Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Exclusive excerpt from Flare:

“Stop it Max,” Emily said in earnest, retracting his leash, tugging him all the way back to her side.
Dagmore stepped forward, stopped and looked up at Jeremy as if seeking permission. Jeremy nodded and began to follow him forward.
Sighing, he stopped a few feet away. “Thanks. How are you?”
Now that he was up close she could see the bags under his eyes and signs of fatigue on his face. His green gaze held a haunted look.
“I’m doing okay. Look Jeremy, I’m sorry about your dad. You really should have let someone know.”
He was shaking his head in disagreement before she finished. “The gazette is a newspaper…remember? Can’t have word getting out.”
They were both silent for several seconds.
Max chose to fill the gap in conversation by making Dagmore feel unwelcome. Straining against the leash, he snarled at the diminutive dog.
The chihuahua eyed Jeremy for a moment. There was a subtle shift of his owner’s head and the dog opened his mouth and barked in response. Not the least bit intimidated by the larger terrier.
“How about you come out with me later for a beer,” Jeremy suggested with a familiar roguish look. “We’ll gossip about the boss and that girl you don’t like up in the marketing department.”
Emily stared at him. Was he talking about Lucy? How did he know Lucy? She’d never confided anything to him about her.
Jeremy smiled pleasantly, studying her.
When he noticed that she wasn’t chomping at the proffered carrot, he dangled a larger one. ‘I’ve been visiting some uh…friends up there. Found out some stuff… A lot of stuff.”
Friends, she puzzled sarcastically. Didn’t the marketing department have a new intern too? Still she was curious. What did he know about the Spakona?
“Really?” Emily replied with interest.
He nodded his dark head more vigorously, wet curls flopping as he did, then flinched and stopped. Spreading the fingers of one large hand over the top of his forehead he squeezed either temple with pinky and thumb.
“Are you okay?”
He shook his head more gingerly, removing the hand and taking another step forward. “I’ve got a killer headache,” he admitted.    
Leaning toward her to speak -- somewhat precariously by the way his feet lurched -- before he settled back on them. Head close to hers, his breath smelled of stale ale as he whispered, “If you come with me, I’ll tell you all of my secrets.”
Emily harbored serious doubt whether Jeremy could drink any more beers without keeling over. She didn’t want to be stuck driving him home in any case. Picturing how easily that scenario could go sideways.
Jeremy’s proximity set off Max like a collision alarm. Barking at the intern until he backed up a step. Mischievous eyes widening as he gave the terrier a sour look.
Smiling more amiably at Emily his expression conveyed, “Can’t blame a guy for trying.
She frowned at him. He was incorrigible.
Small in stature but not in mindset the chihuahua yelped right at Max then darted forward long enough to lick the toe of Emily’s right sneaker. Jumping out of the range of Max’s teeth when the terrier lunged forward. Squatting down a safe distance away as if mocking Max, he was cute.
“Hello Dagmore. What a well-behaved little fella you are,” Emily said in a friendly tone while keeping a firm hold on Max’s leash. The terrier obviously didn’t get the inference. Looking down at her own pooch, she hissed, “Calm down Max!”
Moving the hand holding the leash behind her, she stood between Max and Dagmore. The terrier tried to trot around her feet but she stopped him.
He settled for glowering over her left ankle at Dagmore and growling under his breath.  
The chihuahua looked up at her with warm beady eyes, placidly panting and got back to his feet moving closer. Wiggling in friendliness, he wagged the stub of a clipped tail like his hindquarters were powered by a battery.
“You’re a little flirt,” Emily noted. Like his owner.
As if to validate this observation, the little dog playfully trotted forward again. Due to Max’s restrained location or maybe because of it, Dagmore jumped up on his short hind legs with his upper legs gripping her lower calf and began humping her right ankle. Extending two inches of slightly wet, rosy-colored genitals across the top edge of her shoe, poking her rather aggressively. She could feel the dampness through her sock.
Ewww gross!
Max looked at the spectacle in appalled fascination. Tongue lolling out. Tearing his gaze away long enough to glance up at her accusingly with a look that said, “How come the little guy gets to do that?”

