A Lucy Review: Bump by Matthew J. Metzger

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

David’s pregnant.

He’s always wanted to have children, and being a stepfather for the past two years has been a great adventure. There’d even been a plan to start looking into adoption and turn their family of three into four.

But now there’s a bump, and David doesn’t know what to do. He’s spent years escaping the grip of his own body and burying the past—but there’s no way he can hide from his history if he lets the bump get any bigger. It’s not just his baby; it’s also his breakdown.

He doesn’t know if he can do this.

Books dealing with this subject matter fascinate me because I can’t begin to imagine the strength it takes to go through with what it’s going to do to your body and your mind, yet it’s something you’ve always wanted. That’s the dilemma David is in right now.  He and his partner, Ryan, were in a car accident and his HRT was reduced due to liver issues.  Reduced too much, apparently, because what happened was pregnancy.  David is a veterinarian, an educated, established man and this rocks his being to the core.

This was interesting to me because I remember reading of Thomas Beatie, a transgender man who carried three children with his now ex-wife.  The media made it seem so happy and carefree and at the time I wondered how true that could be.  Here, it is far from simple.  David first can’t even decide whether to keep the baby, knowing what it may to do his core self having to now be seen, again, as female.  I did appreciate that David didn’t just make the decision without consulting Ryan, even though Ryan himself puts David before anything.  When David makes but can’t keep an appointment for an abortion, it’s a rough time ahead.

There were times during this story things weren’t explained until later.  Such as, I didn’t realize for a while that Ryan is in a wheelchair and you don’t find out until much later why.  Not a huge deal but it did have me going back a couple times to see if I missed something.  His status as well, sort of popped out of nowhere and surprised me.

David and Ryan are a solid couple and thankfully they talk to each other.  When David needs space to deal, Ryan gives it without getting his feelings hurt.  David knows he’s being unreasonable sometimes, “I’ll make it up to you.”  I just really liked them together. Add in that Ava, at age five, actually acts like a five-year-old and this family seemed real.  Alas, Ryan’s brother, Jay, and his mother, Aggie, also seemed too real and disgusting.  All I can say is, go pregnant David!  We do get Ryan’s mom, who makes up for Ryan’s lack of family sense.  The reason for naming the baby Sam was a little heartbreaking.  “He’d died because he hurt, not because he’d hurt other people.”  David’s feelings on both Ben and Sam, also so real.

What this story focuses on is what having this baby that they so want is doing to David.  Especially since for years he’s not had to come out as trans.  He has been just a man and that will inevitably change.  “Because ultimately, David wasn’t a trans man. He was a man.  Nothing else. No qualifier.”  The dysphoria David suffers comes through loud and clear.  When he hears Sam’s heartbeat, it’s not a happy thing for him.  “He’d never known he could hear his own dysphoria.”  It’s never ending. “He’d been so horrified by his own baby moving that he’d thrown up.”   The fact that he’s also dealing with snide comments, stares and the massive waste of space that is Ryan’s brother and mother, well, I’m glad Ryan is who he is. “Knights riding in on white wheelchairs to save the day.”   Glad that David has friends such as Vicky who knew him before and support him always.  That Ava and Ryan’s ex are there for support as well. That the midwife, Nadia, is what medical professionals should be.

From his awkward boss to Ava’s ignorant teacher to sitting in a waiting room full of women, it’s just an emotional slap over and over.  We read his struggle and feel his fear that after all this, he’s going to end up with a baby he doesn’t love.  This is something I appreciated because not everyone gives birth and has that “hallelujah” moment, this child is perfection.  Sometimes those hormones have to settle before you can feel it and that’s a normal thing.

This was such an interesting read with a hopeful, happy ending.  Definitely would recommend it.

Cover art: Natasha Snow.

Sales Links:  NineStar PressAmazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: November 5th 2018 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781949909104
Edition LanguageEnglish

COVER REVEAL: Separation by Louise Lyons

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Separation by Louise Lyons

Release date: March 31, 2017

Cover design: Simon Searle

Blurb

Matthew Langford is told on his twenty-first birthday that he has a twin. After the initial shock, he quickly realizes this is why he always felt part of him was missing. His search takes him 200 miles to Devon, UK, where he meets fraternal twin, Tremaine Wheal.

