Saturday, 29 September 2018

Should I Find A Date For Halloween?



The first day of October is almost here, which means the Halloween season will official begin. Well, at least for me it will be the beginning. For others, the season started many weeks ago, which would explain why I've been seeing Halloween decorations in people's yards in September. For me, the All Hollows' Eve season starts on October 1st and ends at 11:59 PM on October 31st!

While Halloween is my #1 favorite holiday, it has become a very depressing event for me for the past few years. Since I was a teenager back in the mid-90s, I have always went all out, with me decorating the porch or yards (I've moved over the years.) with frightening decorations. Then I would put together little bags of candy for the trick-or-treaters. Lastly, I would carve a pumpkin and roast the the seeds, so I could eat them late that night while I watch my favorite movie - Halloween (1978).

This year I'm planning on making a few changes. I'm not going to put out the Halloween decorations, which included three inflatables, orange lights, hanging ghosts & goblins, and a huge graveyard scene full of tombstones, skeletons, zombies, and a fog machine, and I'm not putting together the trick-or-treat bags. Actually, I'm not even going to give out candy this year. Instead, I'm going to turn off lights and hope nobody bothers me.

Why the change of heart this year?

Friday, 28 September 2018

Book Blogger Hop: September 28th - October 4th




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


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 @ Silver's Reviews.


Do you sneak a peek at the number of views your posts have gotten?

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 used to be a bit crazy about the post views, but anymore I don't really care much about it.


Linky List:

Friday the 13th 3D: 36 Years in the Making - Guest Blog by Thomas S. Flowers




Friday the 13th 3D: 36 Years in the Making
Guest Blog by Thomas S. Flowers

As a horror fan I feel rather fortunate that so many of my favorite thrillers released on the year of my birth. A quick Google re-search will reveal a VHS candy store of goody gore and lovable murderers, from The Thing to Poltergeist to Halloween III (the one without Myers) to Amityville II: The Possession (the one that was like The Exorcist but with incest) to The New York Ripper to Pieces, Parasite, The Slumber Party Massacre, and... Friday the 13th...PART 3D (cue groovy disco music). And among the other entries in the franchise, PART 3D is I would say my second favorite. There are many factors that play into my rating but unless you've seen it you probably won't understand. So, do me a solid and go pop in that flayed VHS cause this review will be chopped full of SPOILERS. Readers...you have been warned!

Directed by: Steve Miner
Writing Credits:  Martin Kitrosser, Carol Watson, and Sean S. Cunningham.
Music by: Harry Manfredini
Special effects: Martin Becker
Release Date: 13 August 1982 (USA)

"Having revived from his wound, Jason Voorhees takes refuge at a cabin near Crystal Lake. As a group of co-eds arrive for their vacation, Jason continues his killing spree."

Among many reasons why I love Friday the 13th part III, one would be that it is the first true Jason Voorhees slasher. Yup. Obviously part 1 was really about mommy Voorhees, a character who wasn't even given a first name until...what, part 2? And while fantastic in its own right, it was not a "Jason" movie, not yet anyway. Now some would say, "But hey, Tommy, what about part 2? Isn't that considered a Jason Voorhees movie, it does have Jason in it after all?" And I would of course nod my head knowledgeably. Yes, part 2 does have Jason...but not the Jason. What we got was a backwoods deranged potato sack wearing weirdo who at times certainly had classic Jason mannerisms, but in the end still just an inbred acting mongoloid. Now that said, part 2 has its charm and some really excellent kills, but if you want Jason as we love him today (hockey mask and all), you gotta start with part 3.

Part 3 is also really awesome because it has what every good indie horror movie should, a cast a unrecognizable actors and actresses. While still young, parts 1 and 2 had some fairly recognizable cast members, including Kevin Bacon, John Furey (a known TV actor), Harry Crosby (son if Bing Crosby), and not to mention the late great Betsy Palmer who was one of the most veteran and highly respected actors on set. Part 3? Nadda. They didn't even have Chong, of the Cheech and Chong variety, star as the lead stoner, instead they dressed some dude named Chuck in a blue bandanna, green button down, and red pants with not quite as much weed as Up In Smoke.

