Monday, 30 June 2014

DVD Review - The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits


The Legend of Korra: Book Two: Spirits
Voice Cast: Janet Varney, J. K. Simmons, David Faustino, P. J. Byrne, Mindy Sterling, Seychelle Gabriel, Steven Blum, Dee Bradley Baker, Jeff Bennett, Adrian LaTourelle, John Michael Higgins, Aaron Himelstein, Aubrey Plaza, James Remar, Richard Riehle, Lisa Edelstein
Studio: Nickelodeon
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Retail: $19.99
ASIN: B00F8PTBLQ
Running Time: 330 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Links: DVD, Blu-ray

Review:

Arriving on DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow is Nickelodeon's The Legend of Korra - Book Two: Spirits, featuring all fourteen-episodes of the second season on a two-disc set. Bonus Features includes Feuding Spirits: Korra's Family, 4 audio commentaries by the creators and crew and 2 scene bendings.

Set seventy-years after Avatar: The Last Airbender, the spinoff series focuses on the seventeen-year-old Avatar Korra, the successor of Aang, who is living in a world that is separated into four nations, the Northern & Southern Water Tribes, the Air Nomads, the Earth Kingdom, and the Fire Nation.

Book Two: Spirits picks up six-months after the first season concluded with Korra searching for a way to defeat the Dark Spirits. Meanwhile, a civil war breaks out between the Northern and Southern tribes, resulting in Korra's parents being arrested.

In order to save the world from total chaos, Korra must learn the true origins of the first Avatar and how to restore order between the physical and spiritual worlds.

Episodes on the 2-disc set are:

Monday Morning Madness # 45: Summer Revolt!

It may look like a nice summer morning, but it is dreadful outside. The humidity is so bad, that I can barely breathe, so setting on the deck and drinking a cup of coffee is out of the question. Instead I'm typing this post, halfway watching Too Close For Comfort on Antenna TV and listening to an Evanescence album, so I'm multitasking.

My original intent was to exercise the first thing this morning (which is something I have been lacking and my body is feeling it), but it seems I can't get anything done without a load of coffee in my system. Plus, I have several review posts that I want to get written up and then I want to finish reading a book, so I can write a review for it tomorrow.

I finally broke down and ordered the upcoming blu-ray release of Halloween: The Complete Collection. I've been wanting to replace my DVDs with Blu-rays and this seems to be the cheapiest route. Plus, I want to see the official Halloween 6 Producers Cut! Yes, the price is a little steep, but I have some money put back for it. My birthday is in early September and the Blu-ray set comes out in late September, so I'm buying a late birthday present for myself.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Review - Goosebumps Most Wanted: Special Edition #1: Zombie Halloween


Goosebumps Most Wanted: Special Edition #1: Zombie Halloween
by R. L. Stine
Publisher: Scholastic
Pub. Date: June 24, 2014
ISBN: 978-0545627764
Pages: 192 pages
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Believe it or not, R. L. Stine has been haunting and thrilling young readers with his Goosebumps books for twenty-two years. There was a popular television series based on the books that aired in the late '90s, as well as the upcoming big-screen adaption starring Jack Black, scheduled to hit theaters next summer. Though the last book was published in 1997, there has been several spinoff series published, including the newest series, Goosebumps: Most Wanted, which debuted in 2012.

The newest addition, Zombie Halloween, is the first Special Edition in the Most Wanted series and centers on twelve-year-old Kenny Manzetti and his twin sister, Tricia, whom, along with their parents, moved into an old house across from a cemetery to take care of Grandpa Mo. While Kenny has already made a new best friend, Alec Schwartzman, Tricia hasn't made any new friends, but she hopes to make a few at their "zombie" themed Halloween party.

Speaking of zombies, a few teenagers appeared on the local news, all claiming that zombies attacked them near the cemetery. Kenny and Alec are both big fans of The Walking Zombies television series and they are eager to investigate the cemetery in the attempt of finding real zombies, but Tricia and Grandpa Mo tag along with them.

Review - Spirit Bridge by James L. Rubart


Spirit Bridge 
A Wells Spring Novel, book 3
by James L. Rubart
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: May 6, 2014
ISBN: 978-1401686093
Pages: 384
Buy Link: Paperback

Review:

Ever since I have joined BookLook Bloggers (formerly called BookSneeze), I have been exposed to many great writers and book titles. Though I did miss out in reviewing book one of the A Wells Spring series, Soul's Gate, I did get a chance to review the second installment, Memory's Door, last year. Finding Christian novels with a supernatural twist may be rare, but if you look hard enough you will find a few titles, which is why is signed up to review the third novel in the series, Spirit Bridge, last month.

In this fantasy, spiritual adventure, the Warriors Riding (Reece, Dan, Brandon and Marcus) thought they had defeated Zennon and his army, but as soon as they try to rest from the last battle, a new round of vicious attacks occur. The warlord Zennon is still alive and he is bringing his wrath across all supernatural realms.

Zennon has always been one step ahead of the Warriors Riding, planting a hidden agenda long before the Warriors were ever set in motion - an agenda that will tear the Warriors Riding in half. Released from the clutches of Zennon's alternate-reality prison, Simon, a street magician, races against time to remember who he is.

Review - The No-Gun Man


The No-Gun Man
by L. Ron Hubbard
Directors: Jim Meskimen and Tait Ruppert
Voice Cast: David O'Donnell, Luke Bayback, R.F. Daley, Jim Meskimen, Tait Ruppert, Josh R. Thompson and Michael Yurchak
Studio: Galaxy Press
Release Date: June 23, 2014
Retail: $12.95
ISBN: 978-1592123834
Running Time: 2 hours 8 minutes
Buy Link: Audiobook, Paperback

Review:

Arriving in paperback and audiobook format this month is the thrilling western adventure, The No-Gun Man written by the late L. Ron Hubbard. Though the author is known for the classic science fiction epics, Battlefield Earth and the Mission Earth Series, many people have probably forgotten that Hubbard wrote countless stories during the 1930s and 1940s, or otherwise known as the Golden Age. During this era, readers devoured adventure stories. Whether it was set in WWI or on a distant planet, the Pulp magazines that contained these stories flew off the magazines racks. Galaxy Press has been releasing Hubbard's short stories and novellas on audiobooks and paperback editions.

To celebrate the upcoming National Day of the Cowboy on July 27th, Galaxy Press is releasing a few new wild west titles, including last week's release of The No-Gun Man, featuring an outstanding voice-cast and amazing sound effects.

