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Saturday, November 30

Holiday Gift Guide 2019: Angela's Christmas


*This is a sponsored post with affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine.


Angela's Christmas


Netflix's animated holiday special "Angela's Christmas" is now available to own on DVD & Digital HD from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Angela's Christmas is based on the children's book "Angela and the Baby Jesus" by Frank McCourt (Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Angela's Ashes"). Directed by Brian Gleeson, the 30-minute story features the talented voices of Oscar nominee Ruth Negga (2016, Best Actress - Loving), Lucy O'Connell (Song of the Sea), and Brian Gleeson. The animated Christmas tale features the original song "Angela's Song" performed by the late singer Dolores O'Riordan (lead singer of The Crannberries).

Special Features include:
  • The Making of Angela's Christmas
  • La Navidad de Angela - Spanish Version
  • Scene Selection
  • Trailer




Where to Purchase?








Friday, November 29

Holiday Gift Guide 2019: Ripley's Believe It or Not!: Beyond the Bizarre!


*This is a sponsored post with affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine.


Ripley's Believe It or Not!: Beyond the Bizarre!


Believe it or not, Ripley's Publishing recently released their 16th annual hardcover, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Beyond the Bizarre!, featuring thousands of all-true amazing facts, incredible stories, and stunning photos.

Read about a cat with 28 toes, a man living in a sand castle, a toad museum, and many other unbelievable but true facts!



Where to Purchase?




Book Blogger Hop: November 29th - December 5th





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


Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop! 


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

The Book Blogger Hop now has its own Facebook Group! Please join the group to get all the newest Book Blogger Hop updates. Also, you can communicate with your fellow book bloggers in the group.

What To Do


1. Post on your blog answering this question:


This week's question is submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer.


2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below. Please enter your Name/Nickname @ Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Here's an example: Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading a few 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.

Wednesday, November 27

Fall Reads: Phantom Audition by Simon Dillon


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





What's "Phantom Audition" About?


Small-time actress Mia Yardley, recently widowed wife of renowned actor Steven Yardley, discovers her late husband’s secret acting diary. The diary details appointments made with a psychic medium, who advised Steven on which roles to take. It also raises questions about his mysterious and inexplicable suicide. Seeking answers, Mia speaks to the medium, but in doing so is drawn into an ever- deepening mystery about what happened to her husband during the final days of his life. Eventually, she is forced to ask the terrible question: was Steven Yardley murdered by a vengeful evil from beyond the grave?

My Review


I'm a sucker for any book with a creepy mansion on the cover, which is the #1 reason why I wanted to read Phantom Audition to begin with. At just under 300 pages, I quickly read through it yesterday morning before I finished one cup of coffee.

The very beginning of the novel somewhat reminds me of the classic Twilight Zone episode "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine," though the two have completely different plots. With both tales, I was under the assumption they were going to be simple haunted house stories but neither one went that route.

Mia Yardley is a fairly interesting main character for the most part. I struggled to connect with her for several chapters but eventually something snapped and I became intrigued with her quest to unravel the mystery behind her husband's questionable suicide.

The author's writing style is pretty good and I got a "Gothic" vibe all through the novel. All of the dialogue is well-written and the descriptions are very detailed.

Overall, despite a slow beginning, Phantom Audition turned out to be an entertaining read. 


About the Author


The spirit of Simon Dillon took human form in 1975, in accordance with The Prophecy. He kept a low profile during his formative years, living the first twenty or so of them in Oxford, before attending University in Southampton, and shortly afterwards hiding undercover in a television job. In the intervening years, he honed his writing skills and has now been unleashed on the world, deploying various short stories and novels to deliberately and ruthlessly entertain his readers. He presently lives in the South-West of England with his wife and two children, busily brainwashing the latter with the books he loved growing up.

Learn more about Simon at: simondillonbooks.wordpress.com

Follow Simon on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, November 25

Monday Morning Madness: Phantom Audition, The Testaments, and Santa With Muscles


 

Good Morning, Everyone!


Once again, I'm combining this week's Sunday Post (hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer) with today's It's Monday! What Are You Reading (hosted by The Book Date).


What Am I Currently Reading?


I'll start reading Phantom Audition by Simon Dillon sometime today. My review will be posted on Wednesday.


Recent Reviews

(DVD Review)

(Fall Reads)

(DVD Review) 

(Blu-ray Review)


What's in the Mail?


