Wednesday, November 29, 2006
LAST CHANCE TO WIN...
CFBA: Landon Snow & The Island of Arcanum by R.K. Mortenson
I know I've been terribly lame and haven't blogged since the holiday. I'll just say it's been HORRIBLY busy and I've got no other excuse. I will have a review of Hugh Jackman's The Fountain coming up. I'll try to do that tomorrow. But today, I have a CFBA post.
This week the CFBA is doing a blog tour for Landon Snow and The Island of Arcanum by R.K.Mortenson, published by Barbour Publishing (October 2006). I know this one came up earlier with CSFF, but this time I'll post my review.
In the latest adventure of Landon Snow And the Island of Arcanum, Landon, once again visits his grandparents in Button Up, Minnesota. If your familiar with the first two books, Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle, and Landon Snow and The Shadows of Malus Quidam, you'll know that Landon's adventures always start at the Library in Button Up.
This time, Landon's most dangerous journey yet, begins in a rowboat-shaped tombstone that floats. And it's lucky for him that it floats because a few drips from the library ceiling turns into a powerful waterfall.
The stone turns into wood. The stone book propped up in the prow of the boat turns to paper. The left page says "ANCHOR". The right page says "AWEIGH".
"Anchor aweigh?" said Landon.
Holly whispered, "Did you hear that?"
No one has time to respond, however. The next instant saw the water before them dropping away as the water behind them grew into a giant swell, pitching them headlong into the abyss.
Landon will have to protect his two younger sisters, Holly and Bridget, who wind up in the boat with him headed towards The Island of Arcanum. On the Island, the animals of Wonderwood are imprisoned and the evil shadows of Landon's nemesis, Malus Quidam lurk!
With the help of some old friends, a horse named Melech, an odd fellow named Hardy, a girl named Ditty, and the poet/prophet Vates--Landon seeks to unlock the island's dark secrets and escape with the animals intact.
But first, he must navigate his way through unchartered waters and battle the villainous Archans...Can Landon and his friends rescue the animals from deep within the island's stronghold?
A lot of people are comparing this to Harry Potter and I think that is a poor comparison. Mostly because, other than the fact that they're both fantasy adventure stories starring pre-pubescent boys, the stories are nothing alike. At all. Even the writing style is different. (Not that kids notice those kinds of things.) I suppose the idea is to convince Christians that their kids should read these in place of Potter. And if your kids like Fantasy Adventure, they'll probably like Landon Snow. Just don't expect it to be the same kind of story. Landon is good but not a replacement for Harry.
Of course this is all my own personal opinion, and besides, I love Harry Potter and I admit that I'm anxiously awaiting the last book.
As for Landon Snow, I think he's best taken at face value with no comparison to any other books. I'll be honest. I love the book. It's fun and a great adventure. Kids are sure to love it. I kind of wish I'd read the first two books in the series first, because the characters would have made more sense, but even at that, the story was captivating. So much so, that I plan on getting the other two in the series to read. And hopefully hook my nieces and nephews on them in the process.
I'd definitely recommend the series for children and adults - whether you're a Potter fan or not.
About the AUTHOR:
R.K.Mortenson is an ordained minister with the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. He has been writing devotional and inspirational articles since 1995. He currently serves as a navy chaplain in Florida and lives with his wife, daughter and son in Jacksonville.
This page at Barbour's site provides a few good links, two as recent as last week: http://www.barbourbooks.com/author/detail/r-k-mortenson/. The top link there goes to a story about Randy's adoption experiences, the second link goes to the Landon Snow short at Clubhouse magazine.
Randy got the idea for this series one late night, when flute music woke him from a sound sleep. As he stood at his window, trying to locate the source of the sound, he spied a library across the lawn. Suddenly, he envisioned an eleven-year-old sneaking out of his bed and stealing to the library in the dead of night...And thus Landon Snow was born.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For
So today I took off work to go celebrate with my sis and Lindz. We're doing lunch at Bua Thai, my fav restaurant and then taking in Hugh Jackman's new movie, The Fountain.
So, do to a full day ahead and an evening of cooking for Thanksgiving ahead of me, I'm going to cut this short.
I just wanted to give a quick top 10 of the things I'm thankful for.
10. My blog/online friends. You all are great!
9. Eyes to see, ears to hear, a mouth to speak and sing, hands to touch... God is so good.
8. A solid job that may drive me nuts, but definitely provides a good living.
7. A home to live and entertain in comfortably.
6. Music, Music, Music!
5. Great friends that are always there for tears or laughter.
4. The beauty of the universe that is constantly being pointed out to me.
3. Stories! Whether their mine or someone else's I'm reading. I love the written word.
2. My Family. They are the best anyone could ask for. I'm so blessed.
1. My Salvation. Thank God for a risen Savior that loves me and you.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 20, 2006
CFBA: Calm, Cool, & Adjusted by Kristin Billerbeck
This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Calm, Cool, and Adjusted by Kristin Billerbeck.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Best friends since Johnny Depp wore scissors for hands, "The Spa Girls" live very separate lives, but stay in touch with routine visits to California's Spa Del Mar.