I'd be amiss not to comment on what PART 3 has no other addition does. Shelly. Shelly is the best part of this movie. From humble awkward to cartoonish to a astonishingly flamboyant runner, Shelly is still by far my favorite character in the film. Sure, he fails to get the girl Vera and he's socially immature, who isn't?!? Shelly does have a few things going for him. Sweet yo-yo skills and a magic box that is literally "his entire world" full of tricks and gags to annoy the entire gang of friends, and the largest white-boy fro ever shot on a 3D film.  On a low par, I wasn't all that thrilled with leading lady Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell).  She seemed too annoyed at times. Bored. And too drawl. The best part about her, I thought, was her really strange back story of a previous "unfilmed" encounter with Jason Voorhees. An encounter that sounded almost as if it were some kind of sexual assault. Going back to the amazing documentary
Crystal Lake Memories, actress Dana Kimmell confirms this backstory, but she says that producers did not want to pursue it in any kind of depth. This revelation is kinda dark for a Friday the 13th film as they typically follow a blood, guts, and gags methodology.

So, we've covered the more manly killing machine Jason. We got the actors. Next is the music. Harry Manfredini, who scored most of the Friday the 13's, including the original, crafted one hell of a soundtrack for this third installment. Part disco, part horror, 100% awesomeness. It is also one of the few, if not only, horror sound track to garner its own cover band by the name of Nilbog. Check them out on YouTube. Link provided below.

But like any horror slasher flick, there's gotta be a seemingly solid foundational plot. In PART 3, Chris Higgins invites a gang of friends to include a pregnant bestie (who gets slaughtered later btw...also a very dark moment for a Friday the 13th movie), two stoners, a Mexican chick, and Shelly. They met up later with lurch looking boytoy Rick (Paul Kratka). Events escalate into a series of weed smoking, beer drinking, skinny dipping, practical jokes, and heartfelt life lessons until Shelly and Vera end up pissing off a low-level biker gang. After Shelly runs over some of their motorcycles, the b-squad gang vows revenge that never really materializes. Instead, after following Shelly and Vera back to the cabin, they are quickly dispatched by Jason.

After Chris goes off with Rick to blow off some steam, the night consummates in more weed smoking and beer drinking, a sexual encounter, and Shelly in a wet suit. I know, sounds amazing doesn't it? Where does all this debauchery go? To one of the coolest kills. Once Shelly is dispatched, Jason finally obtains his moniker look by putting on the hockey mask that Shelly was so kind enough to bring along. Jeez, imagine if he brought a faded Captain Kirk mask? Talk about a lawsuit! Anyways, with Jason now complete, he causally strolls out on to the deck where a waiting Vera is fishing for Shelly's dropped wallet on the edge of the lake. He aims at her, much to her confusion, as she thinks he's Shelly. Just as she says, "Wait...who are you?" Jason pulls the trigger on the speargun popping her eye out the back of her head. Simply amazing. Its the small things folks.

More killings ensue until finally Rick and Morty...oops, Rick and Chris arrive back at the cabin. With everyone gone and blood everywhere, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together. During the attack, ole handsome lurch Rick gets his eyeball popped out his socket, which must have been a real thrill for kids who matched this back in 1982 in 3D. And finally, Chris and Jason go toe to toe. During the struggle, one of the surviving bikers revives just to be killed again, but distracting Jason long enough for Chris to throw a noose around Jason's neck and shove him out the barn. When that proves useless, she plants an ax deep in his skull. That seems to have done the trick and as the credits roll, the cabin is surrounded by police and paramedics.

For me, my horror appetites are not hard to please. And PART 3D, given some of its flaws, is a groovy good time for a slasher flick, and especially a Friday the 13th slasher flick.

Fall Reads: Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket



Book Boss Publishing; 334 pages; Amazon
When any book has "coffee" in the title, it automatically gets my full attention, which would explains why I spent my last weekend reading Cars, Coffee, and a Slightly Used Casket by K.C. Hilton. It's the second book in the Julia Karr series, with the first book being Cars, Coffee, And A Badass Ninja Toilet. (You can read my review for the first book here!)

The book series centers around Julia Karr, a middle-age woman who owns a used car lot. Well, technically she co-owns the business with her husband, Romeo. She's the one who runs the business while her husband is busy at his day job, so she has to deal with all the crazy customers. And, yes, I mean CRAZY!!!!

Similar to the first installment, the sequel showcases the weird and too-realistic customers who enter Julia Karr's chaotic life. (Yes, I really mean realistic! I think I've seen some of the people shopping at Walmart!) It seems her customers believe they still own their cars even though they quit paying their monthly payments months ago. This results in Julia ordering the repossession of fifteen vehicles.