DVD Review: SAF3 2: Under Pressure


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

Mill Creek Entertainment; AMAZON
Last month, I received a few titles from Mill Creek Entertainment to review on this blog. One of those titles was SAF3 2: Under Pressure DVD starring Dolph Lundgren. I was under the impression the film was a sequel to one of his many direct-to-video action flicks. However, that isn't exactly the case there. Yes, it's a sequel to SAF3, which was released on DVD in 2018 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, but the 83-minute movie is the edited version of several episodes from the 2013-2014 short-lived syndicated action series, SAF3. Yeah, instead of releasing the entire series to DVD, ITN Distribution decided to combine several episodes together in the attempt to make people believe this is a new movie.

Gary Capo and Phil Scarpaci are credited as the directors for SAF3 2: Under Pressure. Along with Dolph Lundgren, the film (or series) also stars J.R. Martinez, Lydia Hull, Texas Battle, Jocelyn Osorino, Travis Burns, Katie Meehan, and Danielle Anderson.

Dolph Lundgren stars as John Eriksson, a leader of the Sea, Air, and Fire divisions of the Malibu Fire Department, which is "under pressure" after a fire lead to a firefighter, Alfonso Rivera (played by J.R. Martinez), being seriously severely burned.


Final Thoughts

Saturday, November 23

Fall Reads: Canadian Dreadful: An Anthology


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


AMAZON; GOODREADS

I spent this afternoon reading the new horror anthology Canadian Dreadful, which is published by Dark Dragon Publishing and edited by David Tocher.

As you can probably guess by the title, all of the stories (14 total) are set in or near Canada. There are a wide range of horror tales in this collection featuring sacrifices, cannibalism, ghosts, and mystical forests.

The story titles and authors are:

  • Aranzazu Banks by Robin Rowland
  • Centre Ice by Cailtin Marceau
  • His Cold Coffin by Tyner Gillies
  • Memories Of Miss Mindy Tulane by Jen Frankel
  • Nowhere Time by Pat Fleweeling
  • Rebecca Raven by David Tocher
  • Relentless by Repo Kempt
  • Sins of the Father by Colleen Anderson
  • Snow Angel by Nancy Kilpatrick
  • The Delivery Boy by Judith Baron
  • The Mansion by Karen Dales
  • Two Trees by Vanessa C. Hawkins
  • Stag And Storm by Sara C. Walker
  • The Sound Of Passing Traffic by Joe Powers


Friday, November 22

Book Blogger Hop: November 22nd - 28th





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


Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop! 


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

The Book Blogger Hop now has its own Facebook Group! Please join the group to get all the newest Book Blogger Hop updates. Also, you can communicate with your fellow book bloggers in the group.

What To Do


1. Post on your blog answering this question:


This week's question is submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer.


2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below. Please enter your Name/Nickname @ Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Here's an example: Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading a few 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.

Wednesday, November 20

Promote Your Blogs With Mockups


*This is sponsored post. All opinions are my 100% mine.

Blogging is a wonderful creative outlet for many people. You don't have to be a published author to be a blogger as anyone can create their own blog free on a variety of platforms and share their thoughts on any subject. This can be a hobby, a side business, or a full-time job. The downside to blogging is that it takes quite awhile to build an audience so don't expect to make any money right away. There are already many other blogs out there, so you need to find creative ways to draw in readers.

The #1 way to tell the world that you have a blog is through social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.. However, don't except to get a bunch of attention just from posting a few words or hashtags as most of them get overlooked. What you need to use are unique images to grab people's attention.

With a simple program like Photoshop you can easily make an image to post on social media and you don't have to be a digital artist to accomplish this. All you need is to get a lettering mockup to get you started. You can purchase a variety of mockups (including lettering ones) at Design Bundle to help you design a standout graphic or banner to be shared on your social media accounts. There's even several "free" mockup templates to download in the "free section" on the website.

Many bloggers send out weekly or monthly newsletters to their subscribers/readers to keep them updated on their blog posts, upcoming events, etc.. Not every subscriber will stop by your blog every single day so sending a stylized newsletter to their inboxes will get their attention right away. Design Bundle also has many mockups, digital backgrounds, and graphics to help make your newsletters. Remember, if a subscriber sees something appealing, they'll more than likely share it with others, which can help grow your audience.

Friday, November 15

Book Blogger Hop: November 15th - 21st





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


Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop! 


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

The Book Blogger Hop now has its own Facebook Group! Please join the group to get all the newest Book Blogger Hop updates. Also, you can communicate with your fellow book bloggers in the group.

What To Do


1. Post on your blog answering this question:


This week's question is submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books.


2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below. Please enter your Name/Nickname @ Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Here's an example: Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading a few 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.

The Friday 56: The Handmaid's Tale


Rules

Grab a book, any book.
Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it).
Post it.
 Add your (url) post below in the Linky at: www.fredasvoice.com
Add the post url, not your blog url.


