Thursday, 29 April 2010

Thursday Ramblings - April 29, 2010



It's been awhile since I've written a rambling. My writing has been a little slow lately. I do have over 5,000 words written on a YA novel called "The Doorbell."

For the last few nights, I've been watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on DVD. All seven seasons have been sitting on my shelf for months. I'm just now getting around to watching them. I was a big fan of the show when it was originally on. I had every show recorded on VHS. I guess now I can get rid of the tapes. 

I've been working on a few cross stitching projects too. Yes, I'm a straight guy who likes to cross stitch. I know it's a little weird, but it's a harmless hobby, and I make really neat gifts for my family and friends.

I found "Superman III" DVD at my local thrift shop for a $1.50. It had never been opened. I've never been a big fan of the Superman movies, and had only seen the third movie once. It's a little darker than the first two movies, but it's better than the unwatchable fourth movie.

I saw "New Moon" several weeks ago. It's horrible! It's worse than "Twilight." I bought "Avatar" last week. I never got a chance to see the movie in the theaters. The movie is overrated. Don't get me wrong, there are some great special effects in it, but there is no plot. "The Company" from earth invades Pandora for the mineral rock, and they try to kill the blue aliens living there.

Other movies I've collected lately are: "Sherlock Holmes," "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," "The Stepfather," and "The Transporter 1&2." "Sherlock Holmes" - Okay, but disappointing. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" - Horrible sequel. "The Stepfather" - Okay thriller. "The Transporter" - Great action movie. "The Transporter 2" - Not as good as the first but it has some great fight scenes.

A friend sent me two books, "The Business of Writing for Children" by Aaron Shepard and "The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories for Children" by Nancy Lamb. I received the book "Edge of Apocalypse" by Tim LaHaye & Craig Parshall, and "The Anonymous Bride" by Vickie McDonough in the mail this week. 

I just finished reading the book "Plan B" by Pete Wilson. My review for the book will be published on May 3rd.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Review - Firefly Rain by Richard Dansky

“Firefly Rain” tells the tale of Jacob Logan, a failed businessman. After going away to college, he never returned to home to visit his parents. His parents are now deceased. With his life plans up in the air, he returns to his hometown in Mayfield, North Carolina. The town has barely grown since the last time he saw it. The old family house is still there.

Since his parents death, the caretaker Carl has been taking care of the family property. Weird things start to occur. His car is stolen from the driveway, and all of his belongings are destroyed in a highway accident.

Jacob starts remembering about his childhood, and starts learning about the strange myths of the town.

The beginning of “Firefly Rain” opens as good as any great horror film. The creepy setting and eerie descriptions of the house make this tale a great read late at night. Jacob Logan is your typical horror novel character. He’s going back to the home that he didn’t really want. Towards the middle of the book, the plot starts to go downhill fast, leading to a disappointing ending. Despite this, I still enjoyed reading the book. If you like haunted house tales or if just want to read a spine-chilling story, check this book out.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Review - Guardian by Katie Hines

Drew Newman has carried a terrible secrets that he shares with his friends, Javon and Mattie. Drew’s mother died protecting him and the journal. The very same journal that gave him the tree like markings on him.

Strange hooded men with swords attack them. Drew and his friends barely escape. Drew’s father fears for their safety and sends Drew and his friends to Canada to stay with his grandparents & cousin Zea.

Grandpa believes the journal is related to the Oak Island treasure. They soon believe that the men following them is the Templar Knights, and that the Holy Grail may be the center of the mystery.

“The Guardian” is a simple and fast read. You’ll finish it in one sitting. I found the characters Javon and Mattie to be boring, and sometimes annoying. I never could figure out the kids’ ages in the book. The descriptions in the first few chapters says that they are athletic, and I picture them as being young adults. The boy on the cover looks like he is around ten years old. The dialogue for the grandparents is unreal, they talk the same way as the kids do. Despite being a little confused, I thought the overall plot was great, and it will keep you interested until the very end.

Note: I would like to thank the Author Marketing Experts for sending me this complimentary copy to review.

Review - Disney Fairies #1 Prilla's Talent

Kid Konnection is a weekly meme host at bookingmama.

First came the successful DVDs, and now the “Disney Fairies” have their very own graphic novel. The first issue has four stories in it. In “Prilla’s Talent,” Prilla is sad that she is the only fairy without a talent. The story goes on to explain each of the fairies’ gifts. In the end, Prilla discovers that she has always had a very special talent of her very own.

In the second story “Like the Wind,” the reader is introduced to fastest fairy of them all - Vidia, the fairy that can never be trusted when you really needed. She is irresponsible. When one of her own gets in trouble, Vidia must change her ways and rescue her friend.

