Sunday, December 31, 2017

Clink 2018

*! clink !*

Y'ALL !!!

Darcy in Wonderland by Alexa Adams

Darcy in Wonderland
by Alexa Adams

Find out more about this book and author:
Blog Tour Guest Post

Just released: July 15, 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Mashup, Jane Austen theme, Alice in Wonderland theme, Fantasy, Retelling
Paperback: 254
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
"Papa! Papa! The most wondrous thing has happened!"

Fitzwilliam Darcy stifled the indulgent smile threatening his lips. "Alice, please recall our many conversations on manners."

Twinkle, twinkle, amber cross!
For a chain, it’s at a loss.
Heavy links or simple loop,
Do not dunk it in your soup.

The worlds of beloved authors collide as Fitzwilliam Darcy, Jane Austen’s immortal hero, finds himself thrust into the topsy-turvy world of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland.

Many years have passed since Elizabeth Bennet became mistress of Pemberley, and the Darcys’ six children stand testament to their enduring love. As the eldest prepare to enter the world, Alice, the youngest and most intrepid of the brood, ensures that life at Pemberley never grows dull. Her curious mind and penchant for mischief often prove trying, but never more so than when her father follows her down a mysterious rabbit hole, disrupting his orderly world in ways never before imagined. A treat for the young and the old, Darcy in Wonderland is both an adventure and homage to two of literature’s greatest minds.

My two-bits:

Whimsical mashup of Alice in Wonderland and Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy. Imagine Alice's adventure down the rabbit hole with a companion - her dad, Mr. Darcy (of Pride and Prejudice). Quite a romp!

Mostly an Alice story that is bookended with scenes of life with the Darcy's (post P&P).


* review copy courtesy of author

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Lovely Books and Things - 12.30.17

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)


Managed to get some reading done this week of short novels, magazines and graphic novels.

I have been searching my bookshelves this week to figure out which book (excluding requested review copies) will be THE ONE to open the new year with - for First Book Of The Year 2018 hosted by Book Journey (details) Have you picked yours?

Current happy things:

1. See's nuts and chews chocolates

2. Release of Kpop song Instagram by Dean and album Her by DPR Live

3. Decorating cookies from the Trader Joe's Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookie Kit



Lies Jane Austen Told Me
by Julie Wright
-Chick-lit, Jane Austen
Amazon | Goodreads

LOOKS like a fun one.

Small Wonders
Life Portrait in Miniature
by Tatsuya Tanaka
-Photography, Miniatures
Amazon | Goodreads

LOVE the whimsical creations and scenarios. Ready to go see the new Matt Damon film, Downsizing after looking through this.

AND watched: on AmazonPrime

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017)
season one
tv series
Creator: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Stars: Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Borstein, Michael Zegen
-Comedy, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

A housewife in the 1950s decides to become a stand-up comic.

LOVED how this was done with its colors and soundtrack. Learned some behind the scenes stuff about comediennes.

The Big Sick (2017)
Director: Michael Showalter
Writers: Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano
-Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings.

STANDS up to the hype. Enjoyable film about interracial relationships particularly in regards to the Muslim religion.

Killing Gunther (2017)
Director/Writer: Taran Killam
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cobie Smulders, Hannah Simone
-Action, Comedy | imdb | my rating: 3

A group of eccentric assassins are fed up with Gunther, the world's greatest hitman, and decide to kill him, but their plan turns into a series of bungled encounters as Gunther seems to always be one step ahead.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: eight. how i met your mother. Cobie Smulders

FUNNY, cute take on hit men.

AND watched: on DVD

Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Director: Rupert Sanders
Screenplay: Jamie Moss, William Wheeler, Ehren Kruger
Based on the comic: Shirow Masamune
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano
-Action, Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 3

In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: twelve. lethal weapon. Chin Han

LIKED the visuals. The story was okay. Reminded me a bit of Blade Runner.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
Director: Tim Burton
Screenplay: Jane Goldman
Writer/based on the novel by Ransom Riggs
Stars: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson
-Adventure, Drama, Family | imdb | my rating: 4

When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: twenty-three. the west wing. Allison Janney

INTERESTING peculiar characters. I liked the world building and curious to read the book for more details.

