Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Raven, The Lucky One, & Think Like A Man

              Hello Bloggers!  If you haven’t guessed by the title yet I had another movie day courtesy of a great friend and co-conspirator.  We saw three new movies and had a great time so here are my thoughts on them.

                First we have The Raven, which is about Edgar Allen Poe and a killer inspired by his writings.  This movie is a dark mystery centered around Poe and his works.  A killer uses the writings of Poe to lure him into a dangerous game of trying to figure it out. 

                Poe himself is played by John Cusack and I think he does a great job in the roll and although I was never a huge reader of his work I knew some of the more well known ones and some of the stories about him being very eccentric.   Then you have Detective Fields played by Luke Evans (Oh I love the accent) and he plays the intelligent and intriguing character.  He and Poe have different methods but in the end the same goal, find the killer.

                Overall I enjoyed the movie.  The sets were amazing, took you right back in time.  There is even a masked ball and well I’m a sucker for a masked ball.  The suspense in the movie and the clues are cool and very eerie.  I had the killer figured out about a quarter of the way through and was with my friend who is very quick to figure things out but shockingly enough she didn’t figure it out until the last twenty minutes.  I was shocked I tell you.  So if you like mysteries/suspense movies then check out The Raven

Rating: 5 Stars

                Next we ventured into The Luck One, the Nicholas Sparks movie with Zac Efron who plays Logan.  Now my friend is not your average girl.  She doesn’t really do chick flicks as she calls them ‘estrogen inducers’ which I laugh at.  I can watch anything and for the second movie asked her if she wanted to see this or The Five Year Engagement and she knew full well that The Lucky One was a Nicholas Sparks movie.  I just may not have mentioned the whole had Zac Efron in it part knowing she still associates him with High School Musical stuff (as did I though I never saw one it was just everywhere).

                This movie is about a marine who finds a picture of a woman that saves his life.  Literally, him walking over to check it out keeps him from getting blown up.  He tries to find who it belongs to but no one claims it and he wants to meet this woman and thank her.  So he goes to find her and as he’s trying to tell her she thinks he’s there for the job posting.  She runs a dog kennel boarding/training place and he has his pup with him Zeus (I have to ass his Zeus is a German Sheppard just like my old bebe Zeus).  He takes the job, simple life and she needs the help.  Well he starts to get to know her and in true Nicholas Sparks fashion he falls for her, Beth.  Things aren’t easy of course there is conflict and other things going on like her young son and ex husband who has some issues.

                I liked this movie.  Yes it touched my inner girlie girl but didn’t make me cry like The Notebook or A Walk To Remember.  Even my friend who was anti Efron said it was a good movie.  Predictable but good, that is high praise believe me.  There were plenty of good things and so many little funnies in the movie.  I won’t lie some of the time me and my friend were the only ones laughing, maybe an inside joke but still.  Oh and special note to Beth’s grandma played by Blythe Danner.  She was such a great character and I couldn’t see it working without her. 

                Also the ex-husband/cop I’ve read some reviews that say he is an unbelievable character.  He abuses his power and that he wouldn’t be able to get away with that but living in a small town myself, and having worked in the Sheriff’s Office I know that they can get away with so much more than you would believe.  I thought that deserved special note because it does keep the good and bad of a small town in mind.  So if you like a good romance/chick flick then check this one out.

Rating: 4 Stars

                Last but not least we saw Think Like A Man.  This movie has a large cast full of a variety of characters.  It’s a funny movie.  A great laugh.

                Basically the premises of the movie is about these girls who have had it with men and the way they act.  Either they’re in a long term relationship and it just isn’t moving forward or they can’t find a man to meet their standards.  Then they see this book written by a guy Steve Harvey who tells them how to act like a woman but to think like a man so they can know how to get what they want.  No on the flip side you have a group of guys with different styles and problems and they meet these women. 

                They start realizing the game is changing.  Things are as easy as they were before and if they want to get what they want then they have to change.  Until they find out about the book.  They then decide to use the book against the women.  Overall this movie is just a hilarious take on relationships.  I found myself laughing through most of it.  A great cast whom I couldn’t name everyone if I wanted to but they did a great job with tons of laughs.  The audience was a mix of men and women so it’s great for either gender and I’d wager a great date movie. 