Running a used car lot can be extremely stressful, and Julia really needs a vacation. And that what's she's planning on doing - well, sorta. She made a deal with her husband that if she can add ten fifteen new customers in two weeks, he would take her on a vacation of her choosing - AKA - Disney World!

Of course the next two weeks is going to be hell for Julia. It seems like one thing after another goes wrong, which includes getting stuck with a twenty-something juvenile delinquent who got himself stuck in the office window in the attempt to rob it. Being the nice person that Julia is, she agrees to let Slick (that's her nickname for the boy) do his community service at the car lot, which mostly involves him washing cars.

While Julia's not repossessing cars and hunting down a chocolate chip cookie recipe in a cemetery, she's on a personal quest to find the cheapest casket! When your customers are literally trying to kill you, you should probably have your funeral already planned!

Final Thoughts

Thursday, 27 September 2018

DVD Review - Freaky Friday


Disney; TV-G; 90 minutes
Now available on DVD from Disney Home Entertainment is the new musical Freaky Friday!

Based on the musical Freaky Friday: A New Musical by Bridget Carpenter, which is also based on the 1972 children's book "Freaky Friday" by Mary Rodgers, the 2018 Disney Channel film stars Cozi Zuehlsdorff as Ellie; Heidi Blickenstaff as Katherine; Ricky He as Adam; Alex D├ęsert as Mike; and Jason Maybaum as Fletcher.

Directed by Steve Carr, the movie centers around teenager Ellie and her over-organized mother, Katherine, who accidentally switch bodies after they both touch a magical hourglasses at the same time. Of course, this event happens the day before Katherine's wedding to Mike Harper.

After breaking the hourglass (which was given to Ellie by her late father), they decide the best option to switch back to their own bodies is to track down the other hourglass that Ellie's father had given to Katherine. However, there is one problem, Katherine sold the hourglass to an antique store. 

Katherine and Ellie must live in the other's shoes for the entire day, until they can find the hourglass. Katherine has to go to school, deal with her daughter's bully, and participate in a scavenger hunt. Ellie must act like her mother so you can fool a wedding journalist and photographer. Plus, she has to help Mike with the last minute wedding decisions.

Bonus Features include:
  • Bonus Track - "Not Myself Today"
  • Blooper Reel
  • Audition/Movie Song Mix Up
    • "Today and Ev'ry Day" - Musical fun of the actual song mixed up with the audition/rehearsal footage.

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

DVD Review: American Horror Story: Cult: The Complete Seventh Season



Fox; TV-MA; 509 mins;

Now available on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is American Horror Story: Cult: The Complete Seventh Season, featuring all 11 episodes from the horror anthology series. The only special features on the 3-disc set are FX Promo Spots.

Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the Cult season stars Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Cheyenne Jackson, Billie Lourd, and Alison Pill.

Set in Brookfield Heights, Michigan around the 2016 U.S. presidential election, this seventh season centers on Ally Mayfair-Richard (played by Sarah Paulson), a restaurant owner who becomes extremely upset after Donald Trump wins the election. She has suffered from several phobias, including a deep fear of clowns, and all of these fears come back to haunt her after the election, which impacts her wife, Ivy (played by Ivy Alison Pill), and their son, Oz (played by Cooper Dodson).

After a serious of bizarre incidents, Ivy starts to suspect Ally is losing her mind. However, the truth is that Ally has been targeted by a cult, lead by psychotic Kai Anderson (played Evan Peters). Kai is a troubled young man who feeds off the fear and hate of others. After the election, he jumps into the world of politics by running for a seat on the city council with a little help from his cult members, who uses violence to get their way.


Final Thoughts

Monday, 24 September 2018

Masters of Sex: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review


Mill Creek Ent., TV-MA; 43 hrs. 44 mins; $69.98



Now available on Blu-ray from Mill Creek Entertainment is Masters of Sex: The Complete Series, featuring all 46 episodes from the 2013-2016 Showtime series.

Developed by Michelle Ashford, the series is inspired loosely based on the non-fiction book Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier, which was based on the real-life Masters and Johnson research team. The series stars Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald, Teddy Sears, Nicholas D'Agosto, and Annaleigh Ashford.

Set in the 1950s to the late 1960s in St. Louis, Missouri, the series centers around Dr. William Masters (played by Michael Sheen), a gynecologist at the Washington University who is obsessed with studying sex, which at the time there was no official research on the subject. Despite objections from Provost Barton Scully (played by Bea Bridges), Dr. Masters begins his research outside the office, which involves looking through a peephole while a prostitute, Betty Dimello (played by Annaleigh Ashford), is with her clients.

