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Thursday, October 31

Popular Disney Halloween Costumes 2013 for Boys and Girls

What kid doesn't like to dress up as a Disney-themed character during Halloween? From princesses to cowboys to superheroes and spacemen, there's no limit to the imaginative costumes kids can put together to embody their favorite movie characters during the most mischievous, candy-filled night of the year. Here are a few of the most popular Disney Halloween costumes for 2013:



For Boys

Captain Hook

Although pirates are no longer the swash-buckling characters they once were, they live on in cartoonish infamy with characters from films like Peter Pan and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. So it's no surprise one of the most popular costumes in the Disney Store is the Captain Hook costume, with its maroon-colored shirt and hat, plastic sword and prosthetic hook – and of course, the gold-adorned boots.

Woody

Who doesn't love Toy Story and its gun-totin' protagonist, Woody? For younger children, it's hard to find a cooler character than Woody: he hangs out with Mr. Potato Head AND international spacemen, and gets to wear an awesome costume with a bandana and a fancy weapon belt. Pair it with a HobbyTron model gun, and you've got a dag'gone good costume, if we say so ourselves.

Child's Play Blu-Ray + DVD Review

Child's Play
Director: Tom Holland
Starring: Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Douriff
Studio: MGM
Release Date: September 15, 2009
ASIN: B002BE7JE8
Running Time: 87 minutes
Rating: R

Review:

Child's Play was released to theaters when I was seven-years-old, but I didn't see Chucky's first outing until the mid-90s on TNT's Monster Vision (when it was on Friday nights). I liked it so much, that I bought the movie on VHS, though it had a white fuzz to the film. I bought 2-5 on a DVD set several years ago and of course I bought Curse of Chucky this month, but I wanted to own Child's Play on DVD too. I ended up ordering the Blu-Ray + DVD combo as it was cheaper than the DVD version. The DVD in the 2-dsic set is the Chucky's 20th Birthday Edition that was released in 2008.

Though you probably already know the plot, I'll still recap it for those who haven't seen it. First released in 1988, Child's Play opens up with Charles Lee Ray being chased by the police into a toy store. He is shot and before he dies he does a little voodoo and transfers his soul into a Good Guy Doll.

A struggling single mother Karen Barclay (played by 7th Heaven's Catherine Hicks) can't afford to get her six-year-old son, Andy, a Good Guy doll for his birthday, but luckily her best-friend Maggie finds a homeless man who happens to have the doll and Karen buys the doll. Andy loves the talking doll that calls itself, “Chucky.”

That very night Maggie volunteers to baby-sit Andy while Karen works the night-shift. Karen comes home to a swarm of police cars outside her apartment building. Maggie was pushed out of a window and fell to hear death. The only suspect is Andy, who claims his doll Chucky is responsible.

Wednesday, October 30

DVD Review - Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas

Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas
Director: Chuck Patton
Voice Cast: Don Adams, Frank Welker, Maurice LaMarche, Erica Horn
Studio: DHX Media Distribution Limited
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Retail: $12.95 
ASIN: B00DT55OSG
Running Time: 30mins.
Rating: Not Rated

Review:

Cartoons ruled television sets in the 1980s and thanks to DVDs; these classic animations are being released for a whole new generation of fans. Inspector Gadget made its debut in 1983 (when I was a two-year-old) and ended in 1986. Inspector Gadget would return in 1992 in a 30-minute Christmas Special on CBS. Now this loveable special, Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas, is available to own on DVD for the entire family to enjoy.

Doctor Claw is up to his old tricks, but this time he is causing mayhem on the North Pole when he released a mind-control device that brainwashes the elves into capturing Santa Claus. He orders the elves to make defective toys, so the whole world will hate Santa. Typically, his evil plans are stopped by Inspector Gadget, but this time he is a step ahead by sending his MAD agents to destroy Gadget.

Gadget has the Christmas spirit and is getting ready for the big holiday day, which he doesn't have a clue that MAD agents were sent after him, but he somehow slips through their clutches. While visiting the mall, Chief Quimby sends Gadget on a mission to stop Doctor Claw from kidnapping Santa.

Gadget, along with Penny and Brain, arrive at the North Pole, where everything looks normal, at least it does in the eyes of Inspector Gadget. He doesn't even recognize his own nemesis, Doctor Claws, wearing a Santa disguise. Of course Penny and Brain automatically notices who is in the Santa getup.

Review - Writing Scary Scenes


Writing Scary Scenes
By Rayne Hall
Publisher: Scimitar Press
Pub. Date: July 6, 2012
ASIN: B008IEJTSE
Pages: 143

Review:

If you grew up reading Goosebumps books, Fear Street novels and anything by Stephen King, then sooner or later you've probably have attempted to write your own spooky story, maybe it was a haunted house story (I have written plenty of them.). Horror writing may not be as easy as it looks, but you are in luck, as author Rayne Hall has written a book just for this situation, titled Writing Scary Scenes.