The third story “The Sound of Friendship,” revolves around Tinker Bell. The Bluebell Festival is approaching and everyone is getting ready. Terrance, the male fairy, is having a hard time trying to ask Tinker to the Festival. The Festival bell is broken, and Tinker and Terrance rush to fix it before the festival is a disaster.

In the last story “Best of Friends,” Tinker and Rani are the best friends, until Rani starts avoiding her. Tinker and Prilla spend the rest of the story trying to find out why.

I haven’t read a graphic novel since I was a kid. “Prilla’s Talent” is aimed for female readers, but boys might like the character Terrance. The illustrations are colorful and well drawn. The plots in each of the stories are simple, but fun to read. There is a great message of friendship in every story. I recommend this book to anyone who likes “Peter Pan” or the “Disney Fairies.”

Note: I would like to thank the Author Marketing Experts for sending me this complimentary copy to review.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Friday Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer from Crazy for Books has created this meme.

If you'd like to participate, here's Jennifer's instructions:


Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!


So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this on your blog, sign MckLinky and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!! So, if you consider yourself a book blogger, come join the fun!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Review - Jane Slayre by Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin

“Jane Slayre” is an update on the classic novel “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. Jane is an orphan and is living with her relatives, the Reeds - who happen to be bloodsucking vampires. One night, her uncle comes to her as a ghost. He tells her that she is a slayer and there are others like her.

Jane leaves the Reeds’ house and takes a job as a governess of a country estate. She falls in love with her new master, Mr. Rochester - who is keeping a dark secret of his own hidden in the attic.

Jane befriends another slayer, Mr. St. John - who has feelings for her. Before the end of the book, she must confront the Reeds again.

Today, it seems like all the classic novels are getting a zombie makeover. This is this first I have read in this new trend. Werewolves, vampires and zombies occupy this new twist on the classic “Jane Eyre.” The author does a decent job of staying true to the original story, but at the same time adding some fresh to it. Yes, you get to read about Jane fighting the creatures-of-the-night. If you’re a die-hard fan of “Jane Eyre,” you may not care for this version. Since vampires are not popular with today’s teenagers, I hope “Jane Slayre” will inspire them to read Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.”

Note: I would like to thank Gallery Books for sending me this complimentary copy to review.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

DVD Review - Bibleman Powersource: Combating the Commandant of Confusion


Combating The Commandant of Confusion: A Bibleman Live AdventureDVD Review
Title: Bibleman Powersource Series
Combating the Commandant of Confusion: A Bibleman Live Adventure
ISBN: 1400316111
Length: approx. 60 minutes with bonus features
Release Date: 2010
Ages: 6-10

While teaching at the Bible Adventure Training Academy, the Bibleman’s (a human transformed by the word of God) secret weapon, the armor is God is stolen by the treacherous villains. Bibleman and his Bible Team must stop the villains from using the weapon against them.

I honestly never knew anything about Bibleman when I received this DVD to review. Not counting the bonus features, the LIVE episode is under forty minutes, and was somewhat painful for me to watch. It’s obvious that this shows is aimed for a younger audience. The acting is horrible, the costumes are silly, and the special effects are even worse. It reminds me of the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” but with a Christian twist to it. Bibleman is like a superhero with a light saber. There are a few fight scenes to keep a kid’s interests. Despite the moral messages, the story is still the basic good vs. evil storyline, but with bad production values.

Note: I would like to thank the Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending me this complimentary copy to review.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Book Blogger Hop!

Jennifer from Crazy for Books has created this meme.

If you'd like to participate, here's Jennifer's instructions:


Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!


So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this on your blog, sign MckLinky and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!! So, if you consider yourself a book blogger, come join the fun!

Review - Goosebumps Horrorland: When the Ghost Dog Howls



Kid Konnection is a a weekend feature related
to anything about children books.

Goosebumps Horrorland #13 When the Ghost Dog Howls
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
PUBLISHED IN: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-16194-7
Pages: 131
Ages: Ages 9-12
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Just when you thought it was safe to read a book, “Goosebumps Horrorland” is back in the first of seven new stories. While in Horrorland, Andy and his cousin Marnie stumble into the Chiller’s House store. The owner, Jonathan Chiller, gives him a free gift - a haunted tooth. The tooth will give you unlimited wishes, like a genie. After making a few wishes, Andy starts hearing a strange howling at night. To makes things worse, Marnie starts acting weird.

