Tapas and jam

There’s a little jewel in Aransas Pass just waiting for you to discover it. It’s not hard to find, just easy to overlook so let me point it out to you.

It’s The Rialto Theater on Commercial Street. The Art Deco style venue originally opened in 1937, part of a chain that was headquartered in Beeville. The Aransas Pass theater had 500 seats and at the time was the only air conditioned space in the region. It operated as a single screen cinema until 1991 when it closed, yielding to competition from multiplexes.

And there it stood, shuttered, until it caught the eye of Jen Rubinowitz. Originally from Indiana and Kentucky, Jen worked for a time for AT&T and MCI. In the 1990s MCI moved to Texas and Jen moved with it. She loves the water, fishing and diving and kept coming back to Rockport and Port Aransas to enjoy those activities. Drawn to “old buildings and old houses,” she spied the Rialto Theater and felt called to do something with it. She was heartened in 2003 when she saw a “Sale Pending” sign and thought that someone would be bringing the Rialto back to life. When the sale fell through, she decided the theater’s revitalization was up to her so she bought it. Cleaning up flood damage to the interior was a monumental undertaking and she ended up having to close the theater temporarily.

When she reopened it Jen’s original concept was to make it a type of artist commune with leased studio spaces, taking inspiration from urban commercial repurposing projects like Boston’s Fanieul Hall Marketplace and Monterey’s The Cannery. That worked for a while. So did having theater groups put on plays but it all didn’t quite turn out the way she envisioned.

Rialto Theater.In 2006 Jen formed her own non-profit organization with an eye toward creating the cinema drafthouse experience, that is, to offer dinner and drinks with movies. To that end she obtained a liquor license for the Rialto so now beer and wine are available as well as soft drinks. In June the theater started Tapas Tuesdays. Guests can enjoy snacks as well as beverages at happy hour prices that begin at 5:00 p.m. and continue until 6:30 p.m. when the stage is available for the acoustic jam.

Jam_CrowdJen encourages musicians to participate in the jam. Check your stage fright at the door. The musicians are laid back and eager to share their talent and energy to make a happy noise, and the folks in the audience are relaxed and supportive. The jam “gives people space to work on their fear and develop their talent.” Jen has really enjoyed hearing performances by “the coolest people” and seeing them blossom. She’ll often join in along with her husband, Jake. They met at the Rialto when they started performing together.

The Rialto serves as an art gallery too. Check out the gallery and gift shop open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11-4 and Tuesday evenings when the theater is open for the jam. A portion of the sales goes to the theater’s renovation and operation.

The restoration has been a labor of love. Jen has renovated old houses but never a commercial space and nothing of this size. Some restorers of historic buildings go to great lengths to use only period-authentic materials and furnishings. Jen is more interested in having the building “open and alive even if it is raw.” Her current challenge is to level part of the floor to create a cinema lounge area. Boyd Camera will be donating time and equipment so that the Rialto can offer digital films. Jen has no intention of trying to compete with the multiplexes but sees the Rialto operating as an art house especially since there aren’t any in the area.

She’s also looking to establish a year-round calendar. For starters there’s Tapas and Acoustic Jam every Tuesday night at the Rialto. Saturday, July 4 a special BBQ and Blues featuring the Hot Attacks to benefit the theater is being held at the Tiki Bar located at 508 Bigelow in Aransas Pass.  Upcoming events on the Rialto calendar include “Suite Surrender,” a melodrama directed by Karen Cline-Tardiff, slated for August. Set in 1942, it’s the story of two of Hollywood’s biggest divas who descend on the luxurious Palm Beach Royale Hotel, assistants, luggage, and legendary feud with one another in tow and find themselves assigned to the same suite.

For more information visit the Web site at www.rialtotheater.org. Send an email to art@rialtotheater.org or call 361-758-0383. Or, just come by 327 S. Commercial Street in Aransas Pass. I’ll see you there. — http://devorahfox.com

 

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Monochrome by H.M. Jones

Have you discovered Monochrome by H.M. Jones? Looks intriguing doesn’t it? What would you do to protect your memories?

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 2: Monochrome

[Abigail] hoped to reason with the lunatic who, for some reason, abducted her. “You’re obviously not interested in hurting me. I don’t know why you brought me here or what…”

The stranger exhaled, interrupting her. “Look, you’re not listening. You aren’t the first person I’ve led to think I am crazy,” he said, reading her tone correctly. “And you won’t be the last.”

He took a final drag of his cigarette, flicked it away and crushed the butt under a black, buckled boot. “Again, I didn’t take you here and ‘here’ is not the place you were before. This place is called Monochrome and you are here because you didn’t want to be where you were.”

