Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movie Review: ParaNorman

Blurb: From the makers of Coraline comes the story of Norman, a boy who must use his special powers to save his town from a centuries-old curse. In addition to spooky zombies, he'll also have to take on unpredictable ghosts, wily witches and, worst, of all, clueless grown-ups. But this young ghoul whisperer will soon find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits. Featuring the voice talents of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin and John Goodman, it's a frightfully funny tale for the whole family.

Review: This is definitely one of the Halloween season's better offerings. It is cute enough for littler kids, scary enough for tweens and fun enough for the adults to enjoy.

Norman is absolutely adorable and he sees dead people.

It doesn't make him very popular either.

What makes this movie worth the cost of the rental or even the cost to own it, are the characters. Like Coraline, there's a wide array of colorful people in Norman's life, friends, family and ghosts. Norman's grandmother was one of the fun ghosts and the hummus tossing Neil was a cute friend.

But back to the story.

Norman has to break the Witch's curse or some scary things will come back from the dead. The thing is, some of the colonial ghosts aren't really scary, though they do get some shock value points when they come crawling out of the ground.

The thing is, this movie comes with a moral that can be applied to our lives today. You can't condemn things that you don't understand, just because you don't understand them. That's the main reason why the witches were tried in Salem and in England.

The film passes this moral along without being too preachy and still being a bit scary and fun.

Coraline had a better storyline overall, but that has to do with the Neil Gaiman factor, but Paranorman is definitely a fun scary kids flick that you won't mind watching a few times over.

The ending is sad and sweet. It does the reverse of Pixar, which opens with a "make you sad" scene.

Definitely a film worth seeing, it is a shame the DVD had to come out at Christmas because the scare factor is somewhat diminished as a result.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Random Thoughts About Doctor Who

Since things are changing in Doctor Who world, this Whovian wants to ponder some things about the show and the fandom.

~ Why is there such an extreme need for The Doctor to be all kissy kissy with the companions now? I know it is a thing that didn't happen in the early series, but after the movie and reboot, he's sucking face with everyone, Rory included! (Now that was an interesting visual)

~ Companions: Such hatred focused at so many and such love for others. Yikes! I'm not a fan of Rose Tyler myself or Martha, but they were both pretty good in their parts. I really like companions that don't seem to fall in love with The Doctor. Donna/Amy. I think Clara will be an interesting addition to the show, but I refuse to say who is better than the other. That has to do with chemistry between the actors and how well the scripts are written.

~ OMG will the Cybermen never leave? While I'm at it, hasn't The Doctor rid the Universe of Daleks yet? Where do they keep coming from?

~ Weeping Angels = Not scary anymore.

~ 11th Doctor: I never thought I'd love Matt, but after the emo Doctor that was David Tennant (Who I adored mind you), it is nice to see his Doctor being a bit more carefree, until the loss of The Ponds.

~ Adipose = BRING THEM BACK!

~ The Ood: Why are they classified as villains, they aren't really. I love The Ood.

~ Hate having to wait til April for new episodes

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Doctor Who In Review: The Snowmen

The Snowmen marks the first companion change since David Tennant left the show.

For the most part viewers are used to different companions for the Christmas specials. It changes things up nicely.

To avoid being to "Spoilery" but to give you a hint of what's going on...we meet Souffle Girl again. Or is it Souffle Girl?

She keeps turning up!

Clara is her name this time round, and she's fiesty and fun.

But more fun then Clara are the Doctor's alien companions, a Sontaran butler Strax and Madame Vastra, a Silurian, who has a human wife, Jenny Flint.

Some of the best moments in the show involve Strax. I have to admit The Doctor doesn't treat him very well, calling him some choice names here and there.

What was nice about this episode involved setting the stage for the coming season. It was none too scary, but rather amusing. It ranks up there with episodes like "Vincent and The Doctor" and "The Unicorn & The Wasp." (Though there aren't any historical characters in this episode)

I always love when The Doctor ends up on Earth in the past, those always seem to be the best episodes. Add the Christmas element and you have good telly for the holiday.

The Snowmen, which are part of the villainy of the episode aren't very scary, but like The Weeping Angels, they'll have you looking at snow creatures in a different fashion from now on.

The episode is solid.

It is fun.

It is Christmasy.

The Doctor is not happy, most likely as a result of the fate of The Ponds, which leaves him a rather unwilling participant in this special.

Moody emo Doctor is not fun and the episodes where this is prevalent usually suffer for it, I'd say that's the case here too. It is a good thing the other characters provide most of the fun in this one.

The ending however will leave all Whovians anxiously awaiting the shows return in April. Moffat is good for those cliffhangers.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Album Review: Highlights Les Miserables Original Soundtrack Recording

Review: For months now, we've been getting teasers for the film version of Les Miserables.

Finally the soundtrack is available and it is stunning.

The music is beautiful, but most people already know this. Les Miserables is one of the most loved musicals, and for good reason.