Don't you know how many women's lives, how many women's bodies, the tanks had to roll over just to get that far?
page 156, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

  My Thoughts

Wednesday, November 13

DVD Review: Pan Am: The Complete Series


*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are my own!

Mill Creek Entertainment; AMAZON
Does anyone remember the television drama Pan Am airing on ABC in 2011?

Hopefully, I'm not the only person in the world that had never of this series. Well, that is until Mill Creek Entertainment released Pan Am: The Complete Series on DVD back in August, featuring all 14 episodes on a 2-dsic set.

Created by Jack Orman, the series is set in the 1963 and centers around around four stewardesses - Maggie, Laura, Colette, and Kate - who all work on international flights coming from New York City.

Maggie (played by Christina Ricci) returns to work as a"purser" after being suspended for not wearing a girdle. Kate and Laura are sisters. Kate (played by Kelli Garner) helped her sister become a stewardess after Laura (played by Margot Robbie) had left her fiance at the alter. Just prior to her first assignment, Laura is featured on the cover of of Life magazine wearing her Pan Am uniform, which instantly makes her a celebrity. Lastly, Colette (played by Karine Vanasse) became an orphan during the German occupation of France and now, as an adult, works as a stewardesses.


Final Thoughts

Tuesday, November 12

Blu-ray Review: The Swan Princess: 25th Anniversary


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

AMAZON
For a very long time, it seemed Disney was the only studio releasing animated films. However, that changed in the '90s, many thanks to direct-to-video releases, as well as a few theatrical releases from other studios. One of these films happens to be The Swan Princess, which is an adaptation of the Swan Lake ballet.

Directed by Richard Rich, the film was originally released to theatres in 1994, featuring the voice cast of Michelle Nicastro, Howard McGillin, Jack Palance, John Cleese, Steven Wright, Steve Vinovich, and Sandy Duncan.

Sony Home Entertainment recently released The Swan Princess on Blu-ray (G; 89 minutes)  to celebrate its 25th Anniversary, featuring a brand-new featurette and archival features. The film is also available on in 4K HDR on digital.

The Swan Princess centers around Odette, a beautiful princess who's turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer, Lord Rothbart. She can only turn back into a human when the moonlight touches the swan lake, which is when Rothbart tries to persuade her to marry him. Of course, she rejects him every time, thus, she becomes a swan again. Her only friends are Jean-Bob the frog, Speed the turtle and Puffin the bird, who are determined to protect her. Then there's also Prince Derek, who's in love with Odette and will also do anything to protect her.

Special Features include:
  • Looking Back at 25 Years of the Swan Princess
  • The Swan Princess: The Original Making of
  • 5 Sing-Alongs 


Final Thoughts

Monday, November 11

Monday Morning Madness: Decaf for the Dead and Paperbacks From Hell


 

Good Afternoon, Everyone!


Yes, I'm well aware it's way past noon. Originally, I wanted to have this post published earlier but I got distracted by several other things. Once again, I'm combining this week's Sunday Post (hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer) with today's It's Monday! What Are You Reading (hosted by The Book Date). 


What Am I Currently Reading?


Tomorrow, I'll be reading Decaf for the Dead by Sandy Lo, who nicely sent me a review copy. I posted an interview with Sandy Lo on Saturday, which you can read right here!

Last week, was  a reread week for me with The Shining and Doctor Sleep. I'll probably be writing reviews for them sometime later in the week. I never got around to reading Rise of the Gorgon by Galen Surlak-Ramsey so it'll probably be next read after Decaf for the Dead. Then I'm going to start reading the books I have lined up for this year's Holiday Gift Guide.


Recent Reviews

(Midnight Horror Review)

by Stephen King
(Fall Reads

by R.L. Stine
(Fall Reads) 

(Midnight Horror Review)


What's in the Mail?

Midnight Horror Review: The Thing (2011) Blu-ray


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

Mill Creek Ent.; Amazon
For those of you who don't already know, The Thing was re-released to Blu-ray on Oct. 29th by Mill Creek Entertainment.

No, I'm not referring to the John Carpenter's 1982 classic scifi-horror flick, which is a remake of the 1951 classic The Thing from Another World and an adaptation of the 1938 novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr., but instead I'm referring to the 2011 prequel film of the same name. Confused yet?

Directed by Matthijs Heijningen, the prequel was originally going to be titled The Thing: Begins. However, due to producers and behind-the-scenes drama (more on that later), the film was released as The Thing, which made moviegoers believe it was a remake of a remake.