Throughout the twenty-six chapters, Rayne Hall will help you write the perfect scary scene that will grab a hold of your readers and won't let them go until their hearts are racing and they're afraid to turn to the next page. Learn how to instantly hook a reader with just a simple line of anxiety and fear. Don't try to use too much gore, though it does work for some tales, but try to show your readers what your character is feeling and describe the atmosphere around him or her.

Remember never to throw a character into an unnecessary scene, but give a clever reason or motivation for what is going on. Have your character isolated from the outside world; turn off the lights, cut the land line and either have the cell phone lose signal or the battery goes dead.

Insidious DVD Review





Insidious
Director: James Wan
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey
Studio: Film District
Release Date: July 12, 2011
ASIN: B004LWZW24
Running Time: 102 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Review:

I love the horror films from the 1980s, but Hollywood has replaced them with mindless PG-13 kiddy movies that claim to be scarier, when I actually think the directors or screenwriters were either high during filming or they just lack a single ounce of creativity. I have purposely ignored most recent horror movies, such as the Paranormal Activity which was rated R, though I did watch Mama on HBO last week. To me there is too much CGI and not enough real scares. Insidious: Chapter 2 was released to theaters in September and has become a box-office success. Of course I have never seen the first movie before that is until I ran across the DVD in the five dollar bin at Walmart and I thought I would see what the hype is all about.

Insidious has Josh and Renai Lambert (played by Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) and their three children moving into a new home. Their son Dalton sneaks into the attic to investigate some strange noises he heard. He attempts to climb a ladder to turn on the attic light, but he falls. His parents rush to his aid and inform him to stay out of the attic. The following morning, Josh and Renai find Dalton asleep in his bed and he won't wake up. He is in a coma!

After spending three months in the hospital, Dalton returns home, but he is still in a coma state. Bizarre occurrences begin to happen, like strange voices over the baby monitor, a bloody hand-print on Dalton's bed and a strange male figure in the baby's room.

Five Tips for Succeeding as a Franchise Owner

Many individuals would like to own a business but don’t know what they would do or how to do it. One of the great benefits of owning a franchise is that much of that leg work has already been done for you. The franchisor has already put a lot of effort into figuring out a great business plan, streamlining business practices, and designing a franchise training program.

At the same time, when you buy a franchise, it is still your business. The success or failure of the business will be due, in large part, to your business skills. Following are five tips for succeeding as a franchise owner:

Find the right business for you.

Know your industry.

Remember that it is your business.

Put effort into your own marketing. Stick with the franchise method of business

Choose the Right Business

Halloween On A Budget - Top Tips For Parents



Halloween is often the best time of year for children. They get absorbed in the whole day; hankering after fancy dress costumes, decorations for the house and themed treats to enjoy. This all sounds great, but the price of everything can soon start to mount up - so how can you keep the cost down but still make sure everyone has a great Halloween?

Costumes

Buying an entire Halloween fancy dress costume can be very expensive, particularly when you think that there is quite a good chance they will have outgrown it by the following year. If you want to keep the cost down and also get something that can be reused, you may find you're better off investing your money in accessories.

A pair of fairy wings or devil horns can be used at any age and will last for year after year, making them worth the investment. You can then create a lot of the outfits from clothes you already have in the cupboards at home. For example, you can dress your child up as a minion with just some dungarees, a yellow t-shirt and some swimming goggles.


Treats


Every child is going to want treats when they go trick-or-treating and is likely to want them to come to after school as well. You can often bulk buy some treats from the supermarket, which can work out cheaper than buying lots of individual items. Some places stock huge tubs of sweets that will last you long after Halloween has passed so you might save some money this way.

Tuesday, October 29

Fright Night 2: New Blood DVD Review





Fright Night 2: New Blood
Director: Eduardo Rodriguez
Starring: Will Payne, Jaime Murray, Sean Power, Sacha Parkinson
Chris Waller
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 1, 2013
ASIN: B00DZH8H2S
Running Time: 88 minutes
Rated: Unrated

Review:

 The 1980s had a shockwave of horror movies, from slasher sequels to zombie flicks and of course there is the 1985 horror-comedy Fright Night starring William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall and Amanda Bearse, followed by a 1987 sequel with McDowall and Ragasdale returning. Then came the 2011 3D remake starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell and David Tennant, which failed to impress critics and moviegoers, barley making a profit. Two years later, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment releases the direct-to-video sequel Fright Night 2: New Blood, which ignored the remake and is actually a new take on the original. Confused yet?

