. Further exploration through the mansion turns up information on a dark ritual that took place within Himuro Mansion: a chosen shrine maiden was torn apart using ropes attached to her limbs and neck in the so-called "Strangling Ritual", then the ropes that killed them were used to seal the Hell Gate, a portal to the afterlife that keeps a dark force known as "the Malice" from escaping and enabling the dead to escape into the living world.

The last time the ritual was performed, the sacrifice was named Kirie Himuro. Shortly before she took part in the ritual, she fell in love with a visitor to the mansion. This lingering connection to the living world caused the ritual to fail and the Malice to leak out, killing everyone in Himuro Mansion and causing the ghosts to remain there and attack anyone who explored there. Mafuyu was captured by Kirie due to his resemblance to her lover. Miku finally reaches the chamber of the Hell Gate, where she confronts Kirie's corrupted spirit. With her spirit calmed using an artifact called the Holy Mirror, Kirie accepts her duty as the Rope Shrine Maiden, keeping the Malice at bay for eternity.The ending then diverges depending on the game's difficulty. In the "Normal Mode" ending, Mafuyu stays with Kirie to keep her spirit company while Miku escapes the mansion. In the "Hard Mode" ending, Kirie convinces Mafuyu to escape with his sister. In both endings, the spirits trapped in the mansion are freed, while Miku loses her sixth sense. A third ending, exclusive to the Xbox version, sees the spirits of Kirie's lover returning to her while Miku and Mafuyu escape. According to staff, the first ending is canon and leads into the events of the third game.

Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 4


Silent Hill 2 is a survival horror video game published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 and developed by Team Silent, a production group within Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo. The game was released in September 2001 as the second installment in the Silent Hill series. An extended version of the game containing a short bonus scenario and other minor additions was published for Xbox in December of the same year. In 2002 it was ported to the Microsoft Windows operating system. A remastered high-definition version of the game was released for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 in 2012 as part of the Silent Hill HD Collection.

While set in the series' eponymous fictional American town, Silent Hill 2 is not a direct sequel to the first Silent Hill game. Instead, it centers on James Sunderland, who enters the town after receiving a letter written by his deceased wife, saying she is waiting for him in their "special place" in Silent Hill. Joined by Maria, who strongly resembles her, he searches for her and discovers the truth about her death. Additional material in re-releases and ports included Born from a Wish, a sub-scenario which focuses on Maria before she and James meet.

Plot

Setting


While not a direct sequel to the events and characters of the first Silent Hill game, Silent Hill 2 takes place in the series' namesake town, located in the northeastern United States. Silent Hill 2 is set in another area of the town, and explores some of Silent Hill's backstory.The town draws upon the psyche of its visitors and ultimately forms alternative versions of the town, which differ depending on the character. The concept behind the town was "a small, rural town in America"; to make the setting more realistic, some buildings and rooms lack furnishings.

Letter from Silent Heaven

James Sunderland (Guy Cihi) is the protagonist of the main scenario of Silent Hill 2. He comes to the town after receiving a letter from his wife Mary (Monica Taylor Horgan), who died of an illness three years before. While exploring the town, he encounters Maria (also Monica Taylor Horgan), who strongly resembles Mary except for her different personality and clothing; Angela Orosco (Donna Burke), a teenage runaway searching for her mother; Eddie Dombrowski (David Schaufele), another teenage runaway who was somehow brought to the town; and Laura (Jacquelyn Brekenridge), an eight-year-old who has met and befriended Mary.

After arriving in Silent Hill, James decides to search a local park, where he meets Maria, who claims that she has never met or seen Mary. As she is scared, he allows her to follow him. While looking for Laura inside a hospital, James and Maria are ambushed by the monster Pyramid Head, and Maria is killed by him just as James escapes. He resumes his task of finding Mary, and chooses to search a local hotel where he and Mary spent their vacation. On the way, James finds Maria alive and unharmed in a locked room. She claims ignorance of their previous encounter and discusses elements of James' and Mary's past that only Mary would know. James then sets off to find a way to release Maria from the room and eventually returns to find her dead again. Later on, he rescues Angela from a monster; she confesses that her father used to sexually abuse her, and a newspaper clipping James can find implies she killed him in self-defense before coming to Silent Hill. He also confronts Eddie, who admits to maiming a bully, and killing a dog, before fleeing to Silent Hill. Attacked by Eddie, James kills him in self-defense. At this point, it is revealed that Eddie saw a different version of Silent Hill - while James sees monsters that reflect his relationship with his wife, Eddie sees people laughing and taunting him to violence.


At the hotel, James locates a videotape which depicts him killing his dying wife.At this point in the game, the letter from Mary is shown to have been a blank piece of paper the entire time. In another room, a final meeting with Angela sees her giving up on life as she is unable to cope with her trauma and guilt any longer. She walks into a fire and is not seen again. At this point it is revealed that in Angela's version of Silent Hill the town is always on fire.

James later encounters two Pyramid Heads, along with an alive Maria, who is killed again. James realizes that Pyramid Head was created because he needed someone to punish him, and all the monsters have been manifestations of his psyche. The envelope from Mary disappears and both Pyramid Heads commit suicide. James heads to the hotel's rooftop; depending on choices made by the player throughout the game, he encounters either Mary or Maria disguised as her.

Silent Hill 2 features six endings, all presented as equally possible; Konami has kept their canonicity ambiguous.In "Leave", James has one last meeting with Mary, reads her letter, and leaves the town with Laura. "In Water" sees James commit suicide by driving his car off a cliff. The "Maria" ending sees Mary as the woman on the rooftop, who has not forgiven James for killing her. After her defeat, James dismisses her as a hallucination and then leaves the town with an alive Maria, who briefly coughs, suggesting she will become sick just as Mary did, and the cycle will repeat.The other three endings are only available in replay games, including "Rebirth", in which James plans to resurrect Mary using arcane objects collected throughout the game, and two joke endings: "Dog", where James discovers that a dog has apparently been controlling all the events of the game, and "UFO", where James is abducted by extraterrestrials with the help of the first game's protagonist, Harry Mason.