The third novel in the Spa Girls Series focuses on Silicon Valley chiropractor Poppy Clayton, who is as calm, cool and adjusted as they come. Or is she? Known for her bad fashion sense, a love for all things natural and the inability to get a second date, Poppy is beginning to wonder if she might be misaligned herself. Her route to self discovery will be an unnatural one - a plastic surgeon, a dilapidated house in Santa Cruz, a flirtatious client, and a blind date from the dark side.
It's all enough to send a girl - and her gal pals - running for the comfort zone of their spa.
Kristin Billerbeck was born in Redwood City, California. She went to San Jose State University and majored in Advertising, then worked at the Fairmont Hotel in PR, a small ad agency as an account exec, and then, she was thrust into the exciting world of shopping mall marketing. She got married, had four kids, and started writing romance novels until she found her passion: Chick Lit.
Friday, November 17, 2006
White & Nerdy
|Found this on Google and had to share. I get this song stuck on my head all the time. Sadly enough, it's actually very me. My nephew played it for me first and I realized that I am this song. From the Happy Days theme song to the ren fest and the slams on blogs for your dog.|
P.S. I don't have my name in my underware. Thought you should know.
Stuck in the Labyrinth
I hate to say it, but I'm giving up on a book before finishing it. That rarely happens. I always finish a book with the hope that somehow it will redeem itself in the end despite page after page of drivel, but not this time.
I feel kind of horrible for quitting, but I just can't get into the story. The book is Labyrinth by Kate Moss and I've only made it a quarter of the way into the massive historical novel.
Here's what the publishers had to say:
July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth; between the skeletons, a stone ring, and a small leather bag.
Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade to stamp out heresy that will rip apart southern France, Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father as he leaves to fight the crusaders. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. As crusading armies led by Church potentates and nobles of northern France gather outside the city walls of Carcassonne, it will take great sacrifice to keep the secret of the labyrinth safe.
In the present, another woman sees the find as a means to the political power she craves; while a man who has great power will kill to destroy all traces of the discovery and everyone who stands in his way.
Intriguing, right? Mystery, ancient rights and rituals, action, suspense... it's supposed to have it all. But all I got was the yawns. This sounded like just the kind of book I would enjoy. I love a good intrigue. Toss in a secret society and a conspiracy theory and I should be staying up all night devouring the story. I'm not. I have to make myself pick it up and read.
Maybe it's just me. It certainly got rave reviews by other critics. Foreign rights to the story were sold to nine countries then an additional twenty-two. It's kind of hard to argue with that kind of success.
Anyway, I've decided there are too many good books that I will enjoy still sitting in my To Be Read pile for me to waste time reading something I don't enjoy. I'm scrapping this one and moving on.
Whew! That was a big step for me.
On a side note, after two years my friend at Trollville has closed up shop and the village is gone. Farewell Trollville, yours was a good blog. You taught this grasshopper much.
Scoop by Rene Gutteridge. For another great interview with Rene, visit Fiction Fanatics Only.
Don't forget, if you haven't entered to win a Projecting A 2007 magnet calendar, do it now. Just click on the bananas at the top of the page. There are only 13 more days until the drawing.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Awake & Lovin' It
Thankfully, I've had some really great music today to combat that jingle. We just got Josh Groban's new cd Awake.
It's Amazing. It's stunning. He's got to be one of the most blessed guys on earth. He was born with an incredible talent. Not only can he sing like an angel, but he plays multiple instruments and writes music too. His skills really shine on this cd as he steps up and takes a more prominent roll in the song writing, working with, to name a few, Imogen Heap, Dave Mathews and John Ondraisik from Five for Fighting.
He's included more english lyric songs on this album, which is kind of nice. Just off the cuff the songs that have caught my attention the most are Lullaby (written with Dave Mathews) and Un Giorno Per Noi (Romeo e Giulietta) an adaptation from the love theme from 1969's Romeo and Juliet. However, it's really hard to chose a favorite among them.
This is Josh's third album, and usually I find that no matter how much I like an artist there is usually one album that stands out more than the others. But I really can't say that with Josh, because all of the albums are phenomenal.
I've listened to him on repeat for most of the day, and I'm still not tired of hearing him sing. If you enjoy his music at all, then check this cd out.
Scoop by Rene Gutteridge. For a fun interview with Rene visit Scrambled Dregs.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
CFBA: Scoop by Rene Gutteridge
This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is posting about Scoop by Rene Gutteridge
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The Occupational Hazards Books are a series of books about seven homeschooled siblings whose last name is Hazard. The parents died in a freak accident leaving the kids ages 16-26 with a lucrative clown business but the kids realize that God has other plans which doesn't include being a family of clowns for the rest of their lives.