Charley Brewster, his best-friend "Evil" Ed Bates, and his ex-girlfriend Amy Lee are exchange students in Romania, where Charley happens to glance out his hotel window to see a woman biting the neck of another woman in the building across the street. At first he thought it was his imagination, but he soon learns the woman is his Romanian History professor, Gerri Dandridge, who he is starting to suspect is a vampire.

After a fellow classmate goes missing, Charley believes the professor has something to do with it. Later, Charley sees Gerri getting rid of what looks like a body. While she is gone, he sneaks into her apartment, but he has to hide as Gerri has returned. She is not alone as she brought a female prostitute with her, whom she drains and bathes in the prostitute's blood.

Review - Beloved

Beloved
Where The Heart Lives
By Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
ISBN: 978-0310257776
Pages: 304
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/qb0G2
Book Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/rhatcher

Review:

I'm well aware of author Robin Lee Hatcher, but I missed out in reading the previous books in the Where The Heart Lives series, Belonging and Betrayal, but the Beloved seems to more of a standalone novel.

The Beloved centers on Diana Brennan, who at young age was separated from her siblings and was put on an orphan train heading west, where she was adopted by a loving couple. At age seventeen, she fell in love with the handsome Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. What started out as friendship, lead to courting and then marriage.

Settling down at a young age wasn't what Tyson really wanted and he eventually leaves Diana to seek out adventures in far off lands, which involved fighting alongside the Rough Riders in Cuba. During this time, he makes no attempt to send letters to his wife.

Years past by and Diane is ready to get on with her life and plans on having Tyson declared legally dead by the courts, so, hopefully,  she will get another chance at finding love and maybe get married again.

Review - Born of Persuasion

Born of Persuasion
Prince of Privilege Trilogy
By Jessica Dotta
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Pub. Date: August 16, 2013
ISBN: 978-1414375557
Pages: 448

Review:

In the style of Jane Austen and Emily Bronte comes book one in the Price of Privilege series. Set in 1838, Born in Persuasion centers on seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston, who parents are both deceased, therefore she has nowhere to live in a era where women are legal property of men (fathers, husbands or guardians). Out of nowhere, she learns she has a guardian that she has never heard of before living in Scotland, where she would be accepted into the home, but only as a servant.

The guardian has given her an alternative solution by finding a husband within a two-month span. Julia's first choice would be to marry her childhood sweetheart, Edward Auburn, but he is no longer an option, as he has entered into the ministry.

Despite the fact that she only wanted to marry Edward, she is desperate to get engaged to just about anyone. Fate brings her to Lady Foxmore, who wants to help find a suitable husband. She introduces Julia to a handsome and rich man named Mr. Darcy, but he is almost twice her age.

Review - What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life by Tim Conway

What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life
By Tim Conway with Jan eCovell
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub. Date: October 29, 2013
ISBN: 978-1476726502
Pages: 272

Review:

Television has definitely changed over the past decades, while the networks crank out ridiculous reality shows, overly hyped police procedures and raunchy sitcoms, the cable channels are producing high quality, well-scripted dramas. This is all great, but I'm sure many people would rather watch a decent comedy with their entire family, instead of sending the kids out of the room every time a Charlie Sheen sitcom starts. Recently, Time Life started releasing the classic variety show, The Carol Burnett Show, which featured funnyman, Tim Conway. Tim is releasing his memoir, What's So Funny? My Hilarious Life, with a foreword by Carol Burnett.

Tim came into the world with the name Toma Conway written on his birth certificate, but it was later correctly changed to Thomas Daniel Conway. His father was an Irishman named Daniel Conway and his mother was from Romanian ancestry named Sophia Murgoi. Growing up an only child in Ohio, Tim picked up sewing from his mother. Despite his family being poor, he had loving parents and had a normal childhood.

After high school, Tim majored in speech and radio at Bowling Green State University. After college he had a two-year stint in the Army. Unsure about his future, he stumbled into the radio world by taking a job in the promotional department at a Cleveland radio station, which was his first break into the world of entertainment. He moved his way up into the radio business and eventually took his talents on television with sketches on The Steve Allen Show, which lead to him being cast as Ensign Charles Parker on McHale's Navy.

Monday, October 28

Bates Motel: Season One DVD Review

Bates Motel: Season One
Starring: Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, 
Studio: Universal Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 17, 2013
ASIN: B00DNUSFZQ
Running Time: 7 hrs. 14 mins.
Rating: Not Rated

Review:

Anthony Perkins passed away shortly after filming Psycho IV: The Beginning. The franchise seemed to be dead until the 2008 remake, which was a critical and financial flop, putting the final nail in the franchise's coffin; that is until A&E aired Bates Motel (no, not the 1987 TV movie) last spring, breaking ratings for an original drama series on the cable channel.