Born from a Wish

Born from a Wish is a side-story scenario in the special editions and re-releases of the game in which the player takes control of Maria shortly before she and James meet at Silent Hill. After waking up in the town with a gun and contemplating suicide, she resolves to find someone. She eventually encounters a local mansion, where she hears the voice of its owner, Ernest Baldwin. Ernest refuses to let Maria into the room he is in and will only talk to her through its closed door. After Maria completes tasks for him, Ernest warns her about James, whom he describes as a "bad man". After Maria opens the door to Ernest's room and finds it empty, she leaves the mansion. At the conclusion of the scenario, Maria contemplates suicide once more, but ultimately resolves to find James.

 



Silent Hill 4

Silent Hill 4: The Room is a survival horror video game, the fourth installment in the Silent Hill series, published by Konami and developed by Team Silent, a production group within Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo. The game was released in Japan in June 2004 and in North America and Europe in September of the same year. Silent Hill 4 was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Microsoft Windows. Its soundtrack was released at the same time. In 2012, it was released on the Japanese PlayStation Network.

Unlike the previous installments, which were set primarily in the town of Silent Hill, this game is set in the fictional town of South Ashfield, and follows Henry Townshend as he attempts to escape from his locked-down apartment. During the course of the game, Henry explores a series of supernatural worlds and finds himself in conflict with an undead serial killer.

Plot

Characters


The protagonist and player character of Silent Hill 4 is Henry Townshend, a resident of the South Ashfield Heights Apartments building in the fictitious town of Ashfield. Henry is an "average" man who has been described by Konami as an introvert in his late 20s. For the most part Henry navigates the game's world alone, although he eventually works with his neighbor Eileen Galvin. Henry also deals with the new supporting characters of Cynthia Velázquez, Andrew DeSalvo, Richard Braintree and Jasper Gein.

Silent Hill 4: The Room incorporates two unseen, minor characters from previous installments: investigative journalist Joseph Schreiber and deceased serial killer Walter Sullivan. Joseph was first referenced in Silent Hill 3 with a magazine article he has written condemning the "Hope House" orphanage run by Silent Hill's religious cult, which the game's protagonist, Heather, can discover. In Silent Hill 2, Walter is referenced in a newspaper article detailing his suicide in his jail cell after his murder of two children. Sullivan appears in two forms: an undead adult enemy and a neutral child supporting character. Walter's previous victims play a small role in the game as enemies.

Story

A model of the hole in Henry's apartment on display at the Games Convention 2004

At the beginning of the game, Henry Townshend has been locked in his apartment in South Ashfield for five days with no means of communication and having recurring nightmares. Shortly afterwards, a hole appears in the wall of his bathroom, through which he enters alternate dimensions. His first destination is an abandoned subway station, where he meets Cynthia Velázquez, a woman convinced she is dreaming and who is soon killed by an unknown man. Awakening in his apartment, he hears confirmation on his radio that she is indeed dead in the real world. Similar events repeat with the next three people Henry finds: Jasper Gein; Andrew DeSalvo, a former employee of an orphanage run by Silent Hill's cult; and Richard Braintree, a resident in Henry's apartment complex. All the deaths bear similarities to the deceased serial killer Walter Sullivan's modus operandi.

Henry finds scraps of the diary of his apartment's former occupant, journalist Joseph Schreiber, who was investigating Walter's murder spree. Walter is an orphan who has been led to believe his biological mother was in Henry's apartment, where he had been found abandoned after birth. To "purify" the apartment, Walter, now in an undead state, is attempting to complete a ritual, which requires twenty-one murders to be committed. Midway through the game, a child manifestation of Walter interrupts the murder of the intended twentieth victim, Eileen Galvin, and she joins Henry trying to find Joseph. At the same time, supernatural occurrences begin to manifest in Henry's apartment. The two eventually find Joseph's ghost, who tells them that their only escape is to kill Walter and reveals that Henry is the intended twenty-first victim.

Shortly after Henry acquires Walter's umbilical cord, an item required to kill him, Eileen leaves Henry and returns to his apartment, either hoping to stop Walter from completing the ritual or under Walter's possession. He finds her with Walter, possessed and about to walk into a deathtrap, and a fight between the two men ensues. There are four possible endings, determined by whether or not Eileen survived the fight and on the condition of Henry's apartment.The "21 Sacraments" ending sees Walter and his child manifestation in his apartment, while the radio reveals that Henry and Eileen have died, along with the superintendent Frank Sunderland and several others. In "Eileen's Death," Henry awakens in his apartment, and learns from his radio that Eileen has died, to his sorrow. In "Mother," Henry escapes from his apartment building, and brings flowers to Eileen, who plans to return to the apartment building. His apartment, meanwhile, has become completely possessed."Escape" begins similarly to the "Mother" ending, but Eileen resolves to find a new place to live, and his apartment is not shown to be possessed. There is no UFO "joke ending", a staple of the series.

Favorite Halloween Anime, Manga, Movies and Videogames Suggestions

Anime

Black Butler
Vampire Knight
Vampire Knight Guilty

Manga

Black Butler
Cain
Godchild
Vampire Knight

Movies

Dracula Rising (1993)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Evil Dead II (1987)
Fright Night 1 and 2 (1985 and 1987)
Howling VI: The Freaks (1991)
Jack Be Nimble (1993)
Night of the Creeps (1986)
Sometimes They Come Back Again (1996)
To Die For: Dracula: The Love Story (1989)

PC Games

Gabriel Knight 1: Sins of the Fathers
Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within
Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned
Phantasmagoria
Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh
Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness

Videogames

Clock Tower Series
Fatal Frame Series
Haunting Ground
Resident Evil Series
Rule of Rose
Silent Hill Series
Obscure Series
The Evil Within
Until Dawn
Nightcry

Happy Halloween!

 


Happy Halloween Everyone!

Rebecca Zanetti's Lethal Lies Blog Tour with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway

 


I am so excited to have Rebecca Zanetti here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight, Excerpt and Giveaway.

Thanks Rebecca and Hachette Book Group/Forever for allowing me to join your Lethal Lies Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Rebecca!








ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: LETHAL LIES
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Blood Brothers, #2
On Sale: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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NOW AVAILABLE IN MASS MARKET!



A deadly secret can't stay buried forever


Revenge. It's the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars — even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can't do this alone.


Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it's personal. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he's all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath's every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they'll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.


About the author: Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher's Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat...and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off...and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.