Scoop, is the first of the series and centers around Hayden, who was age 20 when her parents died. If you haven't yet guessed by the series title, this book is packed with many laugh out loud moments and great one liners.
Hayden is a strong Christian who, having been homeschooled, lacks some of the politically correct social norms...like not praying in front of everyone during a crisis. She finds herself in an internship at a television news station with a boss that takes stress pills, an aging news anchor that everyone wishes Botox on, a weatherman who wants to predict love for himself and Hayden, and a reporter struggling with his own politically correctness of being a good reporter and being a Christian.
Old School meets New School meets Homeschool. A smart and funny read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rene Gutteridge is the author of several novels, including Ghost Writer (Bethany House Publishers) The Boo Series (WaterBrook Press) and the Storm Series, (Tyndale House Publishers. She will release three novels in 2006: Storm Surge (Tyndale) My Life as a Doormat (WestBow Press, Women of Faith)Occupational Hazards Book #1: Scoop (WaterBrook Press).
She has also been published over thirty times as a playwright, best known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting under a Mass Communications degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University, and earned the "Excellence in Mass Communication" award. She served as the full-time Director of Drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writer's conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City.
Also, don't forget...
CSFF Blog Tour: Landon Snow and The Island of Arcanum by R.K. Mortenson
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
A's Wild Kingdom... Part 3?
I had another close encounter of the wild kind this weekend. I was doing a fantasy photo shoot for my nephew. He wanted to be a SWAT officer and a hunter, so we got the costumes together, then drove around shooting in several locations. Our last stop was the rock out croppings outside of my work location.
Our offices are in caves, so the outside is pretty cool to work with. It has kind of an industrial look for some shots and more woodsy look for others. Anyway, I had him climb up this brushy incline to pose in a rock alcove and everything was going great. I clomped around in the brush below taking pictures. After the last shot, I happened to look down and noticed something black at my feet.
What is that? I look closer. Is that a bicycle inner tube? I look closer. Are those scales? I look even closer. Yep. Those are scales.
"Where?!" Angel is standing beside me and after levitating back a few feet, I point to it. She's standing just on the other side of the 2 foot long black snakes sunning spot.
We both freak out a little and poor Aaron is now stuck on the rocks above and scared to come down. Wait, sorry. He's not scared of snakes, he likes snakes. He just doesn't want to come down. Angel finally talked him down around it after about 10 minutes.
What's he do the minute he's clear? He gets a stick and pokes it.
"Don't hurt it." I'm standing ten feet away, creeped out beyond measure, and I'm telling him not to hurt it. Go figure.
"I wanna take a picture of it." I'm thinking, Ugh, I don't want a picture of a snake on my camera. But he insisted, and then I thought, Well, I might as well share it on my blog . So here it is.
The snake wasn't moving, thankfully, it was only about 50 degrees out and the wind was kinda sharp, so I'm assuming it was sunning itself and too cold to move. I was just glad to finish up there and move on to a new site.
I've had enough of the Wild Kindom adventures lately, thank you 'Veddy Much'! It all puts me in the mind of Jim Stafford's song, "I don't like spiders and snakes..."
CSFF Blog Tour:
Landon Snow and The Island of Arcanum by R.K. Mortenson
Monday, November 13, 2006
CSFF: Landon Snow & The Island of Arcanum by R.K. Mortenson
CSFF Blog Tour: Landon Snow and The Island of Arcanum by R.K. Mortenson
About the Book:
Landon Snow is back in his third adventure into the realm of Wonderwood. This time, Landon Snow finds himself on a wild adventure at sea. When a huge, ark-like vessel emerges, Landon - and his sisters - join a quest to find the Island of Arcanum, where the animals of Wonderwood are imprisoned. With the help of his old friends-a horse named Melech, elfish valley folk, a girl named Ditty, and the poet/prophet Vates-Landon seeks to unlock the island's dark secrets and escape with the animals. But he must battle storms and the villainous Arcans-pirates who hoard animals as treasure. Will Landon ever make it back to Wonderwood alive?
About the Author:
R.K. (RANDALL KENT) MORTENSON, an ordained minister in the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, has been writing devotional and inspirational articles since 1995. R.K. is the author of the Landon Snow series. The adventures of Landon Snow are meaningful as they are entertaining and magical. Mortenson currently serves as a Navy chaplain in Florida. He lives with his wife and daughter in Jacksonville.
I'm still reading it, so I'll have to post them in a few days when I've finished, but I find the book idea very intriguing. In the meantime, be sure to check out my fellow CSFF Blog Tour members sites for their thoughts and reviews.