Eventually, Dr. Masters persuades Scully to let him begin his sex study at the university. Believing his current secretary isn't up to the task to search for volunteers for the study, he hires Virginia Johnson (played by Lizzy Caplan), who quickly becomes his assistant and later his research partner.

Life was a little different back then, so the subject of "sex" was a little taboo and so was Masters and Johnson's research. Throughout the series, Masters worked at three different hospitals before opening up his own independent research institution with Johnson. Masters and Johnson would later co-write the book Human Sexual Response.



Bonus Features include:
  • NEW Commentary on the Pilot with actors Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald, Teddy Sears, writer Michelle Ashford, & executive producer Sarah Timberman
  • Over 40 minutes of Deleted Scenes
  • Making Masters of Sex
  • A Masterful Portrayal: Michael Sheen as Dr. Masters
  • NEW Ahead of Her Time: Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson
  • NEW The Real Masters: A Conversation with Thomas Maier
  • NEW Surprising Facts About Sex: The Masters’ Great Discoveries
  • The History of Sex
  • NEW The Women of Sex
  • NEW The Men of Sex: Actors’ Roundtable


Final Thoughts

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Blu-ray Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story




Disney; PG-13; 135 mins; Walmart
Being released to Blu-ray (+Digital) this Tuesday from Disney Home Entertainment is the action-packed prequel Solo: A Star Wars Story. Directed by Ron Howard, the film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany.

Set many years before "Rogue One" and "A New Hope," Solo centers around a young Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich) before he became a famous smuggler. While living on the planet Corellia, Han and his girlfriend Qi'ra (played by Emilia Clarke) try to bribe an Imperial officer with coaxium in exchange for passage on a transport ship. Unfortunately, Qi'ra is apprehended by a local gang before she could get on the ship. Han ends up joining the Imperial Navy, so he can learn how to be a pilot. He made a vow to himself that he would get his own spaceship and will one day return to Corellia to rescue Qi'ra.

Well, things didn't go as planned! Han gets kicked out Imperial Flight Academy and is sent to the planet Mimban as a infantryman. This is where he meets Tobias Beckett (played by Woody Harrelson), Val (played by Thandie Newton), and Rio Durant (voiced by Jon Favreau), a trio of smugglers posing as Imperial soldiers. After failing to blackmail them in letting him join their crew, Han is arrested for desertion and is tossed into a pit with a beast -  Chewbacca! Using his knowledge of the Wookiee language, Han and Chewbacca (played by Joonas Suotamo) formed an alliance, escaped the pit, and joined Beckett's crew on a train heist to steal a shipment of coaxium on Vandor-1.

Once again, things don't as planned, which leads Han to an unexpected reunion with Qi'ra. On his adventure, Han meets Lando Calrissian, he gets chased by the Enfys Nest pirates, and he gets to pilot the Millennium Falcon for the very first time.

Additionally, Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released to Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™, DVD and On-Demand on September 25th. It's already available digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ and on Movies Anywhere.

Blu-ray and Digital Special Features include (may vary by retailer):

  • Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable -Sit down with director Ron Howard and the stars for an intimate and entertaining discussion of the film’s making.
  • Team Chewie - See what it takes to bring your favorite Wookiee to life in this lighthearted look behind the scenes.
  • Kasdan on Kasdan - Iconic Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and son Jonathan share what it was like to write the movie’s script together.
  • Remaking the Millennium Falcon - Track the transformation of the most famous ship in the galaxy, from Lando’s swank and impeccable pride and joy to Han’s stripped-down hot-rod freighter with “special modifications.”
  • Escape from Corellia - Get behind the wheel for the making of this high-octane chase through the streets of Corellia.
  • The Train Heist - Explore the challenges and thrills of creating this action-packed sequence, including its remote location and spectacular effects.
  • Becoming a Droid: L3-37 - Meet the newest droid—and the talented actor who helps bring her to life.
  • Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso - Take an in-depth tour of the rough-and-tumble bar where strangers mix and gamblers risk all in the legendary card game, Sabaac.
  • Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run - Join Han and Chewie at the controls of the Millennium Falcon to see how this legendary moment in Star Wars history unfolds.
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Proxima’s Den
    • Corellian Foot Chase
    • Han Solo: Imperial Cadet
    • The Battle of Mimban: Extended
    • Han Versus Chewie: Extended
    • Snowball Fight!
    • Meet Dryden: Extended
    • Coaxium Double-Cross
  • The Millenium Falcon: From Page to Park An exclusive look at the history of the most famous ship in the galaxy, its origin and development, and how it will translate in one of the most anticipated expansions in Disneyland’s history.