Bates Motel is a modern day prequel to the original Psycho book and movie. After the death of his father, 17-year-old Norman Bates and his overly-protective mother, Norma, move to White Pine Bay, Oregon, where they buy a rundown hotel and house. Within hours of moving in, Norman meets a teenager, Bradley Martin, and he instantly has a crush on her.

Unknowingly, the previous owner, Keith Summers, wants his family's land back. He makes an unannounced visit late one night, leading to a deadly situation in which Norma kills him. With no other choice, Norma and Norman cleanup the murder scene and dump the body in the bay harbor. They seemed to have gotten away with murder, which is until Sheriff Alex Romero and Deputy Zack Shelby begin investigating Summers' disappearance.

Norman's half-brother, Dylan Masset, arrives looking for a place to stay as he has nowhere else to go. Norma doesn't have the best opinion of her oldest son and Dylan feelings are vice versa.

Kicking Horse Kick Ass Coffee Review & Giveaway

While I was busy raking the leaves in my front yard on Saturday afternoon, the mail man delivered a box with the Kicking Horse Coffee logo on it. There is nothing better than a hot cup of coffee on a cool fall afternoon. Therefore, I dropped the rake and brought the box inside the house with the intention of brewing some java.

Let me give you a little brief history on the Kicking Horse Coffee brand. Kicking Horse Coffee started out as a kick-starter company, selling coffee from a garage. They roast small amounts of selective coffee beans and package them on the same to ensure the coffee freshness, which freshness is the company's highest priority.

What makes Kicking Horse Coffee different from other brands? Well, all their roasted coffee is made from organic coffee beans. Since 2007, Kicking Horse Coffee has become the number one specialty coffee being sold in the Canadian grocery stores! The brand offers many different flavors of whole coffee beans, such as Hoodoo Jo, Grizzly Claw, Decaf Cliff Hanger Espresso, Jumbo Wild, Pacific Pipeline and many others.

What kind of coffee did I get?

Monday Morning Madness #30: Post Library Book Sale

Ever since the new library was built in my town, there has been an annual book sale on the weekend (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) before Halloween. Though in the past there are usually older books there, I still love to go and I do buy a few books, but I forgot about the sale last year, only thinking about it the weekend after. This year I remembered to go to the sale on Saturday when all the books (paperback & hardback) were 25 cents each.

I know! I know! Like the last thing I need is more books when I already have gobs of books at home on my bookshelves and piled up in closets, but I can't pass a good bargain. Plus, the library book sale had newer books this year.

I bought two Jane Kirkpatrick hardbacks (which I don't remember the titles) for my grandmother. Then I bought eight books for myself.

The books are:

Sunday, October 27

Five Halloween Movies I Have To Watch Every Year


Halloween (1978)



Halloween has been my favorite movie ever since I was laying in the floor of my grandparents' living room watching the edited version on a VHS. It’s the scariest movie ever made. Though I do like the majority of the sequels/reboots (even Halloween III), I still love the original best. 

The Midnight Hour 


This 1985 TV-movie seems to be completely forgotten by horror fans, but I have fond memories of watching it as a child (I was four when it first aired). It was briefly released to DVD several years ago, but it is out-of-print. I dubbed my parent's recorded VHS copy (from the original airing) onto a DVD a few years ago, and I watch the movie every year. I do wish it would get a proper DVD/Blu-Ray release. Read my post on the movie from last Halloween.

Saturday, October 26

A Taste Of My Brain - 5 Horror Scores I Can't Live Without By D.M. Cunningham


Let's face it, we all love lists. We want great lists of top movies, books, albums, and so on that we can check and compare to what we love and help us discover hidden gems that we may have never uncovered on our own. The other thing about these lists is that they are based on opinion and of course we all have them and sometimes you agree and completely disagree with the choices. What I'm hoping not to do with this list is give you the obvious choices. We all know about John Carpenter's Halloween score, the score to the Exorcist (Tubular Bells), and the theme music to Friday the 13th and how iconic they are and yes they are amazing and I love them dearly. But I don't want to give you the obvious, I'm hoping to open your ears to something perfect for not only the Halloween season, but those times when you may want to listen to something that truly holds up as music on its own. And they are five scores that I can't live without...

Let the Right One In - Johan Söderqvist


Not only is this one of my favorite horror films, it also ranks up there in my favorite films of all time. It is a great and beautiful movie. It is a love story, coming of age story and a horror story. It combines so many wonderful things that I can stand it. It is beautifully shot and what really makes it so amazing is the score. The composer, Johan Söderqvist, manages to capture such gut wrenching beauty in this music it elevates the movie (as if it needed the help). It takes you on the journey through its dark soundscape and melodies that transcend the average horror score. I listen to this one over and over and it inspires my writing.