Todd Michael Greene
Karen and at
Lost Genre Guild
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Daniel I. Weaver
Friday, November 10, 2006
Flo's Got Answers - Have you got questions?
Do shoe companies really think we are going to eat the silica gel?
Dear Shoe Fetish,
Well, I certainly wouldn’t eat it. There are so many tastier things to snack on. Like Chocolate. If you really need the extra silica, I’d recommend a healthy serving of worm jell-o. (Worms are optional, but I like the red jello best.) Shoe companies are just protecting themselves against the idiots in the world that don’t know better and might sue them. Since I’m sure you’re a very intelligent person, (aren’t all shoe lovers intelligent?) their warning on the silica packets were not intended for you.
My kids love pancakes, which is good since their cheap and I’m poor, but I’m bored silly with eating the same ol’ thing. My son says if I can make birdseed pancakes like Big Bird eats, he’ll try those. You came to mind instantly. Got a good birdseed pancake recipe I can try?
Flatter than a Pancake
Big Bird is a dear friend of mine. I can’t count the times we’ve shared gossip over a plate of his delectable birdseed pancakes. It’s a family recipe you know, but he says I can share it with you anyway. Since you probably don’t like birdseed, I’ve substituted poppy seeds in the recipe.
Mama Big Bird’s Lemony Birdseed (poppy seed) Pancakes
Yield: 10 to 12 pancakes
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbls. poppy seeds
1 cup non-fat or lowfat lemon yogurt
1 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 cup cold water
Pre-heat nonstick griddle or frying pan over medium-low heat. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add egg, yogurt, lemonade concentrate and water. Mix until well blended.
Lightly coat griddle with cooking spray. Using soup ladle, pour batter onto griddle. Turn when bubbles appear and begin to pop on the surface. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! It really is this time, I swear! What should I do?
Dear Chicken Little,
My boy, we’ve been through this before. Sugar, you can’t sleep under an acorn tree, or an apple tree or a walnut tree…or anything else, without wearing protective gear. That last apple that hit you caused some real damage to that birdbrain of yours. I promise, the sky is not falling. Please call Dr. Doolittle’s Hospital of Animal Medicine and Psychiatry at 1-800-Vet-4YOU. I’m sure they can offer you the help you need.
Thank you all so much for your wonderful questions. I look forward to hearing from you again.
Thanks, Flo, for your words of wisdom. Just a few more things:
CFBA: The book of the moment is The Cubicle Next Door by Siri L. Mitchell. Read another great interview with the author at Scrambled Dregs. It's funny and surprising.
And be sure to enter to win a Projecting A 2007 calendar.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Let's see, where to start. First.... Anouncements, Anouncements, Anouncements...(you provide the singing.)
The winner of Coldwater Revival by Nancy Jo Jenkins is N. Moe. Congratulations! Your book is on its way. For the rest of you who entered, better luck next time. Stay with me, there are more contests coming.
Like this one: Win a Projecting A 2007 Calender magnet. Just click on the bananas in the side bar. I'll draw 8 winners on December 1st. Good Luck!
CFBA: The book of the moment is The Cubicle Next Door by Siri L. Mitchell. Read an interview with the author at Relz Reviewsz.
When you see it, let me know what you think by posting a comment back here.
See ya on the flip side,
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Happy Birthday To ME!
November is Projecting A's first birthday!
Can you believe it? It's been a whole year and you're still here reading me. Just for that you deserve something special. For all you loyal readers out there (and the occasional readers) I've got a present for you.
For anyone that clicks the bananas and emails me their snail mail address, you'll be entered into a drawing to win a Projecting A 2007 Calendar Magnet! They're 5.5 x 4.25 inches and are great for home or office.
I have 8 of these gifts to give away. I'm taking enteries until November 30th, 2007. On December 1st I'll put all enteries into a hat and draw 8 winners.
You can email me by clicking the link below or use the one in the side bar.
CFBA: The Cubicle Next Door by Siri L. Mitchell
Imagine that you are an anonymous blogger, one who uses a silly name instead of your own, then imagine blogging about your work. Now imagine blogging about your cubicle mate of the opposite sex and calling him by an anonymous name.
I know some who have done just that.
But now imagine that your cubicle mate has discovered your blog and begins to read it out loud to you. EVERY MORNING.
The Cubicle Next Door is set in a civilian's view of working on a military post. That in itself is funny enough...then add that the main character is a tree hugging, anti-SUV lover, with a thing for Bollywood movies. (Her favorite it Bride & Prejudice.) Suddenly this civilian hippie is thrown into a cubicle next to an Air Force Pilot/Teacher who drives...yep...an SUV. Can't you feel the love?
The Cubicle Next Door
by Siri L. Mitchell Released Aug 06
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
“So what do you think, Jackie?”