Monday, October 2, 2017


So Excited About This!!!!!

Congratulations P.S. Meraux!
"Luminary"
is a 2017 Readers' Favorite Silver Medal Winner in the Young Adult - Paranormal genre!
 

For immediate release:
Author's new book receives a warm literary welcome.
Readers' Favorite announces the review of the Young Adult - Paranormal book "Luminary" by P.S. Meraux, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1514679671.

Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the "Best Websites for Authors" and "Honoring Excellence" awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

Reviewed By Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite:

Luminary by P.S. Meraux is Volume 1 of the Luminary Saga. There is no written rule that says you can only have one soulmate in your lifetime. And there is nothing that says you get to choose your soulmate either. A student from Georgia has lost her soulmate; even worse, her backup soulmate has gone as well and she never got to meet either of them. This puts her life on an unexpected course and the Paragons, a race of supernatural beings, must step in and help. They must retrofit a soul to match with Emily and this won’t be pleasant. Unfortunately, it is the only way to make sure that soulmates match perfectly otherwise humanity cannot advance. Things are going wrong in the world of Paragon though; Emily isn’t the only one to lose her first and second soulmates so quickly and the Paragons now have a tough job on their hands to get everyone matched up again or face the failure of the human race.

Luminary (Luminary Saga) Volume 1 by P.S. Meraux is an interesting book with an original and thrilling plot. The detail in this story is superb and written in such a descriptive way that you can’t help but picture the story in your mind as you read it. The plot is original and that is great to see because so many books in a genre follow the same basic outline – it made a nice change to read something totally different. This is a light-hearted story, with humor scattered throughout, blended with fantasy and the supernatural, resulting in a great read that keeps you hooked from the first to the last pages. The characters were very well-developed, obviously in preparation for the next in the series. I can’t wait to read book two.

You can learn more about P.S. Meraux and "Luminary" at 
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/luminary where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.



Saturday, September 2, 2017

Readers Really Do Judge A Book By Its Cover

I had a dilemma for the final book in the Luminary Saga, Flare. Should I continue with the concept of making each cover visually independent of the previous ones...or revert back to the basic design of the silhouette over a different background? After re-configuring the cover art with a new take on the silhouette, I thought the decision was made. But a book is never done until it's actually published. Which meant I had some wiggle room.

It's true what they say -- readers really do judge a book by its cover. 

Thus I went back to the drawing board -- quite literally.  Playing around with some of the themes explored in the last book in the series, I added images and subtracted them until I was happy with the result. This second option I honestly like better and think is more indicative of a major event in Flare.

So when Flare comes out in October look for the book cover (below) with the volcano (new design). The old design (far below) with the silhouette will not be used; if you're looking for that at your favorite booksellers you won't find it.

I don't have the exact date for Flare's launch  -- which is fast approaching -- but I will post it as soon as it's available.


Cheers,
P.S. Meraux

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Mummy Flops in U.S. While Ranking in $$$ Overseas.


Warner Brothers had high hopes with their new creature feature, The Mummy. The reboot of the horror classic was supposed to kick off a new dark universe for the studio with more epic monster movies to come. Unfortunately the only scary thing about The Mummy is how poorly it’s doing at the U.S. box office. That fact alone may not herald a death knell for the burgeoning franchise. The film did very well overseas, making back the entire production budget during opening weekend.

Director Alex Kurtzman's The Mummy (2017) has a decent plot, some stellar CGI and decades of Hollywood lore to draw from. So why did it fail with American Audiences?

I have a theory.

And before Tom Cruise fans start yelling at me, hear me out. I don’t plan on bashing the guy or his acting. For the most part I can get behind and even applaud his roles. Cruise is excellent at playing the tough guy, the self-sacrificing hero with a patriotic soul. And people love him for it.
And that’s what I think part of the problem is with this movie.