Final Thoughts

Friday, 21 September 2018

Book Blogger Hop: September 21st - 27th




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


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 Cathy @ What Cathy Read Next.


Do you like to finish one book before starting the next or do you read several at once?

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:

While I normally read one book at a time, sometimes I do start reading another book. For example, I might start reading a children's book while I'm already reading an adult novel. Or I might multitask by reading a few chapters in a novel and then read a story in an anthology or short story collection.


Linky List:

DVD Review: MacGyver: Season Two


Lionsgate; 16hrs 19 mins;$29.98


Available now on DVD from CBS Television Studio and Lionsgate Home Entertainment is MacGyver: Season 2, featuring all 23 episodes from the 2017-2018 season.

Based on the 1985-1992 series of the same name created by Lee David Zlotoff, the reboot stars Lucas Till, George Eads, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires and Meredith Eaton. Unlike the original series, the new series is less MacGyver and more like Mission: Impossible, with the title character being one member of the Phoenix Foundation team. 

The first episode of the second season (DIY or DIE) centers around MacGyver (played by Lucas Till) coming to a dead end on the hunt to find his missing father. However, he does find his father's watch, which could hold clues to his location. As the season unfolds, MacGyver begins to believe his boss, Matilda "Matty" Webber (played by Meredith Eaton), is somehow involved with his father's disappearance.

Meanwhile, the team is still on the hunt for the escaped assassin Murdoc (played by David Dastmalchian), who is terrorizing them throughout the season. Also, MacGyver and his team travel around the world stopping terrorist, thieves, and other baddies.




Special Features include:
  • "MacGyver" in Cuba
  • Saving the Day: Season 2
  • "MacGyver": Special & Visual Effects
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Occupation Blu-ray Review


Lionsgate; Rated R; 120 minutes


Arriving on Blu-ray (+Digital), DVD, and Digital on September 25th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is the Australian science fiction flick Occupation. Written & Directed by Luke Sparke, the film stars Dan Ewing, Temuera Morrison, Stephany Jacobsen, Zachary Garred, Izzy Stevens, Charles Mesure Boogeyman, Felix Williamson, Jacqueline McKenzie, Aaron Jeffery, and Bruce Spence.

Set in a small Australian town, the opening of the movie centers around the residents gathering around a hometown football game; well, until spaceships descend from the skies and start blowing everything up. A small group of survivors - Matt (played by Dan Ewing) and his girlfriend, Amelia (played by Stephany Jacobsen), Jackson (played by Charles Terrier) and his pregnant girlfriend Vanessa (played by Rhiannon Fish), Peter (played by Temuera Morrison) and his daughter, Isabella (played by Izzy Stevens), and a local farmer, Arnold (played by Charles Mesure), flee into the nearby forest, where they take shelter and plan a resistance against the invaders.

The invaders are extraterrestrial lifeforms from another world (or galaxy, as it was never really explained where they are from), who came to Earth to colonize Australia after they had already used up all the natural resources on their former planet. While they do kill many humans during the invasion, their main goal is capture and force the humans to grow and work field crops.

The remaining human survivors join forces with what's left of the Australian's military and they strike back against the alien invaders, in the hope of saving their country.

Dan Ewing ("Matt Simmons") stars in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's OCCUPATION.




Final Thoughts

Guidelines for a Home Improvement Project

“I think we need this replaced”, “Let’s change these”, these words work as stimulants to the start of a home improvement project. After this, comes the wish to add a room for family accommodation, or to remodel the kitchen, or to get the roof upgraded or changed by contractor doing Roofing Canton MI. And then, come in the points of funds and space available for upgradation of improvement. It is a normal practice to see the ideas and the on-ground reality does not coincide, sometimes because of lack of funds, or lesser space for expansion, or costly material. How to cope with these problems? There is a solution, and it is very easy. Stay realistic while evaluating your needs.

WHY DO HOMEOWNERS CONSIDER HOME IMPROVEMENTS?

  • To update and out of date area of the home
  • Due to an immediate requirement to replace something broken or to get an inefficient fixture fixed.
  • Planning on selling your home? Get those fixes done to get good price quotes.
  • You don’t want to move to another house, rather upgrade this one.
  • You need more room due to the growing family.