The pair discover many things in common, and quickly become as close as if they’d never been separated. But when they share a moment in a nightclub, each realizes there is more between them than having shared a womb. Panic sets in and they part. Once again their separation brings loneliness and pain.

Eventually, unable to stay away from each other, they tentatively move forward together as lovers. But secrets don’t stay secret for long, and discovery and questions threaten their happiness.

This is a taboo story featuring twins.

Length: 45,000 words

Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Social Media

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/louiselyonsauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/louiselyons013

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/louiselyons013

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/louiselyons013

Blog: www.louiselyonsauthor.com

Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com

An Alisa Release Day Review : Sunchaser (Smilodon Pride #2) by Beryll Brackhaus and Osiris Brackhaus

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

sunchaserRoan has pretended to be a human for long enough. He needs to get out of town and roam the land, as any proper werecat should.

 

The last thing he wants is his conscience insisting he should save an abused werewolf from a traveling circus first. The very last thing he expects is the local sheriff’s daughter having the exact same idea – and beating him to the punch.

 

Their rescue goes spectacularly wrong, and suddenly Roan, Betsy and their crippled wolf find themselves fleeing across the US for the Mexican border, chased by the police and vengeful circus fey alike.

 

Sunchaser is a non-romance, road-movie-ish urban fantasy adventure novel about a werecat drifter, a wide-eyed human girl and a defective werewolf learning that sometimes, family really is the ones you didn’t pick.

 

Roan has spent his life roaming all around, never staying in one place longer than necessary.  He still keeps up with his family, but never allows himself to care for anyone else.  When he decides to save the abused werewolf he forces himself to have a hard look at how he has been living his life.

 

This story is told from Roan’s point of view and we get to know Betsy and Martin through his eyes.  To put it plainly Roan is quite selfish at the beginning to the story and does his best to put aside any introspection.  He learns that people are not always what they seem when he is injured while rescuing the werewolf and Betsy takes care of him.  As they spend more time together they grow closer as friends and we can see Betsy growing up a bit now that she has gotten from underneath her father’s thumb.  I loved all three of these characters and felt horrible for Martin in what had happened to him, but at least we were able to see him getting better.  I just wish we were able to learn some more about him, but maybe that will come in later books.  I look forward to reading more books in this series and learning more about this family.

 

Cover art is great and portrays the story setting and characters nicely.

 

Sales Link: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 194 pages

Published: October 14, 2016

Edition Language: English

Series: Smilodon Pride #2

A Stella Review: ROADSIDE RESCUE by Caitlin Ricci

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Rating: 3,75 out of 5 stars

Roadside RescueAfter her girlfriend leaves her for an ex, Kelly takes off with her mustang, Shoni, and as many of her things as she can pack into her truck. The flip of a coin has her going west along I-70 from her home in Missouri, sending her toward Colorado. While driving through Dove Creek, she gets a flat tire on her trailer. She has a spare, but in his panic, Shoni manages to jerk the trailer enough to damage the wheel.

Her salvation comes in the form of sexy mechanic, Brigid, who owns a shop nearby. With a few days to wait for the wheel, the two get to know each other. A bit of fun isn’t all Brigid wants from her, but Kelly isn’t ready to jump into anything new so soon after her break up, and when Brigid offers her a job, Kelly doesn’t want to tie her life to someone so completely again.

Kelly is in need of some stability, and that’s exactly what Brigid is offering her. If she’s willing to take a chance on letting another woman into her life again, Brigid might be just who she needs. 

Roadside Rescue was my first Caitlin Ricci work I read, plus it was the first FF story I tried. And I have to say it was a success.

Kelly is travelling with his mustang gelding, Shoni with no idea where to go. She just wants to leave Missouri behind and she has no intention to be back. Until her truck stops in Dove Creek, population 291, where Brigid, a beautiful mechanic, lives. The attraction between the two women is clear from the first sight.  But after a bad break up with a cheating exgirlfriend, it is too soon to Kelly to be involved with someone and trust that person, right? Still, Brigid is a force of nature and pretty impossible to resist.