The script for the 2017 film, while touted as a reboot of the Hollywood classic, actually seems to draw a lot of inspiration from director Stephen Sommers’ 1999 version of The Mummy. That one --starring Brendan Fraser went on to become a cult classic. I wasn’t even a fan of it when it first came out but by now I can quote almost every line.
The lead character was an opportunist rogue, named Rick with a map that’s supposed to help him in his search for treasure. He finds an ancient evil buried under the desert sand and inadvertently unleashes an unholy plague upon the earth. His buddy, Beni, winds up helping the resurrected Mummy.
Rick, with the help of a sweet-faced Egyptologist, her brother and a Medjai warrior who commands a legion of soldiers -- must band together to save the day. Oh, and one of them is to be sacrificed in order to reincarnate a powerful evil being.

In the 2017 version, the lead’s name is Nick. Also an opportunist rogue with a stolen map in search of treasure. He finds an ancient evil buried under the sand and inadvertently unleashes an unholy bitch upon the earth. His buddy, Vail, winds up indirectly helping the resurrected corpse.
Nick, with the help of a pretty archaeologist, her ally --who runs a consortium that tracks monsters, and a group of special forces types -- must band together to save the day. Oh and one of them is to be sacrificed in order to reincarnate a powerful evil being.

Everybody on the same page?


The problem with the modern version is that Kurtzman’s script lacks the essential humor of the Sommers’ feature. So does the cast. It doesn’t offer much that is new, aside from setting up this “monster watching’ consortium" with Dr. Jekyll at the helm. Which frankly added another level of exposition that was just too long.

Fraser’s Rick had a way of letting the audience in on the gag. Be it venting his frustration with Evie or Jonathan -- or even taking swipes at his former jailer. He never took himself too seriously and the audience was always in on it. There was great chemistry among the entire ensemble.

And while there are light moments in the 2017 film, Cruise works too hard at it. It’s more of an exercise in saying the right words at the right moment, yet it fails to charm. The audience is never invited to be in on the joke. Each line is delivered in a believable manner but lacks the mojo needed to captivate or woo. 

Another problem with this current Mummy is the ending. I know that Warner Brothers is setting up the sequel with it. This was not the proper way to go about it. Granted most people expect Cruise’s Ethan Hunt or Jack Reacher  to be self-sacrificing and not get the girl. However that’s not the character profile of Rick/Nick. And thus made the final scenes unsatisfying.

If this film was a paint by the numbers portrait, I’d say the technique is there. The painter managed to stay between the lines and select the right color scheme. And I might spend a moment looking at the end result on display -- just to be polite. But I wouldn’t take it home with me or call it art.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales


     While critics have lambasted Captain Jack Sparrow and his new assortment of frenemies in this fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, I have to call 'em out since I disagree with them. Granted it's not as good as the first POC was (what sequel is?) That doesn't mean it's unwatchable.
     The film is obviously going for a younger vibe with the introduction of Aussie actor, Brenton Thwaites -- you'll remember him as Prince Phillip from Maleficent and British actress Kaya Scodelario  -- you'll recall that she played Teresa Agnes in the Maze Runner films. She's returning to that role in 2018.
    There are a few cameos of well-established characters from the other films that round out the sizable cast which make it more memorable for fans of the franchise and I willingly admit to being one.
    The action is a little choppy in the beginning of the film as the background for Henry Turner (Thwaites) and the driving need to save his father is established.  It picks up shortly after that scene in the credits from At World's End.  That's all settled long before act two arrives and the true hunt for Poseidon's Trident gets underway in earnest.
     Carina (Scodelario) brings a stubborn, intelligent woman to the cast. Every good story needs one of those. She's not a pirate. When she and Henry discover that they share a similar childhood hardship, instant chemistry abounds.
     The script offers glimpses of Jack's backstory and a little more of Captain Barbossa's past. It's nice to see that he's not quite as horrid as he was in some of the other films.
     I won't go into Captain Salazar's role too much as I don't wish to spoil the show. The ending was predictable but very satisfying. People were actually clapping in the theater when I saw it.  So whether critics poo-poo it or not the rest of us were pleased. Not only by this film but the prospect of two more to come. In the words of Captain Jack Sparrow: "Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!" 


