Thursday, October 10, 2019

THE CANDY CANE CAPER by Josi S Kilpack

THE CANDY CANE CAPER by Josi S Kilpack. I am a Sadie Hoffmiller fan. I have loved all her mysteries. This was not my favorite one of hers. I did love the recipes (can't wait to try them) and the ending was perfect. I guess I was expecting a little more action since her last ones had so much in them. It was a wonderful cozy mystery that did lead me through her decetive skills so well. It really is a great addition to the Sadie Hoffmiller stories. I would recommend it to anyone.

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The theft of a friend’s priceless, family-legacy Christmas ornaments brings amateur detective and culinary expert, Sadie Hoffmiller, back on the case in a new standalone cozy mystery.
In the latest chapter to the Culinary Mystery series, amateur detective Sadie Hoffmiller continues combining her sleuthing with her cooking and baking to connect with people and gain information she might otherwise not have access to. Moreover, now that Sadie is married to Detective Pete Cunningham, she has a street-savvy husband to test out her crime-solving theories.
With Christmas approaching, Sadie is preparing for a large blended-family gathering—including many new grandchildren—in their home in Fort Collins, Colorado. Even with the festive chaos, Sadie drops everything when word gets out that her friend, Mary, is the victim of a holiday robbery. 
At ninety-four years old, and nearly blind, Mary knows this is may be her last Christmas and the last year to enjoy her family heirloom Christmas tree ornaments. She wants just one more holiday to display her ornaments and following Christmas Eve Mass, she’ll pass them on to her great-granddaughter, Joy. Though priceless to the family, the collection has been valued at $40,000, and the Christmas tree in the care facility has never looked so good. But before the ornaments can be retrieved by Mary, eleven of the most expensive ornaments are stolen. 
A holiday Christmas caper might be new to Sadie, but she’s ready to mix in her seasoned crime-solving skills with a pinch of new holiday recipes.



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

SMARTER THAN A MONSTER by Brandon Mull

SMARTER THAN A MONSTER by Brandon Mull.  This book is pure genius. Every child needs to read this book. It will cure any monster problems at home. Not only that, but it will help with other issues like taking baths, cleaning rooms, and other things that will help children understand how to be smarter than a monster. I would say it's this year's book to read.


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Little kids have big fears, which they often imagine to be scary creatures, like monsters. But this book helps explain how knowing "Monster Facts" can help kids outwit them.
Want to avoid monsters? 
Fact: Monsters love dirt and grime, so when faced with two kids, the monster will choose the dirty one every time. 
And if toys and clothes are all over the floor, you may get ambushed by a mess-loving monster. 
Survival Tip: Take baths and keep your room clean.
Smarter Than a Monster will arm young readers with practical advice in this innovative and imaginative parenting tool that teaches common sense and positive and healthy habits.



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

DRAGONWATCH 3: MASTER OF THE PHANTOM ISLE by Brandon Mull

DRAGONWATCH 3: MASTER OF THE PHANTOM ISLE by Brandon Mull. The hardest part about series as fantastic as this one, is you have to wait for the next installment. I have loved Seth and Kendra since the beginning of FABELHAVEN. DRAGONWATCH has continued the story so well. I was wrapped up in the story and couldn't put the book down. Ideas of how Seth would pull through swirled through my head. I couldn't figure out how Kendra was going find her brother. It felt like I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The sacrifices others made brought tears to my eyes. It ends just right but at the same time, now I have to wait another year for the next one. It is such a great story that I can recommend to everyone. If you love a great fantasy full of adventure and mystical creatures, this is the book for you.

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Cursed by the Key of Forgetting, Seth has lost all memory of his past—his relationships, his experiences, and who he really is. For now he will align with his new mentor, Ronodin, the dark unicorn, who takes him to the Phantom Isle, the secret gateway to the Under Realm. Though Seth is not formally a prisoner, Ronodin wants to use him and his shadow charmer powers for his own dark ends. Kendra is frantic to find her missing brother, but the quest will take her and her companions, including Warren, Tanu, and Vanessa, far from Wyrmroost to Crescent Lagoon—a recently fallen dragon sanctuary made up of many islands and underwater domains. Its caretaker has regained a foothold on one of the islands. If Kendra and her friends can save that sanctuary, they might uncover the answers they need to rescue Seth. With each sanctuary the dragons overthrow, Celebrant, the Dragon King, comes closer to the dawn of a new Age of Dragons. With the forces of darkness on the march, can Kendra and her allies gather enough power to win the epic dragon war? 




Is Brandon coming to your town?