Roadside Rescue is very short, just 35 pages, but really well done. I liked the writing, easy to read and the characters were enough developed and with enough background, just to make the reader enjoy the story. And the little sex scene was the icing on the cake. It was sexy and lovely and real too. I liked it a lot and I’ll surely read more by Caitlin Ricci, maybe another FF.

The cover art by Natasha Snow is well done, great colors and the artist is a favorite of mine.

Sales Links

NineStar Press

        

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 35 pages
Publication Date June 27th 2016 by NineStar Press

ISBN13 9781911153610
Edition Language English

A Free Dreamer YA Review: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Boy Meets Boy This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

Boy Meets Boy“ by David Levithan is a young adult book set in a small town in the USA.

Paul is gay, has always liked boys and has always known he prefers boys over girls. The first time he realized not every boy had the same preferences as him was in kindergarten. His kindergarten teacher wrote on his report that he was definitely and that he was also very sure of himself. Now he is in his sophomore year and falls in love with Noah, the new boy in school.

“Boy Meets Boy” features a set of very unique characters, such as Infinite Darlene, a male to female trans girl, who is prom queen and star football player at the same time.

Paul’s town is a bit of a utopia. Nobody gets hate for their sexual preferences and everybody is accepted just as they are. That definitely takes some getting used to. It was a little hard for me to get into the story at first, but eventually I ended up loving it.

Homophobia is an important topic nonetheless, since Tony’s parents, think their son will be damned and go to hell for being gay. Paul does his best to help his friend and make life easier for him. I really enjoyed that part of the story. The deep friendship between the two was obvious from the start.

The love story between Noah and Paul was slow to unfold and there were definitely some obstacles to overcome before their eventual happily ever after. Paul comes up with some very unique and creative ideas to woo his love interest and make up for his mistakes.

I loved how the author managed to make homo- and transphobia an issue and yet a non-issue at the same time. I liked Paul from the beginning, even if I didn’t always agree with his choices.

“Boy Meets Boy” is a light, fun read that left me with a smile at the end. It was very funny and there were quite a few laugh-out-loud scenes in there. I can’t wait to get my hands on more books by this author.

If you like your YA love stories to be a little strange, with some very quirky and unique characters, then go for it.  Just don’t expect a deeply serious coming-of-age story.

The tenth anniversary edition also features a special short story about Infinite Darlene. It’s set on Valentine’s Day and tells about her first date with a male cheerleader. I quite enjoyed that little story as well.

Cover: The cover is very simplistic, with the all blue background and three candy hearts with the title in them. I actually quite like it though. It’s cute and fits the story.

Sale Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Published February 19th 2009 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published September 9th 2003)
Original TitleBoy Meets Boy
ASINB002ZW7E6O
Edition LanguageEnglishsettingNew Jersey (United States)

Literary AwardsLambda Literary Award (2003), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2008)

Love and Kink Returns When The Sub Club Continues with ‘Pain Slut (The Subs Club #2)’ by J.A. Rock (giveaway)

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Pain Slut (The Subs Club #2) by J.A. Rock
Published by Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist Kanaxa

Read an Excerpt/Purchase a Copy Here

Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release Pain Slut—Book 2 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win your choice of two backlist ebooks and a $10 Amazon gift card!

About Pain Slut

Honestly, I’m ready to take a step back from the Subs Club. Making the kink world a safer place for subs is the sort of bandwagon I’d have boarded as an idealist in my early twenties, but now I’m a pragmatist in my late twenties. I prefer to focus on adopting and raising a child.

But unexpected factors inevitably derail my plans. Like Drix Seger—attractive and the first genuine sadist I’ve encountered. If I were not in the process of renouncing my masochistic ways and becoming the normal, responsible potential father the adoption agency wants to see, Drix and I might do well together. But he has a foolish name and belongs to a cult of vampyres, and I am quitting kink. So why does Drix’s infatuation with blood and biting make me so hot I can’t think straight? And why, when he looks at me, does he seem to see something beyond a basket case with a stick up my ass?