These are a few reasons because of which a homeowner thinks about having his home improvement done. A lot of homeowners get confused between moving to a new house or improving the current one.

HOME IMPROVEMENT TO CHANGE

If you are planning on moving and you are doing home improvement for selling, evaluate the plans carefully. One must not spend too much, or too less, as both may not be beneficial when the potential buyer evaluates the property. He may not be interested in how much you’ve spent for getting a pool or a hot tub. It’s not necessary for the buyer to appreciate your color selection, or how much effort you put in to keep the place clean and in up to date. The key is to keep the changes simple. This way, it’ll be easier to improve your home for selling purpose. Just think about the things which are “More important to a buyer”, and get those things improved, e.g. remodeling a bath, improving the kitchen, landscaping or adding a garage.

HOME IMPROVEMENT TO STAY

Monday, 17 September 2018

Music Review: Tori Kelly: Hiding Place


Schoolboy Records & Capitol Records; 36 mins 50 secs; Buy Link

Now available from Schoolboy Records & Capital Records is the second album from singer Tori Kelly, titled "Hiding Place," which features eight Gospel inspired songs with R&B infused melodies.

Tori Kelly received a 2016 Grammy Award nominee for Best New Artist for her first album Unbreakable Smile, which included one track inspired for her love of Gospel music. Later, her manager,Scooter Braun, helped her connect with the 12-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin. The two artist worked together to create the“hope-pop” album.

One of the things I want for this album is for people to feel uplifted and encouraged when they listen,” Kelly says. “I want them to know that, no matter what they’re going through, there’s a God who loves them so much and so unconditionally, and there’s always a reason to feel hope. That’s what I really believe in, and I want everyone out there to hear my heart.” 

The title of the album, Hiding Place, was inspired by from a line in one of Kelly's favorite psalms -
from a line in one of her favorite psalms - "You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance."
Tori Kelly
That always stuck with me: this idea of God being a place of safety, a place where you can hide from all the crazy things that this world can throw at us,” she notes.


Though half the songs on the album were written by Franklin, there are a few that were co-written with Kelly, which marks the first Franklin has ever co-written a song with another artist.“It blew me away that she wanted us to co-write, because she’s a phenomenal songwriter and could’ve easily done it herself,” Franklin says. “I’ve worked with Mary J. Blige, Bono, Yolanda Adams, and I’ve never seen anyone that’s a monster behind the microphone like Tori Kelly. She’d nail one song in three takes, and all those takes were amazing. It set the bar higher for my whole career.

The opening-song "Masterpiece" features  the Houston-bred hip-hop artist Lecrae. The slow-burning single "Help Us To Love" features harmonies from The HamilTones ( the official background vocalists for Grammy Award-winner Anthony Hamilton.) "Just As Sure" features a
chart-topping gospel star Jonathan McReynolds. And Kirk Franklin's vocals are featured in the song "Never Alone."


The songs/tracks on the album include:
  • Masterpiece featuring Lecrae
  • Help Us To Love featuring The HamilTones
  • Sunday
  • Just As Sure featuring Jonathan McReynolds
  • Psalm 42
  • Questions
  • Never Alone featuring Kirk Franklin
  • Soul's Anthem (It Is Well)




Final Thoughts

Book Tour & Giveaway: Grounds For Remorse

Friday, 14 September 2018

Book Blogger Hop: September 14th - 20th




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


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 @ Silver's Reviews.


What author do you not read and why?

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


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

My Answer:

There are many authors that I don't care for. One that comes to mind is Danielle Steel. I don't recall the title, but I attempted to read one of her books several years ago and I couldn't finish the first chapter, as the narration was written badly.


Linky List:

Fall Reads: Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer


Waterbrook; 340 pages; $14.99

Now available on paperback from Waterbrook is the Mennonite drama Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Based on the cover art alone, my first impression was that the Ours for a Season would be a standard Mennonite romance novel, where a young woman falls in love with an outsider. Well, that's not the case with this story, as the main characters, Anthony and Marty Hirschler, are already married! However, there marriage isn't exactly perfect, as the couple has had their share of problems. They were hoping to start a family after marring, but were told by the doctors that they can't have children. To hide his emotional pain, Anthony spends most of his time on his construction business. Marty is very depressed and slowly loses her faith.

