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Saturday, October 31

Halloween Madness: Boogedy, Boogedy, Boo!


A few months ago, I was trying to think of the name of an old movie about a family that movies into a haunted house and I just couldn't recall the name of it. I did what anyone else would do - I googled it and I quickly found the name - Mr. Boogedy, a 45-minute family-friendly horror comedy that aired on the The Disney Sunday Movie in 1986 (when I was a five-year-old). A longer sequel, Bride of Boogedy, aired a year later.

I have fond memories of watching both films during my childhood, which my parents had recorded on a VHS. Sadly, the VHS recordings are long gone. Now that I knew the name of the movies, I searched for the DVD or Blu-ray releases. Well, the good news is that it was just released on DVD this year, but the bad news is that it's only available for members of the Disney Movie Club. I ended up joining the club, but not just to buy this movie, as the introduction DVDs are going to be given away as presents for Christmas.

The DVD is a single-disc with both films on it. Mr. Boogedy was directed by Oz Scott (he also directed the sequel). The film centers on Carlton Davis (played by Richard Masur), his wife Eloise (played by Mimi Kennedy) and their children, Jennifer (played by Kristy Swanson), Corwin (played by David Faustino), and Aurie (played by Benjamin Gregory), moving into an old house in Lucifer Falls, New England. The realtor, Neil Witherspoon (played by John Astin), informs the family that the house is haunted by Mr. Boogedy (played by Howard Witt). Of course Carlton and Eloise doesn't believe in ghosts, but their opinions change after their kids have several strange supernatural experiences. They family must band together to get rid of Mr. Boogedy.


Friday, October 30

Book Blogger Hop: Halloween Edition: October 30th - November 5th

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome Ghouls and Goblins
to the
Book Blogger Hop: Halloween Edition!
  
If you want schedule next week's thrilling question, click here to find the next prompt fright-fest. 
To submit a question, fill out this form.

How to participate in this week's creepy meme:


1. Post on your blog answering this haunt:

  If you could give away books instead of candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween Night, what would the titles be?

2. Enter the link to your terrifying tale in the haunting 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 a curse).

 

3. Visit other haunters in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new creeper.  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.
 

Billy's Answer!


Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine.



Linky List:

Feature & Follow Friday




Feature & Follow Friday Meme is a cool little meme that is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.

This week's featured bloggers are:




This week's question:

What are your favorite books that have been made into a movie?

Thursday, October 29

Halloween Madness: The Raping of Ava DeSantis Review



The Raping of Ava DeSantis
by Mylo Carbia
Publisher: Rockefeller Publishing Group, Inc.
Pub. Date: September 10, 2015
ISBN: 978-0996565202
Pages: 418
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Wow, this month has went by extremely fast. While I originally planning this year's month-long Halloween event, one of the first posts I had set up was for a review for the new thriller The Raping of Ava DeSantis by Mylo Carbia. Despite the fact that I received a copy several weeks ago, due to several distractions (other reviews, reading, writing and watching the MLB playoffs and World Series), I had almost forgotten about reading this title until I thought of it early this morning.

As the title suggests, the book centers on Ava DeSantis, a young woman that is brutally raped in Atlanta, Georgia in 1991 by a group of rich frat boys (Sebastian O'Connor, Wesley Scarborough and David Reilly). While the authorities does look into the crime, the rapist use their families' names and wealth to avoid any prison time.

Fast forward to 2006, O'Connor, Scarborough and Reilly have married, started families and have successful businesses. Out of nowhere, Ava DeSantis returns and wants revenge for what they did to her all those years ago.

While I was reading the book this morning, I kept thinking of the of the horror movies Last House on the Left  and I Spit On Your Grave, which all have the same rape revenge plot. These types of movies and books have never appealed to me, but the after I saw the haunting cover cover art to this novel, I became interesting in reading it.

Fall Reads: Happy Cooking


 
Happy Cooking
by Giada De Laurentiis
Publisher: Pam Krauss Books
Pub. Date: November 3, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-8041-8792-3
Pages: 320
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:
 
Being released in bookstores just in time for Thanksgiving is the cookbook Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count ... Without Stressing Out by Giada De Laurentiis, featuring nearly 200 recipes, time-saving tips and healthy eating strategies for the holidays.

Probably almost everyone has heard of the Italian Chef  Giada De Laurentiis who has had a cooking show on the Food Network since 2003. Happy Cooking is her 8th published cookbook. Why is it called Happy Cooking? Well, the author says she is happiest when she's in the kitchen.