Can I start a new phase in my life without leaving part of myself behind? Please send help.

—Miles

About the Subs Club series

After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.

From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.

This title is part of the The Subs Club Collection collection. Check out the collection discount! – See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/pain-slut

About the Author

J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

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Giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of two backlist titles from J.A. Rock and a $10 Amazon gift card. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 6, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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The Subs Club (The Subs Club, #1) with a link to our review, a highly rated novel at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Pain Slut (The Subs Club, #2)  our review to follow

Manties in a Twist (The Subs Club, #3) – a delicious title that’s coming soon….

24/7 (The Subs Club, #4) as is this

Coffee Sip and Book Break with Elle E. Ire ‘Vicious Circle’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Book Name: Vicious Circle (Guardian Assassin #1) by Elle E. Ire
Release Date: November 4, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Torquere Press

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Blurb

Assassin meets innocent. When sweet and attractive Kila asks Cor to eliminate her abusive brother, Cor is more than willing to take the contract, but things aren’t what they seem, and for Cor, her trust and love aren’t easy to give.

 

Excerpt

Kila might not pose a threat, but she was not what she appeared to be.

She pulled the covers from me and examined the wound on my arm. It showed no signs of infection. She’d done a good job, a better job than a barmaid should have.

My eyelids grew heavier. The room became dim, and I blinked to clear my vision. “You’ve had medical training.”

“You could say that.” She wrapped the blankets around me and tucked them in like a mother for her child. Something about her made me feel warm and safe. I fought to shake it off.

“What else could I say? Who are you?” I demanded.

She smiled cryptically. “I’m the least important member of my family. Not like you.”

I scowled at her. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” My voice rose and fell in my ears, echoing in a disconcerting manner.

She turned away from me, instead facing my table, the bag, the book. “You are

Corianne Sandros, the Core of Sardonen. And I want to hire you to kill my brother.”

Pages or Words: 92,800 words
Categories: Lesbian Romance, Science Fiction

Buy the book:  Torquere Books

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Meet the Author

Elle E. Ire resides in the Disney-created town of Celebration, Florida, with her spouse, twin daughters, and two dogs. A graduate of the University of Miami, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in creative writing but left the MFA program when they refused to allow her to write genre fiction, instead receiving a Master’s in Literature mostly made up of writing courses. Currently, she teaches writing to seventh and eighth graders. She and her spouse run several writing groups, as well as present at many local and statewide conferences.

Where to find the author:

 

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Jessie G. Books, Full Moon Dreaming, Bayou Book Junkie, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Inked Rainbow Reads, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Happily Ever Chapter, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Unquietly Me, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Bonkers About Books, The Hat Party, Havan Fellows, Nephy Hart, Velvet Panic

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Vicious Circle.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

 

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Down Under Day 28: Welcome, Cecil Wilde, and AUS/NZ Facts of the Day!

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 Down Under Author Showcase Day 28

Welcome, Cecil Wilde!

Our Down Under Author Showcase is almost over, but not our discoveries of wonderful new authors (at least to this review group).  Cecil Wilde is our featured author today and our review of Defying Convention follows Cecil’s author page.  It’s one of our highly recommended reads so be sure to make its acquaintance today, along with Cecil’s other stories and novels.  As always, don’t forget to enter Cecil’s giveaway and locate the Scavenger Hunt word of the day!

AUS flag over countryAustralia Fact of the Day!

Since Cecil makes a mention of spiders (hmm, where does that happen?), let’s take a closer look at one common spider in Australia!

There are 1500 species of Australian spiders and the average person swallows three spiders a year. The most infamous spiders mentioned in Australian literature, including a few of the stories by our Down Under Authors (can you name which ones?) are: Redback Spider, and Sydney Funnel-web Spider.

Redback Spiders (Latrodectus hasselti) are very common in Australia. They are even kind of popular: one Australian beer is named after them.

Redbacks can be found everywhere in Australia, especially in the densely populated urban areas. They thrive in the warmer regions. Look for them on verandas, in sheds, in storage yards, on industrial sites and inside houses. They also hide in hollow logs, wood or junk piles etc.