I was surprised when I heard that R.L. Stine would continue the series. “When The Ghost Howls” is a clever read. I especially like the ending, which ends in a cliffhanger. I can’t wait for the next book.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Review - Kelly's Chance by Wanda E. Brunstetter


Kelly's Chance (Brides of Lehigh Canal Series #1)Kelly’s Chance
BY: Wanda E. Brunstetter
PUBLISHED BY: Barbour Publishing
PUBLISHED IN: 2004
ISBN: 978-1-60260-890-0
Pages: 218
Reviewed by Billy Burgess
Ages: Adults

I check out “Kelly’s Chance” at my local library. I have read several books by Wanda Brunstetter but mostly Amish books. This books is short at just over two-hundred pages. The story is et around the Leigh Canal during the late 1800s. A young woman named Kelly McGregor is helping her family by driving her father’s mules as they pull the loads of coal to the city. There is no love in her parents’ marriage, and she is determined never to get married.

Kelly is saving her money so she can make her dream of becoming an artist come true. A shopkeeper, Mike Cooper, has a crush on Kelly. He offers to hang up some of her drawings in his store. The story gets a little predictable here, as of course, Kelly starts to have feelings for Mike.

Despite the cliché formula that most Christian romance writers use, “Kelly’s Chance” is a sweet, likeable tale.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Review - Goosebumps Horrorland Books



Kid Konnection is a a weekend feature related
to anything about children books.


Goosebumps Horrorland #12 The Streets of Panic Park
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
PUBLISHED IN: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-439-91880-0
Pages: 137
Ages: Ages 9-12
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

“The Streets of Panic Park” is the conclusion to the series. After escaping Horrorland, the kids ended up in Panic Park. A world with no color, only black & white. There are not safe there, as the park is the home of the villain, The Menace. The sixteen kids have to have their fears and make unlikely allies before they can escape.

This is a great ending to the series. All the characters get to play apart in the foiling of The Menace’s plains. There are a few times where I had to laugh at the Menace. He was scary at all, just down right silly. I still recommend reading “The Streets of Panic Park.”


Goosebumps Horrorland: Welcome to Horrorland: A Survival Guide
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
PUBLISHED IN: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-09008-7
Pages: 166
Ages: Ages 9-12
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

First off, I would like to tell you that “Welcome to Horrorland: A Survival Guide” is not an actually novel. There is no story to it. The book is in 13 different sections: Stagger Inn, Black Lagoon Water Park, Monster Police, Zombie Plaza, Werewolf Village, Rides & Entertainment, Monster Resources, Park Upkeep & Improvements, V.I.V.’s: Very Important Villains, The Power of 10, Vampire Village, Eyeballs, Spiders, Mirrors and More!, and Behind the Screams.

This is nothing more than a novelty book. If you’re a fan of “Goosebumps” and have read all the other books, then you may like this. If not, read “Goosebumps Horror land #1 Revenge of the Living Dummy” instead.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Book Blogger Hop - Friday, April 2 - April 8

Jennifer from Crazy for Books has created this meme.

If you'd like to participate, here's Jennifer's instructions:


Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!


So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this on your blog, sign MckLinky and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!! So, if you consider yourself a book blogger, come join the fun!


Pretty please - Your blog should have content related to books, including

Review - Indian Summer

Indian SummerIndian Summer
BY: Tracy Richardson
PUBLISHED BY: Luminis Books
PUBLISHED IN: 2010
ISBN: 978-1-935462-25-5
Pages: 200
Reviewed by Billy Burgess
Ages: Middle Grade

In “Indian Summer,” Marcie Horton is a twelve-year-old who loves to win competitions, especially bike races. She’s not looking forward to her summer vacation this year. She spending the summer at her grandparent’s lake cottage on Lake Pappakeechee.

Kaitlyn Swyndall is the only other girl she knew there, but Kaitlyn is a rich, snobby girl. Marcia befriends some other kids at the lake, and is looking forward to the upcoming boat race.

The woods, James Woods, surrounding the lake is going to be torn down by a wealthy developer, Mr. Swyndall. He is the president of the university where Marcie Horton’s parents teach, and he is also the father of Kaitlyn. Marcia is starting to like her, so things start to get complicated.

Marcia begins to have strange visions of a mysterious spirit. Could it be Indians?

“Indian Summer,” is a easy, fast read. I read it in one sitting. The author likes to “tell” more often than “showing” in her writing. The plot is simple - a pre-teen girl tries to stop a wealthy developer from destroying the centuries-old forest. I’ve read dozens of similar plots before, this is nothing new. The ending of the book is predictable. The main character, Marcia, is fun, energetic and likeable. Despite the book’s downfalls, I still enjoyed reading it.

Note: I would like to thank the Author for sending me this complimentary copy to review.