50/50 (2011)
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Will Reiser
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
-Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 4

Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: twenty-four. the x-files. Donna Yamamoto

PERSPECTIVE of young adult cancer patient is portrayed in a thoughtful way.

AND watched: online

Flight of the Living Dead (2007)
Plane Dead (original title)
Director/Writer: Scott Thomas
Writers: Sidney Iwanter, Mark Onspaugh
Stars: David Chisum, Kristen Kerr, Kevin J. O'Connor
-Action, Horror, Sci-Fi | imdb | my rating: 4

A fellow scientist accidentally escapes containment aboard a plane during turbulence. After she is gunned down by a security guard, she reanimates as a zombie, killing and infecting several passengers and crew members on board the flight. A U.S. federal air marshall, along with a police officer, a flight attendant and a handful of survivors, must ride out the horrific flight just long enough to stay alive.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: ten. judging amy. Siena Goines

FOUND slithering zombies in this one. Little bit of campy, science, military and a plane load of zombies.

I did not get to watch all the Hallmark Christmas movies I had planned. But did find this SNL skit about the films in general amusing. Gotta love James Franco ;-)


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently


Friday, December 29, 2017

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas:
Being a Jane Austen Mystery
by Stephanie Barron
narrated by Kate Reading

Find out more about this book and author:
Website | Blog

Published: 2014
Publisher: Soho Crime
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Christmas, Jane Austen
Hardback: 336
Rating: 4

Jane Austen Mysteries series:
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor
Jane and the Man of the Cloth
Jane and the Wandering Eye
Jane and the Genius of the Place
Jane and the Stillroom Maid
Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House
Jane and the Ghosts of Netley
Jane and His Lordship's Legacy
Jane and the Barque of Frailty
Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron
Jane and the Canterbury Tale
Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas
Jane and the Waterloo Map

First sentence(s):
"Jane," said my mother over the lolling head of the parson slumbering beside her, "be so good as to shift your bandbox and secure my reticule.

Jane Austen turns sleuth in this delightful murder mystery set over the twelve days of a Regency-Era Christmas party.

Christmas Eve, 1814: Jane Austen has been invited to spend the holiday with family and friends at The Vyne, the gorgeous ancestral home of the wealthy and politically prominent Chute family. As the year fades and friends begin to gather beneath the mistletoe for the twelve days of Christmas festivities, Jane and her circle are in a celebratory mood: Mansfield Park is selling nicely; Napoleon has been banished to Elba; British forces have seized Washington, DC; and on Christmas Eve, John Quincy Adams signs the Treaty of Ghent, which will end a war nobody in England really wanted.

Jane, however, discovers holiday cheer is fleeting. One of the Yuletide revelers dies in a tragic accident, which Jane immediately views with suspicion. If the accident was in fact murder, the killer is one of Jane’s fellow snow-bound guests. With clues scattered amidst cleverly crafted charades, dark secrets coming to light during parlor games, and old friendships returning to haunt the Christmas parties, whom can Jane trust to help her discover the truth and stop the killer from striking again?

My two-bits:

Wonderful mashup of Jane Austen, Christmas and mystery. Loved learning a bit of Christmas activities in the 1800's.

Makes me want to do some embroidery.


* Listened to audiobook version.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Shoplifter by Michael Cho

by Michael Cho

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2014
Publisher: Pantheon
Genre: Graphic Novel, Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Hardback: 96
Rating: 5

Corrina Park used to have big plans.

Studying English literature in college, she imagined writing a successful novel and leading the idealized life of an author. But she’s been working at the same advertising agency for the past five years and the only thing she’s written is... copy. Corrina knows there must be more to life, but and she faces the same question as does everyone in her generation: how to find it?