Rating: 4 Stars

       There you have it my views of three new movies.  What do you think?  Have you seen them yet?  Do you want to?  Tell me what you think.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Talisman of El- Alecia Stone

                I know I’ve been bad about updates.  Bad me.  I haven’t been doing much reading or writing as of late but this time it’s not for lack of wanting to but just pure exhaustion.  I don’t know if I mentioned this before or not but I have a cat, Keira, she’s almost 8 years old now and I’ve had her since she was an itty bitty kitten.  I still can’t believe this beast used to fit in one hand.  Anyways, growing up I always had a dog around and since living in my apartment for almost 2 years now I’ve missed having a pup.  I just didn’t think an apartment was a good place for the type of dog I want, basically I want a dog that is larger than my cat, I want a medium/large dog.

                What does that have to do with writing and reading you wonder?  Well I started going out to the shelter near my place to see the animals and volunteer to play with the dogs.  I figured I could keep working on my plan of getting a dog and then I’d find one there who matched me.  I found him.  Remming, not a name I’d pick mind you (featured to the left), but still he is so great and it was instant love.  I was all excited and my landlord is great so I text him that I was planning to get a dog and wanted to give him a heads up.  As it turns out he is against dogs in the apartment, liability with the community yard and such and apparently the others I’ve seen with dogs have them without his permission.  Sigh the truth has foiled me, so I can’t get my bebe.  So between spending time at the shelter during their open hours playing with first my bebe then the others and give them some run time and such, and I started going to the gym I’m just beat.

                So enough with excuses.  I did finish Talisman of El, by Alecia Stone last night.  I know this is why you’re reading anyways.  I got this ARC from by way of kindle from Centrinian Publishing.  This book is more of a younger YA book, which is different for me but I still enjoyed it very much. 

                The book centers around Charlie a young orphan who seems might finally be getting a normal life.  Then of course it turns out not to be the case.  His adoptive father isn’t what he seems and the dreams he has he is no longer able to pretend they don’t have meaning.  He’s different.

                What if your whole life was a lie?  That is the tag line that first caught my attention and made me read further.  One plant, Two worlds.  Makes you wonder doesn’t it?  Well it made me wonder what would happen and so I began to read.

                As I said Charlie is different and has dreams.  He and his friend Alex (girl) come upon a new friend Richmond who is hiding out, a run away and Derkein, a man in his 20’s who looks to be going on 90.  This is when Charlie discovers his dreams are not just dreams as much as he wishes they were.  There is another world, Arcadia, and they have to find it.  The gang set off on the adventure to find Arcadia and save Derkein, Charlie also being led by something inside him telling him he needed answers.

                So this story is a fun little adventure with lots going for it and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.  I’m invested in the characters.  Charlie who has been through so much, Alex who from the first few pages she’s grabs hold of you.  Little Richmond always makes me hungry, be warned, and Derkein who reminds me of that uncle who is more of a friend even when you disagree.  The adventure was to me well paced and added enough action and suspense that I didn’t want to stop reading until I finished.  The world painted before you is pure magic and I wish I could see it, be it the streets of Sussex or Arcadia itself with all of the colorful and amazing characters and creatures.

                This book is part of a series and I myself can’t wait for the next installment.  This is the start of a journey and begins May 20th, will you join?  I’m giving this book 5 stars, so check it out and tell me what you think because I don't think I did it justice.  Do you like Charlie?  What’s your favorite thing about him?  Is Candra good or bad?  Share your thoughts, I love to read them!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RTW: Prom

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing or reading related question and answer it on our own blogs.  You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This weeks topic:
It’s almost prom season, and since we love to read and write about teenagers, we want to hear your prom stories!

Prom.  Okay then.  Well the prom here is open to Juniors and Seniors thus we get two proms, more if you’re invited to it as a Freshman or Sophomore, or hell even after graduating.  Anyways, I myself only went to the planned two.  I also can't find my photos at the moment so none to share there.  The stories will have to do.

My Junior prom was okay.  I went with some friends not bringing a date (I didn’t date in high school I was too shy and would never ask anyone and since no one asked me out…yeah I was single).  The one person I thought about bringing as a friend (he was a Sophomore and couldn’t come without being invited) didn’t work out.  See he had this huge crush on a friend of mine and she was bringing a date and well I didn’t want to cause any trouble, and frankly if I had a date I didn’t want to have them hanging out with someone else the whole night.  Call me crazy.  Prom wasn’t anything spectacular, I hung out with friends, not the ones I had planned to hang out with they sorta abandoned me, but I had fun.  I danced, I laughed and when it was all said and done I went home.  Only feeling slightly sorry for myself that my friends whom we’d been talking after party had ditched without saying word one to me leaving me out.

Still I’d say it was a good time. 

Now Senior prom was much different.  I still went alone, much to my grandmothers displeasure (she tried to set me up with someone from her church telling this person I’ve never met that I couldn’t get a date…yeah keep in mind this year I didn’t want a date).

My dress was comfy and so were my shoes because well…I went in flip flops.  Now I had heels to wear but the previous year no one wore shoes after 15 minutes they were all under tables.  So I got a simple easy pair of heels but it was raining that night.  I’m horribly unbalanced as it is so when I went to have dinner with my dates (my friends) and had to walk from car to restaurant in the rain I slipped on my flip flops  as I had seen others do.  No one could see my feet anyways so I said screw it and left them babies on.

So aside from my shoes, after an amazingly fun time at dinner which our party had the place pretty much to ourselves we headed to the dance in the school gym.  I don’t remember the theme right off hand to either one.   They were decorated nicely, it was still a school gym but we didn’t  have a huge budget like in the movies so it wasn’t super fancy.  The music was good, and we had a great time.  We danced and laughed and had a great time.  I even got to dance with a couple people whom I had crushes on so it was great.

Senior prom unlike Junior prom I was better prepared and had after party plans and well a better understanding with my friends.  We went to a friends house and all took turns changing into regular clothes (keep in mind I live in the country so our gatherings usually involve a bomb fire and such so not conducive to dresses and heels).  Then we headed out to the fire, roasted hot dogs and simores and did some more dancing.  There were a bunch of us and we stayed out for a long time until we eventually moved to friends living room and all passed out on the floor or some piece of furniture. 

That was a great time.  I’ll never forget it.  Prom wasn’t this huge turning point in life that the movies and books sometimes make it out to be but it was special and times I’ll never forget.  I hope you all had your own special memories of prom.

Monday, April 16, 2012

What is it to be a friend?

                I’ve been thinking about this a lot as of late.  I originally started this post the other day when I was having a really bad day, you know the ones where everything hits you all at once it seems.  I never finished it but even though I am feeling much better I still think this is a post worth finishing.

                Growing up a friend is such a simple concept.  Someone is either your friend or they aren’t.  Curious I looked up the official definition of ‘friend’.  I was surprised by what I found.

ü  A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.
ü  An acquaintance or stranger one comes across.
ü  A person who supports a cause, organization, or country by giving financial or other help
ü  A person who is not an enemy or opponent
ü  A contact on a social networking website
                I guess I never before took the time to look it up.  I, as I’m sure all of you have, had my own ideas about what it meant to be a friend.  I didn’t realize that anyone who is not an enemy or opponent qualified.  Then again it does make sense in this day and age.  People want to be liked so much they want people to ‘friend’ them even if they may never talk to that person again or remember how they met or who they are.  I don’t claim to know every single person on my Twitter but to me I classify them as ‘peoples’ not friends.  Friends still means something more significant to me.
                Am I still alone in thinking a friend, a real friend not to be qualified with anything (like ‘work friend’, or ‘facebook friend’, etc) is someone who is there for you when you need them?  Someone you know in one way or another and actually communicate with on at least a semi regular basis.  Someone who is important to you.  A keeper of secrets or just someone to make you laugh when you’re feeling down.  Is that crazy?

                Technology allows us to expand this category from people we know from where we live right now to anywhere and everywhere.  I have people I’ve never met in person but via the internet but I still feel like I know them.  Some I have went on vacation and visited just to get away for a bit but to also met them.  We talk about random things that are just babble really, every day life and such but we also talk about the important stuff.  I care when something is amiss in their life and try to help in whatever capacity I can even if it is only a friendly word and vice versa.  Friends aren’t limited to who you can go see and have lunch with.

                What about you?  What do you think makes a friend?  Do we over simplify/over use the term today to the point where being a friend isn’t as special as it once was?  Tell me what you think, I’ve very curious.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

RTW: Images that inspire my WIP

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing or reading related question and answer it on our own blogs.  You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This weeks topic:
What images inspire/represent your WIP or favorite book?

Okay so this is pretty late so I’ll make it brief.  I have been running around all day and just want to have dinner and curl up to my shows and then go to sleep.  I love looking at images they can inspire new stories or simply scenes in stories.  Here are a few for my current story.
Isn't life perfect with this as your backyard?
Learning some more
Letting lose
Hot guy

So there are just a few. Now off to go relax although putting these together has made me want to write more.  Sigh my poor brain is tired, as is my body.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Everlasting (Kissed by an Angel #5)- Elizabeth Chandler

                Hello Bloggers!  Yes I am alive.  I have been sorta MIA a lot recently from reading and writing.  I am trying to get better but no promises.  This book here is one of the ‘new’ books I got in one of the series I follow that I have finally gotten to read.  Trust me there are many more March was a crazy book month I just haven’t been reading like I should.

                Enough about that, onto the book.  This was the 5th book in the Kissed by an Angel series by Elizabeth Chandler.  If you haven’t read the other books be warned this contains spoilers.  But come on by book 5 you have to know the basic plot line gives away spoilers.   So you’ve been warned.

                Basically this book picks up where Evercrossed, left off.  Tristan is alive.  The catch is he’s in another persons body, one on the run from the law because he’s an accused murderer.  Yikes right.  Tristan broke the rules as an angel and now is unsure what he is, a fallen angel perhaps.  One things for sure its not easy.  For Tristan and Ivy to be together again they must clear ‘Luke’, the guy who’s body Tristan is now inhabiting, of murder.  And to make matters even worse evil Gregory is back wanting revenge.  They have more at stake than ever before and who knows how much time they have together.

                The characters are still the same pretty much.  Ivy and Tristan both have this wonderful quality about them.  They have had a ton of back luck and timing but I cheer for them to work it out and find a happy place.  Loveable.  That’s what I think of them.  Then add in the evil that is Gregory, which I think is written very well.  The confusion and anger that is going around the ranks and it makes for a great read.  All of the characters have their own personalities, even the minor ones which I like.  I could see them just as easily when they were mentioned because I felt I knew them.

                So that’s about it.  If you read the first 4 then I have no idea how you could simply not read book 5.  Really I don’t.  The idea is completely unorthodox to me.  Now if you haven’t read any of these then pretend you didn’t see those spoilers and start at book 1 ASAP. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RTW: Who helped you in your journey?

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing or reading related question and answer it on our own blogs.  You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This weeks topic:
Who has helped you on your reading/writing/publishing journey?

First I have to thank my Ma (grandma on mom’s side) she and Pa raised me until I was 4 (Navy mom sent off).  Ma would read to me every night before bed and teach me to read.  I learned to read rather early, mostly it was memorization word for word and then I started putting words I knew in my head to what I seen.  I read all the time up until high school because of her.

My 5th grade teacher Ms. Bishop who had me writing a short story for an assignment and showed me how much fun it could be to write something from my imagination. 

I stopped reading and writing through high school.  I had too much to read for classes that I won’t lie I didn’t want to read and found difficult to give my attention to and thus couldn’t read anything that kept my interest because I felt bad.  Reading a new book when you haven’t done your homework didn’t seem right.  Yes I was studious.  Then it just seemed to be forgotten.  In college I would read what I had to yet again and nothing more.  Until a TV show of all things reignited my love to read and write.

So I’d like to thank the show Moonlight and all of the amazing readers/writers who I found in fan fiction.  One in particular is Patty, she introduced me to it and told me to go for it.  I couldn’t believe how much fun it was to start again.  And through that and the friends I met through there I had people recommend the Twilight books (Tammi said they had some semblance to main characters in Moonlight).  I started and I was hooked on reading once more and haven’t stopped since.  Same with writing, I’ve been writing a fan fiction to this day and along the way realized I had my own original story to tell as well.

Erin, who I worked with and found a fellow writer in. Now we disagree a bit on things like what is considered good literature but it’s fun, we push each other.  We get each other to read things and also push each other to write (she’s working on a couple stories too).  She is someone I can always call when I’m not sure if Lexi is giving me a bit of a conundrum to work out.  She also makes me laugh and goes to the movies with me so we can goof off and just spitball ideas of crazy stories and fun adventures we hope to have one day when we’re super successful authors J.

Morgan too, though we’ve lost touch over the last year.  We always talked about writing a movie.  We loved movies and thought we could write one where the characters didn’t do stupid things, like run up the stairs when the door is 5 ft away, or be free but hear something and go back into danger to investigate.  We started throwing around ideas as a joke but I really started writing them down, plot lines and character notes and outlines.  I still have it and one day hope to finish it.

All of the amazing people whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet at different writers conferences and online through blogs.  Hearing words of encouragement from different people who are in different stages of their writing journey makes me feel I can do this when I get down and discouraged.  That includes you all.  Thank you.

So who helped you?  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Breaking Beautiful -Jennifer Shaw Wolf

                Another ARC courtesy of and Bloomsbury Children’s Books moved from my TBR list to Read.  Breaking Beautiful, is a very compelling story about a girl who has to find herself after her boyfriend dies and she survives with no memory of the incident, but plenty of other memories of a side to him that no one else knew.

                Allie is a girl who in my opinion doesn’t know who she is.  She is always trying to please others, not wanting to disappoint.  Disappointment has turned to pain.  Now her abusive boyfriend is dead and somehow she survived but she doesn’t know how.  Throughout the book Allie works on rebuilding her life but in a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone and a rumor can spread like wild fire that isn’t so easy.  Blake, a friend, tries to help her but in a small town where everyone is mourning the loss of Mr. Perfect well it gets complicated.

                I really liked this book.  I have to say I was raised to be a very strong and willful woman and thus the idea of an abusive relationship is astounding to me personally.  My parents were in the Navy and well my mom is one you don’t mess with.  Early on I’d be told stories about a friend of hers who had an abusive boyfriend and such.  She always taught me not to ever stand for that.    

                I think I got off track somewhat there.  Sorry, it happens.  So this book is through the eyes of a girl who doesn’t have my upbringing and beliefs.  She rationalizes each incident.  Accepts the apologizes and accepts it as how things are.  Not truly happy but unable to break the cycle.  Now her abuser is dead but everyone thinks he is some hero and she can’t get over the deep scars, unable to do anything right.  Most of all remembering what happened that night.  How did she survive?  How did she get hurt?

                A new detective is in town trying to figure out what happened that night and if it was really an accident.  Slowly Allie starts to remember bits and pieces of things but she is stuck between wanting to know what happened and being scared of the truth.  Will finding the truth finally mean she is free or will it break her?

                I found this book a great read.  The story was very gripping and painful, but in a good way, and I couldn’t put it down.  I love the depth to Allie, everything she feels the hurricane of emotion inside her at any given moment.  Her twin brother Andrew who just breaks your heart he is so sweet.  Blake, childhood friend who even when she ignored him for a year is still there for her when she needs him.  I just felt like this was a very believable story.  The interactions between everyone, what people see but don’t pay any attention too.  The small town feel where one minute everyone feels sorry for you then the next you’re a pariah, living in a small town that hit home for sure.

                This wonderfully dark and moving book comes out April 24th.  Check it out.  It’s worth a read.  I’m giving it 5 stars.  Let me know what you think?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wrath of the Titans & Mirror, Mirror

                So yesterday a friend saw that I was bored and decided to take me out so we could have a great time.  We went to the movies of course loaded with sugar to keep us hyper for years.  We had a great night all in all full of sword fighting in line at Wal-Mart with slim jims (I won FYI), and making new friends late at night at the waffle house.  But first the night started with two movies and here are my thoughts on them.

                First we have Wrath of the Titans in 3D.  Now as you all probably already know this is a sequel to Clash of the Titans.  If not…well now you do.  So this movie picks up years after the first.  Perseus is living a normal life raising his son.  Dad Zeus comes to him and tells him he is needed to save both Gods and humans.  The walls of Tartarus are falling and if that happens his dad Kronos , evil titan, will be free to basically kill everything.  He doesn’t go at first wanting to be a father to his son instead but then events make it impossible for him to ignore.

                This is your typical hero movie.  You have the semi-reluctant hero off on a journey to save the universe.  That being said its still awesome.  I really like Greek mythology so anything to do with Gods and Goddesses is always fun for me.  Such great acting by all the cast, I was invested in them.    I thought all the characters had a lot going on, so much emotion and depth and it really came across.  Even one part to which my partner in crime got upset about (yes that’s all I’m saying).  Great action and the 3d was pretty cool, mostly just when things were falling.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

                Moving right along we then saw Mirror, Mirror.  Now this movie I went into wanting to see but not 100% sure what to expect.  I knew it was aimed to be more of a cutesy type movie and that’s great, I heart those kinds too.  Basically in summary it’s the Snow White tale told a new way, she isn’t the helpless damsel in distress waiting for the prince to come and save her, she has a more active role in her future.
                First I have to say that the evil queen is played by Julia Roberts and WOW.  I am just so accustomed to her being a likable, fun and well…good character to see her play so easily the stuck up, vain, greedy, selfish bitch so well was a shock.  A good one but still a shock.  Maybe it’s that I had just watched Pretty Woman on TV the night before.  Either way she was a great evil queen.  Their take on the magic mirror was really cool I have to say and the effects were pretty cool. 

                For me the movie had a good balance.  There was such great comedic moments, I giggled quite a lot.  It was predictable but still very cute.  So I say if you’re in the mood for a cutesy chick flick type of movie then go on and enjoy Mirror, Mirror.  If you want something more dark and deadly then…well you’re out of luck perhaps when the next Snow White comes out you’ll be good to go.

Rating:  4.5 Stars

                Did any of you see either of these this weekend?  Or did you watch The Hunger Games again by chance?  Okay I had to ask I know I’ve seen it twice already.  Either way share your thoughts.  I love to hear what you think.