What do I think? Funny Joe should ask me that. He’s just finished reading my blog. He’s just quoted me to myself. Or is it myself to me? Do I sound surreal, as if I’m living in parallel universes?
The blog—my blog—is all about Joe. And other topics that make me want to scream. But the clever thing is, I’m anonymous. When I’m blogging.
I’m Jackie, Joe’s cubicle-mate when I’m not.
And that’s the problem.
Joe is asking Jackie (me) what I think about the Mystery Blogger (also me). And since I don’t want Joe to know the blog is all about me and what I think of him, I can’t tell him what I think about me.
My brain is starting to short circuit.
So if I can’t tell him what I think about me, I certainly can’t tell him what I think about him, so I’m going to have to pretend not to be me. Not me myself and not me The Cubicle Next Door Blogger—TCND to my fans.
I have fans!
If I were clever I’d say something like, “Look!” and point behind him and then duck out of the room when he turned around to look.
But there’s so much computer equipment stacked around my desk and so many cables snaking around the floor that I’d break my neck if I tried to run away. So that option is out.
I could try pretending I didn’t hear him. “What?”
“SUVs. So what do you think about them?”
But then we’d basically end up back where we started.
So how did I get myself into this mess?
It was all Joe’s fault.
Once again, I haven't had a chance to read this one yet. I'm so behind on my TBR stacks. But I really do want to read this one. It looks hysterical. Anyone else read it? I'd love to know what you thought.
On a side note, I think Siri got into my head space and used one of my ideas. I know, no ideas are new in the universe. Note even the blogiverse. But the whole reason I started the Projecting A blog was for research in writing the book idea.
Serves me right for being such a slow writer. :) Besides, I'm sure Siri's is way better anyway.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Un- Leashing my frustrations
I entered the Berry Burst Cheerios contest a while back. You had to re-write the lyrics to I Think I Love You to praise the new cereal. The winner was supposed to get to sing the song with David Cassidy. I entered kind of on a whim. I didn't win, but never did find out who DID win, so I'm not sure what happened with the contest. I didn't really care that much about meeting David Cassidy, but Angel was a fan. Anyway, I've had my own lyrics tumbling around with the original all day long. So it goes more like, "I was eating, when right in the middle of a spoonful, I noticed all the berries that fill up my Berry Burst Cheerios..... I think I love you, So what am I so afraid of, I'm afraid that I'm not sure of a love there is no cure for....." I'll have to find the recording I made for the contest and post it. I thought it was rather good. The lyrics that is.
What's your opinion on a leash law?
I can see the legitimacy of one. For the safety of everyone, it makes sense if your dog is not fenced or inside any kind of an enclosure, then they should be leashed or tethered to a skyline.
I've never really cared too much in the past if this law was followed by those around me or not. I love animals, so it doesn't bother me to see a pet loose in the yard with his owner. However, my neighbor up the street is quickly changing my mind.
My street is kind of wonky. It jogs from the connecting road on the opposite side of our cross street, it's a dead end and people line the street on both sides with their cars. It can get a little crowded.
About six months ago, Angel, Lindz and I were coming back home around 9 p.m. from a movie. It was dark and as we were going down my street, when something came flying out from between the parked cars and went under our tires before we even knew what had happened. We heard the thud and I got out to check it out. The guy that lives at that house comes running out of his garage screaming and cussing a blue streak. He scoops up a pug dog off the street and carries him over to lay him on the trunk of one of six cars in his driveway. (not guests, there are always that many.) I approached him to see if he was okay and he just cussed me out, claimed we were flying down the street (we weren't). He took the dog, jumped into his car and sped off.
To the best of my knowledge the dog lived. We all felt horrible, but his dog was running loose, it was small, and in the dark there was no warning for us. You'd think he would have learned his lesson and quit letting them run loose.
Three times since then, I've had to hit my breaks because one of his dogs is running across the street in front of my car. Luckily, I'm overly cautious now and I watch really close for the dogs. But who else does? How many people know to watch the cars in front of his house to see if a fur ball is loose?
If he really cared about his dogs, he'd keep them safe. Obviously they don't stay in his yard and they don't come at his command. It makes me so angry that he would continue to risk their safety like that. He doesn't deserve to have dogs if he can't take care of them properly. All it would take is a leash and he'd never have to fear their getting hit.
And that concludes the public service announcement for the day... .
Wentworth Miller & Dominic Purcell
On a different note, did anyone watch Prison Break last night? I was so excited that Sarah and Michael finally found each other. Then the stupid girl left him. I wanted to scream. What am I saying... I did scream. This show has me biting off all my fingernails and yelling instructions to the TV screen. It's worse than Alias.