Monday, September 2, 2019

THE LADY AND THE HIGHWAYMAN by Sarah M Eden

THE LADY AND THE HIGHWAYMAN by Sarah M Eden. The best part of this book is it's really three stories in one. I loved being able to see the two competing pennyfold stories play out as well as
the actual story. Fletcher and Elizabeth had such interesting stories as individuals that when they came together it made the whole book that much better. This is such a wonderful, fun story that I highly recommend to anyone who loves a great story as well as adventure, romance and intrigue. Be sure to let me know what you think as well.

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Elizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls’ school in 1830s Victorian London. She is also a well-respected author of ”silver-fork” novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories--the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Charles King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats, intelligent detectives solving grisly murders, and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.
Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Charles King started taking all of his readers. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher’s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the social and political causes of their working-class readers. The group knows King could be an asset with his obvious monetary success, or he could be the group’s undoing as King’s readership continues to cut into their profits.
Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King’s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered. What neither author anticipated was the instant attraction, even though their social positions dictate the impossibility of a relationship.
For the first time Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line.



Saturday, August 10, 2019

THE FIGHTING PREACHER


THE FIGHTING PREACHER. Hubby and I had the priviledge to see this movie Friday night. I had seen the movie trailer and I was very curious about it. T.C. Christensen did such a fantastic job. The story was incredible. I had no idea about the sacrifices of the Bean familiar in going to Palmyra. It was an incredible story that was portrayed so well. We talked about it all the way home, as well as when we can show this movie to our children. It is a movie of change, growth, and love. I would highly recommend it to everyone. It's in Mesa, for those of you in the area, this next week. Take a watch and let me know what you think.

Watch the trailer here. You'll love it.

Friday, August 9, 2019

THE LADY OF THE COPPERGATE TOWER by Nancy Campbell Allen

THE LADY IN THE COPPERGATE TOWER by Nancy Campbell Allen. This steampunk version of Rapunzel was not exactly what I expected. It was a fanatasic story. I love Sam and Hazel and their professional relationship. I love that I hear a little more about characters from Nancy's other steampunk stories: KISS OF THE SPINDLE and BEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST. The way the story is woven together is beautifully done. However, I was expecting more of the Rapunzel type them far earlier in the book. It was a great intrigue to keep reading in order to see when the tower appeared in the story. Truly it was done very well. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who loves steampunk and/or romance.


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Hazel Hughes believes there is nothing remarkable about her, not even her strange ability to heal the sick and injured. Her employer, Doctor Sam MacInnes recognizes her special talent, but because of the difference in their social status, he can't tell her how much he admires her. When a mysterious count arrives in London and reveals to Hazel the existence of a twin sister, she agrees to accompany him to the wilds of Romania, where she learns that her healing skills are needed to save her twin's life. Worried for her safety, Sam insists on traveling with her.
Faced with dark magic, malfunctioning automatons, and dangerous magical artifacts, Hazel and Sam learn to rely on each other as they untangle a deadly web of mystery surrounding the count and search for a way to free Hazel's sister from the cursed walls of the Coppergate Tower before time runs out on all of them.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

OUT OF LIBERTY

OUT OF LIBERTY. This movie looks very interesting. True accounts always fascinate me. I'm excited to see this one. I'd love to know what you think. Be sure to take a look at the Q&A with the director and Rafflecopter at the bottom.


Winter 1839. LIBERTY, MISSOURI. Local jailer, Samuel Tillery (Jasen Wade) is tasked with watching Missouri's most wanted men as they await their upcoming hearing. Caught between the local Missourians' increased drive to remove the prisoners, and the prisoners' desperate efforts to survive, Tillery is pushed beyond what any lawman can endure. Based on actual recorded accounts, Out of Liberty is an intense, evocative western, with an outcome you have to see to believe.





a Rafflecopter giveaway



Out of Liberty


Q&A with Director, Garrett Batty

1. Where did the concept come from for Out of Liberty?

I love a good Western, and I've wanted to do one for a while. The events at Liberty Jail involve a triangle of conflict between the jailer, the mob and the prisoners.  It seemed like an intriguing plot to explore.  Amidst some of the better known occurances were attempted jailbreaks, repeated appeals to the legal system and an impromptu court hearing.  With 1830’s Missouri as a setting, it’s the perfect backdrop for a powerful western.

2. What were some high points during the creative process?

Working in independent film is extremely difficult.  It requires a lot of talented, passionate creative individuals to make things come together.  Stephen Dethloff brought in the first several drafts of the script, and it was a high point to see that there was a cinematic story in Liberty Jail.  Then, to be able to cast Jasen Wade, Brandon Ray Olive and Corbin Allred (who came back to acting after a 5 year hiatus just for this role) was a dream come true.  Another high point was getting to see the set of the jail.  We built 2 different sets, to cover interiors and exteriors.  To step onto each set after they were completely prepped for filming made everything feel real.
 