Small insects make up the bulk diet of Redback Spiders, but they sometimes kill and eat much bigger prey, even small lizards if they get tangled up in the sticky web. They also steal wrapped up food items from each other’s webs if they can.

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How dangerous is the Redback Spider?

Redbacks are responsible for the vast majority of serious spider bites in Australia. However, they are not considered dangerous. Only the bite of a female Redback Spider is toxic (the males are too small to bite anyway).

To get bitten you have to actually stick your hand into the web of a spider, they rarely leave their nest. The fangs of the Redback Spider are tiny. Even if you do manage to get bitten the bite is likely ineffective. In addition the Redback Spider venom is a very slow acting toxin, and most people don’t show any reaction to it (except it itches like crazy).

Possible symptoms in those who do react are pain (can become severe), localised sweating at the bite site, and later on more sweating, muscle weakness, nausea and vomiting.  A simple ice pack is the best first aid. In most cases it’s all that’s required as very few people actually develop these symptoms (about 6% of those bitten, to be precise).

Honest, if you go and see a doctor here and tell them a Redback spider bit you, they’ll probably just tell you to go home and put ice on it.  The Redback Spider is related to the venomous Black Widow Spider commonly found here in the US and looks very similar.

The only difference is the red back, or rather the very distinctive red dorsal stripe (instead of the hour glass) that you can see in the picture.

Cultural Impact outside of Arachnophobia? Per Wikipedia (I know, I know) Slim Newton drew popular attention to redbacks with his song “The Redback on the Toilet Seat”, which won the Golden Guitar at the first Country Music Awards of Australia in 1973. A sculpture of an impossibly large redback  (I personally like The Big Poo better), one of Australia’s big things, was built in 1996 at Eight Mile Plains, Queensland. The Angels 1991 album Red Back Fever takes its name from the spider. Matildaredback-beer-online-1369633780 Bay Brewing Company produces a wheat beer called Redback,with the distinctive red stripe as the logo. The redback appears in the name and emblem of the South Australia cricket team. The Airborne Redback, an Australian ultralight trike, was also named after the spider. Redback Boots is an Australian workboot manufacturing company, which uses the spider in its name and logo

kiwi and NZ countryNew Zealand Fact of the  Day!

Let’s keep going with arachnids and the New Zealand spider Hollywood made famous!  That would be the Avondale Spider, ok it’s sort of an immigrant from Australia. The large harmless spider found around the Avondale area of Auckland is an Australian huntsman spider. This spider found its way to New Zealand in the early 1920s, with the first specimen found in 1924. It probably came in imported wood used for railway sleepers. (What the heck is a railway sleeper?) It has not spread very far from Avondale, so it has received the popular name of Avondale Spider. In South Australia this species is quite common, and people encourage them to live in their houses to keep the pest insect population down.220px-Huntsman-spider-in-hand

In 1989/90, 374 Avondale spiders were sent to Hollywood to star in the Steven Spielberg movie Arachnophobia. This spider is harmless to humans, but it looks fearsome and therefore suited its movie role as a “killer spider”. The film made use of 374 live Avondale spiders, from New Zealand, which were picked for their large size, unusually social lifestyle, and yes, are essentially harmless to actors, uh humans. They were guided around the set by the use of heat and cold, but the large “general” and “queen” were articulated models.  Look it’s Bob (that’s what they called the largest mechanical spider in the movie)!Avondale spider

The first reaction of most people on finding Avondale spiders is usually horror. The spiders move very fast when disturbed (as do people when frightened!). Mature spiders with legs outstretched can measure up to 200 mm across (8”).

The mature males are frequent visitors inside houses in the months January to March when they are looking for a female to mate with. Females are capable of laying up to 200 green eggs in an oval-shaped, white papery-looking egg sac about 25 mm long (1”) by 12 mm wide (1/2”). Females guard their egg sac, and after 4-6 weeks open this up to enable the spiderlings to hatch. They will look after the spiderlings for a few more months until they disperse. Spiderlings will feed communally if the prey is too big for them to manage on their own.

Avondale spiders live in colonies with their extended family and friends; no other spider in New Zealand has this lifestyle.