While Italian meals are always tasty, many of them come with a high calorie count, so Giada is compiled together the best recipes that healthy and delicious. She kicks off the book with "First Things First: #breakfast, featuring recipes ("Nutella" Milk; Greens Eggs, and Ham Wrap; Caprese Frittata; Carrot and Apple Muffins, etc.) that will give you just enough energy to start your day.

Find the perfect snack in "Snacks & Small Plates,:" such as The Only Bean Dip That You'll Ever Need; Soy Citrus Turkey Jerky; New, Improved "Puppy Chow;" Warm and Spicy Popcorn; Pumpkin Spice Latte Popcorn; Italian Lemonade; Mediterranean Chile Chickens Wings; Goat Cheese Toast, etc..

It's important to eat many greens each and every day, but it can get a little boring. In "Salads & Seasons," Giada puts several new spins on salads, eggplant and zucchini with recipes such as Better Wedge Salad, Hummus Salad and Herbed Cucumber Salad.

With winter not too far away, it would be the perfect time to find new "Soups & Stews" recipes. Giada has come up with several unique recipes, like Child Watermelon-Basil Gazpacho and "House" Soup; Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Pork Stew.

For those who do like their Italian meals, Giada features an entire chapter on "Pastas & Risottos." A few of the dishes are Brown Butter Tortellini, Pasta e Fagioli with Mussels; Parmesan Marinara; Short-Rib Lasagna; and Pasta Pizza.

4 Pack Silicone Travel Bottles Review




While my blog's Holiday Gift Guide won't start until after Thanksgiving, I thought I would feature a product that would make a cute Christmas gift. It is the 4 Pack Silicone Travel Bottles.

Yes, travel bottles like these have been around for quite some time, but with all the new regulations of what you can carry on airplanes, many things have changed. This 4 pack (3 ounces each) is carry-on approved.

The bottles are made from food grade squeezable silicone (100% BPA Free & FDA Approved). Each one has a 3-leak-proof cap walls that will prevent leaks & spills, an adjustable collar that helps identifies the bottle's contents, a large bottle opening and a built-in suction cup.


PureAthlete Power+ Review



With all the sweets and holiday dinners that are just around the corner, you're probably worrying about gaining extra unwanted pounds, so there's no time like the present to start exercising.

If you're like me, then you're probably sore after a good workout. This mean that your muscles are going to need a boost before it's next workout.

A few weeks ago, I was sent a 99 grams container of  PureAthelete Power+ to test out and review. I have to be honest, I originally thought this was some sort of energy mix drink, but it turns out to be a creatine mix.

Creatine is very popular with athletes, bodybuilders and anyone trying to get into shape. PureAthlete Power+ is meant to help replenishes electrolytes, increase energy levels, promote muscle recovery and enhances & sustains nutrition.

It's free of toxic chemicals as well as any banned-substances. I noticed that the product was manufactured on equipment that processes products that contained milk, eggs, soybeans, wheat, shellfish, fish oil, tree nuts and peanuts.


Just like any other creatine, you need to drink plenty of water throughout the day to get it into your system. If not, it can make you dehydrated quickly. The mix is tasteless, which might not appeal to some people, but you can easily add a scoop to any kind of protein drink. While the container is smaller than other brands, the PureAthlete Power+ does contain a powerful punch, especially on days when you just don't have the energy to exercise. (I've had plenty of those lately.) Overall, the PureAthlete Power+  is a pretty decent creatine mix.

You can purchase the PureAthlete Power+ on Amazon.com.



*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary sample in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.


Wednesday, October 28

Halloween Madness: The Humbug Murders Review



The Humbug Murders
by L.J. Oliver
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pub. Date: October 27, 2015
ISBN: 978-1476792347
Pages: 390
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:
 
When it comes to classic Christmas tales there's nothing better than Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The Ebeneezer Scrooge story has been retold countless times on stage, television and in movie theaters. Disney even did their version with Uncle Scrooge in the 1980s. A new Ebeneezer Scrooge story is now available in bookstores, titled The Humbug Murders by New York Times Bestselling Author L.J. Oliver (Scott Ciencin and Elizabeth Wilson).