Here is the brilliant debut graphic novel about a young woman’s search for happiness and self-fulfillment in the big city.


My two-bits:

This coming of age story was told in a beautiful way with a pink tinge. The sense of living in the city as a young single woman comes through well.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Lovely Books and Things - 12.23.17

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)


My attention span has been short with reading. I am reading a mystery book ever so slowly, like a couple pages a day. However, I am enjoying it.

Current happy things:

1. Christmas cards in the mailbox

2. YouTube episode clips of At Home with Amy Sedaris

3. Artwork of New York experiences on instagram by Jenny Kroik



2018 Planner - Paris theme

Compound Butter
Little White Lies
Mollie Makes - with reindeer tree decoration kit

For Review:

Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen's Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues
edited by Christina Boyd
-Historical Romance, Anthology, Jane Austen
Amazon | Goodreads

GOING to read one story a month starting in January.


Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas:
Being a Jane Austen Mystery
by Stephanie Barron
Amazon | Goodreads

MY holiday pick for this month.

OTHER things (kinda book-related):

Book Blogger Hop
features a book related question
Sponsored by The Coffee Addicted Writer (details)

This week's prompt: Have you ever asked co-workers to give you a book or B&N gift card if they got your name for a Secret Santa gift exchange? If so, did you get what you asked for?
(submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

NOPE - the office does the white elephant thing.

AND watched: in theatre

SMUIN Christmas Ballet
at Yerba Buena Center (details)

FUN show to get into the holiday spirit.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Release: The Scent of Rain by Anne Montgomery

The Scent of Rain
by Anne Montgomery
-Social & Family Issues, YA
Published: March 28, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.

Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl--Rose--running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.

With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father's age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?


Chapter One

Rose Madsen couldn’t risk staying out much longer. She still felt the paddle blows—what her mother called “appropriate corrective measures”—from the last time she’d disappeared for too long. But the chill of the spring morning had eased following sun-up, a full two hours after Rose had risen to do her pre-breakfast chores, and now the high desert sky was a cloudless blue. When she got back, she’d have to bathe, dress, and feed Becky, a chore she didn’t mind doing, but right now all she wanted was to wade in the creek and feel the sun on her face. Becky could wait a little while longer.

“Recalcitrant,” her mother often said, referring to her seventh daughter. Rose rolled the word around in her mouth, but the term had too many sharp edges. Other folks in town didn’t use words like recalcitrant. Children were either good or bad. She’d overheard people say Mother’s vocabulary was too prideful, a sin that needed correcting, and struggled with the thought of Mother as a sinner.

Rose dipped a hand into the stream and marveled that just a day earlier it had been dry as a bone, nothing but fine sand and loose rock. But then the snow high in the mountains had melted, delivering a clear, cold flow that Rose knew would quickly disappear.

She dabbed at the milk splotches on the hem of her ankle-length cotton dress. She’d been milking cows for over ten years, but no matter how often she squeezed those velvety teats, she could never avoid splashing her clothes. Rose scrubbed at the almost invisible stains on the sky-blue fabric knowing that Mother would probably spot them no matter how hard she worked. She’d be shut up in that tiny room in the barn, forced to study her dog-eared book of scriptures and go without food because “dirty clothes proved one harbored dirty thoughts.” No matter how often Mother said that, Rose had no idea what it meant.

She removed her Nikes and socks and stepped into the current, bunching her skirt with one hand, lest the garment trail in the water providing proof she’d sneaked away. The water rushed around her legs, numbing them to mid-calf. She shivered. It was exhilarating. She closed her eyes and lifted her face to the sky. If only she could stay here as long as she wanted.

She drew in a deep breath of cool, desert air and started to step back out onto the creek bank when a rock beneath the sparkling surface caught her eye and drew her hand into the flow. The stone was egg-shaped, spotted with the remains of multi-colored pebbles. She remembered learning in science class that stones like this were made up of smaller rocks that had been forced deep into the earth, melted, and fused together, only to reemerge countless years later to be washed and tumbled by the river, edges softened, rounded. She held the stone in her palm and ran her thumb over its smooth surface.