Their lives take an unexpected twist when they receive a letter from an old friend, Brooke Spalding, who wants Anthony to be the head contractor of a big construction project, which involves restoring a Kansas ghost town. Of course, they jump on this opportunity, but later receive several shocking revelations that will challenge their faith and marriage.



Enter to win a handmade quilt by Kim Vogel Sawyer and four of her books.

Final Thoughts

Monday, 10 September 2018

Review - Unbelievably Boring Bart

Jimmy Patterson; 260 pages; $13.99; Amazon

It's been difficult for me to keep up with all the new releases, especially those written (or co-written) by James Patterson, as he practically has two or three new titles a month. Last week, I stumbled upon Unbelievably Boring Bart written Mr. Patterson & Duane Swierczynski at my local Walmart store. I didn't even know the book even existed. From my understanding, the book was released last week.

Published by Jimmy Patterson Books, Unbelievably Boring Bart centers around Bartholomew "Bart" Bean, a middle schooler who believes he's the most boring person in the universe. A few months ago, his dad, Bill, made him move from their home in Philadelphia to the hot weather of Rancho Verdugo, California. His dad is the gym teacher at his new school, which makes gym class extra difficult for Bart, as sports and exercise just doesn't intrigue him. Instead, Bart would rather be on his laptop (a hand-me-down from his mother, just before she left his father) working on the coding for his greatest invention - a video game app called Hecklr. It's similar to Pokemon Go, but with spider-like aliens.

Similar to his old school, Bart is bullied by several students. His only real friend is CyberGirl03 who he had met on the SlapTalk messaging app. CyberGirl03 is actually a girl named Aaliyah who lives in a nearby apartment building. Bart always sees her on the third-floor balcony in the afternoons, but he has never met her. She doesn't attend his school because she takes her school courses on the internet.

After sending CyberGirl03 his game to test out, he decides to make a few adjustments, which means he has to spend several late nights working on the new coding while his father is asleep. Later, somehow his game gets leaked to the public! First his classmates are all downloading and playing the game, and then the entire town begins playing it.

Now, the creator of Hecklr is the most popular person in the town, but poor Bart must keep his identity a secret.

Final Thoughts

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Happy Endings: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review


Mill Creek Ent.; 20 hrs 20 mins; TV-14; $49.98


Many short-lived television sitcoms have never gotten released to DVD; let alone, many series never get released to Blu-ray, but that isn't the case with the 2011-2013  ABC comedy series Happy Endings. The series received "the complete series" DVD and Blu-ray treatment last month, courtesy of Mill Creek Entertainment.

Created by David Caspe, the series is set in Chicago and is  centered around the breakup of Alex (played by Elisha Cuthbert) and Dave (played by Zachary Knighton) on their wedding day, which changed the lives of their friends - Alex's older sister, Jane (played by Elia Coupe), Jane's husband, Brad (played by Damon Wayans Jr.), Dave's soon-to-be roommate, Max (played by Adam Pally), and Penny (played by Casey Wilson).

Similar to How I Met Your Mother and Friends, Happy Endings follows the dysfunctional adventure of six best friends. After the breakup with Alex, Dave moves in with his gay friend Max. Later, he quits his job and starts a food truck business. "Ditzy" Alex owns a clothing boutique called Xela (Alex spelled backwards). Jane is a control-freak who wants the perfect suburban life. Brad is always trying way too hard to prove he is still manly. Penny is always on the lookout for her future husband. And Max is the gang's unemployed freeloading slob, though he does start his own limo driving service during season two.

Special Features on the Blu-ray set include:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Parodies
  • Cast Interviews



Final Thoughts

Friday, 7 September 2018

Book Blogger Hop: September 7th - 13th




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


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 La LA @ La La in the Library.


Have you ever visited the location of a book you have read?

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 have been to Hannibal, MO, which is the inspiration for the settings in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Linky List:

Interview with Craig A. Price Jr., author of Dragonia: Rise Of The Wyverns



Now available to purchase on Amazon and Audible from Claymore Publishing is the fantasy adventure Dragonia: Rise Of The Wyverns, book one in the Dragonia Empire series, by Craig A Price JR..


The Resistance struggles to find a way to defeat the Dragonia Empire; all hope seems lost against the dragon riders, until they discover an island full of wyverns.

Devarius has lost everything. His parents murdered, his sister kidnapped, and the new village he called home: destroyed. The Dragonia Empire has gotten out of control, destroying anything and everything in its path searching for the Resistance.