Drag Me to Hell - Christopher Young



Christopher Young, in my opinion, constantly delivers some of the best horror scores around. His Hellraiser score is a work of art. And if you listen to scores and collect them like I do, you better have Hellraiser in your collection or we can longer be friends. DMTH is one of those scores that comes at you like heavy dark ocean waves. It crashes down with great scope and then pulls back to subtle moments of haunting voices over a single droning note of violin. It is grand and haunting and one great aural ride.

Supporting Our Troops For The Holidays

The Halloween season is nearly over, which means people will begin their holiday gift shopping, grocery shopping for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners or parties. Plus, they'll be decorating their houses with nifty decorations. Yes, everybody is busy during this time, but you should take sometime and give back to our US troops, who are overseas keeping our country safe.

There are many things you can send overseas to our troops. Do you have any left over Halloween candy? You can drop off your extra candy at an organization that will send them overseas.

Books would make a great gift for a solider. If you have any books piled up in your home collecting dust, you could easily dust them off and donate them to an organization that supports our troops. Also, you can keep an eye out for great books at thrift shops or your local library (they occasionally have book sales) to send to our soldiers.

Other great items/gifts to send overseas are movies (DVDs, no VHSs), music CDs, magazines (recently published), shaving razors & shaving cream, tee shirts, Kindles, laptops, hot chocolate packets and ground coffee.

Friday, October 25

Book Blogger Hop: Halloween Edition: Oct. 25th -31st

31 Days of Halloween
Book Blogger Hop

Welcome to the new Book Blogger Hop!

If you want schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

What to do:

1. Post on your blog answering this question:

Halloween Edition: 
What is your favorite horror novel and why?


2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below (enter your Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Failure to do so will result in removal of your link).


3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new follower.  The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.
 

My Answer: 

My favorite horror books are The Shining & Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

Linky List:

Review - Last Light

Last Light
A Restoration Novel, Book One
By Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: September 3, 2013 (Reprint)
ISBN: 978-0310337782
Pages: 400

Review:

First published in 2005, the first book in the Restoration series, Last Light, was re-released last month. In a cross between the Left Behind book series and the television series Revolution, author Terri Blackstock brings her own take on the "end of the world" plot when Birmingham, Alabama loses all power, jamming the streets with vehicles because the engines won't start. Airplanes shut down and fall from the sky. All technology no longer works, as cell phones, computers, televisions and radios go completely silent.

Has an alien invasion occurred? Is terrorist responsible? 

The people who depended on high-technology are now facing the most dangerous crises the planet has ever had - darkness.

Thursday, October 24

Review - Morgan Kane: Without Mercy

Morgan Kane: Without Mercy
By Louis Masterson
Publisher: WR Films Entertainment Group, Inc
Pub. Date: November 7, 2011
ASIN: B0064GMRSW
Pages: 126

Review:

From the dime novels of the late 1800s to the Louis L'Amour paperbacks of the 1950s - 1980s, the wild west novels (and movies) were extremely popular, but over the years the genre has been slowly disappearing, though you can occasionally find a new western release, but not as many as there use to be.

Recently I received a limited edition paperback (for reviewers only) of Morgan Kane: Without Mercy from the publisher. The book was first published in 1966 in Norway by Louis Masterson (real name is Kjell Hallbing), the first of a 41 book series. In 2011, WR Films Entertainment Group, Inc. bought the rights and began releasing the series as eBooks in America. There is also a feature film adaptation in the works based on the franchise with the working title Morgan Kane: The Legend Begins.

In Without Mercy, Morgan Kane was once known as the gunfighter "El Gringo" when he rode with the gang lead by “El Coyote," but he left the gang and became a Texas Ranger in 1881. Now, Morgan finds himself in St. Louis playing one of his favorite past times - poker. Despite having a natural talent for gambling, he loses several thousands of dollars and suspects the three other players might be cheating, but without any evidence there is nothing for him to do.

Besides gambling, Morgan's other weakness is women and he happens to meet a beautiful woman, Alison, while on a train headed to Springfield, where he is to report back to Fort Worth. He works his charms and the woman notices his handsomeness, but she isn't who she says she is, as lurking in the shadows of the train are the three poker players and they ambush Morgan.

Twilight Forever: The Complete Saga Blu-Ray Giveaway



"No measure of time with you will be long enough, but we'll start with forever" ~ Edward

To celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the theatrical release of the first film, the Twilight Saga is being released onto a 10-disc Blu-Ray (plus Digital HD UltraViloet) set and a 12 -disc DVD (plus Digital UltraViloet) set on November 5, 2013, which is just in time for the holidays!


Review - Writing Fight Scenes


Writing Fight Scenes
By Rayne Hall
Publisher: Scimitar Press
Pub. Date: September 11, 2011
ASIN: B005MJFVS0
Pages: 173

Review:

Every aspiring or amateur writer have probably wondered how to write a perfect fight scene like in your favorite adventure novel or in the latest James Bond film, but not unless you are born with natural talents of writing fight scenes, you may need some help. Author Rayne Hall has written an entire book on Writing Fight Scenes.