How long had this transformation taken? Mr. Wayland, who had proudly passed his rock samples around the classroom, might have known the answer. But he was gone, and the school was closed. Large goats had eaten away the greenery that once surrounded the building that housed the classrooms. A sign above the doorway still read Colorado City Unified School District #14. Trash littered the grounds that were hemmed in by a chain link fence. The Prophet had decreed that all children should be home schooled. And so they were.

Rose wanted to keep the stone, but that was impossible. The telltale smoothness of the rock would surely shout out that its life had been spent tumbling in the riverbed, one of the many places Rose was never allowed to go. Mother had warned her repeatedly about the terrible flash floods that could barrel down the mountain without warning, sweeping away everything near Short Creek. Rose wriggled her toes in the frigid stream, then sighed and dropped the stone back into the water where it landed with a plunk.

About the author:
Anne Butler Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. Her first TV job came at WRBL-TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC-TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP-TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award-winning SportsCenter. She finished her on-camera broadcasting career with a two-year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces. Her novels include: The Scent of Rain, Nothing But Echoes, and A Light in the Desert. Montgomery teaches journalism at South Mountain High School in Phoenix, is a foster mom to three sons, and is an Arizona Interscholastic Association football referee and crew chief. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, football officiating, scuba diving, and playing her guitar.

Find out more about this book and author:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lovely Books and Things - 12.16.17

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)


I did some holiday shopping and sightseeing (of store holiday decorations) last week which will continue into this week. I may not buy anything else, but I am enjoying just walking amongst the holiday vibe.

Inspired by the Happy Planner, I started a list of goals for next year which I need to now organize and prioritize.

Current happy things:

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
2. The Merriest by June Christy (holiday song)
3. Making soup with a blender stick - so easy
4. Mini Dark Chocolate Mint Star cookies from Trader Joe's



by Abdelilah Hamdouchi
translated by Jonathan Smolin
-Mystery, Africa, Morocco
Amazon | Goodreads

JANUARY pick for face-to-face book club that reads foreign mysteries.


From Owlcrate package (details & signup):
OwlCrate is a subscription service that sends you magical monthly boxes tailored to a chosen theme. Each OwlCrate will contain one new Young Adult novel, as well as 3-5 other bookish treats to help you get your nerd on. @owlcrate

DECEMBER Box includes:
theme: Seize the Day

- Owlcrate info booklet, button and spoiler cards
- Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills (exclusive cover)
- Signed bookplate, letter and embroidered patch from author
- Wooden ornament inspired by Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon created by Juniper & Ivy Designs
- Soy candle inspired by The Names Tjeu Gave Us by Emery Lord created by Novelly Yours
- Double-sided bookmark inspired by The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky created by Little Inklings Designs
- Magnet inspired by Percy Jackson created by Ink & Wonder Designs
- Planner and reading journal inspired by Owlcrate created by Blue Star Press
- Tote bag inspired by the Harry Potter series created Bookworm boutique

Foolish Hearts
by Emma Mills
-Contemporary, YA
Amazon | Goodreads

When Claudia accidentally eavesdrops on the epic breakup of Paige and Iris, the it-couple at her school, she finds herself in hot water with prickly, difficult Iris. Thrown together against their will in the class production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, along with the goofiest, cutest boy Claudia has ever known, Iris and Claudia are in for an eye-opening senior year.

Smart, funny, and thoroughly, wonderfully flawed, Claudia navigates a world of intense friendships and tentative romance in this book about expanding your horizons, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and accepting―and loving―people for who they really are.

OTHER things (kinda book-related):

Happy Birthday Jane Austen!
December 16

Celebrated Jane's birthday last weekend with JASNA. Along with cake and good cheer, the meeting included a wonderful guest speaker panel of Jane Austenesque writers moderated by DiAnn Ellis and starring Abigail Bok, Emmy Z. Madrigal, Jeanette Watts and Reina Williams.