Set in the winter 1982, the prequel centers around Kate Lloyd (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a paleontologist who is sent to an isolated Norwegian research station in Antarctica to investigate a possible buried alien spacecraft. The expedition is lead by Dr. Sander Halvorson (played by Ulrich Thomsen) and his assistant, Adam Finch (played by Eric Christian Olsen). After excavating a body frozen in the ground, they accidentally release a lifeform that takes control and mutilates its victims. The movie also stars Joel Edgerton, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Kristofer Hivju.

The director shot the prequel in 35mm film so it would have the same look as the 1982 film.  Animatronic special effects were used for the creatures to match the 1982 effects. However, studio politics interfered and all of the traditional effects were replaced CGI. Add in additional reshoots, which changed many scenes (especially the ending), as well as the title change, the movie ended up flopping at the box office.

Blu-ray Bonus Features include:
  • Feature Commentary with Director Matthiijs van Heijningen and Producer Eric Newman
  • The Thing Involves
  • Fire & Ice
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • Trailer


Final Thoughts

Sunday, November 10

Midnight Horror Review: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged


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


BEST BUY; WALMART
Once upon a time ago, there was only one big shark movie - Jaws, minus the unneeded sequel (though Jaws 2 was pretty good). Fast forward to the present day, there are tons of shark flicks and almost of all them are horrible.

In 2017, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures released the low-budget horror shark film 47 Meters Down, which wasn't half bad. Due to its success, naturally there was going to be sequel. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged was released to theatres in August 2019 and took in $38.9 million against a $12 million budget.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged is arriving on Blu-ray (+DVD + Digital) on Nov. 12th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Co-written and directed by Johannes Roberts, the film stars Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone, Brec Bassinger, and John Corbett.

The plot centers around teenage stepsisters, Mia and Sasha (played by Sophie Nelisse and Corinne Foxx) and Sasha's two friends, Alexa and Nicole (played by Brianne Tju and Sistine Stallone), cut classes and travel to a secret saloon that holds the entrance to a submerged Mayan city, which was discovered by Mia's father, Grant (played by John Corbett). The girls put on their diving gear and dive into the saloon to explore the Mayan city. They were just wanting to see the sunken ruins but what they find is pure terror!

Living in the submerged Mayan city are blind great white sharks with an appetite for anything living. Low on air, the girls are trapped in the underwater labyrinths of caves and claustrophobic tunnels with no way to escape.

Special Effects include:
  • Diving Deeper: Uncaging 47 Meters Down
  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Johannes Roberts, Producer James Harris, and Writer Ernest Riera


 Final Thoughts

Saturday, November 9

Saturday Takeover! with Sandy Lo, Author of "Decaf For the Dead"



Good Morning, Bookworms!


Welcome to the first ever Saturday Takeover!, where I'll be featuring guest posts and interviews with authors.

Today, I'm sharing an interview with author Sandy Lo, who recently published the novella Decaf For the Dead, which is a really fun title; though, personally, I prefer caffeinated or decaf!

FYI: That's my attempt at a joke! Remember, I'm a coffee lover!

I'll be reading the novella soon so keep an eye out for my review.






When did you become interested in storytelling?


I had a big imagination as a kid and would create elaborate plots during playtime with my Barbie dolls. I was thirteen when I first started putting stories down on paper. Writing became a fun hobby and turned into a serious ambition during my late teens.

What was you first book/story published?


The first book I published was “Lost In You”, a boy band romance novel inspired by my love of the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. I often think about re-releasing it since my writing has changed and I still love the story, but want to fine tune it.

What inspired you to write Decaf For the Dead? 


Throughout my life I’ve worked as a barista to supplement my career in writing, marketing, and journalism. While working as a barista, I’ve met so many real life characters and experienced a lot of hauntings as well – in and outside of coffee shops. I would often Google the relationship between caffeine and the supernatural. Since I was always highly caffeinated working at these cafés, I felt I was drawing certain spiritual encounters into my life. The title actually came from the fact that random decaf coffee orders would pop up on the drive-thru screen at one café. No one would even be in the drive-thru line when it would happen sometimes. I joked that the ghosts are ordering decaf because they’re dead and don’t need caffeine.

What character in Decaf For the Dead is the most/least like you and in what ways? 


This is tough. As a writer, you tend to put pieces of yourself in each character. I’m probably most like Dilly, the main character. While we certainly have plenty of differences, Dilly is creative with his artwork and he enjoys sitting in cafés and connecting with people. He’s a romantic and devoted, and that’s certainly me. As for the character I’m least like … I’ll pick the obvious and say Gabe, who is basically the villain of the story. I didn’t explore his character too much in this first book in the Haunted Café Series. We’ll probably see more of him in book 2 of the series. Gabe’s very dark, motivated by a possessiveness over his estranged wife, Jocelyn.

What is your favorite part in Decaf For the Dead?