I love Prison Break. Plus it has the absolutely fabulous Dominic Purcell. Ahh, now there's a fine speciman. I cast him as my model for the lead male in my current novel. If it ever makes it to publication, then on to the silver screen, I'm lobbying for Dominic to play the role. I don't care how old he is when the time comes.
Don't forget to enter the FIRST contest to win a free copy of Nancy Jo Jenkins Coldwater Revival. Just leave a comment HERE.
Monday, November 06, 2006
The Weekend Movie Review
This is kind of how I'm feeling today... or most days actually.
A co-worker sent this to me and it was just Oh SO appropriate.
So I had big plans for this weekend. Errand running and all that, but instead I was a lazy bum and didn't leave my house all day Saturday. I watched movies and played no risk Texas hold'em poker with my sister and nephew. Surprisingly enough I do okay at poker, but I think that's only because we're not using real money. If real debt was at risk, I'd fail miserably.
I watched way too much TV this weekend. I thought I'd play movie critic for a day for those interested.
Started off with a 1942 B&W movie from TMC called Cat People.
When the naval construction designer Oliver Reed (Kent Smith) meets the Serbian Irena Dubrovna Reed (Simone Simon) in the zoo, he flirts with her and they sooner fall in love and marry each other. However, Irena is afraid of an ancient course of her town that women can not be touched by a man, otherwise she will transform in a panther, and the couple does not consummate their marriage. Irena is sent for treatment with the psychiatrist Dr. Louis Judd (Tom Conway), while Oliver looks for "consolation" with his colleague Alice Moore (Jane Randolph). When Irena sees that she is losing Oliver to Alice, she becomes jealous and hateful, leading to a tragic end.
It was interesting, but a little overly dramatic. It's hard to say though, it's an old film, so what I would consider overly dramatic or cheesy now - may have been much more the norm in '42. I think the story could have been a little more detailed. I wanted to know more about her as a cat. The suspense was good, and you could see that she worried about whether she was a cat person or not, but you didn't really get WHY she worried. Whether it was just a general fear or if she had real reasons to wonder. There were some general clues, like animals fearing her, but other than that, it seemed kind of vague. Maybe too simplistic. I still enjoyed it though.
Next was The Visitation
The Visitation reveals a small town torn apart by supernatural events involving a mysterious stranger and his unsolved past.
This one was based on Frank Perretti's book of the same name. It dealt with the end times theme of false prophets and the anti-christ. I read the book when it first came out and loved it, but it's been long enough it was hard to remember how closely the movie stuck the novel. I enjoyed the movie, but I remember liking the book better. That could just be me though. I almost always prefer the book. It was just scary enough for me to be a little creeped out, but not too bad. I don't usually do horror, but Frank Perretti's work is an exception because his work deals with the topic from a Christian perspective.
I re-watched Teen Wolf.
Teen discovers that puberty for him means he turns into a werewolf. One of the beneficial side effects is that it also turns him into a top-notch basketball player. But will his notoriety cost him his friends and can he find true love?
I think this was at least the fourth time I've seen this one, but I haven't watched it in years. I love Michael J Fox's work. This movie falls into the cheesy teen movie category, but it's so much fun. It's a good brainless late night watch.
I tried to watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
A noir send-up. A narrator introduces himself at a Hollywood party: he's Harry Lockhart, a thief from New York, in L.A. for a screen test. He meets Gay Perry, a glitzy private eye who's to school him for his role; there's Harmony Lane, a wannabe actress whose time has passed; the host is an aging actor who starred in detective movies, plus his daughter, with starlet looks and a choppy past. The next day, Gay and Harry stake out a house where Gay is to take surreptitious photographs for a client - what they find is a corpse. From there, twists and connections abound and bodies pile up. Who's double-crossing whom? And, has Harry found Harmony too late to save himself from misery?
A co-worker recommended this one. The previews did look funny and he claimed it was very clever and humerous. I managed to get through the first 20 minutes before giving it up as crap. The language was really bad, it wasn't funny and it was BORING. I don't recommend this one.
The last one was a 1934 B&W mystery called The Thin Man.
Young Dorothy Wynant approaches amateur sleuth Nick Charles when her inventor father appears to be a major suspect in a murder case. In fact, Dorothy is so worried about her father's guilt that she tries to convince Nick that she did it. Nick's wife Nora wants him on the case so that she can experience some of the excitement herself. However, Nick is reluctant to get involved until he sees that police Lt. Guild is coming to the wrong conclusions. Nick decides that the best way to clear up the case is to invite all the suspects to dinner with Lt. Guild and see what happens...
This was probably the best one I watched all weekend. I loved it! It was so funny and clever and I didn't figure out who-done-it until the very end. The husband and wife team have a great relationship and there are a lot of one liners and zingers. I wish Nick hadn't been such a lush. He's done up as such a laughable, easy going drinker that never really comes across as drunk, that it's hard to dislike the drinking. Plus for the era the movie was made it comes across as very normal. So other than that I HIGHLY recommend this one.
