Archive for March, 2016

Movie Mayhem – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

If you’ve ever seen some of the those SyFy original movies that pit some weird creature against another, you know that the creatures rarely ever actually fight one another. Mega Shark vs. Kolossus, Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark, Dinocroc vs Supergator, Megapython vs Gatoroid (yes, these are all actual movies) — they all have one thing in common (besides the eye-rolling names): the title characters fight for only a few minutes at the end of the movie before one or both are “destroyed” until the sequel. Up until that point, the story focuses on a set of stock characters that may or may not have anything to do with the other up until the creatures finally hit the ring. I couldn’t help be reminded of this format while watching Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, albeit with a much higher budget, better performances and strong cinematic appeal. Read Full Review

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Meet Lauren Mead – The Spirit Of…

Next up in my series of character introductions for my new novel, The Spirit Of…, is Lauren Mead, best friend and fellow archaeologist of Matthew Stevens. The two met nine years ago as part of the same expedition to Egypt and have been basically inseparable (professionally, that is) ever since. My theory for this is her deference for Matthew. Lauren’s history with men hasn’t been remarkable — in fact, it’s been downright brutal — and there was a kindness in Matthew I believe Lauren became attached to, and hasn’t been able to give up since.

Learn more about Lauren Mead

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Movie Mayhem – The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Unlike The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, I have yet to read Veronica Roth’s Divergent novels (though I do have them sitting on my bookshelf). The reason I bring this up is because it means I have no basis for comparison. With The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, I knew the story, knew all the secrets and knew where they were headed… and when the filmmakers changed things up, the reaction was anywhere from mild annoyance to mind-numbing aggravation (really? you’re going to cut out Voldemort’s entire back story?). Divergent is entirely different. Because I have no frame of reference, my enjoyment for this series comes directly from the filmmaker’s vision. I have no idea how much may have been changed or altered to better fit the cinematic adaptation. All I have are what’s come before, and through that, The Divergent Series: Allegiant may have its issues, but is still a good continuation of the series thus far. Read Full Review

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Meet Matthew Stevens – The Spirit Of…

As you may know, my new novel, The Spirit Of…, is being released on June 3, so in an attempt to build some anticipation for the book, I’ll be introducing you all to the major characters over the next three months.

First up is Matthew Stevens, archaeologist and Professor of Archaeology at Yale University. At least he was a professor before he squandered all of his grant money on a fool’s attempt to locate the city of Atlantis. And this wasn’t the first time he’d ruffled feathers in the scientific and archaeological communities. His theories and ideas have never been widely excepted. Some even went so far as to dub them blasphemous. Just reading a snippet of his graduate thesis gives you some insight into why: Learn more about Matthew Stevens

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Movie Mayhem – Zootopia

To understand Zootopia is to understand one specific scene you’d never expect to see in a kid’s film, much less a Disney movie. At one point during newly-minted cop Judy Hopps’s (voiced with enthusiastic glee by Ginnifer Goodwin) investigation into the disappearance of an otter (one of a dozen missing animals) leads her to an awkward encounter at — wait for it — a nudist colony. Aside from the hysterical sequence in the sloth-infested DMV Disney introduced us to during the initial full trailer, this has to be the funniest, if not the weirdest scene in the film, mostly because of the reactions clothed animals have toward their naked counterparts. The real reason it works is the reason the entire film hits all the right notes — writers Jared Bush and Phil Johnston, who sprinkle the script with so much wry, ironic humor, they make cringe-inducing absurdity feel right at home  alongside honest, genuine emotion and… racial commentary? Yeah, it’s that kind of movie. Read Full Review

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IndieBook Review – Shizzle, Inc.


Shizzle, Inc. — A Novel by Ana Spoke

Comedy is subjective. Like snowflakes, no one sense of humor is the same; everyone has their own personal humor thermometer. In essence, you’re either a Simpson or a Griffin; a Murray or a Carrey; a Zucker or a Wayans. I’m aware there are some who love them all equally, and still others who hate them all just as equally. None of it’s wrong; it all comes down to taste.

The reason I mention this is because Shizzle, Inc., the debut novel by Australian author Ana Spoke, is a full-blown comedic romp with plenty of hits and plenty of misses, all rolled into a tortilla that’s oddly offbeat and manic at times, but then heavily structured and realistic at others, leading to a mixed bag of humor that some may find hilarious and whimsical through and through, and some may find too unstructured and chaotic for their tastes. Me? I I fall somewhere in between. Read Full Review

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Farewell to American Idol

Back in the height of American Idol‘s success, I used to try to predict the outcomes of each season. Once the finalists got down to the top ten, I’d list each one in the order of how I felt they’d be ousted, based not only by what I thought, but by what everyone else was saying. And I have to say, barring any surprise Sanjaya’s, I didn’t do a terrible job at it. In season 6, when Jordan Sparks won, I had the top 4 picked perfectly; and in season 7, I had David Cook over David Archuleta the whole time. But over the last few years, aside from Philip Phillips, I just haven’t been all that excited by many of the contestants (if any), so I stopped trying to predict the outcomes. Well, now that Idol is in its last and farewell season, I thought I’d take one last spin through the prediction whirlwind and see if my prognostication skills are still in tune with the general public’s. Read My Predicitions

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