 

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Excerpt

She swallowed and met his gaze. “All right. Let me get this straight. We’re going undercover to flush out a killer who’s obsessed with me, and you’re offering to play at being my man for real with no strings or future?” She hoisted the bag onto her shoulder. “That’s some ego. Are you that good in bed?”

“Yes.” And that was definite interest in her eyes.

She clicked her tongue. “I’ll keep your offer in mind.”

“You do that.” He maintained a low and calm voice. “While you’re considering, let’s look at the situation. You have publicly made me your fiancé in order to draw out a killer, which means I have to act as such. Any halfway intelligent law enforcement officer or private investigator would keep his redheaded fiancée very close after the stunt you just pulled. If you’re not with me, the killer is going to be very suspicious.”

She stilled, expressions crossing her face rapidly. “That’s a good point,” she said slowly.

Yeah. Sometimes reality helped him out a little. Plus, the killer had a hard-on for her, and he must already have plans to take her at some point. She’d just upped the timeline. “In addition, you need protection around the clock now, and I’m willing to provide that. So while you’re keeping my offer in mind, we’ll be staying in the same hotel room or same apartment.” He made sure he had her full attention. “While we plan the wedding, of course.”

Her challenging smile thrilled something inside him. “That’s fair.”

He stepped back to give her some space. “Good. Are you ready?”

“Yes.” She looked around the room. “I do have to ask. What if I didn’t agree with you about your keeping secrets from me? Considering people shoot at you, and I’m going to be at your side, it seems fair that you tell me who these people are.” She cocked her head to the side and focused back on him.

“I have more immediate concerns than being fair,” he said smoothly. “You brought me into this mess.”

A frown drew down her eyebrows. “Listen. I want an answer about you.”

“I just gave you one.” At her mulish expression, he searched for better words that wouldn’t end in an argument.

Suddenly, the door blew wide open and bounced loudly off the table. “Anya!” he yelled, jumping for her.
 



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Monday, October 30, 2017

Silent Hill (Video Game) and Silent Hill 3

 


Silent Hill is a survival horror video game for the PlayStation published by Konami and developed by Team Silent, a Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo group. The first installment in the Silent Hill series, the game was released in North America in January 1999, and in Japan and Europe later that year. Silent Hill uses a third-person view, with real-time 3D environments. To mitigate limitations of the hardware, developers liberally used fog and darkness to muddle the graphics. Unlike earlier survival horror games that focused on protagonists with combat training, the player character of Silent Hill is an "everyman".

The game follows Harry Mason as he searches for his missing adopted daughter in the eponymous fictional American town of Silent Hill; stumbling upon a cult conducting a ritual to revive a deity it worships, he discovers her true origin. Five game endings are possible, depending on actions taken by the player, including one joke ending.

Plot

Harry Mason is driving through Silent Hill with his daughter Cheryl for a vacation. At the town's edge, he swerves his car to avoid hitting a girl in the road; as a result, he crashes the vehicle and loses consciousness. Waking up in town, he realizes that his daughter is missing, so he sets out to look for her. He meets police officer Cybil Bennett, who works in the nearby town of Brahms.  Finding that the town is deserted and foggy, with snow falling out of season, Harry meets several other people in the monster-filled town: Dahlia Gillespie, who gives him a charm, the "Flauros"; Doctor Michael Kaufmann, director of Silent Hill's Alchemilla Hospital; and nurse Lisa Garland, who worked at Alchemilla. He also encounters a symbol throughout the town, which Dahlia claims will allow darkness to take over the town if it continues to multiply. Eventually, this darkness begins taking over the town. According to Dahlia, the girl from the road is a demon responsible for the symbol's duplication. She urges him to stop the demon, because if he does not, Cheryl will die. Harry soon finds himself attacked by Cybil, who is parasitized by a creature; the player must choose whether to save her or not.

When the girl appears again, she is trapped by the Flauros. Dahlia reveals that she manipulated Harry into trapping it, since only he could approach it. It is a phantasm of her daughter Alessa, who possesses vast supernatural powers. Harry awakens in a logicless void known officially only as "nowhere" and encounters Lisa again, who realizes she is "the same as them" and begins transforming; he flees, horrified. Her diary reveals that she nursed Alessa during a secret, forced hospitalization. Harry soon finds Dahlia along with the apparition of Cheryl and Alessa, charred. Seven years earlier, Dahlia had conducted a ritual that impregnated Alessa with the cult's deity through immolation; Alessa survived because her status as the deity's "vessel" rendered her immortal. Alessa's resistance to the ritual caused her soul to be bisected, preventing the birth. One half of her soul went to baby Cheryl, whom Harry and his wife had adopted. Dahlia then cast a spell that would draw it back to Alessa.Sensing Cheryl's return, Alessa manifested the symbols in the town to prevent the birth. During the endings in which Cybil survives, Dahlia reveals these symbols to be repellent.With Alessa's plan thwarted and her soul rejoined, the deity is revived and possesses her.

Four different endings are available depending on whether Harry saves Cybil or discovers a bottle of Aglaophotis at Kaufmann's apartment, or both. Aglaophotis is a red liquid that is obtained from the refinement of a plant of the same name; it can dispel demonic forces and grant protection against such forces to those who use the item. The "bad" ending occurs if neither is done; Alessa electrocutes Dahlia and then attacks Harry, who ultimately defeats her. Cheryl's voice thanks Harry for freeing her and Alessa vanishes. Harry collapses, and the game cuts to his corpse in the crashed car - suggesting that all that happened in the game was a delusion of Harry's dying mind. The "bad +" ending finds Cybil alive and Kaufmann missing; after the echoing of Cheryl's voice and Alessa's disappearance, Cybil walks to Harry and convinces him to flee. The "good" ending finds Cybil dead, and Kaufmann shows up with the bottle of Aglaophotis which he then uses to force the deity out of Alessa; Kaufmann is revealed to have secretly allied with Dahlia and enabled Alessa's hospitalization. Feeling betrayed, he forces the deity out of Alessa, also causing her to vanish. After Harry defeats it, the deity disappears, and Alessa appears, who manifests a baby reincarnation of herself and Cheryl, gives it to Harry, enables their escape from the depths of "nowhere" and her nightmare, and then dies. In the "good +" ending, Harry escapes with Cybil and the baby. In both "good" endings, a transformed Lisa prevents Kaufmann from leaving and throws him into a pit. The joke ending sees an abduction of Harry by extraterrestrials.