Did you know there are two basic fight scenes? Gritty (example: Horror) and entertaining (example: Harlequin romance).

The author gives wonderful advice and tips on what to use and what to avoid when writing the best fighting scene, which the scenes can be written in a few sentences or a full chapter. There are several chapters on different weapons and the correct way to have your characters use them, such as swords, knives, daggers, staffs, spears, polearms, clubs, maces, axes, slings, arrows, firearms, and magical weapons.

Of course readers love characters (male or female) that can defend themselves without the use of a weapon. There are a few chapters on unarmed combat and self-defense. You'll also learn the difference between the way men and women fight and their psychological barriers.

Wednesday, October 23

Evil Dead (2013) DVD Review

Evil Dead 
Director: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: July 16, 2013
Retail: $30.99
ASIN: B008JFUNYG
Running Time: 91mins.
Rating: R

Review:

On a summer afternoon in the mid-90s, I found myself bored to death, so I started flipping through the channels, and I came upon a newly added channel, Sci Fi Channel (now known as SyFy), which was airing a campy movie with Bruce Campbell fighting demons with a shotgun and a chainsaw. I checked the TV Guide (yep, back then they actually had a listing for the daytime) and I learned the name of the movie - Army of Darkness. While visiting the city, I found a VHS copy of Army of Darkness at a Best Buy. I read the back of the box-cover and learned something else - the movie was the third part of a trilogy called Evil Dead. Of course this got me excited, so I hunted through the horror shelves and found Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn. I bought both the VHSs (well my parents did since I was underage at the time). Weeks later I rented the first movie at a video store and I later bought it on VHS the following year. That being said, I watched the Evil Dead trilogy backwards!

Due to a family emergency, I missed out in seeing the remake/reboot/sequel (or whatever you want to call it) on the big screens this past spring, but I did buy it on DVD this summer and my expectations were pretty high.

In the 2013 version, Mia (played by Jane Levy) is a heroine addict trying one last time to become free of her demons with the aid of her friends, Eric (played by (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (played by Jessica Lucas), her brother David (played by Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), at her family's remote cabin deep in the woods.

Soon after arriving, a foul smell leads them to the cellar, where they come across rotten animal carcasses, a shotgun and a strange book titled Naturom Demonto, AKA  the Book of the Dead. Eric makes the deadly mistake of reading a passage from it, which summons a horrifying demon.

Considering the GMC Acadia for Your Family

Everyone wants a car that is efficient with fuel. However, there are many important factors to consider when you need a new vehicle. Many people suffer from buyer’s remorse immediately after purchasing a new vehicle. As a buyer it is your responsibility to make sure your new vehicle has everything that you want and need. A new car is not a purchase that you want to make hastily. Take your time and consider every detail down to the smallest minutiae and you will end up a happy car owner. You would be wise to consider the amount of passengers you will have normally. This information can narrow down your choices substantially. Test ride your vehicle with all of your regular passengers before you make the big decision. Make sure the ride is just as comfortable for your passengers as it is for yourself. If you’re looking for a vehicle that can be fuel efficient, and perform truck duties while having enough space for luggage and passengers, you may want to check out a GMC Acadia in Kansas City.

Looks Are More Important than You Think

Another seemingly less important factor to consider when searching for a new car is aesthetics. Many people claim to care only about their vehicle getting them from place to place without problems.

Tuesday, October 22

Bloody Mary by Drac Von Stoller


Halloween finally arrived and it was Mary's sixteenth birthday. Mary's parent's finally decided she was old enough to have a sleep over at their house. But she was only allowed to have two of her best friends spend the night after the party. Mary called Kathy and Kim to see if they would stay and have a sleep over at her house. Kathy and Kim both agreed and said that they would have a great time together being that they were all best of friends. Mary hung up the phone and said "This is the best day of my life. I'm going to turn sixteen today and I finally get to date boys."

Her party didn't start until 6pm and she was already planning fun things for her and her two best friends to do after the party.

Mary's mom said "Mary, its 6 o'clock and time to start the party."

Mary greeted her friends at the door as they came in with their presents in hand and sat them on the kitchen table.

Finally, Kathy and Kim showed up and placed Mary's presents on the table. Mary thanked everyone for coming to her party. Then Mary blew out the candles on her birthday cake as everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to her.

The party was finally over and Mary and her two friends Kathy and Kim were ready to play some games, and spend some quality time together.

As the night wore on Mary said "It's midnight and since its Halloween why don't we go in the bathroom and turn off the light and play "Bloody Mary.”