Originally published in the May 1950 issue of Thrilling Western, The No-Gun Man centers on Monte Calhoun, a young man with a rocky past. When he was a child, his gold obsessed father dragged his ailing mother and him across the country to find riches, but his mother ended up dying, though his father did strike it rich. As soon as he was old enough, Monte left to become his own man.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

DVD Review - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Good, The Bad, And Casey Jones


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Good, The Bad, And Casey Jones
Voice Cast: Jason Biggs, Rob Paulsen, Sean Astin, Greg Cipes, Mae Whitman, Hoon Lee
Studio: Nickelodeon
Release Date: July l, 2014
Retail: $14.98
ASIN: B00J2T18XS
Running Time: 133 minutes
Rating: Not Rated

Review:

Before the Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot hits theaters this August, fans can look forward this Tuesday's DVD release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Good, The Bad, And Casey Jones, featuring six action-packed episodes from Nickelodeon's second season. Special Features include 6 Shorts: "The Mutation of a Scene" and Meet Casey Jones.

The four teenage turtles first appeared thirty-years ago in the comic books created by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird. It was quickly followed by a popular Playmates toy line, two animated series, one live-action series, three live-action films and one computer-animated film. The franchise seemed to be at a standstill until Nickelodeon purchased the rights and created a third animated series that premiered in 2012.

Despite a mixed-reaction to the early concept-art, Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles quickly won over old and new fans by providing great characters and an exciting storytelling with a blend of humor.

Episodes on the single-disc DVD are:

Friday, 27 June 2014

Book Blogger Hop: June 27th - July 3rd

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:

  This week's question is submitted by RAnn!

Do you follow a lot of blogs but rarely read them or do you follow a few you read regularly?

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: 

I follow many blogs, but sadly I don't have much time to read them all.



Linky List:

Review - Rival Hearts (Quilts of Love Series)


Rival Hearts
Quilts of Love Series
by Tara Randel
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: June 17, 2014
ISBN: 978-1426773464
Pages: 240
Buy Link: paperback
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/trandel

Review:

It seems that ever little bit, there is a new installment of the Quilts of Love Series, which each book is written by a different author. The newest release, Rival Hearts, arrived in book stores just last week.

Rival Hearts centers on Molly Henderson, a writer for the Quilter's Heart magazine. She hopes to get promoted to as head editor of the upcoming magazine, American Legend, but there is one little problem - she isn't the only one after the job. Ben Weaver, the editor of Outdoor Adventures and former star of the television series Extreme Survivalist, is also after the position.

Both magazines they work for are owned by Master's Publishing and since they are more than qualified for the job, their boss gives them a simple task to see who is the best editor. They must switch jobs for one month. Molly will be in charge of the next issue of Outdoor Adventures and Ben will be in charge of Quilter's Heart.

Review - How to Make Women Friends and Influence Them


How to Make Women Friends and Influence Them
by Dr. Saul Porat
Publisher: ?
Pub. Date: 2014
ASIN: B00KS56OLQ
Pages: 120
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

The  Hollywood industry has basically ruined the idea of what dating actually is about. Fifty year ago, movies and television shows showed a man bringing a woman flowers and candy on a first date, and possibly, there would be a kiss goodnight at the end. Times have changed and now a man is suppose to look like a soap opera actor with a chiseled body, be extremely wealthy, own an expensive car and own a fabulous home, but in reality only fifty-percent of us own a vehicle, even a less percentage own their own house, even if you have been to college most likely you are not making much more than minimum wage (if you are even employed) and we don't have enough time in the day to get a chiseled body. So your chances of finding a beautiful woman to date are slim to none.

When I noticed the eBook "How To Make Women Friends and Influence Them" by Dr. Saul Porat was available to review, of course I eagerly signed up to review it. My original thought was that this was going to be a self-help eBook that would help shy males with the ability to understand women and how to talk to them, but I couldn't be more wrong.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

DVD Review - Witches Of East End: The Complete First Season


Witches Of East End: The Complete First Season
Starring: Julia Ormond, Mädchen Amick, Rachel Boston, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Daniel Di Tomasso, Eric Winter
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Retail: $29.98
ASIN: B00JF5GAZA
Running Time: 431 minutes
Rating: TV-14

Review:

Arriving on DVD yesterday is the supernatural Lifetime series, Witches Of East End: The First Complete Season, based on the popular book franchise by Melissa de la Cruz. Special Features include Falling Under Their Spell, deleted scenes, gag reel and cat bloopers.

The series centers around Joanna Beauchamp (played by Julia Ormond), a single mother raising her two twenty-something daughters, Freya Beauchamp (played by Jenna Dewan Tatum) and Ingrid Beauchamp (played by Rachel Boston). Ingrid works at a library, while Freya works as a bartender at The Bent Elbow and is engaged to the handsome and wealthy Dash Gardiner (played by Eric Winter). After the surprise arrival of Joannas long-estranged sister, Wendy Beauchamp (played by Mädchen Amick), Freya and Ingrid learn a startling family secret - they are actually witches!

Joanna and Wendy were both banished by their father from the magical world of Asgard. A curse was put on Joanna, where she must watch her daughters die at a young age. After their deaths, she becomes magically pregnant again with Ingrid and later with Freya. She watches them grow up with their witchcraft heritage, which eventually leads to their deaths, over and over again. Finally, Joanna came to the decision not to tell her daughters about their witchcraft abilities, but there is an evil entity that is out for blood and she has no choice but to let the girls embrace their family's magical legacy.

The ten episodes on the 3-disc set are:

DVD Review - The Bridge: The Complete First Season



The Bridge: The Complete Season One
Starring: Diane Kruger, Demián Bichir, Annabeth Gish, Thomas M. Wright, Ted Levine
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Retail: $39.98
ASIN: B00ECHBSP8
Running Time: 590 minutes
Rating: Not Rated

Review:

Arriving on DVD yesterday is the Peabody Award-Winning FX series The Bridge: The Complete Season One. Special Features include Building The Bridge, Ciudad Juarez: The Other Side Of The Bridge With Damien Cave, deleted scenes and an audio commentary on the pilot episode.

Based on the 2011 Danish/Swedish TV series of the same name, the American version centers on a deceased body of Judge Lorraine Gates that is found on the bridge that is located between El Paso, Texas and Mexico. There is one little problem, the bottom torso belongs to Mexican Cristina Fuentes. El Paso Detective Sonya Cross (played by Diane Kruger) joins forces with Chihuahua Detective Marco Ruiz (played  by Demián Bichir) to investigate the murders.

Are these random killings? Or is there a serial killer on the loose?

These questions are quickly answered when reporter Daniel Frye (played by Matthew Lillard) sits in his car and finds a bomb ticking inside. Though the bomb was more of a test than anything else, it is clear that the killer somehow knows Daniel Frye.