Silent Hill 3 is a survival horror video game published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 and developed by Team Silent, a production group within Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo. It is the third installment in the Silent Hill series and a direct sequel to the first Silent Hill game. It was released in May 2003, with a port to Microsoft Windows released in October of the same year. A remastered high-definition version was released as part of the Silent Hill HD Collection, for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 on March 20, 2012.

Set seventeen years after the events of Silent Hillin which Harry Mason defeats the god of the town cult and is given a baby girl to care for, Silent Hill 3 focuses on Heather Mason, a teenage girl raised by Harry in Portland. She discovers that the cult plans to use her to birth their god, and becomes caught in a conflict within the cult.

Plot

Setting and Characters


Silent Hill 3 is set in the fictional universe of the Silent Hill series. Seventeen years before the start of Silent Hill 3, in the year 1983, Harry Mason defeated a god brought forth by the resident cult of Silent Hill and at the ending, was given a baby girl to care for.The protagonist and player character of Silent Hill 3 is Heather, the teenaged adopted daughter of Harry. Claudia Wolf, the cult's priestess who plans to bring about a paradise on Earth, serves as the game's antagonist. As Heather attempts to unravel the reasons why the cult of Silent Hill is pursuing her, she encounters a private investigator named Douglas Cartland; Vincent, a member of the cult who detests Claudia; and Leonard Wolf, Claudia's abusive father.
Story

At the beginning of the game, Heather awakens at a shopping mall, having fallen asleep while dining at a burger joint; she had been dreaming of being trapped in a demented amusement park, forced to follow roller coaster tracks in her flight from monstrous creatures and subsequently being run down by the roller coaster. Before she can leave the mall, a private detective called Douglas Cartland confronts her, claiming to have information about her birth. Heather evades him and discovers that the mall is mostly abandoned except for monsters. She encounters Claudia, who hints about Heather's fate. Heather finds herself in the Otherworld version of the mall — monster-filled and decaying — and is eventually restored back to the original shopping mall where she encounters Douglas, who confesses that Claudia had hired him to find her. Heather leaves the mall and resolves to take the subway home.Having arrived at her residence, Heather discovers that her father has been killed by a monster under the orders of Claudia, who tells her that she will be waiting for her in Silent Hilland leaves.

Heather resolves to go to Silent Hill, intent on killing Claudia. She meets with Douglas in her apartment and accepts his offer to drive her there. On the journey there, Douglas explains that Vincent left him a message, telling them to look for a man named Leonard, while Heather reads a memo left by her father before his death, which reveals that she is the baby girl that was left to her adoptive father, Harry Mason, at the conclusion of the first game, after he defeated the god birthed by Alessa Gillespie.Claudia seeks Heather to birth the cult's god, since Heather is Alessa's reincarnation.

Upon arriving in Silent Hill, which is abandoned and fog-shrouded, Heather checks Brookhaven Hospital for Leonard. After discovering that Leonard is Claudia's father, Heather meets a transfigured Leonard, who attacks her after discovering that she is not a cult member; Heather defeats him. She eventually meets Vincent, who directs her to a church via a local amusement park, purportedly at Douglas' request.Heather arrives at the amusement park, where she finds Douglas wounded. She reaches the church and confronts Claudia, who kills Vincent. After swallowing a substance within a pendant that her father had given her, Heather vomits out the deity in fetus form. Claudia swallows the fetus and dies after birthing the deity; Heather then fights and defeats the god.

Three endings appear in the game. The "Normal" ending, which is the only ending available on the first play-through of the game, sees Heather and Douglas survive. The "Possessed" ending sees Douglas having been killed by Heather. The "Revenge" ending, which is a joke ending accessible by performing certain in-game actions, sees Heather talking with Harry, and UFOs blow up Silent Hill. According to Silent Hill: Homecoming, the "Normal" ending is the canon one as one of Douglas' files can be found in the game.
Tarot Card Puzzle

The player is supposed to find five Tarot cards in the game in order to solve a crucial puzzle. Each card triggers a cut-scene. When collected, they are arranged in a nine-pane grid to solve the puzzle. The difficulty level determines what clues are given and what order the cards need to be laid out.

The cards are Marseilles Tarot-style depictions of O. The Fool, II. The High Priestess, XII. The Hanged Man, XVIII. The Moon, and XXII. The Eye of Night. The latter card is fictional, as there are only twenty-two cards in the Major Arcana of the Tarot Deck (including The Fool, the "zero card").

Clock Tower 3

 


Clock Tower 3 is a survival horror video game co-developed by Capcom and Sunsoft for the PlayStation 2. Released in 2002, it is the fourth installment in the Clock Tower series, and the first and only video game directed by Japanese film director Kinji Fukasaku. The plot and characters have very little relation with the previous Clock Tower games. The story follows 14-year-old Alyssa Hamilton who is part of a family lineage of female warriors who travel through time to defeat evil spirits. Alyssa travels from her time in 2003 London to the 1940s and 1960s in order to defeat these "Entities" and bring peace to troubled souls.

Plot

The story of Clock Tower 3 is set in London in 2003. Alyssa Hamilton is a 14-year-old girl who has been living at a boarding school for three years. Her mother, Nancy, sent her there after her grandfather, Dick, disappeared. The game begins with Alyssa receiving a letter from her mother telling her to go into hiding until after her fifteenth birthday. Alarmed, Alyssa decides to go against her mother's wishes and return home. However, when she arrives at the boarding house in which they live, her mother is absent, and the only person there is a man called "The Dark Gentleman". Determined to find her mother, Alyssa explores her mother's room. Suddenly, Frédéric Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu begins to play with no apparent source, and Alyssa is transported back in time to the streets of London during World War II.