Their books include:

An Obstinate, Headstrong Girl by Abigail Bok
Lord Harrigton's Last Doe by Emmy Z. Madrigal (currently working on a Northanger Abbey retelling)
Jane Austen Lied to Me by Jeanette Watts
Most Truly (Love at Pemberley #1) by Reina M. Williams

Book Blogger Hop
features a book related question
Sponsored by The Coffee Addicted Writer (details)

This week's prompt: Which book(s) would you like Santa to bring you this year?
(submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

Ooo, I would like to see this under my tree...

Retribution Rails
by Erin Bowman
-Historical, Western, YA
just released: November 7, 2017
Amazon | Goodreads

Loved the first book and looking forward to this second in the series.

AND watched: on Netflix

Stranger Things (2016-present)
season one & season two
tv series
Creators: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder
-Drama, Fantasy, Horror | imdb| my rating: 5

When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.

GREAT 1980's genre mystery, scifi, horror story.

A Christmas Prince (2017)
Director: Alex Zamm
Writers: Karen Schaler, Nathan Atkins
Stars: Rose McIver, Ben Lamb, Alice Krige
-Comedy, Romance, Christmas | imdb | my rating: 5

When a reporter goes undercover as a tutor to get the inside scoop on a playboy prince, she gets tangled in some royal intrigue and ends up finding love - but will she be able to keep up her lie?

FELL for this one like everyone else.

AND watched: in theatre

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (original title)
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt
Based on characters by: George Lucas
Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver
-Action, Adventure, Fantasy, SciFi | imdb | my rating: 5

Three decades after the Empire's defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order. Stormtrooper defector Finn and spare parts scavenger Rey are caught up in the Resistance's search for the missing Luke Skywalker.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (original title)
Director/Writer: Rian Johnson
Based on characters by: George Lucas
Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver
-Action, Adventure, Fantasy, SciFi | imdb | my rating: 5

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.

WENT to a fan double feature film screening for this super fun SciFi story. Loved the action and humor.


* checkout the sidebar for current giveaways

* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Crazy Kind of Love by Mary Ann Marlowe

A Crazy Kind of Love
by Mary Ann Marlowe

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: November 28, 2017
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 297
Rating: 4

Flirting with Fame series:
Some Kind of Magic
A Crazy Kind of Love
book 3 - tba

First sentence(s):
Stalker. When you put it that way, what I did for a living sounded despicable.

In this irresistible new novel by Mary Ann Marlowe, one woman's up-close and sexy encounter with a tabloid sensation reveals the dizzying--and delicious--dilemma of dating in the spotlight . . .

Celebrities hold zero interest for photographer Jo Wilder. That's a problem, since snapping pics of the stars is how the pretty paparazza pays the rent. So when Jo attempts to catch a money shot atop the broad shoulders of a helpful bystander, the only thing she notices about the stranger she straddles is that he's seriously hot. Only later does Jo learn that he's also Micah Sinclair--one of rock's notorious bad boys...

Soon Jo is on the verge of getting fired for missing a Micah Sinclair exclusive. Until she's suddenly being pursued by the heartthrob himself. But how can she be sure the musician's mind-blowing kisses are the real deal? Her colleagues claim he's a media whore, gambling on some free PR. But something has Jo hoping Micah's feeling the same powerful pull that she does. A pull so strong, she can't resist becoming his latest love, even if it means she might become the media's latest victim...

My two-bits:

Love's ups and downs amongst the paparazzi and celebrities. It was interesting to learn about some of the inside scoop of what it may be like to be on the periphery of the "it" crowd and to actually be in it as well.

This couple learn and navigate their unique relationship with the issues they each have to deal with.


* review copy courtesy of author

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Winner for December

Here is the winner for a giveaway that
ended December 11, 2017

Thanks to all contestants!