Her tolerance quoted was filled. This man’s crazy talk was holding her up. She stalked toward him, grabbed his coat collar in her hands and shook him.

“Listen, asshole, tell me how to get home or, so help me God, I’ll make you wish you’d never met me.” She didn’t raise her voice. She knew the rage distorting her face was proof enough to convince him to stop playing with her.

The stranger tilted his hat up and peered into her light green eyes with eyes the color of tar. No, not tar. Tar does not glimmer. Abigail thought this man must have swallowed a universe full of stars, so that it would sparkle, deadly, in his eyes. His gaze unnerved her and made her dizzy. She dropped her hands from his collar, her arms shaking and her knees weak.

“Thank you,” he stated, unmoved, as he returned to his seat on the fallen tree. Abigail stumbled as she backed away, tripping over the same cold, hard rock she hit her head on upon first waking. She fell backwards and landed on her side.

“I hope you’re okay?” The man asked, without a hint of sympathy.

“Fine. Just a scrape on my hand and maybe a bruise on the side of my leg. But don’t get up…” She sarcastically shot at the stranger, who went back to his relaxed position on the fallen tree and was now carelessly lighting another cigarette. His face was lit behind the flash of the match, a sulfur tang stinging the air. He’s handsome, for an asshole.

She sat up from her fall and examined the damage, only to stop short. She remembered putting on a pair of jeans and a flannel this morning. She brushed dust from her side and gasped. Instead of the coarse tightness of denim, her hands slid effortlessly across a length of fabric, cashmere soft.

She stood up and patted her person, looking down in shock at the indigo velvet dress that fell from her hips. The dress bustled in the back. Black buttons dotted her from torso to neck, and black lace cuffs accented the paleness of her skin. The dress was more appropriate for a Victorian romance novel than the twenty-first century.

“Um, what am I wearing and where are my old clothes?” Abigail started. “Did you…” she flushed, “change me?”

The man guffawed, offended. “Do I really look that creepy?”

“Well, I didn’t change myself and you’re the only one I see,” she answered. “And, yes, you are a bit creepy, so…”

The stranger’s pursed his lips, amused. “You’re funny. No, I didn’t change you.”

He played with his cigarette to avoid her glare. “What you wear can reflect what you feel on the inside in this place, though most people here are cognizant enough to go through changes very often. You must feel…”

He scrutinized her dress with midnight eyes. Abigail got the impression if he examined her closely with those eyes, he could see every dark secret she bore. She shivered. “Caged. You feel caged. Lonely. Like I said, most people’s wardrobe doesn’t really change much, except for color. And it usually derives from something they owned or wore in their other life. But that dress says repressed.”

She wore a dress like this to a tea party her friend put on. It was a rental. She almost forgot about that day.

Surprising herself, she retorted, “And you feel bored and apathetic.”

She was referring to his black and grey tones, the careless, worn wool hat over slightly disheveled, mussed hair, the charcoal pea-coat over torn jeans. Every piece of fabric, every leisurely gesture, gave the impression he tried very hard to look like he didn’t care about how others saw him.

He raised a quizzical eye. “Not exactly. So, are you ready to hear about this place or not, lady?”

“Abigail. Abigail Benet,” she insisted.

The man exhaled smoke from his cigarette and nodded in greeting. “Ishmael Dubois.”

She shook her head in astonishment. “Perfect. Shall I call you Ishmael, then?”

Ishmael rolled his eyes playfully. “Yes. Call me Ishmael, and I’ve heard that before. Do you want to know why you’re here, Abby?”

About the Author

H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor book Monochrome, being republished by Gravity, the Attempting to Define poetry series, and the soon to be released Masters of Time Anthology. Find out more on the book’s Website and check out the Monochrome trailer.

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A letter from Benny from The Light Storm of 2015 : A Look Inside #MastersOfTime #scifi #anthology | Samantha LaFantasie

A letter from Benny from The Light Storm of 2015 : A Look Inside #MastersOfTime #scifi #anthology | Samantha LaFantasie.

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#IX Tour

Roman legionnaires, far from home, lost in the mists of Caledonia.

A  US cavalry company, engaged on a special mission, vital to the peace treaty proposed by Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln.

A twenty-first century Special Forces unit, desperate to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

From vastly different backgrounds, these soldiers are united when they are snatched away from Earth at the moment of their passing. Thinking they may have been granted a reprieve, imagine their horror when they discover they have been transported to a failing planet on the far side of the galaxy, where they are given a simple ultimatum. Fight or die. Against all odds, this group of misfits manages to turn the tide against a relentless foe, only to discover the true cost of victory might exact a price they are unwilling to pay.

How far would you be willing to go to stay alive?

The IX. Sometimes, death is only the beginning of the adventure.