She enters a tailor shop where she witnesses the murder of a young girl by a man wielding a sledgehammer. Eventually, Alyssa is able to piece together what happened: May Norton was killed on Christmas Eve 1942 by Sledgehammer, a stonecutter who went on a killing spree before being caught and executed.  Alyssa comes to realise that she must free May's spirit, which is trapped on Earth, by giving her her father's pocket watch. On her way to do so, she is confronted by Sledgehammer, whom she destroys. She then gives the watch to May's spirit, reuniting her with her father. At that moment, Alyssa faints and wakes up back in the boarding house. She explores the house further with her friend, Dennis Owen, and learns more about her past: the girls in her family are known as "Rooders", young women with supernatural powers. Rooders are the sworn enemies of "Entities", beings which can infect innocent humans and drive them to acts of murder, at which point the human becomes a "Subordinate". Rooder powers peak at the age of fifteen, and wane afterward, disappearing completely by the age of twenty.

Alyssa then travels to the 1960s, where she enters the house of Dorothy Rand, a blind elderly woman and her son, Albert, and sees them murdered by a man known as Corroder, who throws them into a vat of acid.[20] Alyssa destroys Corroder, and returns a lost shawl to Dorothy's spirit, freeing both herself and Albert. She then returns to the present, where The Dark Gentleman congratulates her on killing two Subordinates. He sends her to the top of a massive clock tower where he tells her that when her fifteenth birthday arrives they will be united for eternity. He also tells her that her mother is dead. When she refuses to believe him, he flings her from the tower. Regaining consciousness in a sewer system, she is forced to confront another Subordinate, Chopper. She defeats him, but fails to kill him and is sent to a graveyard. She then learns of the "Ritual of Engagement"; if a human wishes to become an Entity, they must remove the heart of a Rooder to whom they are related on her fifteenth birthday and drink her blood.Eventually, Alyssa fights Chopper again and is able to destroy him.

Dennis arrives, and he and Alyssa find their way to an abandoned hospital where they encounter Scissorman and Scissorwoman, who kidnap Dennis. Alyssa is then transported to a castle, where she sees Dick reciting a strange incantation. She learns Dick knew of the Ritual of Engagement, and had discovered that Lord Burroughs, the owner of the castle and from whom he is descended, also knew of the ritual. She then sees an incident from the past of Dick asking for Burroughs' help to become an Entity, inviting Burroughs to enter his body and for them to complete the Ritual together. Burroughs' spirit takes possession of Dick, turning into The Dark Gentleman. Meanwhile, Alyssa is able to rescue Dennis from the twins, killing them in the process. The Dark Gentleman then tells Alyssa if she wants to save Nancy's soul, she must come to the top of the tower. There, The Dark Gentlemen turns into Lord Burroughs and begins the Ritual. However, Dennis distracts Burroughs, allowing Alyssa to fight back. Nancy's spirit transfers what is left of her own Rooder power into Alyssa, giving her the strength to destroy Burroughs. After she defeats him, she reunites with her mother's spirit. The tower then collapses. Alyssa awakens in a field, where she sees Dennis. She runs to him and hugs him as she says "Mum...we did it. We did it, Mum."

Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within

 

Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within, released in Japan as Clock Tower: Ghost Head, is a survival horror point-and-click adventure game developed by Human Entertainment and released for the PlayStation in 1998. It is the third game in the Clock Tower series, and is considered a spin-off in its home country of Japan where it was not a numbered release. The story follows 17-year-old Alyssa Hale who suffers from multiple personality disorder with an alter ego named Mr. Bates. The player must guide Alyssa through various environments, altering between her normal and twisted personality, to uncover the secrets of her and her family's past.

Plot

Clock Tower II moves away from the story and setting in the two previous Clock Tower titles, and therefore was not a numbered title in Japan and is considered a spin-off. In the Japanese release, the game is set in Osaka. This was changed to California for the North American release.

Alyssa Hale is a 17-year-old high school girl who is traveling to visit her father's friend, Phillip Tate, during the spring of 1999. Alyssa suffers from a multiple personality disorder shared with a soul inside her named Mr. Bates. She holds an amulet to keep Mr. Bates from taking over her mind. When Alyssa arrives at the Tate's residence she discovers her cousin Stephanie who attacks her with a knife and stalks her around the house. Alyssa finds Philip, who gives her a statue and tells her to burn it because of the "Maxwell Curse". Alyssa manages to throw the statue into a burning fireplace but loses consciousness. She later wakes up in a zombie-infested hospital and meets a detective named Alex Corey, who saved Alyssa from the house. She explores the hospital, only to become overrun by zombies and faint again.

When Alyssa comes to, she finds that Alex took her to a pharmaceutical lab. As she explores the lab, a man armed with a hatchet and wearing an oni mask begins to stalk her about. She later finds her father, Allen, speaking with the stalker. Allen explains that Alyssa is not his daughter, but rather, the daughter of the man in the oni mask, George Maxwell. He continues, saying how every few generations there are cursed twins born into the Maxwell family; the family must immediately bury the twin babies alive and leave them to die to protect their family. Allen, jealous of George's wealth, dug up the children with Philip to spite him. Alyssa was one of these twins and the other twin suffocated to death. Alyssa realizes that her twin was Mr. Bates, who transplanted his soul into her body. Allen shoots George and demands Alyssa escape before the building explodes. Alyssa escapes and watches the building burn from the hillside.

Clock Tower (1995 Video Game) and Clock Tower (1996 Video Game)

 


Clock Tower is a survival horror point-and-click adventure game developed and published by Human Entertainment for the Super Famicom in 1995. It is the first installment in the Clock Tower series. The story follows orphan Jennifer Simpson soon after she is adopted by the Barrows family along with other orphaned girls. With the introduction of Scissorman, the game's antagonist, one of the other children is killed. Jennifer must then explore the Barrows Mansion to find a way to escape while evading Scissorman, leading to one of the game's multiple endings. Clock Tower utlizes a point and click interface with the player controlling a cursor to direct Jennifer's actions.

Plot

The story follows Jennifer Simpson, an orphan from the fictional Granite Orphanage in Romsdalen, Norway. She and other orphaned children named Laura, Anne, and Lotte are adopted in September 1995 by a wealthy recluse named Simon Barrows, who lives in a mansion known as the "Clock Tower", named after its predominant feature. After arriving at the mansion, Mary, the woman who brought the children to the mansion, leaves to find Mr. Barrows. When she takes an unusually long time, Jennifer offers to investigate. Upon leaving the room, she hears a scream coming from the main foyer. Jennifer returns to find the lights off and the girls missing. After finding either Laura or Anne killed, she finds herself being stalked by a murderous little boy with deformed features, wielding a huge pair of scissors, named the Scissorman.

