Monday, October 20, 2014

The Walking Dead 5x02: Strangers

Great episode, I suspect the show is really on a roll.

Loved all things Rick and Michonne. Love that Michonne is fighting for some kind of life and therefore doesn't miss her sword, lol. It's actually character growth, I think, though I suspect she'll be just fine to be reunited with it since she's so quick and able with it. I love what the sword represents to Michonne's character and I will have to spend some time thinking about it more.

Lol, I don't know really know why Rick is still the leader (i.e. when everyone told Abraham they'd do what Rick said) but whatever, the show seems to want to have a leader. For those of you who are primarily Carol fans, was Rick's ...uh...asking her if they'd have him, enough? I do love Carol, but I know that I'm biased towards Rick and I felt that he did humble himself with her, but at the same time seemed to express that he still wasn't sure over what she'd done. I do get why it might be a hard thing to come to terms with... I know fandom is quick to forgive, but it's only because the show had her kill people that barely had screen time. If she'd killed Daryl or Maggie or Glenn for the sake of the group, I feel like it would have had more impact insofar as viewers understanding how it felt to the others. But obviously, I'm glad she didn't! Anyway, I found it interesting that she echoed Tyreese's words, i.e. I can't talk about it.

Father Gilliam is intriguing! Also, I loved the church scene, like they were eating a potluck and Abraham gave a sermon, lol. And Tara asked for Maggie's forgiveness. I don't know it was all nicely placed and just exuded warmth.

Daryl and Carol totally took off without telling anyone! And omg poor Bob. That was an exceptionally well done piece of horror, I must say, though so very sad. Bob was totally bitten, right? :( So sad.

Also, I've been kind of...what are they doing with Tyreese, but Chad L. Coleman, who plays Tyreese, pointed out on The Talking Dead that it's an interesting gender role reversal..which I totally hadn't thought about at all.

Tell me all your thoughts and feelings!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

I find stories about selkie to be pretty fascinating and I always love a story set on islands...there's a unique kind of atmosphere inherent in such stories and islands by nature evoke ideas of both the unforgiving forces of nature, the beauty of the sea, and isolation. As such, an island setting was absolutely perfect for the story Elisabeth Gifford told in The Sea House. To top it off, I love dual narratives where the past affects the present and we get to hear both stories!

Ruth and her husband are renovating an old house to be a bed and breakfast. One day they make a startling discovery in their floors...the bones of a small child that appears to have a mermaid tail. But Ruth herself is battling demons from her past. As she seeks to discover what happened so many years ago, she is confronted with her own unsettled past...a past she must confront if she is to have a successful future with her husband and soon to be born child.

The Sea House is a lovely book..I was instantly intrigued by the idea of researching if selkie were real and the fact the characters very much believe they might be keeps you guessing! But more than anything I love a good story about healing which The Sea House delivers. Sometimes it can be hard to read of another person's misery..the feelings, the unease, and the pain all leapt of the page. But the book in no way keeps you hanging. There can be a way forward and much to my satisfaction, sometimes the past is not what we think. Which is a pretty fascinating idea in itself, considering how much we let it shape our actions and future. There's also even a hint of a love story!

The writing itself is very nice, especially in capturing feelings of emotional intensity--in being able to harness them into words and convey them to the reader. The history is fun and intriguing told through letters, diary entries, and first person accounts and while you might be able to predict what some of the things that happened are, it's still interesting to read exactly how the unfolded. It's also really cool that this book is inspired by an actual letter that a clergyman wrote about seeing a selkie! Also of note is that this book portrays characters of faith who are also very interested in science with no conflict.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. I am participating in a blog tour...there is a button below that if you click on it will take you to a giveaway.

Elisabeth Gifford The Sea House

About the Author: Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She is the author of The House of Hope: A Story of God's Love and Provision for the Abandoned Orphans of China and has written articles for The Times and the Independent and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College. She is married with three children. They live in Kingston on Thames but spend as much time as possible in the Hebrides.

Purchase the Book!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway: An Unseemly Wife by E.B. Moore

About the Book

The year is 1867 and Ruth Holtz, based on Moore’s own great grandmother’s story, has the ideal Amish life. She has a loving husband, prosperous farm, several healthy and beautiful children, and the security of living in the Amish community. But soon enough, her world begins to unravel when the English arrive and inspire her husband to seek a new life in Idaho.

As a dutiful wife, Ruth goes along when her husband breaks the rules of their Order. But her willingness to comply disintegrates and she is forced to accept help from some unlikely allies, only to end in betrayal. As Ruth strives for a better future she needs to make unimaginable sacrifices, risk her faith and family, and transform to a truly modern woman.


I have one copy to give away to a United States address. Just fill out the form below to enter! Winner will be notified via email. Giveaway closes October 31.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Walking Dead 5x01: No Sanctuary

I always feel like with a show like The Walking Dead that goes off the air for six months and has a lot of fan hype that by the time the episode actually rolls around you already sort of know what's going to happen. We knew the group would need to escape Terminus and that the first few minutes would be intense and if you watched the trailer for the season you knew that the group would be reunited, etc.

Having said that, I loved it. I loved being reunited with these characters, I love that Carol and Tyreese were able to quickly figure out Terminus was up to no good, I love that Carol got to come in and be the hero and that she was quick and smart and clever, and I love that the group is completely ruthless now. I think there is still some negotiation to be done, but "you are the butcher or you are the cattle." is clearly the new theme and it was ushered in by the horrors of Terminus.

I have mixed feelings on the situation in Terminus, it's not clear why they originally offered sanctuary, but there is still some room left there for the imagination, I guess. The kind of brutality they faced, including rape, is something I think TWD glosses over at times, so I guess it's good that they are establishing more and more that this is the world they live in.

Despite all the action, and the fearless brutality of Terminus, my favorite moments came at the end when the group was reunited. There's a really beautiful moment where Rick is united with his baby daughter, Judith, and Michonne and Carol look on smiling, wistful. There will be no miraculous reunion for these two women and their children, they are gone and lost forever. But they still take joy in that moment and it's beautiful, but it's also beautiful that the show gives that tiny space to remember their own losses. I loooove that Rick and Carol seemed mostly, genuinely glad to see each other, and I hope that is that--Rick is not the same man who banished Carol to begin with. I love both of these characters and it was exhausting to defend them both! And of course Daryl and Carol's hug was full of meaning, too.

There are still a bunch of characters I'm rather meh about and this episode did nothing to further my interest in them. The show needs to work fast in getting me to buy in otherwise I'll just complain about lack of screentime for Michonne.

Quick note: I couldn't help but notice that the show lingered on clocks/watches two times...Maggie and Carol. Should I be concerned? Is time running out?

In any case, Morgan's arrival at the end was a fun surprise, and Rick denouncing the idea of Sanctuary puts on a path to what should be a brutal but exciting season. I can't wait for next week!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Let's Talk Horror

It is finally October, and in typical fashion, flying right by.

I wanted to do a sort of theme month where I review stuff appropriate to October, and I will be trying very hard to do that...delivering 3-5 reviews a week of things suited for this season. I know it's hard to believe me when I've been largely absent from the blog for awhile, but I hope I can come through!

This of course means more than ghosts or zombies or monsters...I've always liked the idea that it's just the darker themes we tackle during these all is up for grabs! Mysteries, murder, monsters, dark thrillers, etc.

I'm a firm believer that horror doesn't equal scary by any means. I don't know why horror is one of my favorite genres when there's so much about the genre I dislike on the whole, including a great deal of violence towards women. But there is something about examining our darker impulses and seeing them for what they actually are that I like about the genre. And I love supernatural stuff because it's not real and tends not to scare me. :)

Of course, I have some other obligations that will lead to things off topic, but that might be more satisfying to some of you anyway!

How about you guys? What do you like to read in October? How do you feel about horror?


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Giveaway! It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown + A Charlie Brown Christmas

Happy first day of October everyone! I hope to have a ton of awesome reviews of appropriately creepy, spooky, and mysterious things for you this month and to kick things off how about a fun giveaway!

Fill out the form below to be entered to win--not only It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic, but also A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition. Trust me, these are LOVELY books you'll want to own.

Cover copy of It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (which I'll review next week)

The Great Pumpkin is coming!
Join, Linus, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Sally, and Snoopy for their Halloween night, when the Peanuts gang puts on their costumes to trick-or-treat while Linus waits dutifully in his pumpkin patch for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin.
Nearly five decades after It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown first aired in 1966, the television special is still drawing in audiences. This past Halloween, seven million viewers tuned in to watch Lucy steal the football from Charlie Brown, Snoopy fight the Red Baron, and Linus be ever hopeful for the Great Pumpkin.
In It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic, executive producer Lee Mendelson reminisces with original Peanuts animator Bill Melendez about working with Charles M. Schulz, "Sparky," as he was known to his friends. Mendelson also writes about how Great Pumpkin was sold to the network, the hesitation to have Charlie Brown receive a rock in his bag (for fear children all over the U.S. would get rocks for Halloween), the decision to animate the Flying Ace (Snoopy's WWI alter ego) for the first time, and other fantastic tidbits of insider information. He also visits with original young cast members who lovingly recall their memories of doing the show.
This commemorative edition features more than 150 pieces of original animation art and photos, story board excerpts, production and bar sheets, and a full script illustrated with screen art from the television special.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic is a delightful look at the making of the beloved Halloween special that is the ultimate treat for fans of all ages.

And my review for A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition.

The Giveaway is open to US residents only and the winner will be notified via email! Giveaway closes October 8, 2014.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gone Girl Giveaway!

The Gone Girl movie is getting's actually really close now--next weekend! And I have great news! I have a great giveaway to offer.

In case you don't know, Gone Girl is directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn. It unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

Check out the trailer!

Gone Girl is also fully set up on social can check it out the official website, Facebook account, Twitter account, and Google+. Be sure to use the #GoneGirl tag when discussion on social and join a greater conversation!

Now to the giveaway!

One winner in the United States will receive a copy of the movie tie-in book as well as a $25 Visa gift card to see the movie! To enter just fill in the form below by September 30. Winner will be notified via email.