That does it for the weekend movie review. The rest was just miscellaneous TV shows here and there that I had taped. Like reruns of Galactica 1980. Hence the song stuck on my head...
Don't forget that you can still enter the FIRST contest to win a copy of Nancy Jo Jenkin's Coldwater Revival. Just leave a comment HERE.
Friday, November 03, 2006
There's just one thing to say...
I'm so glad it's Friday. I've been deaf in one ear all day. My phone ear none the less. I feel quite a bit like that picture looks.
My weekend looks to be full of errand running. I broke my unbreakable glasses on Wedensday just by wiping them off. Not the lenses mind you, but the titanium bridge in the middle. Snapped right in half. First time I've ever broken a pair of glasses in my life and I've been wearing them for 19 years.
So much for unbreakable.
Then, joy of all joys, I get to return jeans that were mis-marked to the store and start the hunt for clothes that fit all over again. After that, who knows. If I'm not completely depressed and despondent after trying on clothes, I might splurge and go see a movie.
Have a great weekend everyone,
P.S. Don't forget to register to win a copy of Coldwater Revival by Nancy Jo Jenkins. To enter, leave a comment here.
P.P.S. Flo's still taking questions for next weeks column. Click her button on the right to send your questions.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Ding Dong the Mouse is Dead
Ah, Kenny. The man of my dreams. Well, my five year old dreams. I had such a crush on him. His music still makes me all goose-bumpy.
Ding Dong the Mouse is Dead! Yay! I found him in the trap last night. I'm so proud of how I've handled this. I didn't move out (yes, I've done that to avoid a mouse), I did sleep everynight without obsessing that it might crawl into bed with me, I set my own traps and last night I actually trashed it by myself. I didn't empty the trap mind you, the whole thing went in to the trash, but that's a good start.
Dad was so proud of me. He's probably relieved I no longer wake him up in the middle of the night because 'I think I hear a mouse'. I know, I'm pathetic.
I'm just so glad it's gone. I reset the traps just in case, and I baited, but I'm really hoping that's the end of it.
On a much happier and less creepy note, Flo has recieved her first letter. She'll try to do them all weekly. So if there are any more questions, be sure to Ask Flo by clicking the button on the side bar. She loves to hear from ya'll.
Don't forget to enter the FIRST contest to win a copy of Coldwater Revival by Nancy Jo Jenkins. Just leave a comment here to enter the drawing.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
FIRST: Coldwater Revival by Nancy Jo Jenkins
It is November 1st, time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour! (Join our alliance! Click the button!) The FIRST day of every month we will feature an author and their latest book's FIRST chapter!
This blog is featuring a contest to win a copy of Nancy's new book, Coldwater Revival. Just put in a comment and you may be the winner!
Just three weeks before her wedding, Emma Grace Falin has returned to her hometown of Coldwater, Texas, consumed by a single, burning desire. She must confront the guilt and shame of a devastating event that has haunted her since childhood.
"...What a stunning debut novel."
--Wendy Lawton, Literary Agent, author of Impressions in Clay
"An astonishing debut! Coldwater Revival is a hauntingly beautiful story made doubly so by Nancy Jo Jenkins stunning, lyrical writing. I was mesmerized from cover to cover."
--Deborah Raney, author of A Nest of Sparrows and A Vow to Cherish
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Meet Nancy Jo...
Q. How long did it take you to write Coldwater Revival?
A. I perceived the idea for Coldwater Revival in June, 2003, and completed the manuscript in March, 2005.
Q. Tell us about your journey from writer to published novelist.
A. During my teaching career, I dreamed of the day when I could write the stories that continually swam around in my head. I didn't know at the time that it would take me four or five years of attending workshops, conferences, retreats, lectures, and of studying tapes, books and other materials before I was ready to put my newly-acquired knowledge to use, and begin writing the stories that God had prompted me to write. In March, 2004, at the Mount Hermon Christian Writing Conference, I submitted a book proposal to Steve Laube (Literary agent), and Jeff Dunn, (Acquisitions Editor) for RiverOak. Both gentlemen asked me to send them all I had written on Coldwater Revival, which at the time was 109 pages. During the summer of 2004, both men offered me a contract. My book was published by RiverOak and released in May, 2006.
Q. The agony and healing Emma Grace went through are so real. What personal experiences did you draw from to portray Emma Grace's feelings so well?
A. There was a time in my life when I suffered with depression, though it was not due to a death in the family, as Emma Grace's was. At the time, it seemed that I was in a daily knock-down, drag-out fistfight with sadness. I was truly blessed in that I was never prescribed any kind of medication to treat my depression, which proved to be relatively short-lived. But I did receive counseling, which was just what I needed to win the battle with this debilitating condition. During that time of depression I endured many of the symptoms that Emma Grace suffered through. Excessive sleeping was about the only symptom we did not share. There were times when I couldn't swallow my food, and times when I could almost touch the face of that same blackness that almost overwhelmed Emma Grace. Her sorrow and guilt were difficult scenes for me to write, and I found myself crying each time I wrote about Emma Grace's sadness and the continual ache in her heart.