The IXIt’s  The IX by Andrew P. Weston, a science fiction novel published earlier this year (January 26, 2015 ).

I found it to be imaginative, highly original and unique. Much fiction in general is about good guys vs. bad guys, and in Sci-Fi the battle tends to be about the weaponry. The IX is about an epic struggle for survival and the weaponry is indeed important but there is much to the story than that, such as portraits of leadership, heroism and team-building.

Because it is about a life-and-death struggle there are lots of battle scenes. LOTS of battle scenes. Those who enjoy reading about strategy will appreciate the knowledge and creativity that went into crafting every conflict.

The writing is lively and well paced. The dialog sounds natural and believable. Precise word choices paint vivid detailed pictures. Complex concepts and technologies are explained adroitly, in context, without disrupting the narrative flow or taking the reader out of the story.

The drama and suspense sustains until the very last word of the moving ending.

Author Bio

Andrew P. Weston is a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats. An astronomy and law graduate, he is a contracted writer of fiction and poetry. Creator of “The IX” – and the “Guardians” and “Cambion Journals” series, has also has the privilege of being a member of the British Science Fiction Association, and British Fantasy Society.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA in one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

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Giveaway:  There is a Rafflecopter giveaway for this tour:  $10 Amazon/Barnes & Noble Gift Card or Book Depository Credit; One (1) Digital Copy of Outpassage by Janet and Chris Morris and The Sacred Band by Janet Morris, published by Perseid Press. Ends 6/12 so enter now.


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King Bewilliam needs YOU!

King Bewilliam needs YOU to nominate “The King’s Redress” for one of the 50 Books Worth Reading.
ReadFree.ly
Or, just fill out this form right here (use the scroll bars to fill out the form with the book title (The King’s Redress) and the author name (Devorah Fox):

The genre is Fantasy.

In a previous contest you made King Bewilliam a Finalist. This year, you can make him a WINNER. Vote, and encourage your friends to vote too. If he wins, King Bewilliam will hold a huge feast in celebration. 😉

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Perfectly Straight #PStr8Blast

Can Stevie resolve the conflict between her public and private persona?
Publication Date: May 11, 2015
Genre: Erotic Romance
Stevie Ramsey, America’s Sweetheart, is an actress who enjoys phenomenal popularity and success. She has one significant secret that she guards fiercely—she is a closeted lesbian who is in a relationship with her personal assistant, Kylie Winston. Kylie, a former model, maintains the position in title only as suggested by Stevie’s svengali-like manager. Eventually Stevie caves to pressure to have an affair with Fletcher Coleman, a hot up-and-coming actor as a ruse to fool her public. However the plan explodes in Stevie’s face and a heart-broken and betrayed Kylie leaves her.
But the actress pines for her gorgeous ex-lover, Kylie Winston who has moved to New York where she has resumed a successful modeling career. Stevie resolves to win back Kylie, but also decides to finally dedicate herself to her craft and takes charge of her career for the first time.
Perfectly Straight follows Stevie Ramsey as she struggles to find her way through life and love exploring relationships with women and men until finally accepting her identity. Can Stevie resolve the conflict between her public and private persona?

Jacqueline Campos is the author of the celebrity-based erotic books, “The Arrangement” and “Perfectly Straight.”

When not writing books and screenplays she can be found vowing to take up yoga and guitar lessons on the guitar that was given to her by her mother many Christmases ago. She is usually searching for an inspiring view of nature, simplicity, and peace. Although she lives in Southern California, she always has Texas and Chicos Tacos in her heart.

Jacqueline found herself writing to create stories that were entertaining but not necessarily the norm. She would like her novels to be exciting and to contain messages of love, kindness, and respect—and of course, sex with no holds barred.


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Now it can be revealed: Forced to Remember

Forced to Remember v2The weight of the world feels heavy on my shoulders. Desperation touches everything. Memories forgotten, truths untold. Humanity is threatened. Their safety granted in exchange for me. But I won’t go without a fight.

With strange occurrences taking place in the city, it’s up to Elsa and her team to discover why. But an odd encounter at an abandoned warehouse leaves the team with more questions than answers. Just when the team least expects it, Alexander returns, and he’s not alone or without demands: the world’s safety in exchange for Elsa. They have only one week to decide while the world falls under Alexander’s wrath and his powerful army of followers. Avalon seeks help from every Nepherium that can be spared and hope it will be enough to stop Alexander.

Coming July 2015!

About the Author

IMG_3836.32

A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her three kids and arguing with her characters. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.
Samantha became a bestselling author with the Pandora Boxed Set (which includes Made to Forget: Nepherium Novella series–Part One) on both Amazon and USA Today.
Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.
Want more from Samantha? Keep up with her at any of her digital hangouts.