Meanwhile, a loner Steven Linder (played by Thomas M. Wright) helps women that are being abused in Mexico by bringing (or sometimes kidnapping them) to a mobile home, followed by a safe house. Elsewhere, Charlotte Millwright (played by Annabeth Gish) is struggling with the recent death of her husband and the secret that he had kept from her - the tunnel underneath an old house that leads to Mexico.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Review - A Mother's Secret


A Mother's Secret
Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel, book two
by Amy Clipston
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub. Date: June 3, 2014
ISBN: 978-0310335818
Pages: 320
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/xlHpQ
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/aclipston

Review:
 
As many of blog followers already know, one of my favorite genres is Amish fiction. My love for the genre started twelve or thirteen years ago when I first read a Beverly Lewis title. At time she about the only Christian writer writing about the Amish life. Flash forward to to 2014 and there are several Amish fiction titles written by different authors being released every month. It is difficult to stay up-to-date with all these writers and if it wasn't for reviewing titles for this blog, I would probably play it safe and only read the books by authors that I'm familiar with. That being said, I signed up to read A Mother's Secret by Amy Clipston and though the name sounds somewhat familiar, I don't believe I have read any of her other novels before. 

A Mother's Secret centers on thirty-one-year-old, Carolyn Lapp, who is a forgiven outcast in her Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, as she had a son, Benjamin, out of wedlock. She knows at her age, a male suitor is nearly impossible, especially in this community where no Amish man would even look at her. Her family have tried to set her up with a husband, but she wants to get married for the right reason - love.

Common Myths about Credit Cards with Rewards



Credit cards with rewards have gotten a bad reputation over the years. Between credit card debt to lack of good or useable rewards, many people have been turned off to the idea of credit cards. They see credit cards as a negative thing and will not even consider them as a viable financial option.

It is unfortunate how many people misuse, or even don’t know how to use, credit cards. I have seen many people greatly improve their financial standing by using credit cards,” says Chris Mettler of CompareCards.com.

Maybe it is time for you to reconsider credit cards as well? Here are some common myths about credit cards with rewards to help you decide.

Applying for a credit card with rewards lowers your credit score

Many people think that every time that you apply for a credit card with rewards, it will negatively affect your credit score. In reality, this is only true if you are applying to numerous cards on a regular basis. If you do your research and pick a card that works best for you, applying for it shouldn’t affect your credit at all. Just don’t fall into the trap of applying for every credit card offer that comes your way.

You earn the most rewards when you carry a high balance on your credit card

Review - Four Weddings & a Kiss


For Weddings & a Kiss
A Western Bride Collection
by Margaret Brownely, Debra Clopton,  Mary Connealy, Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: June 10, 2014
ISBN: 978-1401688547
Pages: 400
Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1qTiFK2
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/four-weddings-and-a-kiss

Review:

I probably read more books in one month than the average person reads in one year. Reading daily is a habit I picked up as a child; a time when you should be outside playing with other kids your age, but instead I had my nose in a book, letting my imagination guide me to a far away place. As an adult, life can be stressful and reading a good book is the perfect escape, well, at least for me it is. While I was occupied by a few freelance writing projects for the last few weeks, I did manage to read the anthology, Four Wedding and a Kiss, written by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher.

The first story is written by one of my favorite historical romance writers, Mary Conneally. Spitfire Sweetheart is centered on Maizy MacGregor, who happens to be responsible for injuring a local rancher, Rylan Carsten. With no other choice, she has to wait by his side as his so-called caregiver until his wounds are healed. Of course this is a romance, so it isn't too long until sparks arise between the two.

Robin Lee's Hatcher's tale, A Love Letter To The Editor, centers on journalist, Molly Everton, who writes a popular feature in the local newspaper. With her experience, she was hoping to be promoted to editor, but to her surprise, the position is given to the town's new resident, Jack Ludgrove. Molly is more than upset by his arrival and is determined to take his spot as editor, but there is one thing standing in her way – her true feelings for him.

Monday, 23 June 2014

DVD Review - Teen Wolf: Season 3 - Part 2


Teen Wolf: Season 3 - Part 2
Starring: Colton Haynes, Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien
Studio: MTV / MGM
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Retail: $29.98
ASIN: B00JF5G8WU
Running Time: 528 minutes
Rating: Not Rated

Review: 

Arriving on DVD last week is MTV's Teen Wolf: Season 3 - Part 2, featuring 12 exciting episodes from the second half of season three. There is only one special feature on three-disc set, titled Following the Pack: The Fans of Teen Wolf.

Loosely based on the 1985 comedy of the same name that starred Michael J. Fox, the series takes a darker and more serial-drama type approach, while still leaving bits of humor here and there. The series is set in the small town of Beacon Hills and centers on a teenager Scott McCall (played by Tyler Posey), who is bitten by a werewolf and must somehow handle his new-found lycanthropy, which comes with many supernatural strengths and powers.

The second half of season three centers on Scott, Stiles and Allison experiencing weird hallucinations that is caused by their temporary deaths in the first half of the season. To make things worse, Scott is still struggling with becoming a True Alpha. Meanwhile, a new student named Kira might be the link behind the supernatural force attacking them.

The episodes on the three-disc set are:

The Bridge: Season One DVD Giveaway

Top 5 Things You Need to Know about The Bridge

THE PEABODY AWARD*-WINNING SERIES ARRIVES ON BLU-RAY™ AND DVD ON JUNE 24


The Bridge Season 1

This gripping crime thriller set on the U.S.-Mexico border has emerged as one of TV’s most acclaimed new shows. When a murder victim is discovered on the bridge connecting El Paso and Juarez, detective Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) must work with her Mexican counterpart, Marco Ruiz (Demián Bichir), to catch a serial killer terrorizing both sides of the border. But their investigation will uncover shocking secrets and relentless danger that neither of them could possibly have imagined. The Bridge is a co-production of Shine America and FX Productions. In celebration of the show’s Blu-ray and DVD releases, we present to you the top 5 things you need to know about The Bridge. *Peabody Award, 2014

1. The part of Detective Marco Ruiz is not Demián Bichir’s first American role. 


Demián Bichir was a very successful actor in Mexico before finding footing in American entertainment. Bichir actually moved to New York, and later L.A., to pursue an acting career but couldn’t find any work. He decided to go back to Mexico where he was part of many popular telenovelas. Sexo, pudor y lágrimas (1999) proved to be his Mexican movie breakout after it became the number one film in the history of the country’s cinema. Bichir widened his American audience by playing the corrupt Tijuana mayor, Esteban Reyes, in the Showtime series Weeds (2008). He became only the second Mexican actor (Anthony Quinn being the first) to receive an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination for his performance in A Better Life (2011).