Set way before the events in A Christmas Carol, The Humbug Murders centers on Ebeneezer Scrooge when he was in his 30's working in Cheapside, London in the year 1833, six days before Christmas. It's been five years since Belle broke his heart and he has become a cold hearted man who despises the holiday season. What started out as a boring evening turns into a complicated one when his old mentor, Reginald Fezziwig, arrives at his office for an unexpected business meeting. At first Ebeneezer believes the man is an impostor, but he quickly realizes that this man standing in front of him may be in fact a ghost. Adelaide Owen, the young woman trying to become his new clerk, witnesses the shocking scene.

As soon as the ghost disappeared, the local authorities shows up suspecting that Ebeneezer has murdered a businessman - Reginald Fezziwig. With only Adelaide defending that he is innocent, Ebeneezer is determined to clear his name and hunt down the killer that leaves a message near the victims - Humbug.

As more bodies quickly piles up, Ebeneezer and Adelaide have no choice, but to rely on a young reporter, Charles Dickens for help. They must go into the dark underbelly of London, a place were greed and death stalks every corner.

Tuesday, October 27

Halloween Madness: Bittersweet Dreams Review


Bittersweet Dreams
by V.C. Andrews
Publisher: Pocket Books
Pub. Date: October 27, 2015
ISBN: 978-1451650907
Pages: 390
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

I couldn't have this year's Halloween Madness event without at least featuring one title by the great Gothic author V.C. Andrews. Sadly, the author of Flowers in the Attic passed away in 1986, but at least two new titles are published each and every year, written by the ghost writer, Andrew Neiderman.

Being released in paperback and in e-book formats is Bittersweet Dreams. The novel centers on the Mayfair Cummings, a intellectual gifted teenager with a not-so great life. Her mother died when was she was very young and it has impacted her ever since. However, her father has slowly gotten on with his life and has remarried to the sometimes cruel Julie, whom Mayfair absolutely despises. She doesn't like to refer to her as her stepmother, but as her father's wife. While her younger stepsister, Allison, tries to get close to her, Mayfair could care less about her.

Mayfair has never been popular with the boys in her school as they all see her as an egghead and the girls make fun of her. Her only friend is Joy, a teen with an eating disorder. However, after getting a slight makeover (makeup and dressing more her age), she begins to get the attention of boys in her class, especially the popular senior Carlton James. What she never expected was to have an older admirer - her teacher Mr. Taylor.

While the book is more of a stand-alone read, the cover art has "The Forbidden" written on it, so I'm guessing this is part of the series that includes The Forbidden Sister, The Forbidden Heart (e-book) and Roxy's Story; though Bittersweet Dreams is not related to those stories. "The Forbidden" is also on the cover for next year's Sage's Eyes.

Fall Reads: American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America



American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America
by Willie Robertson & William Doyle
Publisher: Howard Books
Pub. Date: October 27, 2015
ISBN: 978-1501111334
Pages: 272
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:
 
Hunting has gotten a bad rap over the years due to public shootings, poaching, PETA and politicians who want to eliminate the 2nd Amendment. Hunting has been a part of American history way before the first Europeans set foot on our country. It all started with Native Americans, whom taught the English colonists how to hunt. The animals weren't killed for sport, but instead they were killed for food and the fur & hide were used for clothing.

Being released today in bookstores is American Hunter: How Legendary Hunters Shaped America by Willie Robertson & William Doyle. You might recognize the name Willie Robertson as he is the CEO of Duck Commander and the star of A&E's Duck Dynasty. I know the Robertson family gets a bad rap due to a few controversies that have occurred over the years. While I don't personally participate in hunting, I do have family members that hunt, so I do have a respect for it.

The book features true stories of America's greatest hunters, such as Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Buffalo Bill, Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway. Of course there are a few stories that involve the Robertson clan. There is also a little bit of history on classic hunting weapons.

Monday, October 26

Halloween Madness: The Interior Art for the In the Time of the Dead Trilogy



The Interior Art for the In the Time of the Dead Trilogy

By David Monette


Greetings! I’m the author and illustrator for the “In the Time of the Dead Trilogy.” What holding these titles means is that I not only had the chance to write the books, but I was also able to do the covers and the interior artwork for them. For someone like me, a person who has always loved everything about books, it was kind of a dream come true. So what I’d like to do in this guest post is to show you the three different styles I used to do the interior work that is sprinkled through each of the books.

We’ll start with the first book in the series, “The Zombie Axiom.”