Have You Met Nora?
by Nicole Blades
-Women's Fiction
Amazon | Goodreads | Giveaway

Winner: Mary Preston


* I will email winners for mailing addresses within two weeks.
Winners, feel free to contact me with your info if you don't get my email
or if you are just too darn excited and want to let me know -- like NOW ;-D

* contest policy

* if not this time, maybe next time

--> check out the current giveaways and upcoming events on my sidebar

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Lovely Books and Things - 12.9.17

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)


Been spending time holiday making and watching films moreso than reading these days. Just not in the mood. Also, I am finding it hard to carve out some quiet moments to just sit and read. Thus, so sorry to say that I am behind on some reviews. ACK!

NOTE TO SELF: do not accept requested book reviews due in November and December

Current happy things:

1. Eggslut's Fairfax Breakfast Sandwich (here) - used Sir Kensington's Sriracha Mayonnaise which was just as good - YUM

2. Holiday/christmas movies. I am going through this writer/book themed list created by Entertainment Weekly (here):

A Christmas Cruise (ION, Dec. 16)
an aspiring novelist finds love at sea

The Mistletoe Inn (Hallmark, Nov. 23)
a romance novelist attends a writing retreat in Vermont

A Joyous Christmas (HMM, Nov. 26)
a best-selling author returns to her hometown for a book event

Snowed Inn Christmas (Lifetime, Dec. 16)
centers on two online journalists given a holiday writing assignment

The Christmas Train (Hallmark, Nov. 25)
tracks a journalist who encounters an ex on a cross-country train ride

Christmas Getaway (Hallmark, Dec. 23)
focuses on a freshly single travel writer who has to share a cabin with a toothsome widower.

3. Everyday is Christmas! by Sia on YouTube. I like how they are original songs that are pretty catchy. The corresponding videos are a hoot too!



JOURNALS with writing prompts have captured my attention for inspiration on leading a more creative life. No Goal Was Met Without A Little Sweat is a guided fitness journal | Amazon. Experience Passport: 45 Ways to Broaden Your Horizon suggests ways to explore the world around you. | Amazon.

For Review:

by Helena Hunting
-New Adult, Romance
courtesy of Romance Read-of-the-Month Club -Thanks!
BarnesNoble | Amazon | Goodreads

OTHER things (kinda book-related):

Book Blogger Hop
features a book related question
Sponsored by The Coffee Addicted Writer (details)

This week's prompt: If you celebrate Christmas, do you feel the need to stop reading anything but Christmas-themed romances as the holiday season starts?
(submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

THIS is something I have wanted to do, but because of requested reviews (in the past) and holiday festivities and outings I have not had a chance to actually do holiday reading. I do have a stack of holiday romance novels on my nightstand in case I get some free time. I seem to get at least one to add to the stack each year - such festive covers.

AND watched: in theatre

Lady Bird (2017)
Director/Writer: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Odeya Rush
-Comedy, Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

In the early 2000s, an artistically-inclined seventeen year-old comes of age in Sacramento, California.

LOVELY coming of age story based in the town of Sacramento which is a portrayed as a character as well.

Alice in Wonderland (2017)
Director: Christopher Wheeldon
Based on book by: Lewis Carroll
Stars: Lauren Cuthbertson, Steven McRae, Federico Bonelli, Laura Morera, Christopher Saunders, James Hay
-Drama, Fantasy, Music, Ballet | imdb | my rating: 5

Follow Alice down the rabbit hole in choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s exuberant ballet, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s much-loved book. At a garden party on a sunny afternoon, Alice is surprised to see her parents’ friend Lewis Carroll transform into a white rabbit. When she follows him down a rabbit hole events become curiouser and curiouser…. As Alice (Lauren Cuthbertson) journeys through Wonderland, she encounters countless strange creatures. She’s swept off her feet by the charming Knave of Hearts (Federico Bonelli), who’s on the run for stealing the tarts. Confusion piles upon confusion. Then Alice wakes with a start. Was it all a daydream? Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland first burst onto the stage in 2011 in an explosion of color, stage magic and inventive, sophisticated choreography. Joby Talbot’s score combines contemporary sound worlds with sweeping melodies that gesture to ballet scores of the 19th century. Bob Crowley’s wildly imaginative, eye-popping designs draw on everything from puppetry to projections to make Wonderland wonderfully real. This production, to be recorded live in 2017, shows The Royal Ballet at its best, bringing together world-class dance with enchanting family entertainment.