Q. Emma Grace loses all desire for life when her brother dies - not eating or talking, just living in the blissful cocoon of sleep. Do you have any advice for folks who are in that dark place right now?
A. Communication was the key that unlocked the door of depression for me. Communicate with God, even if the only words you can utter are the words, "Help me." But I also benefited greatly from talking to a certified counselor; one who was trained in helping people express their pain, their needs, their fears. I hope that anyone who feels sad and lonely for an extended length of time, will contact their pastor, or someone who can direct them to a Christian counselor.
Q. Emma Grace's grandmother lives in the city while the rest of the family lives in the country. Why do you think she didn't move out to the country with the rest of the family long ago?
A. Granny Falin immigrated from Ireland to America with her husband and son when Emma Grace's papa was just a lad. This family shared a dream about their new country. It would be a place where they could find work and prosperity, raise their family, and put down roots. Even the Great Hurricane of 1900 couldn't wash those dreams from Granny's heart. Though her only remaining child lived a hundred miles away in the rural township of Coldwater, Texas, Granny could never leave Galveston. The island and the sea that surrounded the island were her home now. It was where the ashes of her husband and three children were buried. It was the home she and her husband had dreamed of during their desperate years together in Ireland. If she left Galveston and moved to Roan's home, she would be giving up the dream she had shared with her husband.
Q. Papa and Elo have a tough time showing their emotions. Elo, especially, is so hard to read in the book. Why do you think some people hole up inside themselves rather than sharing their emotions?
A. I believe we are born with a portion of our personality already deeply embedded within us. Some people are reticent to express their feelings and emotions, while others have no problem whatsoever in expressing what they feel or think. I have known many individuals who are like Elo; people we sometimes refer to as "the strong, silent type". Papa and Elo are powerful protectors and providers who waste little time and effort on words. Both of these men feel that "actions speak louder than words". Added to that is the fact that Elo feels extreme discomfort when his mother and sisters are emotionally distraught, therefore, he maintains a rigid demeanor, in part, to provide a stable link in the chain that makes up his family - The Falins.
Q. Do you have other books coming out soon?
A. Thank you for asking about my upcoming books. I'm about to submit my proposal for a novel entitileld, "Whisper Mountain". This story takes place in the early 1900's in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is the story about lost love, and a desperate woman's journey to fill the void that deprivation and loss have left in her heart. The story has elements of mystery, intrigue, murder, and of course, romance. I'm very excited about this story. I've also begun writing a sequel to "Coldwater Revival" which will parallel both Emma Grace's life after 1933, and the adventurous trek Elo begins when he falls in love.
Three weeks before I was to marry Gavin O'Donnell, I set my feet upon the beaten path leading to Two-Toe Creek. What I had to offer Gavin in marriage—my whole heart, or just a part—depended on the
decision I would make today.
As my feet tracked the dusty pathway they stirred loose soil to the air. My heart stirred as well, for the guilt I had buried in its depths smoldered as though my brother had just died, and not five years earlier. In the shadowed days following the tragedy, my disgrace had glared like a packet of shiny new buttons. I'd not thought to hide it at the time. In truth, I'd thought of little, other than how to survive. But at some point during that time of sorrowful existence, when my days and nights strung together like endless telegraph wires, I dug a trench around my heart and buried my shame.
From that day until this, I deeded myself the actor's role, closing the curtain on my stain of bitter memories, hiding my sorrow behind a veil of pretense. But that old deceiver, Time, had neither softened my guilt nor put it to rest; only allowed it ample pause to fester like deadly gangrene. Now, as the day of my wedding drew near, my heart cried out for healing. It was, you see, far wiser than my head. My heart understood its need for restoration—before I exchanged wedding vows with Gavin. For this reason, I now walked the trail to Two-Toe Creek. To revisit my failures of yesteryear and reclaim the peace that had slipped past the portals of my childhood. Perhaps then I could give Gavin the entirety of my heart.
I haven't finished this one yet, I got a late start reading it, but so far I've really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure if I would, since it seemed more 'literary' then I would usually choose. But I'm finding instead that I'm being pulled right in to the story without any effort.
As a writer I've heard the advice more than once, "Keep your words unobtrusive. The reader shouldn't be aware of your words, only your story." Nancy Jo throughs that advice out the window and proves you can do that and still have an engaging story. Her phrasing and dialouge seem almost lyrical, but not so much that it gets in the way of the story. I can't wait to finish the book.