Blur-Ray + DVD Review - Monsters University

Monsters University
Director: Dan Scanlon
Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman
Studio: Disney/Pixar
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Retail: $45.99

ASIN: B008JFUPOY
Running Time 104mins.
Rating: G

Review:


It’s been twelve years since audiences were introduced to Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" in Disney/Pixar's 2001 computer animated movie Monsters, Inc… On October 29, 2013, this summer's box-office hit prequel Monsters University arrives on Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray 3D, DVD and Digital Copy, just in time for the holiday season. The Blu-Ray features monstrous bonus extras such as Pixar's theatrical short "The Blue Umbrella"; Audio Commentary; Campus Life; Story School; Scare Games; Montropology; Welcome to MU; Music Appreciation; Scare Tactics; Color and Light; Paths to Pixar: MU Edition; Furry Monsters; Deleted Scenes; Set Flythroughs; Art Gallery; and Promo Picks. 

Ever since visiting Monster Inc. as a kid, Mike Wazowski (voice by Billy Crystal) has wanted to be a scarier, despite the fact that he isn't very scary looking. Eleven years later, Mike is now enrolled at Monsters University. Soon, he meets Sulley (voiced by John Goodman), who comes from a family of scariers. While Mike studies hard to pass his classes, Sulley uses his natural scary abilities to cruise through the classes, but Dean Hardscrabble fails both of them and they are kicked out of the scarier program.

The only choice Mike has left to become a scarier is to enter into the Scare Games, but he needs to be part of a fraternity, which the only one available is the Oozma Kappa, full of non-scary monsters. Once again, there is another problem, the fraternity is still one member short of entering into the Scare Games, and that is where Sulley comes into the group.

Review - Glittering Promises

Glittering Promises
The Grand Tour Series, Book 3
By Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher: David C. Cook
Pub. Date: October 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1434764287
Pages: 464
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/pvxTP
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/lbegren 

Review:

In the third and final book in The Grand Tour Series, Cora Kensington's life changed forever when she learned the truth about her birth father, who happens to be a rich man, and her siblings, leading her to go on the Grand Tour to get better acquainted with them. While it has taken quite some time, she is finally connecting with her siblings, but she is still somewhat estranged from her birth father, though she hopes to one day have some sort of daughter/father relationship with him.

Now in Italy, Cora must finally come to terms with her true feelings for Will and deal with her attraction to the Pierre de Richelieu. Worst yet is that there is a slue of journalists chasing her father, siblings and herself as they all want to the "rags to riches" story to headline their newspapers and magazine, something the family would like to avoid at all costs.

Monday, October 21

The Orange Witch by Melissa Stagi-Zepeda



The Orange Witch by Melissa Stagi-Zepeda


Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters - Predacons Rising DVD Giveaway


Only at Walmart

TRANSFORMERS PRIME: BEAST HUNTERS - PREDACONS RISING DVD

This All-New Movie on DVD also includes 3 Collectible Trading Cards Inside! 

Bonus Feature – A Look Behind The Scenes 

Giveaway Details:

Audio Review - The Sky Devil

The Sky Devil
By L. Ron Hubbard
Director: Jim Meskimen and Tait Ruppert
Voice Cast: Yasmine Hanani, Corey Burton, R.F. Daley, John Mariano, Jim Meskimen, Tait Ruppert,Fred Tatasciore, Josh R. Thompson and Michael Yurchak
Studio: Galaxy Audio
Release Date: October 21, 2013
ISBN: 978-1592123292
Running Time: 2hrs 38mins.

Review:

Galaxy Press has been releasing L. Ron Hubbard's short stories onto audiobooks, featuring a talented voice-cast and outstanding sound effects. All the short stories used come form the Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s, a time when the newsstands were covered with pulp magazines containing great adventures from well-known authors to amateur writers.

Coming out tomorrow is "The Sky Devil" by L. Ron Hubbard, which originally appeared in the September 1935 issue of Top-Notch. At a running time of over an hour, the story centers on the American pilot Vic Kennedy, who happens to find himself on the wrong side of the Greek war after he had personally brought in the rebel leader to the ancient city of Alexandria, but he now finds himself as an outsider. He has nowhere to go as the British won't let him stay, the French don't want him and the Greek wants him dead!

Wounded and with his plane running low on fuel, Vic makes the decision to land in the Sahara oasis, heal his wound and get more fuel. At least that was his original plan until he crosses path with a beautiful captive princess. Her father (the King) is forcing her to marry an ugly man, whom she doesn't love. When she meets Vic, she mistakes him for a genie known as The Sky Devil. Vic will be praying for a real genie or a miracle if he is going to survive the Sahara and save the princess.

Ozeri Milk Frother Review

As many of my readers already know, I do love my morning cup of coffee. Living in a small town, there are no Starbucks or coffee shops (unless you count Sonic or McDonalds), so I'm stuck with either instant coffee (Nescafe is my favorite) or ground coffee, which I use a traditional coffee maker as the Keruig coffee makers are a little steep for me.