 

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Get acquainted

Get acquainted with Logan 6 who appears in the eponymous short story in the Masters of Time Sci-Fi/Fantasy Time Travel anthology. Not only is he an intriguing guy, but he also makes you question certain things and serves as a warning about over-reaching our bounds–if there is such a thing. Listen in as we learn a little bit more about Logan 6.

Logan, tell us a little bit about yourself, and why your last name is a number?

I’m a clone, genetically enhanced to withstand the strain of time travel. Many other clones would see me as privileged, because generally you’d see my kind marching off to war on behalf of human governments, or working dangerous and strenuous jobs. I don’t have to do that–I just have to travel through time. But even then, that task has its own risks.

I don’t have parents to speak of, because I was not born like a normal person, but there are one or two people who I admire. The number six is attached to my name because I am the sixth Logan.

And where are the other five?

[Hesitates] It’s…like a family secret. It’s obvious there are (or were) other Logans, but I’ve never met them. No one at the laboratory I live at really talk about them.

And you never walked up to the scientists and asked, “Hey, I noticed that I’m #6, what’s up with that?”

I do think about it, but, I’m also modified to be fiercely loyal and obedient. So, questioning my makers feels like betrayal. I’m sure there are good reasons why I’m the only Logan around.

So they make you travel through time. What’s your mission?

I don’t want to say. Not just yet. But we are trying to save people. We are trying to help.

Do you like being a clone?

I never thought about whether or not I liked it. I wake up, report to the lab, and do my job. That’s my life. Does a soldier like his job?

But what do you do when you’re not doing your job?

[leans in and whispers] I watch movies.

What kind of…movies?

About people. People who laugh and cry, who sacrifice themselves and who search for answers. Don’t tell anyone at the laboratory about that. They don’t know I do that.

Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me. Thanks for stopping by, Logan. It was fun chatting with you.

Masters of TimeMy pleasure. And if you want to find answers to your earlier questions, you’re going to have to pick up a copy of Masters of Time.

 

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The price is right?

The Lost King by Devorah FoxYou get the veto. Amazon suggested that you would prefer the price of The Lost King Kindle edition to be $2.99. This is a 25% discount over the previous listed price.

You readers can vote with your pocketbook and we’ll see if amazon is right.

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Getting a Feel for STEAMPUNK #Djinn Tour

I’m rather fond of Steampunk and hope to write in that genre one of these days. If you’re not familiar with it, this guest post by author A. Star provides a great introduction.

From what I’ve learned in all of my research is that Steampunk has many interpretations. But mostly, it is about visualizing the nineteenth century in a more advanced light. A delightful blend of history and science fiction.

Most Steampunk books take place in the Victorian era, which is a time period where technology first spread its wings and started to really fly. Things once deemed impossible came to fruition and the Steampunk genre takes that to the next level: taking things such as computers and robotics, and making them a normal part of Victorian society.

Steampunk is inspired by the use of steam technology and how it transformed the modern Victorian era. It’s fun to reimagine nineteenth century technology with the capabilities of some of the more modern devices we enjoy. And then there is the fashion! Never have I seen an era so tailored to expressing individuality. It’s amazing really.

To me, Steampunk is a sub-genre of not only Science Fiction, but of Fantasy as well. The use of imagination and implementation of things and characters that don’t actually exist is at the heart of what the fantasy genre is all about. It’s about creating a world that pushes the limits between the possible and impossible. So when I’m asked how is Steampunk different from Fantasy, my answer is, “It’s not.”

The Djinn Order series takes place in modern Boston, but also in a fantasy world that I feel totally embodies the Steampunk genre. Magic plays a major role in the series as we are dealing with Djinn and that just adds a whole other layer of fun and wonder. As is true to all of my other books, I do put my own spin on what is “Steampunk” in this world while still trying to stay true to the genre and period that inspired it. I don’t swear up and down that I always hit the mark, but if I even got close, then that’s an accomplishment in my eyes.

More about author A. Star

A. Star is a fan of dirty passion. She loves to read it, and she damn sure loves to write it. She is the author of the Mythos: Gods & Lovers series, the Djinn Order series, and the Knights of the Joust series. She is a night-owl and a coffee junkie, and the only sneaker she would be caught dead wearing are Converses.

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Wish for MeMore about the book Wish for Me:

Three wishes. Two lovers. One destiny.

When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.

Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.

But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.

WARNING: Not suitable for ages 18 and under. A significant source of bad language, sexy times, and dirty jokes. If you suffer from a lack of a sense of humor, take with plenty of wine. If the symptom persists, see a doctor.

Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Goodreads | Kobo  | iTunes

Enter the giveaway for this tour for a chance to win a $10 Amazon/Barnes & Noble Gift Card or credit at the Book Depository. Ends 5/15.

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