While exploring the mansion, Jennifer searches for Mary's true intentions. Depending on choices made by the player, Jennifer will either discover Simon Barrows trapped in a jail cell, or her father's corpse. If the latter happens, Jennifer will find his death letter that tells of his account concerning Mary Barrows and her twins, Bobby and Dan. It says that he was trapped there for three days, until his death on November 10, 1986. Jennifer then visits a small church. If the player has collected all the necessary items and clues, then she gains access to the underground catacombs of the mansion. Jennifer sees a cloaked figure walking ahead of her; this is Mary. If Lotte did not need to rescue Jennifer from the jail cell, she can be found dying at an altar, and tells Jennifer about the switches in the clock tower. Otherwise, she rescues Jennifer from the jail cell, but is shot by Mary.

Jennifer enters a room, where she discovers Dan Barrows. Dan awakens and chases Jennifer to a steep cliff. She successfully climbs over, knocking down a can of kerosene which splashes onto a nearby candle. This triggers an explosion that immolates Dan, while Jennifer rides an elevator out of the catacombs. She ends up defeating Bobby and Mary in the clock tower.




Clock Tower, released in Japan as Clock Tower 2, is a survival horror point-and-click adventure game developed by Human Entertainment and released for the PlayStation in 1996. It is the second game in the Clock Tower series after the original Clock Tower, which was released exclusively in Japan for the Super Famicom one year prior. The story takes place in Norway and follows a variety of characters as they attempt to survive the return of Scissorman and uncover the mystery of his seemingly immortal state. The scenarios encountered and endings vary widely based upon the player's actions.

Plot


After the events of the original Clock Tower, central protagonist Jennifer Simpson was adopted by Helen Maxwell, an assistant professor of criminal psychology in Oslo, Norway. She begins undergoing treatment at a university research building in order to learn more about the Scissorman murder case at Barrows Castle and help her cope with her trauma. Over a year has passed, and now a series of brutal murders have made headline news. It appears that the Scissorman has returned. Having heard the details of Jennifer's original encounters with the Scissorman, Helen begins searching for information that could put an end to the seemingly immortal killer. The scenarios that follow, including the player characters and settings, are vastly different depending on player actions throughout the game.

The first chapter places the player in control of either Jennifer or Helen, escaping from Scissorman within the university research building. The second chapter will have the player retrieve the Demon Idol, a clue to the murder investigation. The scenario in which the idol is retrieved can change depending on choices made by the player earlier. Helen may search for it within the city library, or reporter Nolan Campbell or detective Stan Gotts will search for it in the home of a Barrows family butler. The final chapter occurs at Barrows Castle, putting the player in control of the same character they controlled in chapter one. Jennifer or Helen must use the Demon Idol to open a vortex in the castle basement and destroy Scissorman. Depending on the narrative followed and choices made along the way, 10 different endings can be seen.

Weekly Book Reads (Oct 30)




Weekly Book Reads


Weekly Book Reads is a weekly Monday Meme that is hosted by Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews:

Post the books read last week and books you plan on finishing this week.

Read Last Week:

1.  Wicked Deeds - Heather Graham
2.  Rituals - Kelley Armstrong

Weekly Book Reading:

1.  Blackberry Burial - Sharon Farrow
2.  Deep Freeze - John Sandford

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Library Haul 2017 (Oct 29 - Nov 4)



Library Haul


Here's the list of books/manga/manhwa/yaoi manga I picked up this week at the library:

Hardcover:

1.  Little White Lies - Robert B. Parker
2.  Body on Baker Street - Vicki Delany
3.  The Retribution of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin
4.  Doom With a View - Kate Kingsbury

Haunting Ground

 


Haunting Ground, known in Japan as Demento,is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. The story follows Fiona Belli, a young woman who wakes up in the dungeon of a castle after being involved in a car accident. She quickly befriends a White Shepherd, Hewie, and begins to explore the castle with his aid to seek a means of escape and unravel the mysteries of it and its inhabitants. The game shares many similarities with Capcom's earlier survival horror title Clock Tower 3 (2002), and has been described as a spiritual successor to the Clock Tower series.

The player controls Fiona as she explores the environment, evades and hides from enemy pursuers, and occasionally fights against the castle's inhabitants. Sometimes Fiona will panic when in danger, in which case she begins to run on her own and the player loses some control. Hewie is a central part to the gameplay, and accompanies Fiona throughout the game. He can be given orders to explore the environment, attack enemies, and otherwise aid in Fiona's survival. Capcom added the dog mechanic during development thinking retailers and players alike would not enjoy a survival horror title with a lone female protagonist.

Plot

Fiona Belli is an 18-year-old girl who recently moved to college. While visiting her parents, she is involved in a car accident, and awakens in a cage in the dungeon of a castle. Her memories of the incident are hazy. Noting that the cage that keeps her prisoner has been left unlocked, she steps out and begins searching for answers and a way out of the castle. Soon after, she befriends a White Shepherd named Hewie. As Fiona begins to unravel the mystery in which she finds herself, she learns that she is the carrier of the Azoth, an alchemic element, which for unknown reasons is being sought by Riccardo, the castle's keeper.

The first enemy Fiona encounters is Debilitas, a large, mentally disabled groundskeeper who thinks of Fiona as one of his dolls. Fiona learns from a mysterious man named Lorenzo, that to escape the castle, she needs a staff from the chapel. However, upon taking the staff, Debilitas corners Fiona and Hewie, forcing a confrontation. They eliminate Debilitas, but soon find their next enemy, Daniella, an icy maid. Daniella covets Fiona's ability to smell, taste, touch, feel, and "experience pleasure." She is especially jealous that Fiona can create life (via a fertile womb). Daniella is defeated when she is impaled with a shard of broken glass from a ceiling window.

The third villain is Riccardo, who wields a flintlock pistol. For the majority of the game, Riccardo keeps his face hidden under a hood. Upon revealing himself however, Fiona is shocked to see her dead father's face. Riccardo reveals that he and her father, Ugo, are clones. He murdered Ugo in the car accident as revenge for leaving the castle and marrying Fiona's mother. He plans to use Fiona (by means of her womb and use of her Azoth) to bring about his own rebirth, so that he may live forever. As they fight atop a water tower, Hewie rescues Fiona by attacking Riccardo, causing him to fall from the summit.