3. What was your favorite scene on set?

The entire shoot was extremely cold, and the pressure to get everything just right probably impeded me from being able to feel like I had a favorite scene during the shoot.  But now that the film is done, I can look back at some of the scenes and more accurately choose favorites.  There’s a lot of recorded stories about the friendship between Joseph (Brandon Ray Olive) and Porter (Corbin Allred.)  The scenes in which we tried to portray that friendship have become some of my favorites.  Also, the jailer, Samuel Tillery (Jasen Wade) has a classic western stand-off with one of the characters.  I’ve loved that scene from the moment it was in the script, through the final edit. 
 
4. Any learning moments you want to share?

Any film presents opportunities for learning moments.  Whether in the research phase, fundraising phase, production, post, or distribution, I’m always learning more and more about the process.  One lesson that relates specifically to OUT OF LIBERTY was learning to respect the humanness of whom the story is about.  Often I read historical accounts, but fail to recognize that they are written about real people, who deal with the same human hopes, dreams, faith and fears that I go through.  So I learned to not only show their actions, but to help the audience understand the human emotion that was driving their actions.  So in a moment of weakness, when Sydney Rigdon (Brock Roberts) doesn’t live up to my expectations, appreciating his humanness helps me to be more understanding of his actions.
 
5. What is the inspiration behind the story? 

OUT OF LIBERTY is based on the true events that happened at Liberty Jail in 1839.  Mob rule and public opinion collided with religious liberties and expressions of faith.  It lead to a conflict that escalated beyond what either side wanted.    Today, with ever-present social media and opinionated commentators stirring up reactions and attacks toward any differing belief, the similarities felt very relevant.  Fortunately, we see in both cases, that principled individuals, dedicated to the good of society, can make a difference.
 
6. What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?
Stop aspiring, start doing.  We need great storytellers!
 
7. If you had to summarize the film in one line what would it be? 
OUT OF LIBERTY is a western drama about a jailer caught between his civic job to keep Missouris’s most wanted men held for trial, and his personal duty to protect them from those who want them dead.
 
8. What do you hope people take away from this film?
When audiences go to the theater to see OUT OF LIBERTY, I hope they come away thinking “Wow, that was an awesome film!  Let’s see it again.”  It’s really a cool story, and to see it in theaters brings it to life in a way that no other format can.
 
9. What most surprised you in the making of this film?
One of the surprises along they way was how dedicated and committed the cast and crew were to telling this story.  One example of this is with the character of Caleb Baldwin played by Adam Johnson.  I’ve been friends with Adam Johnson for years, and have loved watching him in everything from CHARLY to The Outpost on The CW.  He was gracious enough to come do this movie as a favor for me.  I anticipated he would show up, deliver a good performance, keep the set fun, and be on to the next project.  But Adam surprised me.  He brought a performance that gave a level of humanity and depth that turned Caleb Baldwin into a real person for me.  It was humbling, inspiring, and it has stuck with me.  Every actor gave  their all, and it shows on screen.  It was really quite a nice surprise to have that caliber of talent on this film.
 
10. What scene was the most difficult to film? 
Each scene had its own set of challenges, but for this project I’d have to say the first day of shooting was the hardest.  The film is dedicated to my mother-in-law, who unexpectedly passed away only two days before filming began.  With this personal tragedy very much on my mind, it was difficult to try to focus on the film.  I was grateful to be surrounded by a supportive cast and crew, and a wonderful family.  One message of the film deals with enduring extremely difficult circumstances, so that inspired me throughout the shoot.

11. What other films have you directed?
OUT OF LIBERTY is my fourth feature film.  Other features I’ve written and directed are THE SARATOV APPROACH, FREETOWN and SCOUT CAMP. 


12. How long did it take to film your movie?
 We filmed OUT OF LIBERTY in November, 2018.

One fun story - I was holding auditions, and was surprised when Jasen Wade showed up to audition.  We had never worked together, and it was an honor to have him audition.  He read for a role and did a great job.  But I felt I should ask him to read the part of the jailer, Samuel Tillery.  He looked a little disheartened, but agreed to read for the part.  He was perfect for it!  About a week later, we offered him the part and he graciously accepted.  I asked him to make some time for a call so that we could discuss his approach to the character.  As we discussed the character, he paused for a minute, then said “Wait a minute… I’m just playing the jailer, right?”  He was shocked to find out that the jailer was the protagonist of the film.  He was expecting it to be just a small supporting role.