2. Diane Kruger wanted to be a ballerina.


Monday Morning Madness #44: I Wish Someone Else Would Clean My House


You have probably been wondering where my Monday Morning Madness posts have been for the past few weeks. The truth is that I had to shove those posts aside, so I can work on some freelance writing assignments for the past two weeks. I needed the extra cash and signed up for the projects, which almost turned out to be a bigger project than I could handle. After limiting myself to only a few hours a sleep at night, I would drag myself out of bed around 3:30 AM, brew some coffee and begin typing vigorously for four to five hours. Freelance writing is only a side-job, a way to make a few extra dollars, so I have other demanding things to do during the day. If I didn't finish my writings in the morning, then I would finish it later during the day before my daily 7 PM deadline. Due to the project's workload was increased for the second week, I had to work on tomorrow's projects the night before, which limited my time to work on reviews for this blog. 

All the writing projects were completed early Saturday morning, meaning I had time to relax, well that is I had time to relax from writing. After two weeks on concentrating all my time on writing (which was approx. 32,000 words in 14 days), my place was a complete wreck. Laundry was piled high, the cats' kitty litter boxes need to be changed, the kitchen needed to clean, everything needed to be dusted, my desk area was way too cluttered and my bedroom was almost unlivable. Plus, the yard needed to mowed. 

After mowing the yard in the humid weather early in the morning, taking a quick shower and running a few errands, there was something that I wished for - a maid! Though, I couldn't afford a maid to clean my place at this point in time, there is nothing wrong with dreaming! 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

DVD Review - Power Rangers Megaforce: Ultimate Defenders


Power Rangers Megaforce: Ultra Defenders
Starring: Andrew Gray, John Mark Loudermilk, Christina Masterson, Ciara Hanna, Azim Rizk
Studio: LionsGateRelease Date: June 17, 2014
Retail: $14.98
ASIN: B00IKM5M58
Running Time: 92 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on DVD last week was the Power Rangers Megaforce: Ultra Defenders, the fourth volume of from the 2013 season, featuring four action-packed episodes, as five ordinary teenagers prepare to protect Earth from a future alien invasion. There are no extras or special features featured on the disc.

The concept of using bits and pieces of scenes from a Japanese children series, may have seemed a little silly or even campy at first, but Saban's Power Ranger franchise has proved to be a television phenomenon with the 21st season currently airing on Nickelodeon and a 22nd series, Dino Charge, scheduled to air next year, as well as a big-budget big-screen reboot of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in the works from Lionsgate. 

Power Rangers Megaforce was the 20th anniversary season and is meant to be a throwback to the original seasons, setting the franchise back to the fictional Angel Grove and featuring teenagers as the Power Rangers. Mentored by Gosei and aided by his robot assistant, Tensou, the Power Rangers are trained to protect Angel Grove against an alien invasion. Along the way, they ally with the robotic Earth's defender, Robo Knight.


From left to right: "Robo Knight" (far left), the Pink Ranger ("Emma," left), the Black Ranger ("Jake," left center), the Red Ranger ("Troy," right center), the Blue Ranger ("Noah," right) and the Yellow Ranger ("Gia," far right) star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE: ULTRA DEFENDERS

 Episodes the on the single-disc are:

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Review - Seagrass Pier


Seagrass Pier
The Hope Beach Series, book 3
by Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub. Date: July 1, 2014
ISBN: B00GNNGURA
Pages: 336
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/xAP8O
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/ccoble

Review:

Before I started reviewing books for this blog, I was only aware of a couple of Christian fiction authors, but five years later, I have been exposed to dozens of authors, including Colleen Coble, who is now one of my favorite authors. The majority of the books I have read by her have a historical setting, but that is not the case with her upcoming novel, Seagrass Pier, as it has a contemporary setting and it is the third installment in the Hope Beach series.

Seagrass Pier centers on Elin Summerall, whose life was saved when she received a heart transplant. The operation seemed to be a success and there are no side effects, except for the small fact that Elin now has flashbacks and memories that aren't her own. These flashbacks are known as "cell memories" and the memories belong to the heart donor! She is soon haunted by donor's murder.

The media and other people think these "cell memories" are nothing but a publicity stunt, but FBI Agent Marc Everton thinks otherwise and believes Elin's story, which is good thing for her because the donor's killer is hot on her trail.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Book Blogger Hop: June 20th - 26th

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:

  This week's question is submitted by Becca!

Do you prefer Nook, Kindle, other reader, or paper book?

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: 

To read eBooks, I use either Kindle or Adobe Digital Edition, but I would rather have a hardback or paperback to read.



Linky List:

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

DVD Review - The Facts of Life: Seasons 1 & 2


The Facts of Life: Seasons 1 & 2
Starring: Charlotte Rae, Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohen, Nancy McKeon
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: May 20th, 2014
Retail: $14.98
ASIN: B00IJZW4KW
Running Time: 706 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated

Review:

Arriving on DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment last month is the Season One and Season of Two of sitcom The Facts of Life, available in individual season sets or 2-Season Combo Pack featuring all 29-episodes.

Spinning-off from NBC's Diff'rent Strokes, the series originally had housekeeper Mrs. Edna Garrett (played by Charlotte Rae) becoming a housemother to the private all-girls school, Eastland School, where Kimberly Drummond (played by Dana Plato) attended in the Diff'rent Strokes in the first season finale (The Girl's School). Though she appeared in the first official episode (Rough Housing), Kimberly was dropped from there series, Mrs. Garrett stayed on as a housekeeper to teenagers to Blair Warner (played by Lisa Whelchel), Molly Parker (played by Molly Ringwald), Natalie Green (played by Mindy Cohen), Cindy Webster (played by Julie Anne Haddock), Nancy Olsen (played by Felice Schacter), Sue Ann Weaver (played by Julie Piekarski) and Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey (played by Kim Fields).

The first season was rocky, airing only four episodes in the late summer of '79, six episodes in the spring of '80 and two episodes in the summer of '80. Ratings weren't great, but it somehow received a 16-episode second season order, but with major changes. Molly, Cindy, Nancy and Sue Ann was reduced to recurring background characters. Mrs. Garrett was upgraded to the school's dietitian. The first episode of the second introduced the new student, Jo Polniaczek (played by Nancy McKeon), a tough girl who drags Blair, Natalie and Tootie out to a bar, leading to their suspension from the school that is until Mrs. Garret agrees to be responsible for them. The four girls leave their dorm rooms and move into the storage room across from Mr. Garret's bedroom.