Friday, March 31, 2017

Why Beauty and the Beast Works....


Whether it's boy meets girl, girl meets boy, girl meets girl, or boy meets boy -- the set up for a love story is important. In reality, it truly is a tale as old as time. There are literally millions of venues for the set up to take place. One of the things that makes Beauty and the Beast work so well is the set-up.
It's simple and yet contradictory. The Beast imprisons Belle's father for pilfering a rose from the garden. A hefty price to pay for a pretty bloom, no matter how you look at it.
In doing so, the Beast brings about the unexpected  meeting with this fiercely protective, head-strong girl, Belle. Granted, inter-species relationships were probably not as popular when the story was originally penned in 1740 as they are now. 

The great irony of Beauty and the Beast is that-- keeping Belle captive and getting to know her may bring about the Beast's freedom from this evil curse. A curse he was put under for his selfish behavior. But the act of imprisoning her in the first place-- is very selfish. 
Fortunately for the Beast-- his magical household staff is better at romancing the girl on his behalf. At least initially, quelling the fireworks and animosity between the two. Thank goodness that Lumiere is there to interfere and nudge the courtship along.
At this point one may question who's the captor and the captive. Some may argue that such ambiguity is what makes the dynamic between Belle and the Beast work.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

One of the best aspects of Belle's character is that the girl doesn't need permission to be herself. Bravo! The new film continues that sense of empowerment. When Belle's father is in trouble, the Beast sacrifices his own future for her benefit.
The resultant consequences for the Beast and his household are both troublesome and wondrous. Sacrificing something a character desperately wants so that someone else can be happy isn't a bad gesture. It's a common trope in many love stories. And when it comes to unselfish gestures, Beauty and the Beast is full of them.

A Sequel? Perhaps

I've always wanted for there to be a sequel to this story where the witch who cursed the Beast enacted a similar charm on Gaston. Although technically, he does love someone: Himself.

Like Lumiere, Waxine, the enchanted candelabra in my first novel, Luminary has her own brand of magic. And her own opinions about how it should be used. Maybe I'll put her to work casting a spell on Gaston. If nothing else, she could make him fawn over someone...perhaps even LeFou.  

I hope you enjoy viewing the film.  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Easter Eggs and Hidden Gems


   It's not exactly Candy Crush, but there are some hidden gems in the novels which make up the Luminary Saga.
As an author whose sanity is sometimes debatable -- I feel a responsibility to put more attention into the tiny details of my books than the average reader might reasonably be expected to discover. I find little ways to tuck seemingly unrelated items inside the chapters. They’re of my own playful design, an extra **secret** hidden in the pages for my satisfaction more than anything else. At least I thought they were hidden.

    I’ve gotten some fun questions from attentive readers that I think are very clever. Not just because they like my books. (Hey, I really appreciate that too.) But because they’re asking about the Easter eggs.
While the obstacles the protagonists encounter in the books are fairly obvious, and differ from one novel to the next, the secrets don’t stop there.
     Since the first book in the series starts with Luminary, it shouldn’t be surprising to people that many of the descriptive terms have to do with some form of light. Even the beer. Corona -- as one brilliant reader rightly pointed out, is a crown of light.

 And Wendy’s not so secret crush in Beacon?

When the hairdresser gushes and sometimes mimics her favorite actor,
Liam Neeson, it signals something that fans have picked up on. Another perceptive reader discovered that whenever Wendy makes a reference to Liam in any of the books, the next chapter gets a tie-in. Usually its title comes from one of his hit movies.

The final chapter?

And several vigilant readers have spoken up about the secret of the final chapter in each book: it always includes a clue to the title of the next book.
Do the Easter eggs stop there?
I’m not telling. Why spoil the fun of the avid page-turners who are earnestly hunting them down? When they do, I’ll post them.

  Happy Reading,
P.S. Meraux