The final enemy is Lorenzo, who seemed to be an ally, but who now menaces Fiona in several different forms. Fiona first meets him as an old, crippled man. He tells Fiona that Riccardo was always the problem child, and that he created both Riccardo and Ugo in an attempt to find a body with an Azoth which he could use to gain immortality. Ugo had the Azoth, but left the castle to marry Ayla. Now with Riccardo dead, Lorenzo believes that Fiona is his, so he can take the Azoth she inherited from her father. He chases after Fiona, but she is able to crush him in a rock press. However, she soon encounters a resurrected, youthful Lorenzo; the life energy he acquired from Riccardo's body has allowed him mastery over his own aging process. With the help of Hewie, Fiona causes Lorenzo to fall into a pit of lava. At this point, the castle begins to shake and collapse, and Lorenzo returns as a flaming skeleton. He chases Fiona as she heads for the exit, and attempts to block her escape, but as they reach the door, he finally dies, and Fiona and Hewie leave the castle.

Erin Johnson's Seashells, Spells and Caramels Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

 


I am so excited to have Erin Johnson here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Erin and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Seashells, Spells and Caramels Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Erin! 





Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published
Release Date – October 29, 2017
286 Pages
Not on Amazon or GoodReads yet.


Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest — one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.

Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.

It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.

With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.





About the Author

A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh.

In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Website: www.erinjohnsonwrites.com. Facebook: www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites. Twitter: @EJohnsonWrites

Purchase Link

Amazon

Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792612

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

http://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/seashells-spells-caramels-erin-johnson






 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Until Dawn


Until Dawn is an interactive drama survival horror adventure video game developed by Supermassive Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation 4. It was originally scheduled to be released for PlayStation 3 and feature PlayStation Move support, but in August 2014 the game was re-introduced as a PlayStation 4 exclusive title and was released worldwide in August 2015.

Set in Western Canada, Until Dawn centers around a group of eight teenagers who decide to vacation for a night in a cabin on the fictional Blackwood Mountain, exactly one year after the disappearance of two girls, the twin sisters of a member of their group. Shortly after arriving, the gang find themselves under attack by a psychopath, and must attempt to survive until sunrise. Throughout the adventure, players alternate between all eight characters, making critical decisions as the story advances which drastically affects the game's outcome, leading to hundreds of different scenarios.

Plot

On 2 February 2014, 7 friends Michael ("Mike") (Brett Dalton), Samantha ("Sam") (Hayden Panettiere), Chris (Noah Fleiss), Ashley ("Ash") (Galadriel Stineman), Jessica ("Jess") (Meaghan Martin), Matt (Jordan Fisher) and Emily ("Em") (Nichole Bloom) celebrate their winter getaway at the Blackwood Pines lodge, owned by mutual friends Josh Washington (Rami Malek) and his twin sisters, Hannah and Beth (Ella Lentini), located in Blackwood Mountain, in the Canadian Rockies, in Alberta, Canada. Mike, Ashley, Emily, Jess and Matt trick Hannah into taking her shirt off for Mike while they hide. They then come out of hiding, embarrassing Hannah and causing her to flee into the woods. As Beth follows, they are hunted by an unknown pursuer that corners them to a cliff, where they both fall to their deaths and are never seen again.

A year later, the group are invited again by Josh back to the lodge for reconciliation and to put the past behind them. Now, Mike and Jess are in a relationship, as are Matt and Emily. As they arrive, Emily and Jess bicker, with Jess deciding to go with Mike to stay at the guest cabin, while Emily and Matt go back to retrieve Emily's bag at a cable car station. After Jess and Mike arrive at the cabin, Jess is taken by an unknown figure and Mike pursues them to a mine, either finding Jess dead or badly injured before the mine elevator beneath her collapses. Mike continues through, following a Stranger, and enters a sanatorium and learns about an incident in 1952 where 30 workers were caved-in. Meanwhile, Chris and Ashley are attacked by a masked Psycho, who ties Ashley and Josh into a sawblade deathtrap. He forces Chris to choose to save Ashley or Josh, but Josh is bisected and killed regardless of Chris's choice. Sam is stalked by the Psycho and is knocked unconscious or escapes into a workshop. As Mike returns to the cabin to find Sam, Chris and Ashley are strapped to chairs, where the Psycho forces Chris to either shoot himself or Ashley with a blanked gun in another deathtrap, being stopped by Mike and Sam. The Psycho is revealed to be an unstable and deranged Josh, blaming his friends for causing his sisters' disappearances and had faked his death. While he confirms having set up the traps, he denies presumably killing Jess as he never wanted to kill. Mike, in disbelief, ties up Josh and leaves him.

Meanwhile, Emily and Matt head to a radio tower, contacting a ranger who will send rescue helicopters when the storm subsides. The tower collapses into the mine when she and Matt are attacked by a figure. Matt either escapes and ventures deeper into the mines, is killed by a humanoid creature or falls off a cliff during an earlier encounter with a herd of deer. Emily explores the mines, finding Beth's head and Hannah's personal effects, realizing that Hannah had survived. She encounters the Stranger, who helps her escape from the creatures. In her escape, Emily is killed or returns to the lodge and tells the others of the creature and Beth.

The Stranger (Larry Fessenden) then arrives at the cabin and reveals himself and explains that the mountain was cursed by a First Nations tribe because people were destroying nature in the area. The humanoid creatures, Wendigos, humans who resorted to cannibalism or those possessed into one, have hard skin and severe burning will kill them and release the evil spirits. Chris and the Stranger search for Josh only to find that he has disappeared, and the Stranger is then decapitated by a Wendigo. Chris retreats to the cabin, and is either killed by the Wendigos, gets back to the lodge, or is left to die by Ashley if he tried to shoot her earlier. Emily is bitten by the Wendigo, the group discovers this and debates on leaving her or shooting her, fearing the Wendigo bites are infectious. Either way, Mike goes to the sanatorium to find Josh, who has the cable car keys, venturing deeper and finds that the 1952 miners were turned into Wendigos, trapped in the sanatorium. After accidentally freeing the miners, they chase Mike throughout and he is forced to blow up the sanatorium. Meanwhile, after Sam and others find out about the Wendigos from the Stranger's journal, they find Mike and warn him. Ashley and Chris can be lured and killed by a Wendigo. Mike and Sam can learn that Hannah became a Wendigo when she ate Beth to survive if they explore the area and find Hannah's notebook. Mike and Sam find Josh in the mines, suffering from severe hallucinations of his sisters. As Sam goes back to the lodge, Mike and Josh are ambushed by a Wendigo. If the player found enough clues about Hannah, Josh recognizes the Wendigo as Hannah, who proceeds to drag him off. If not, Hannah kills Josh by brutally squeezing his head.