The changes in the series boosted the ratings incredibly, lasting 201 episodes and two television movies over the course eight seasons. Plus, there was a post-reunion television movie in 2001, minus actress Nancy McKeon.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Review - Forever Amish by Kate Lloyd


Forever Amish
Legacy of Lancaster, book there
by Kate Lloyd
Publisher:
David C. Cook
Pub. Date:
June 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-0781408745
Pages: 368  
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/xxswg 
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/klloyd

Review:

Yep, another week with me reviewing another Amish fiction title. You would think I would eventually get bored reading the same genre all the time. Yes, some of the plots are repeated and it gets a little cliched, but I'm never bored reading the genre. Actually, I also get a smile on my face I get a chance to review a new Amish title.

Forever Amish is written by Kate Lloyd, who has several books and novellas under her belt - all set in the Amish world, and is the the third and final book in the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy. I recall reviewing the first book, Pennsylvania Patchwork, but missed out in reading the second installment, Leaving Lancaster.

The third installment centers on Sally Bingham, a woman who needs a break from her current life. She wonders if she is making the right choice of marrying her boyfriend, Donald, as he obviously doesn't care about her ailing father. Then there is the thing about her mother - well about who her mother is.

One thing in her life that she does has control of is her dogs. She raises them and train them for shows. Out-of-the blue, Sally receives several emails from an Amish woman, Lizzie Zook, asking her advice about buying a dog. Looking for a break from her life, Sally drives to the Lancaster County for the weekend, hoping to meet up with Lizzie.


Review - Out Of The Ruins by Karen Barnett


Out Of The Ruins
Golden Gate Chronicles, book 1
by Karen Barnett
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: May 6, 2014
ISBN: 978-1426780578
Pages: 320
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/xlcaD
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/kbarnett

Review:

Though I do consider myself a big historical fiction reader, I'm not a fan of books set in the early 1900s, as I prefer the 1800s or what is wildly known as the 'wild wild west.' That being said, I do have a fascination about San Francisco, which is weird because I have never even visited California.

Out Of The Ruins by Karen Barnett is the first installment in the Golden Gate Chronicles and is set in San Francisco in 1905. By just looking at the cover, I thought the plot might involve a young female journalist or something in that nature, but I was completely wrong. What I got was an historical accurate look at the life during this era, along with an emotional plot involving a non-believer, Abby Fischer, whom has lost all hope that her sister, Cecelia, will ever get better from her illness.

Her sister has seen about every doctor in the area and all of them cannot help her, that is until a handsome young apprentice, Dr. Robert King, comes into their lives. Traditional doctors don't care for experimental methods, but Robert wants use a risky treatment in the attempt to save Cecelia's life.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Blu-ray Review - Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey


 

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyessy
Narrated by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Retail: $59.98
ASIN: B00IWULSTC
Running Time: 572 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon



Review: 

Now available to own Blu-ray is the exciting documentary, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Special features include an audio commentary on the premiere episode, Library of Congress Dedication, Cosmos at Comic-Con, Cosmos: The Voyage Continues and an Interactive Cosmic Calendar.

The 13-part documentary serves as a sequel to the award-winning 1980 PBS 13-part series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, that was co-created and hosted by the late Carl Sagan. Two of Sagan's collaborators, Ann Druyan and Steve Soter, returned to produce this follow-up, along side Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane, Mitchell Cannold, Brannon Braga and Jason Clark.

The series takes a look at the cosmos through the "Ship of the Imagination," in which Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, along with dazzling special effects and animation, explains how the Big Bang occurred and origin of Earth's evolution. We are introduced to past scientists through the use animation and we are giving a brief glance of the what the future could bring.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Blu-ray Review - Joy Ride 3: Roadkill


 

Joy Ride 3: Roadkil
Director: Declan O'Brien
Starring: Jesse Hutch, Kirsten Prout, Ben Hollingsworth, Dean Armstrong, Ken Kirzinger
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Enterainment
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Retail: $29.99
ASIN: B00JF5GAY6
Running Time: 96 minutes
Rating: UNRATED

Review:

Arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on Tuesday June 17, 2014 is Joy Ride 3: Roadkill UNRATED. The second sequel in the thriller franchise is directed by Declan O'Brien (Wrong Turn 3 - 5) and stars Jesse Hutch (Kyle XY), Kristen Prout (Kyle XY, The Lying Game), Ben Hollingsworth (The Tomorrow People), Dean Armstrong (Wrong Turn 4) and Ken Kirzinger (Freddy vs Jason). Special Features include Road Rage: The Blood, Sweat And Gears Of Joy Ride 3, Riding Shotgun With Declan: Director's Die-Aries; Finding Large Marge, audio commentary and deleted scenes.

The original Joy Ride thrilled critics in 2001 and became a blockbuster in rentals. The film was co-written by J. J. Abrams and starred the late Paul Walker, Steve Zahnand and Leelee Sobieski. The film chronicled two brothers and their friend who are tormented by a crazed trucker, Rusty Nails. Seven years later (minus the original cast) a direct-to-DVD sequel, Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead was released.

Besides from the killer trucker Rusty Nails, no other previous characters return for the third installment, Joy Ride 3: Roadkill. The sequel centers on Jordan Wells (played by Jesse Hutch) and group of friends, who are all heading to Road Rally 1000 to enter his racing car. Sadly, the group take a wrong turn down the "massacre road" and have an encounter with a semi-truck, which happens to have Rusty Nails (played by Ken Kirzinger) behind the wheel. Jordan and his gang are hunted down by the crazed trucker driver, leading them all down a path to hell.


Friday, 13 June 2014

Book Blogger Hop: June 13th - 19th

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:

  This week's question is submitted by Elizabeth!

Do you think your blog reflects your personality? Does it show organization, a care-free style, or some other trait?

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: 

Yes, I think my blog reflects my personality. I'm a coffee lover and my blog's theme/layout really reflects my love of coffee. And of course I love reading books, which is explains why this blog is primarily a book blog.




Linky List:

DVD Review - Transformers Animated: The Complete Series



Transformers Animated: The Complete Series
Voice Cast: David Kaye, Corey Burton, Bumper Robinson, Bill Fagerbakke, Jeff Bennett, Tara Strong, Tom Kenny, Susan Blu
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Retail: $37.97
ASIN: B00ITAQ2MS
Running Time: 930 minutes
Rating: TV-Y7
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Shout! Factory is taking advantage of the upcoming release of Michael Bay's Transformers: Age of Extinction by re-releasing previous animated series to DVD. Transformers Animated: The Complete Series was released this week, featuring all 42 episodes on a six-disc set.

Right on the heels of the first Michael Bay's Transformers blockbusters, Transformers Animated debuted on the Cartoon Network in late December 2007 and ended in May 2003. Unlike several of the previous animated series, Transformer Animated isn't cannon with the original 80s series, but instead it was reboot with a more kid friendly designs.

The series blasts away with the three-part pilot, Transform and Roll Out!, featuring the Autobots as repair bots lead by Optimus Prime (voiced by David Kaye). His team consists of Ratchet, Bulkhead, Prowl and Bumblebee. Their destinies forever change when they discover the Allspark on an asteroid. Before long, Megatron and his Decepticons (Blitzwing, Lugnut, Blackarachnia and Starscream) arrive to take possession of the Allspark at all costs. A battle wages and the Autobots' ship is damaged and crash lands on Earth.

While the Autobots go into stasis, the remains of Megatron is found by a scientist, Isaac Sumdac. The pilot jumps fifty years into the future, where Sumdac is now a professor in the futuristic version of Detroit. Optimus Prime and the Autobots awake from their stasis and defends the people of Detroit from a monster, resulting in the Autobots becoming heroes. Their biggest fan is young daughter, Sari.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Review - A Season of Change


A Season of Change
Seasons in Pinecraft, book 1
by Lynette Sowell
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: May 20, 2014
ISBN: 978-1426753558
Pages: 304
Buy Link: Paperback
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/lsowell

Review:

As many of my blog readers already know, I am a huge Amish fiction fan. Ten or twelve years ago, there were only a very few authors writing in this genre, but now there are dozens of new authors popping up every month with a new title. I can't keep up with all the new writers, so I only read the books that are written by authors that I'm familiar with. That being said, I will occasionally read a new title by a newbie author, especially if it strictly for reviewing on this blog.

Several weeks ago I was sent a copy of A Season of Change, book one in the Seasons in Pinecraft series, written by Lynette Sowell. Though the author isn't exactly a newbie, as she has ten novels under her belt, this is the first Amish title I have read by the author.

Normally when I receive a book to review, I will pile the books in order of the tour date and read them in that order, but not with this book, as I read it as soon I received it. I guess my review was suppose to be published a few weeks ago, but I never received the tour information. I doubled checked my inbox and I never received anything. Or maybe I accidentally deleted the email. 

Review - A Stitch and a Prayer

A Stitch and a Prayer
Quilts of Love Series
by Eva Gibson
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pub. Date: May 20, 2014
ASIN: 978-1426772528
Pages: 224
Buy Link: Paperback
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/egibson

Review:

It seems like I've been reading a book in the Quilts of Love Series every other month. Each book is written by a different author, but every plot has something to do with a quilt or quilting in general. While some titles have been better than others, I have enjoyed reading all of them.

The newest installment, A Stitch and a Prayer, is written by Eva Gibson and is set in Oregon in 1899. The book centers on a newly married couple, Will and Florence Harms. They had gotten married after Will had returned from the Klondike Gold rush. Their future seemed to be bright until the day Will went missing, leaving behind only a note, which stated that Will hated good-byes and that he promised to write a letter as soon as he could.

Florence is devastated by her husband's actions and wonders what has happened to him. Without knowing the truth, both fear and anxiety rushes over her. Did she do something to push her husband away? Was Will running away from something or someone? All these questions filled her mind, but she had no way to answer them.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

SNICKERS Voting Prize Pack Giveaway!


SNICKERS® will be releasing a brand new bar in 2015 and they need your help in naming it! It has more peanuts, more caramel and more chocolate than any other bar. Mars Chocolate North America has announced that for the first time consumers will have the opportunity to help name the newest product from SNICKERS!

The currently unnamed bar includes a single delicious layer of crunchy roasted peanuts and smooth caramel blended and enrobed in milk chocolate. And you get to help name it.

Please visit SNICKERS Facebook page, through June 13, 2014, to choose one of five possible names.


The five names to choose from are:

SNICKERS Go Nuts
SNICKERS Xtreme
SNICKERS #MoreNuts
SNICKERS Nuts Galore
SNICKERS Nuts!




Giveaway Details

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Review - Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig

Raptor 6
The Quite Professionals, book 1
by Ronie Kendig
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Pub. Date: May 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-1616260408
Pages: 352
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/xoyE1
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/raptor-6-ronie-kendig

Review:

If you follow my blog regularly, then you probably know that I have read many Christian romances. I do love the genre, but reading the same old plots can get a bit boring, so I was more than eager to review Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig. I don't read very many military thrillers, but I have read a few other titles by the author, so I thought I would give the book a try.

The Quite Professionals is a new spinoff series of A Breed Apart trilogy, featuring Captain Dean Watters as the central character and hero of Raptor 6, who finds himself leading a Special Forces Team that is assigned to track down hackers, whom are responsible for stealing ten military super-secure computers. On these computers is intelligence information about the U.S. military and this information falling into the wrong hands will lead to total chaos across the globe.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Blu-ray Review - The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 2


The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 2
(Summer Of Sam / Miracle at St. Anna)
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: John Leguizamo, John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito, Anthony LaPaglia, Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso, Omar Benson Miller, Pierfrancesco Favino,Valentina Cervi
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Retail: $20.00
ASIN: B00J2VUJ6S
Running Time:142 minutes (Summer Of Sam), 160 minutes (Miracle at St. Anna)
Rating: R

Review:

Arriving on Blu-ray this Tuesday, June 10, 2014, is The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 2, featuring the 1999 crime-drama, Summer Of Sam, and the 2008 WWII drama, Miracle at St. Anna. Special Features for Miracle at St. Anna includes a new audio commentary by director Spike Lee and actor John Leguizamo. Deeds Not Words, The Buffalo Solider Experience and deleted scenes. Summer Of Sam features a new audio commentary by director Spike Lee and screenwriter James McBride.

Summer Of Sam takes place in the New York City during the summer of 1977, where every New Yorker is in fear of the serial killer, Son of Sam. The film centers on the Italian-American neighborhoods with a handful of unique characters - a hairdresser, Vinny (played by John Leguizamo), his wife Dionna (played by Mira Sorvino), his punk-rocker friend Ritchie (played by Adrien Brody) and many others. The film chronicles Vinny's affairs with other women and the neighbors reaction to Ritchie's new lifestyle, as well as small bits of the Son of Sam (played by Michael Badalucco) murders.

The film received mixed reviews from critics and wasn't much of a box-office draw with moviegoers.

Blu-ray Review - The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 1


The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 1
(25th Hour & He Got Game)
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Edward Norton, Denzel Washington, Ray Allen, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Brain Cox, Milla Jovovich
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Retail: $20.99
ASIN: B00J2VUJ86
Running Time: 135 minutes (25th Hour), 136 minutes (He Got Game)
Rating: R

Review:

Arrving on Blu-ray this Tuesday, June 10, 2014 is the The Spike Lee Joint Collection Vol. 1, featuring 2002's 25th Hour starring Edward Norton and 1998's He Got Game starring Denzel Washington and the NBA player, Ray Allen. Special features for 25th Hour include a new audio commentary by director Spike Lee and Actor Edward Norton, deleted scenes, audio commentary with director Spike Lee, audio commentary with writer David Benioff, "The Evolution Of An American Filmmaker" featurette, and "Ground Zero" - A Tribute. He Got Game features a brand new audio commentary by director Spike Lee and actor Ray Allen.

Released in December 2002, 25th Hour stars Edward Norton as Monty Morton, who has only 24 hours before he goes to prison for selling drugs. He drags his two best friends, Frank Slaughtery (played by Barry Pepper) and Jacob Elinsky (played by the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman), along with his younger girlfriend, Naturelle (played by Rosario Dawson), to a bar for last drink.

The film did moderately well bringing in nearly $24 million on a $6 million budget. It received mostly positive reviews from critics.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

DVD Review: Shiva Rea: Meditations

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.


Arriving on DVD this week from ACORN MEDIA is Shiva Rea Meditations, featuring over 100 minutes of medications to mix & match with Shiva Rea's Matrix. These practices are a great way to rejuvenate the mind and body.

Shiva Rea is considered "one of the world's greatest yoga masters" according to Vanity Fair. Her newest DVD release, Shiva Rea: Meditations, is a collection of meditations from several of her award-winning DVDs. From the Greek Island to the New Mexico's White Sands National Park, Shiva instructs you on how to have a calm oasis, where you can leave all the stress and worries in your life behind, so your body can restore itself.

The practices on the DVD can be viewed separately or you can select as many of the practices as you want, creating your own Matrix. You can also choose the pre-set practices.

The practices on this single disc are:

Friday, 6 June 2014

Book Blogger Hop: June 6th - 12th

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:

  This week's question is submitted by Elizabeth!

When you view someone's profile, what information do you like to see?

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: 

It depends if it is a blogger profile or a G+ profile. I don't like it when your blog or website isn't listed on your blogger profile and all you have is a list of blogs you follow. This makes it difficult for me to locate your blog so I can either leave a comment or become a follower. For G+ profiles, I like it when all of your blog posts are available to the public, as it gives more exposure for your posts/reviews.


Linky List:

DVD Review - Resurrection: The Complete First Season



Resurrection: The Complete First Season
Starring: Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Matt Craven, Devin Kelly, Mark Hildreth, Samaire Armstrong, Sam Hazeldine, Landon Gimenez, Kurtwood Smith
Studio: ABC Studios
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Retail: $29.99
ASIN: B00IYMSMTM
Running Time: 344 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Arriving on DVD for the first time on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 is Resurrection: The Complete First Season, the recent hit ABC series based on the book The Returned by Jason Mott and stars an all-star cast of Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Matt Craven, Devin Kelly, Mark Hildreth, Samaire Armstrong, Sam Hazeldine, Landon Gimenez and Kurtwood Smith. Bonus Features include Resurrection: Building A Mystery, On Location In Georgia, bloopers and deleted scenes.

Though the series received a mixed reaction from critics, the first season averaged 12.96 million and is the highest rating series for the Sunday 9:00 pm Eastern/8:00 pm Central timeslot for ABC ever since Desperate Housewives ended its run.

Resurrection centers on J. Martin Bellamy (played by Omar Epps), an immigration agent who is in charge of returning eight-year-old Jacob Langston (played by Landon Gimenez) back to his family. For some mysterious reason, the boy had traveled to China, where he was found with no memory. The only thing he remembers is the town Arcadia, Missouri.

Defying his orders, Bellmays takes the child to Arcadia to reunite the boy with his parents, Henry and Lucille Langston (played by Kurtwood Smith and Frances Fisher), but there is a small problem - Jacob Langston drowned in 1982.

Review - I'm Nobody: The Lost Pages


I'm Nobody: The Lost Pages
by Alex Marestaing
Publisher: Mymilou Press
Pub. Date: December 10, 2013
ISBN: 978-0615931630
Pages: 218
Buy Link: http://ow.ly/wSAPZ
Blog Tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/amarestaing

Review:

Many of you probably think I only read Amish fiction or historical romances, but I have a huge collection of middle-grade books, from The Boxcar Children to Goosebumps, so it was no-brainier that I wanted to review I'm Nobody: The Lost Pages by Alex Marestaing.

The book centers on thirteen-year-old Caleb Reed, who has sheltered himself; never leaving his home for the last seven years, ever since his older sister, Anneliese, was killed in an accident. He is home schooled and has a fear of everything, along with a obsessive-compulsive disorder. He likes having the same daily routine, including watching the VHS recording of the last AFV episode that hw had watched his late sister, though she never got to see who the winner of the episode was. His latest fear or obsession is with the abandon house across the street, as he believes someone or something removed the boards from one of the windows.

Iris Elliot was in the second grade the last time she saw Caleb Reed, but she is well aware of the rumors and myths about the boy who never leaves his home. She is an aspiring filmmaker and wants to make a documentary about Caleb, so she can enter it into a YouTube contest.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Review - Fearless Hope


Fearless Hope
by Serena B. Miller
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub. Date: April 8, 2014
ISBN: 978-1451660371
Pages: 384
Buy Link: Paperback

Review:

Sometimes bloggers can make mistakes and I definitely made a mistake with Fearless Hope by Serena B. Miller, as for some reason I put the book in the wrong TBR pile. I thought the book was for a blog tour for sometime in June, but actually there was no blog tour for the book and I was suppose to have my review posted by April 8th.

Fearless Hope centers on Hope Yoder, who had recently lost her husband. To support her children, including one that is on the way, she must take a job as a part-time housekeeper for an Englisch man, Logan Parker, whom happens to be a bestselling crime fiction writer.

Logan is use to the big city life in New York, but his life changes when he accompanies his fiancée, on a trip to Ohio, where he falls in love with an Amish farmhouse that is for sale, as he thinks it would make the perfect writing retreat. The peaceful Amish country may be the perfect solution to relieve him of the dreadful writer's block.

Non-Stop Blu-ray Giveaway


Liam Neeson reunites with director Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan) and powerhouse producer Joel Silver (The Matrix series, Die Hard) for the first time since their collaboration on the hit 2011 thriller Unknown. The all-star cast includes four-time Academy Award® nominee Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”) and 2013’s Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) as well as Scoot McNairy (Argo), Linus Roache (“Vikings”) and Corey Stoll (“House of Cards,” The Bourne Legacy).



Giveaway Details:

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Writing Tips Wednesdays: 10 Simple Writing Exercises to Improve Your Writing Skills

It's time for another Writing Tips Wednesday!

As a professional writer, I often get bogged down with writing about boring topics. Sometimes, it is difficult to switch between corporate writing and the freer style of the online world or fiction writing.

One of my favorite ways to improve writing or take on a different voice is to try a variety of writing exercises. I find that conducting a writing exercise is an excellent way to refresh your writing brain to come up with something when you have a mental block.

If you want to refresh your writing, try the following 10 writing exercises to improve your writing skills:

Free Writing

This simplewriting tip is one of the easiest in the world. There are no rules in this writing exercise. This exercise is perfect for trying to get over writer’s block.

Character Interviews

I like to use thiswriting exercise to develop a character beyond the basics. While I don’t write a lot of fiction, it is helpful for trying to define what a character is or isn’t based on how they would answer interview questions.

Writing Blind

What would it be like to writewithout the use of sight? Use descriptions pulled from touch, smell, and sound rather than based on appearance or color.

Write Without Me

This is a fun narrative for learning to talk about yourself withoutusing “I” pronouns all the time. This is also helpful for business writing, like for cover letters and resumes!

Character Portraits

This simplewriting exercise enables you to write about a stranger based on what you imagine their personality to be rather than the physical description. This helps create fully fleshed-out characters in stories.

Describe the Abstract

Can you describe adjectives? This exercise has you describewords that already descriptive words to help expand your writing ability.

Get Quiet

Sometimes thebest writing tip is simple to move to another location. This tip explains the virtues of writing in a quite environment.

15 Minute Writing

Have you tried blockwriting? Block writing is one simple way to improve your writing in just a short amount of time.

The Cover of Darkness

This exercise illustrates the importance of usingan unusual prospective while writing. This particular exercise focuses on a lack of light and color, but you could also try on a different planet, under the water, behind a mirror, or any other number of unusual situations.

Group Writing

Writing with a support group is an excellent way to improve your writing skills. Try writing the same story with multiple people for even more fun!


What are your favorite writing exercises? 
Brenda is a fellow book-lover and coffee-addict. She is a freelance writer, punctuation nerd, and grammar enthusiast. Her favorite book genres are Science Fiction, Fantasy with a Twist, and Dystopian. Brenda blogs about books, writing and more at Daily Mayo. Find her here on CaW for Writing Tips Wednesdays the first Wednesday of every month.

Follow Brenda on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to updates from Daily Mayo to keep up with all the exciting things in her life; ranging from drinking coffee to get through the day to drinking coffee just for fun.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Blu-ray Review - Son of God


Son of God
Director: Christopher Spencer
Starring: Diogo Morgado, Roma Downey, Darwin Shaw
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Retail: $29.98
ASIN: B00ICWO144
Running Time: 138 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Review:

Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD today, Tuesday, June 3, 2014, is the Son of God, which was adapted from the 2013 History Channel's mini-series, The Bible. The feature film is a blend of selective scenes from the last 5-parts of The Bible and footage not shown during the mini-series. Christopher Spencer directs the film while the husband and wife duo, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, return as producers. Special Features on the Blu-ray include Son of God: Reborn, From the Set: The Passion, Son of God: Un Reino sin Fronteras and Faith Into Practice: Introduce Children to a Relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Son Of God chronicles the life of Jesus Christ from his birth to his resurrection. The film was critically panned by critics, mostly because of its scripture inaccuracies and bad CGI shots of Jerusalem, but it managed to take in over 60 million dollars at the box-office and received an "A" Cinemascore opening weekend.



Though I was well aware of The Bible mini-series, I had chosen not to watch it, as most biblical themed mini-series are low-budget with bad acting and are just difficult to watch. Nevertheless, my grandmother loved the mini-series and she even purchased the DVD.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Blu-ray Giveaway

COSMOS: HEROES OF SCIENCE



In it’s thirteen episodes, COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY has endeavored to bring light to some of the heroes of scientific history who have been unjustly overlooked. In honor of the series’ release on Blu-ray and DVD on June 10, we’re taking a look back at a few of these important forgotten trailblazers.


GIORDANO BRUNO

Going against convention, this Dominican friar was vocal in his claim that the earth not only revolved around the sun (a relatively new idea at the time), but that the sun was just another of the countless stars in the sky and there were a multitude of other worlds in the universe. Bruno was burned at the stake for his beliefs, years before he would be proven right by astronomers.


WILLIAM HERSCHEL

An accomplished astronomer, Herschel discovered the planet Uranus along with its two largest moons, was the first to determine the existence of infrared radiation and observed the phenomenon of binary stars caught in the gravitation pull of invisible dark stars.

JOHN MICHELL

Michell was one of the greatest scientific minds of the 18th century that most people have never heard of. He was the first person to propose the idea of black holes, the first to hypothesize that earthquakes move in waves and the first to develop a way to make artificial magnets. His biggest downfall was his lack of interest in promoting his own ideas to the scientific community.

Review & Giveaway - Axel: The Biggest Little Hero


Axel: The Biggest Little Hero
Director: Leo Lee
Voice Cast: Ed Asner, Tim Curry, Matthew Lillard, George Takei
Studio: ARC Entertainment
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Retail: $20.99
ASIN: B00J4LMKS6
Running Time: 80 minutes
Rating: PG

Review:

Arriving on DVD today from ARC Entertainment is the computer-animated fantasy adventure, Axel: The Biggest Little Hero, directed by Leo Lee and starring the voice cast of Ed Asner, Tim Curry, Matthew Lillard and George Takei.

While How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Planes: Fire & Rescue are hitting theaters this summer, Axel: The Biggest Little Hero gets the straight-to-DVD treatment. There a few big names, like the ones I mentioned above, but their voices only appear for a brief period of time. The star of the movie is Yuri Lowental as the voice of Axel.  

The film is set on a peanut. Yes, I said peanut! Young Axel wants to become a hero and while trying to save a bug from a tree, he accidentally falls to the ground. While unconscious, Axel hears a voice of the last great leader, Bonta (voice by Ed Asner), telling him to search for the lost Boonta Grove, where an unlimited supply of the cactus-like Boonta lays. Axel's people live off of the liquid found inside the Boonta.

Along with his best-friend, Jono (voiced by Colleen O'Shaughnessey), Axel journeys through the desert on an epic quest to save his people. They cross paths with a giant mechanical ostrich, whom becomes their greatest ally. Finding the Boonta Grove won't be easy, as it is ruled by the Lizard King (voiced by Matthew Lillard) and its army of lizard robots.