Devarius is left with little choice but to find the Resistance, join them, and hope he can help them defeat the Dragonia Empire once and for all to bring peace to the land of Kaeldroga.



When did you become interested in storytelling?

I’ve been interested in storytelling ever since the first grade when my teacher gave us empty books made of construction paper and three-lined paper to write our own story.

What was your first book/story published?

The Crimson Claymore was my first novel published, and it is the first in an epic fantasy trilogy.

What inspired you to write Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns?

I’ve always loved dragons, but I always felt wyverns were left out of fiction and television. I wanted to create a world filled with dragons and wyverns. I also wanted to make it more believable by making wyvernriders more practical than dragonriders by being closer to the size of a horse. I also wanted a lot more than fire-breathing dragons, so I brought in several different elements, and to make it even more unique, I placed the land on the southern hemisphere on a world with two suns and two moons.

What character in Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns is the most/least like you, and in what ways?

Devarius has the same passion and energy to help others as I have, and Paedyn has the same odd sense of humor as me, though I don’t have the same passion for toy boats.

What is your favorite part in Dragonia: Rise of the Wyverns?

3 Tips for Buying Farm Gates




Farm gates are one of those things that you don't think about until you need one. Once the issue is in front of you, however, it can be surprisingly hard to make a purchase decision. How do you know that you're choosing the right gate? How can you identify a decent brand or a legitimate deal? If you're in the market for farm gates, here are just a few shopping tips to help you find the perfect product.

1. Take Your Measurements

If your gate has to fit on or around an existing opening, you'll need to pull out the measuring tape to get its exact specifications. You don't want to buy a beautiful gate that's three inches too short! Double- and triple-check your measurements before you write them down, and keep them in your pocket as you do your shopping. You can also have something custom-ordered if nothing fits.

2. Think About the Opening Swing

Farm gate openers have gotten very sophisticated over the years. Some of them can detect an approaching vehicle and open the gate automatically! You'll never have to dirty your boots in the mud again! Of course, you might not like this kind of high-end technology; you might want something more rustic and old-fashioned. That's okay, too. The decision is up to you.

3. Keep It Safe

It isn't uncommon for livestock to bump into farm gates. Make sure that your chosen gate won't hurt them. Whether they're being curious, playing around or just jostling into the gate by accident, you don't want your valuable animals to suffer an injury because they caught the gate at the wrong angle. Not only will you feel terrible, but if the animal is seriously hurt, it might affect your business as well.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Home Repair or Home Maintenance?



As a homeowner, people often get caught up between two choices of home repair and home maintenance. What’s the difference? Well, Home repair and maintenance are two different categories, and bother are important to a homeowner. It may seem like a never-ending battle, keeping things working, running and efficient. The best way to make sure things stay on track and that you get everything done that needs to be done is to create a plan.

Repairs

If we talk about repair, we are referring to the damages that has already been done to the home and needs to be addressed to avoid any further damages. Probably the electrical system of the house has gone drastically outdated and needs to be replaced due to safety issues. It can probably be a cracked or damaged roof or missing tiles which needs urgent attention from Roofing Dearborn Michigan to get fixed to avoid the energy and other losses. It can be leaky taps that needs to be replaced to avoid water loss and keep the water bills in control.

To prepare for the upcoming season you must clean out the fireplace before its' first use. Rotting floorboards come into this category as well. Home repair includes all the above-mentioned areas. And if these are left unattended, homeowner may get to a point where the FIX and REPAIR is not an option anymore, and if it is, it is a very costly one.

Maintenance

We can state the maintenance process as a precautionary measure to keep the home from wear and tear by taking measures in advance. Maintenance is a preventive step and it helps homeowner keep up to the maintenance aspects of the home, and in the long run it ends up in less home repairs and thus saves money. Maintenance is when you see a small and you get it repaired right away. Maintenance is not only limited to the indoors but includes the outdoor as well. Keeping your lawn mowed and weed free is maintenance as well.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Review - All Things Bright and Strange by James Markert

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.
Thomas Nelson; 354 pages; $15.99; Amazon

All Things Bright and Strange has been sitting on my desk for quite some time now. I tried reading it earlier this year, but I couldn't get through the prologue. I can't explain it, but I just couldn't connect with the author's writing style.

Why did I want to read the book in the first place?

Well, the thought of a Christian supernatural novel intrigued me. Plus, the book's blurb got my attention right away, so I was originally excited about reading it, well, until that is until I couldn't get past the first few pages.