Meanwhile, if Jess and/or Matt are still alive, they regroup and attempt to flee Blackwood Mountain, being pursued by a Wendigo. Mike and Sam return to the lodge to meet with the other survivors, only to find that the Wendigos had broken in. The survivors freeze, knowing that Wendigos can only sense movement. A fight suddenly breaks out between the Wendigos, with one being thrown at the fireplace, breaking a gas pipe which causes a leak. Mike eventually breaks a light bulb and Sam uses the electricity switches to ignite the gas, exploding the lodge and killing the Wendigos. The remaining survivors regroup as helicopters descend near the lodge ready to pick them up to take them away for interviewing.

Ending

Depending on the player's actions, Sam and/or Mike and any other survivors can die before or while setting the lodge ablaze, but nevertheless the Wendigos are killed.

As the credits roll, those who did not survive have their death scenes replayed with respective times of death, followed by interviews with scenes of the police interrogation of the survivors. The police are warned by the survivors of what is within the mines. If Josh survived, he is shown eating the Stranger's head and has transformed into a Wendigo. If at least one other friend survived, Josh is discovered by the police and he attacks them. If nobody else survived, Josh looks at the screen.

Thanks Wikipedia!

Bunny Express Saturday 2017 (Oct 28)


Bunny Express Saturday is hosted every Saturday at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews.

I received these in the mail this week.   






There is nothing in the universe the cursed dragon, Falcyn, hates more than humanity except Greek humans. In a war he wanted no part of, they systematically destroyed everything he’d ever cared for. Now he waits for the day when evolution will finally rid him of the human vermin.

Medea was born the granddaughter of the Greek god Apollo, and among the first of his people that he cursed to die. But she will not let anyone rule her life. Not even her notorious grandfather. And when Apollo sends a new plague to destroy what remains of her people, she refuses to stand by and watch him take everything she loves from her again.

This time, she knows of a secret weapon that can stop the ancient god and his army of demons. Once and for all. However, said device is in the hands of a dragon who wants nothing to do with politics, the gods, humanity, demons or Apollites. And especially not her. He is the immovable object.

She is the unstoppable force

When Apollo makes a strategic move that backfires, he forces Falcyn back into play. Now Medea either has the weapon she needs to save her people, or she’s unleashed total Armageddon. If she can’t find some way to control the dragon before it’s too late, Falcyn will be an even worse plague on the world than the one Apollo has set loose. But how can anyone control a demonic dragon whose sole birthright is world annihilation?

Thanks St. Martin's Press!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Releases 2017 (Oct 24)





 New Releases





With Iris Johansen’s trademark adventure, intrigue, and explosive energy, Mind Game is a propulsive thriller that’s impossible to put down.

Scotland holds a treasure that Jane MacGuire has been hunting for years. But as she scours the highlands in search of it, she’s plagued by dreams of a girl in danger ― dreams she can’t ignore no matter how hard she tries. Who is this girl, and what is she trying to tell Jane? And will Jane figure it out before it’s too late ― for her and the mysterious young woman?

Things are further complicated when Seth Caleb comes back into Jane’s life. Their history is volatile to say the least. This time Jane finds herself pulled unexpectedly into his world as she fights to save him. But Caleb isn’t the only person sweeping her up into startling developments. When Eve Duncan surprises Jane with news of her own, Jane comes face to face with stunning changes in the lives of those she loves most.




#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan cuts straight to the heart of a man who stalks the shadows in an intoxicating Leopard novel.

Though he was born into a leopard’s lair in the bayou, Joshua Tregre’s fighting skills were honed in the rain forests of Borneo. Sleek and deadly, he’s the perfect man to take over a crime syndicate back home in Louisiana’s lush swamplands. His razor-sharp instincts give him an edge in the violent underworld he knows so well, but even the watchful leopard inside him isn’t prepared for the threat that comes from the girl next door.

She is a woman who can create beauty out of thin air — and out of the ruins of her own life. The games that dangerous men play have taken their toll on her, but she is bent, not broken. And it’s her fierce spirit that’s like a lure to Joshua, a temptation he can’t resist — even if it means bringing his true nature into the light.

Monday, October 23, 2017





Weekly Book Reads


Weekly Book Reads is a weekly Monday Meme that is hosted by Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews:

Post the books read last week and books you plan on finishing this week.

Read Last Week:

1.  Thief's Mark - Carla Neggers
2.  Rituals - Kelley Armstrong

Weekly Book Reading:

1.  Wicked Deeds - Heather Graham
2.  Rituals - Kelley Armstrong

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Library Haul 2017 (Oct 22 - 28)



Library Haul


Here's the list of books/manga/manhwa/yaoi manga I picked up this week at the library:

Hardcover:

1.  Deep Freeze - John Sandford
2.  Wait for Dark - Kay Hooper
3.  Evil Eyes - Michael Slade
4.  The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story - Miriam C. Davis

Erin Johnson's Seashells, Spells and Caramels Blog Tour with a Spotlight and Giveaway

 


I am so excited to have Erin Johnson here at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews with a Spotlight and Giveaway.

Thanks Erin and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to join your Seashells, Spells and Caramels Blog Tour!

Please take it away, Erin!





Seashells, Spells & Caramels by Erin Johnson
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Self Published
Release Date – October 29, 2017
Paperback: 286 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1976214820







Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest — one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.

Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.

It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.

With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.





About the Author

A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Website: www.erinjohnsonwrites.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites. Twitter: @EJohnsonWrites
 
Purchase at AMAZON
 
Great Escapes Book Tours will be touring this book October 29 – November 4, 2017 too!


Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792612

Please follow the rest of the tour here, thanks:

http://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/book-blast-seashells-spells-caramels-erin-johnson







 
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