FUN, beautiful and romantic rendition of the Alice story. The music was wonderful.

AND watched: on Netflix

Big Eyes (2014)
Director: Tim Burton
Writers: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Stars: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston
-Biography, Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

A drama about the awakening of painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.

COOL kitschy pop art story. Amazing woman. Makes me want to revisit Keane Eye's art gallery at Ghirardelli square.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
Directors: Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, Brett Sullivan
Writers: Jason Filiatrault, Sarah Larsen, Doug Taylor, Pascal Trottier
Stars: William Shatner, George Buza, Rob Archer
-Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Christmas | imdb | my rating: 5

Interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, as told by one festive radio host: A family brings home more than a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes, Santa slays evil.

GOOD amount of Christmas and horror with bits of folktale, ghosts, Santa and contemporary elements. Loved Shatner.

AND watched: online

The Mistletoe Inn (2017)
Director: Alex Wright
Writer: Richard Paul Evans (based on a book by)
Stars: Alicia Witt, David Alpay, Lucie Guest
-Comedy, Drama, Romance, Christmas | imdb | my rating: 5

Kim Ross (Witt), an aspiring romance novelist, finds herself unceremoniously dumped by her soon-to-be-published romance novelist boyfriend, Garth. She decides to take a leap and signs up for a romance writing retreat at a quaint Vermont Inn shortly before Christmas. There, a top romance novelist is scheduled to attend. Shortly after Kim's arrival she meets Zeke, whom she finds to be intrusive. As luck would have it, he ends up being her assignment partner and worse yet, the ex-boyfriend is also at the retreat. Despite various bumps Kim manages to step outside her comfort zone, surprising herself. Even more surprising is the unstoppable attraction that seems to be building between her and Zeke, that will change her life in ways she never imagined.

I read this book in 2015 and loved it back then. I love this movie version as well.

AND watched: on DVD

Creed (2015)
Director/Screenplay: Ryan Coogler
Screenplay: Aaron Covington,
Based on characters created by: Sylvester Stallone
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson
-Drama, Sport | imdb | my rating: 5

The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: fifteen. outlander. Graham McTavish

GREAT hero coming into his own with a formidable mentor.

In the Line of Fire (1993)
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Writer: Jeff Maguire
Stars: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo
-Action, Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 4

Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: twenty-two. veep. Gary Cole

INTERESTING perspective of the president's secret service team with romance thrown in.

Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Director: Julian Jarrold
Writers: Andrew Davies, Jeremy Brock
Based on the novel by: Evelyn Waugh
Stars: Matthew Goode, Patrick Malahide, Hayley Atwell
-Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 4

A poignant story of forbidden love and the loss of innocence set in England prior to the Second World War.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: three. the crown. Anna Madeley

I haven't seen the 1981 tv series. So can't compare. I enjoyed this sad tale with its updated look. The scenes and costumes were beautiful. Great cast.

Paterson (2016)
Director/Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Poems by: William Carlos Williams, Ron Padgett
Stars: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Nellie
-Comedy, Drama, Romance | imdb | my rating: 5

A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

For post-Fall Film challenge bonus round: five. elementary. Chasten Harmon

Beautiful, quiet and poetic film. Makes me want to read some William Carlos Williams.

Get Out (2017)
Director/Writer: Jordan Peele
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams
-Horror, Mystery, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 5

It's time for a young African American to meet with his white girlfriend's parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambience will give way to a nightmare.

PERFECTLY smart, creepy and twisty-like.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu