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.








Friday, July 19, 2019

HEART OF A VICAR by Sarah M Eden

HEART OF A VICAR by Sarah M Eden. I love Sarah's books. They take me away to another world which isn't perfect but I love to be a part of. I love the Jonquil family, and any time I get to see into the heart of one of the brothers, it reveals so much more about the family. Holy Harry has always been one of the quiet brothers to me in the other books. To finally hear where he was coming from and what made him tick was wonderful. And the way Sarah handled herself with the situations she was placed in showed a determination and drive that not many women had. I love this new installment and can't wait for more. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great, clean romance.

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Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired—until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.
When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried—but is it too late for second chances?

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

DEEP CONVICTION by Steven T Collis

DEEP CONVICTION by Steven T Collis. This was a fascinating read. It brought home and to light how important religious freedom really is, and how far people will go to keep that freedom. I was enthralled with these stories of individuals who wouldn't back down on their personal beliefs no matter what the consequence. In the end, the book caused me to reflect on my personal beliefs and how deep my conviction is. Would I be willing to stand up the way these people did? It was incredibly enlightening and I would recommend it to everyone. Everyone needs to take a look at these stories and determine what they have a deep conviction in.

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Deep Conviction features four ordinary Americans who put their reputations and livelihoods at risk as they fought to protect their first amendment right to live their personal beliefs. Though these individuals couldn’t be more different, they share a similar conviction and determination, and the principles of religious freedom apply equally to all of them.
In 1813, a Catholic priest in New York City faced prison after a grand jury subpoenaed him for refusing to divulge the identity of a jewelry thief who admitted to the crime during the sacrament of confession.
In 1959, an atheist in Maryland was forced to choose between his job and his beliefs when the state required him, as part of the hiring process, to sign an oath that said he believed in God. The United States Supreme Court would decide his fate.
In 1989, a Klamath Indian man walked into the highest court of our nation to fight for the right to practice the central sacrament of the Native American Church after the state of Oregon had declared it illegal.
And, finally, in 2017, a Christian baker and a gay couple took their cases to the United States Supreme Court after the baker declined to create a custom wedding cake to celebrate the couple’s same-sex marriage, fearing it would violate his duty to God.
Chosen for their universality and for the broad principles they represent, these true stories reflect the diversity of beliefs in the United States, the conflicts between religious freedom and other interests, the perils individuals face when their right to live their beliefs is threatened, and the genius of America’s promise of religious liberty for all.


Monday, May 20, 2019

INVISIBLE HEROES OF WORLD WAR II by Jerry Borrowman

INVISIBLE HEROES OF WORLD WAR II by Jerry Borrowman. What amazing men and women supported and served our country during this time of war. It was humbling to read about these invisible heroes who helped shape the war. It's heartbreaking to know what some of them went through and how little the santity of life meant to others. Some of the things were very difficult to read and I had to take it in small doses, but I would recommend it to almost anyone. 


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Invisible Heroes of World War II, documents ten fascinating true stories of a diverse group of soldiers and noncombatants from all over the world, including African Americans, women, and Native Americans who worked and fought to keep the world safe from tyranny and oppression. Some were frontline soldiers and spies, while others were engineers, industry workers, or war correspondents and photographers. Without much fanfare, these heroes made noteworthy contributions to the war effort. Some even gave their lives for freedom and liberty. All served with valor and distinction, and their names should never be forgotten.
    CONTENTS
  • Pat Patton: Abandoned at Bataan
  • Nancy Wake: The White Mouse of the French Resistance
  • Joseph Hyalmar Anderson: Missing in Action
  • Joseph Medicine Crow: The Last War Chief
  • Dickey Chapelle: American Journalist
  • Navajo Code Talkers: Heroes of the Pacific War
  • The Purple Heart Battalion: Rescuing the Texas 1st
  • Combat Engineers: Builders and Soldiers
  • African Americans at War: Heroes Despite Prejudice
  • Rosie the Riveter: Women in the War Industries



DAISIES AND DEVOTION by Josi S Kilpack

DAISIES AND DEVOTION by Josi S Kilpack. This was such a fun story of how friends grow into such a wonderful relationship. It's also a beautiful story of how one's list might not be exactly what one needs. Timothy learns so much and Maryann is so careful and kind, especially with her heart on the line. I love how the stories overlap with PROMISES AND PRIMROSES toward the end. I would recommend this book to everyone who loves a fantastic love story that will keep the pages turning. I can't wait for the next Mayfield family story.

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Timothy Mayfield has nearly given up on his search for a wife. Though he is the picture of a fine, social gentleman, Timothy wishes his finances provided a more stable foundation. Then his Uncle Elliott presents to him a solution: participate in his “marriage campaign,” and upon approval of his choice for a wife, Timothy’s inheritance will be his.
Freed from the constraints of having to marry for money, Timothy is ready to marry for love instead. And he knows exactly what he wants in a wife: youth, optimism, beauty, blonde hair, fine-boned features, shapely shoulders, small waist, blue eyes, button nose, solid fashion sense, a light laugh, low voice, arched eyebrows, fair skin, elegant fingers, quick wit, calm manner, and a dazzling smile.
His friend, Maryann Morrington, an heiress in her own right, tells him outright that his expectations are ridiculous—no such woman exists. Maryann had considered Timothy as a potential suitor for a time, but then their relationship shifted to friendship and she has avoided allowing herself to have feelings for him again.
She agrees to help him find his “perfect wife,” because she’s certain that the search will render nothing. Until it does. Miss Shaw appears to fulfill every single item on Timothy’s list—unlike Maryann who has brown hair, brown eyes, lacks delicate features, and possesses a laugh that is definitely unladylike.
But when Timothy and Miss Shaw begin courting, Timothy realizes something profound. He’d rather spend his time with Maryann. But can he trust his judgment when his heart has led him wrong so many times before?
It is only when Maryann leaves the London season early, that Timothy realizes that he had truly fallen in love with her and that his list of requirements were nothing but fantasy. If he hopes to build a strong relationship, Timothy must convince Maryann that she is the very woman he’d been looking for all along—before it is too late.