Luckily for me I had the chance to review the new Milk Frother from Ozeri. You may ask, "What is a Milk Frother?"

Well, a Milk Frother is a small battery-operated device that foams milk, beats eggs and mixes cocktails. It can also be used to whisk soups, dressings and sauces.

The elegant handheld battery-powered Ozeri Milk Frother is made from stainless steel, except for the plastic ends of the attachments' shafts and the mixer for the cocktails is also plastic. The motor spins at over 15,000 RPM and gives instant foaming results in 10 to 20 seconds to cold or hot drinks. There are four attachments included with the Milk Frother: 2 Milk Frothing Whisks, 1 Egg Beater and 1 Cocktail Mixer. Plus, there is a stainless steel stand. 2 AA batteries are included.

Review - The Bargain

The Bargain
Plain City Peace, Book One
By Stephanie Reed
Publisher:Kregel Publications
Pub. Date: September 19, 2013
ISBN: 978-0825442155
Pages: 288
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/ptivJ
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/sreed 

Review:

In 1971, Betsie Troyer had high hopes of marrying her sweetheart Charley Yoder, which is until a family secret crashes her dream! Her parents leave the Amish country while Betsie and her sister Sadie are left with their aunt, until their parents return, if they ever do, since they have left the Amish faith.

Her life takes an unexpected turn when she takes board with an English family, the Sullivan’s. The mother of the family practically abandons the family in a pursuit of becoming an actress. Betsie feels as if she was brought to this family for a reason and helps out around the house, even befriending the twelve-year-old daughter, Shelia, and the oldest, Michael, who has recently dropped out of college, something that has upset his father. Since this is the 70s, Michael is afraid of being drafted into the Army.

Betsie is trying to keep her parent's secret from coming out, but at the same time she has decided to stay true to the Amish faith, no matter what situations and challenges are thrown at her.

Monday Morning Madness #29: Yep, I'm Actually Writing A Monday Post This Month!

Yes, I'm well aware my Monday Morning Madness posts have been lacking this month, mostly due to me not having time to write them, which is one of the reasons why I'm writing tomorrow's post on a Sunday night. Plus, I had forgotten about watching Witches of East End tonight, so I had an hour to kill. I'll try watching the episode On Demand later this week.

My original plans was to get caught up with a few reviews, but between running errands for my Grandma, taking down and installing new curtain rods for my mother, and mowing my yard, the majority of my weekend was gone. I was too tired today very do much, though I did get one other post written and I got caught up on last week's Vampire Diaries and The Originals, and of course I watched The Walking Dead tonight.

Halloween is next week and I still need to get a few more bags of candy. Then I'll have to put together at least 120 treat bags. I won't decorate the yard until a day or two before Halloween, as it has been raining cats and dogs all week.

Sunday, October 20

The Conjuring: The More the Scarier?


Directed by James Wan

Starring Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor

Release date July 19, 2013

Running time 112 minutes

Budget $20 million

Box office $309,894,466!!!!!!!

I was so sure that The Conjuring would be scary that I was nervous going into the dark theater. And I did not come away unscathed. Months later, the film still troubles me, but not because of how scary it was. The pathology of this film, to quote Hannibal Lecter, is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying (like the $box office compared to the $budget). I even feel like I have been cursed by the experience of seeing it. Because I keep asking myself, what were they thinking when they made this film, and why can’t I think like that and make that much money? 
 
Scary movies about the paranormal are made scarier by the subtlety with which unnerving and unsettling events are evoked and unfold. The makers of The Conjuring did not adhere to this formula. In fact, the film is a masterpiece of subtlety eschewed. 
 
Soon after the Perron family moves into their new house, it’s obvious that something isn’t right. The creepy antique grandfather’s clock ticks like the Telltale Heart in the wee desolate hours. Suddenly it stops. That’s even worse. But wait, there’s more! EVERY clock stops at the same time! Wrist watches, electric clocks, the oven clock, the egg timer. That’s even scarier, right? Well, maybe if it means that aliens have invaded, like in The War of the Worlds, and made every mechanical device crap out (except Tom Cruise’s car). But in that case not knowing the time is the least of your worries.

It’s the middle of the night again. Mrs Perron (Lili Taylor) is standing at the top of the stairs investigating a strange noise. The suspense is unbearable. Uh oh. It seems that since moving in a week ago she has managed to frame every photo ever taken of her five daughters and crammed all of them on the wall going down the staircase, and suddenly they all fly off the wall. The ensuing maelstrom of glass shards rivals the scene in Deep Blue Sea when the shark smashes into the wall of the undersea laboratory, but how scary is it given that The Conjuring is not an underwater film (conceptually or financially)? That much broken glass is more of a janitorial nightmare than a paranormal one.