For all the books, I completed the illustrations digitally, using Photoshop. But as you can see in this book, I tried doing a bit of a pen and ink, crosshatching technique, where the darker values are built up with lines drawn upon lines. Like this:


And this:


Now, I really like working with this technique, and I was very satisfied with the finished pieces. However, for the next book I was interested in a look that wasn’t so hard-edged. I wanted something a bit more rough and dirty-feeling. This brings me to the images in the second book in the series, “The Warring Dead.”

Sunday, October 25

Halloween Madness: The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams Review


The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams
by Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Pub. Date: November 3, 2015
ISBN: 978-1501111679
Pages: 512
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Author Stephen King, the master of horror suspense, will be releasing his newest collection of stories - The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams on  November 3, 2015 through Scribner, which will features 20 novellas and short stories.

The collection features a mix of never-before-published titles and previously released ones, such as Mile 81 (originally published as an e-book), Premium Harmony (published in The New Yorker), Batman and Robin Have an Altercation (published in Harper's Magazine), The Dune (published in Granta), A Death (published in The New Yorker), The Bone Church (published in Playboy), Morality (published in Esquire), Afterlife (published in Tin House), Ur (published as an e-book), Herman Wouk Is Still Alive (published in The Atlantic), Under the Weather (published in the Full Dark, No Stars paperback), Blockade Billy (previously published as a novella), Tommy (published in Playboy), The Little Green God of Agony (published in A Book Of Horrors), That Bus Is Another World (published in Esquire), Drunken Fireworks (previously published as an audiobook) and Summer Thunder (published in Turn Down The Lights). Previously unpublished titles includes Mister Yummy, Obits and Bad Little Kid, though the latter was published as an audiobook in Europe.

While Mr. King is known for his horror novels, not all of the stories in this collection are meant to be scary as there are dramas, character studies, science fiction and thrillers. It would take me forever to go over each and every story, so I'm going to pick just my favorites.

Blockade Billy is a baseball tale about a minor-league player, William "Billy" Blakely, that is brought in to be the catcher for the New Jersey Titans. He becomes a great addition to to team and gets the nickname "Blockade Billy" for his ability to stop runners from crossing home plate. Sadly, Blakely has a deadly past that eventually catches up with him. I read the novella when it was originally released in 2010 and I absolutely enjoyed it. It's a great baseball story, but with a Stephen King twist.

Premium Harmony is a short, but moving tale about a man named Ray Burkett who loses his wife and dog while on his way to Walmart to buy grass seed. It's a fast-paced tale set in Mr. King's fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. It's simple, but well-written story that stays in your head long after you finish reading it.

Saturday, October 24

Halloween Maddness: My Thoughts On the Poltergeist Remake


Despite my love for all things horror, I had never watched the Poltergeist films until I was in my mid twenties. I don't have any explanation for the for the delay as the movies played countless times on TBS and TNT during the 1990s. After watching a segment on some entertainment show about the curse of the Poltergeist movies, I only then became interested in watching them. Luckily, at the time it was near Halloween, so I was able to purchase all the films at my local Walmart.

To make a long story short, I quickly fell in love with the franchise, yes, even the third and final installment. I'm not a fan of remakes or so-called reboots, so I wasn't thrilled when I heard that the original film was being remade. I had no attention of ever watching the film, but I got bored a few nights ago and watched a free screener of the remake.

Instead of featuring the Freeling family, the remake centers on Eric and Amy Bowen and their children, Kendra, Griffin and Madison, moving into a new home, despite the fact that Eric has lost his job. It doesn't take long for Griffin to figure out that the house is haunted as he hears noises in the wall, electronic devices goes crazy and his little sister Madison is talking to someone or something that can't be seen.

Of course nobody believes Griffin that is until the night Eric and Amy go out to dinner and Kendra is in charge of babysitting. Both Kendra and Griffin are attacked by a paranormal force, and Madison disappears into thin air.

Friday, October 23

Book Blogger Hop: Halloween Edition: October 23rd - 29th

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome Ghouls and Goblins
to the
Book Blogger Hop: Halloween Edition!
  
If you want schedule next week's thrilling question, click here to find the next prompt fright-fest. 
To submit a question, fill out this form.

How to participate in this week's creepy meme:


1. Post on your blog answering this haunt:

 Name one book you've read in the past that still haunts you today.

2. Enter the link to your terrifying tale in the haunting 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 a curse).

 

3. Visit other haunters in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading other posts and possible become a new creeper.  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.
 

Billy's Answer!


I was freaked out when I read Suffer the Children by John Saul when I was a teenager. I've been wanting to reread it, but I can't dare myself to do it.



Linky List:

Thursday, October 22

Gurin DHMD-210 Electric Compact Dehumidifier Review




If you have a basement in your home, then you're going to need a dehumidifier that will help remove any unwanted moisture from rain and flooding. A dehumidifier is the complete opposite of a regular humidifier; instead of forcing moisture into the air, it will draw it in.

There is an old humidifier in the living room area of the basement and it's seen better days, but it still keeps the room dry. Sadly, there was a bit a flooding due to a few too many storms this year and quite a bit of water got into the basement, which ruined the carpet in the downstairs bedroom. Let just say I now I have vinyl tile in the basement.

With that being said, I was excited for being given an opportunity to try out the Gurin DHMD-210 Electric Compact Dehumidifier. It protects up to 64 sqf., which is enough to cover wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, storage rooms, baby rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, etc.

The dehumidifier measures 6" x 8.5" x 5" and it's tank can hold up to 16 ounces. It doesn't feature an compressor, but instead it uses whisper technology with a high speed 3"x3" DC Brushless motor.  It supposed to collect 80oz of water per day at 86F (80% RH). When the tank becomes full it will automatically turn itself off.


Halloween Madness: The Exorcism of Molly Hartley Review



The Excorism of Molly Hartley
Director: Steven R. Monroe
Cast: Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa, Gina Holden
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Retail: $29.99
ASIN: B013U8EDHE
Running Time: 96 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

Now available to own on Blu-ray & Digital HD is the horror film The Exorcism of Molly Hartley, the sequel to the 2008 supernatural teen drama The Haunting of Molly Hartley. Directed by Steven R. Monroe, the film stars Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa and Gina Holden. Special Features includes Exorcism: Beyond One Truth, Clovesdale Institute: Calssified Security Camera Footage and Director Diaries.

Set six years after the events of the first film, Molly Hartley (now played by Sarah Lind) has graduated college and has become the youngest lawyer in her firm to become partner. To celebrate her 24th birthday, she has a tryst with a couple, but wakes up the next day to find them dead in her bathtub. When the police finds her, Molly is acting crazy and is sent to a Catholic mental hospital.

Ever since Molly turned eighteen-years-old, a cult had put the soul of the devil into her body and on the sixth day of the sixth month on the sixth year (666) the devil will be released into our world. Dr. Laurie Hawthorne (played by Gina Holden) tries her best to help Molly, but is thrown a curve ball when Molly begins talking in another voice and acting oddly. Hawthorne believes that Molly is possessed by some sort of demon and seeks the help of the former priest Father John Barrow (played by Devon Sawa), who is now a mental patient.

Barrow had recently performed an exorcism that resulted in a deadly outcome. At first he wants nothing to do with Molly, but after meeting her and speaking to the actual devil, he takes up his faith again and tries to drive the devil out of her with an exorcism.

Wednesday, October 21

Halloween Madness: Q&A with author John J. Zelenski


With All Hallows' Eve only less than two weeks away, there's still plenty of time to read a good spooky novel. 

Author John J. Zelenski has taken time out of his busy schedule to do a Q&A about his his newest novel, the supernatural thriller The Jounral of Ezekiel Walker.



When did you become interested in storytelling?

I became interested in telling stories at an early age. As a child, I would love to have stories read to me, and I would use my imagination to create my own mental version of the book. I think that love to create my own scenes and descriptions of the characters naturally carried over to the creation of my own stories to share with others.

What was your first book/story published?

I was quite young, and it was a self-published title called, “Money for Sale.” It was a guide meant to direct people to the investment strategy of investing in baseball cards and sports memorabilia. I think I sold possibly three or four copies, but it was a lot of fun and the research was very interesting.

What inspired you to write The Journal of Ezekiel Walker?

The Journal of Ezekiel Walker is actually the prequel to Walker’s Vale, now in pre-production for a film adaptation. The Journal of Ezekiel Walker gives a background and history to the small and eerie town of Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania. It also provides some insight into the one of the main characters, Ezekiel Walker, a most understood man.

What character in The Journal of Ezekiel Walker is the most/least like you, and in what ways?

I think that award would go to Ezekiel Walker himself in the “similar” category. He is like me in that he is loyal and will do whatever it takes to defend his friends and families from enemies. The least similar character, hopefully, is Simon Tremblestone, the main antagonist. He is insincere, corrupt, greedy, and manipulative to the furthest reaches of the moral spectrum. You might say he is the devil himself!

What is your favorite part in The Journal of Ezekiel Walker?

Tuesday, October 20

Halloween Madness: ParaNorman: A Halloween Treat!




In my most recent years, I've become a fan of animated movies, but for some reason I never saw the 2012 3D stop-motion animated ParaNorman. Well, that is until I stumbled upon it on ABC Family during the summer, which I watched about fifteen-minutes of it. I found the DVD of it at my local Walmart a few days later for under $5.

Directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, ParaNorman centers on an 11-year-old boy named Norman Babcock (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee). His family thinks he is a bit odd due to the fact that he loves horror films and he sometimes talks to himself. Actually, what they don't know is that he has ability to see and talk to the dead, even his own grandmother. As you can probably guess, Norman isn't popular at school and is bullied by Alvin (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse). However, he accidentally befriends a bullied chubby kid, Neil Downe (voiced by Tucker Albrizzi).

While in the school bathroom, Norman is visited by the spirit of his recently deceased crazy uncle (voiced by John Goodman), who tells him that he must take up the yearly ritual of reading a story from an old book to keep a witch's curse from destroying the town.

Not knowing what else to do, Norman ventures into the woods where the old cemetery containing the graves of the town's founding fathers are buried at. He attempts to read a fairy story from the book, but it is too late as the curse is unleashed upon the town. Agatha "Aggie" Prenderghas, the witch causes a supernatural storm that raises several zombies from their graves.

Norman must team up with his sister Courtney (voiced by Anna Kendrick), Neil, Neil's older brother Mitch (voiced  by Casey Affleck) and the bully Alvin, in order to escape the zombies' clutches, locate the witch's burial and save the town.

Monday, October 19

Fall Reads: Doctor Who: Royal Blood


 

Doctor Who: Royal Blood
The Glamour Chronicles
by Una McCormack
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pub. Date: September 8, 2015
ISBN: 978-1101905838
Pages: 240
Buy Link: Amazon

Review:

I guess you can call me a Whovians because my love for the British science-fiction series Doctor Who, which is currently in it's 9th season on BBC America. (Well, technically this is the 35 season if you count the 1963-1989 seasons.) Now when I see any Doctor Who media-tie in novel, I just have to read it.

The newest book, titled Doctor Who: Royal Blood, was released to bookstores last month and is set in the current 9 season. The plot involves the 12th Doctor and his companion Clara landing near the city-state of Varuz, a medieval kingdom where the knights have lasers. Yes, I said lasers. The war-torn kingdom is ruled by Duke Aurelian, whom is preparing his men for one final fight to save his people. The Doctor is mistaken for a holy man and the Duke asks for his blessing in the war.

Out of the blue, the fictional Lancelot arrives in search the Holy Grail. The Doctor realizes that there is something really strange happening on this planet and he is determined to find out who or what is behind it.

Stories Give Children Wings to Fly Around the World



Travel is the best way to learn about other cultures and lifestyles, but this isn’t always possible, especially for children. The next best way is to read about other people and many children love-fascinating stories about far-away places. Movies and books for children that are full of adventures in other countries such as those written by Nabila Khashoggi are one way to help children become aware of other lifestyles.

Culture is often defined as shared interpretations about values, norms and beliefs on which a large group of people agree. Some people define culture as an ice burg with only the tip visible or as an onion that has layer after layer. Either way, when children learn about differences as well as commonalities at a young age, they become more open and interested adults.

Teaching Diversity

Through their own actions, parents can help their children understand different cultures. For example, when a child’s parents are interested in food from different countries, this opens the way for their children to ask questions and experiment with different tastes.

An attractive world globe is a good addition for any family. A large world map can also serve the same purpose. There are many games children can play that allow for discussions about other countries. They can find the country of origin of their grandparents, neighbors or classmates.

Many people celebrate the same holidays around the world. Each country may have special items that are part of the celebration such as decorations for their homes and special food for the occasion. Children can choose a country, learn about the celebrations and make decorations that are from that country’s traditions.

Halloween Madness: Killer Clowns From Outer Space Review




While clowns are supposed to entertain children at the circus, most kids are deeply afraid of them. As a kid, clowns never appealed to me, especially after I watched part 1 of the 1990 miniseries of Stephen King's It, which almost literally scared me to death. It took me about 8 years or so before I finally watched the entire miniseries. No, it wasn'y as scary as I remembered it, but Pennywise still freaks me out.

That being said, you can probably imagine that I don't watch any movies with killer clowns in them. However, while I was at my local Walmart a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon their Halloween movie selections and found Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Now I'm well aware of the 1988 cult classic as it aired on television many times throughout the 1990s, but it never caught my attention. I was looking for a new horror film to watch this year to get me in the mood for Halloween, so I bought the DVD.

Directed by the  The Chiodo Brothers and released in 1988, the film centered on a group of evil alien klowns that invade Crescent Cove, California in their circus tent spaceship. The clowns don't speak, but they do turn humans into cotton-candy cocoons. A young couple, Mike and Debbie, happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and witness the klowns killing a local farmer. They try to tell the police, whom includes Debbie's ex-boyfriend Dave Hanson, but they don't believe their wild tale.

The klowns wreck havoc all over town and captures more victims. Mike and Dave must work together, along with a few friends, if they plan on stopping the klowns from killing everyone in town.

Sunday, October 18

Halloween Madness: Behind The Horror: The True Terror of Theme Park Halloweens by Rootie Smith



BEHIND THE HORROR

The True Terror of
Theme Park Halloweens

by

Rootie Simms

First American publication rights
copyright ©2015


        
           Can you stay in a room filled with hundreds of giant hissing cockroaches? Would you enjoy lying in a glass coffin while dozens of live rats crawled on you? Do you have screws surgically implanted in your head to support metal spikes? If you have any of these or similar qualifications, there’s a job for you at one of the country’s largest Halloween events.

As a writer who likes to pick up odd jobs (literally) I’ve worked for some of the biggest Halloween celebrations in Florida. Okay, maybe I don’t work with cockroaches and rats or wear spikes in my head, but I once held a much more terrifying job—entertainment coordinator.

Several years ago I worked for the largest Halloween event in the country. I can’t name the theme park because I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement, and while it seemed odd at the time, after spending 28 nights immersed in complete madness, I quickly came to understand the need for protection. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the guests who needed protection from the park, it was the park who needed protection from the guests.

As an entertainment coordinator I was in charge of an area filled with bikers-of-the-damned which included chainsaw-wielding bikers, dancing biker chicks in cages and an assortment of bloody ghouls whose job was to terrorize people as they walked through the area. All of the actors were in makeup and costumes to make them look like a dead gang of bikers who’d just escaped from hell. A very professional and scary looking bunch!

My job description stated that I was to keep the actors on schedule, monitor their performances, keep morale high, and attend to emergency situations. I assumed this meant simple things like costume malfunctions or actors breaking character. I would soon learn that it wasn’t the actors I had to worry about, it was the guests.

My first clue came on opening night as I walked backstage to get to my area. Along the way I discovered a new section under construction. It was odd—rows of metal chairs being set up, several large desks, a photo booth with lights and cameras, and several big vans with police logos on the side. It was strange because the setup was in an area off-limits to the public.

I stopped a veteran manager and pointed to the setup. “What’s that?”

He looked up from his clipboard. “It’s a booking station.”

“What’s the theme? Arresting zombies or demons?”

“Nope. Guests. The police arrest anywhere from 50 to 100 a night during Halloween nights and it’s more convenient to book them here at the park than at the police station. After they’re booked, they’re loaded into paddy wagons and hauled to jail.”

“Seriously?”

“You’ll see.”

“What’re they arrested for?”

“Mostly drunk and disorderly.”

“I know a lot of our guests get drunk, but what constitutes disorderly?”

“You’ll see.”

Brieftons Salad Spinner Review



While my blog's Holiday Gift Guide doesn't officially start until Nov. 27th, I thought until then I could feature a few reviews on some products that would make a great Christmas gift this year.

About a month ago, I was sent the Brieftons Salad Spinner to test out and review. I've seen cooks/chefs on the food channel use salad spinners, but I've never seen them in the stores, so I eager to try it out.

Note: I live in a small town with only a Walmart and a Dollar General store, so I don't have access to many kitchen items.

If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, then eating vegetables and salads is a must. The Brieftons Salad Spinner is a simple and effective way to wash and dry vegetables. The spinner is made from ABS plastic that is BPA-free. It features one clear bowl, a strainer and a lid, which the handle on the lid can spin the strainer.