The story that Victor Hugo wrote, is truly represented well in this musical. Unlike another musical that was recently turned into a film, several years back, 98% of the cast work well.

Hugh Jackman is perfect as Jean Valjean. At times, he eclipses Colm Wilkinson, and that's something that is pretty hard to do, but when you hear him sing "Bring Him Home", there will be tears in your eyes.

A big surprise is Sasha Baron Cohen as the Monsieur >Thénardier. He really brings the role to life, and he sings with a French accent, which is refreshing, because it seems like this part is always sung in a cockney accent. It is a shame Helena Bonham Carter who looks the part of >Thénardier's wife, doesn't live up to expectations when her part comes to sing  in "Master Of The House." I think she has the voice, but she is trying to be too "theatrical" and serious on a song that is the most fun from just about any Broadway show ever.

Anne Hathaway, as Fantine is another surprise. Granted Fantine is a part that doesn't last long, "I Dreamed A Dream" is a song that has to be sung well. She has a lot to live up to with that one, we've heard Patti Lupone sing it and we've heard Susan Boyle wow the crowds with it too. Thankfully she has a voice to go along with a pretty face.

Samantha Banks' plays Eponine, giving her a shot at "On My Own." She's not Lea Salonga, but she's a hell of a lot better than Debbie Gibson, so for that we can be thankful.

"Castle On A Cloud," is young Cosette's one song. Isabella Allen sounds like the little girl from the original cast. Her voice is sweet, innocent and pure.

Eddie Redmayne's Marius is convincing enough, he's no Michael Ball, but he delivers a near perfect "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables."

What I have noticed about some of the songs, like "Master Of The House" and "At The End Of The Day" that were rather bawdy in their theatrical versions, find themselves toned down for the big screen.


Still the songs pack a punch just as they should. "One Day More" will still stir a myriad of emotions as will "Drink With Me."

The new song "Suddenly" is obviously written for Jackman, but on the Highlights album, it doesn't seem to fit. Perhaps when it is heard in the movie it will make more sense. 

Overall, there was some great casting done. No, this isn't the London or Broadway cast recordings, but it is still very good. It also whets the appetite for the film.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Things You Should Make Not Buy

I love Chex Mix. It is one of my favorite snack foods of the holiday. I usually make it for New Year's Eve.

The Muddy Buddy recipe is my favorite, and I was dying for some today, so I grabbed a bag at the store.

What a disappointment.

I will never do that again.

It was just lacking something. Maybe a good peanut butter taste or the sloppy coating of powdered sugar.

I don't know, but the stuff in the stores = ick!

If you want Chex Muddy Buddies...


It is totally worth it, and very easy.

9 cups Rice Chex®, Corn Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal (or combination)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.

2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.

3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Movie Review: Hope Springs

Blurb: Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) are a devoted couple, but decades of marriage have left Kay wanting to spice things up and reconnect with her husband. When she hears of a renowned couple's specialist (Steve Carell) in the small town of Great Hope Springs, she attempts to persuade her skeptical husband, a steadfast man of routine, to get on a plane for a week of marriage therapy. Just convincing the stubborn Arnold to go on the retreat is hard enough - the real challenge for both of them comes as they try to re-ignite the spark that caused them to fall for each other in the first place.

Review: Meryl Streep has been getting some great comedic roles lately. I'm on the fence about this one though. I loved her and I loved Tommy Lee Jones as her husband Arnold, but even though I found the moving funny and fun, there were some plot holes.

When the film starts, Kay is getting tired of what her marriage has become. She has a routine with Arnold and they don't even sleep together. There is no affection anywhere, but the reason for this, isn't really given in a way that will give viewers any satisfaction. It is dealt with, but in the office of the couple's specialist.

Sure there's some funny moments. I laughed a lot through the movie, as each character worked their way through their problems and over all it is a pleasant film to pass the time, but it could have been so much more. I would have liked Steve Carell to have had much more screen time. This guy is so funny, and he wasn't utilized much at all here.

The big problem I had was when Arnold gets the fancy hotel room. Things start looking up for the two of them, but in the midst of trying to do doesn't work. And I didn't feel anyone came away from that scene knowing  why he didn't love her, or find her attractive anymore, and then to quickly reach the end of the film from there, with everything better, well, that didn't work for me.

So is this movie worth viewing?

Yes and no.

If you love the actors involved, yes, rent this movie. It is funny enough to cover the rental costs. If you are looking for a great movie, then no, skip it, because it is simply a good, feel good type of movie. Meryl's It's Complicated is a much better flick.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Promo Blitz: Stacey Kennedy - The Cat's Meow

The Cat’s Meow
Witch’s Brew Book One
Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
ISBN: 9781622668571
Release date: December 13, 2012
A good witch always has a kick-ass back-up plan.
Libby is an Enchantress—a witch gifted by the Goddess to conjure spells. When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby takes the case to uncover the reasons behind the odd deaths. Much to her displeasure, the coven also sends a sexy warlock, Kale, to assist her.
While having the muscle around proves to be useful, fighting the attraction between them is worse than a hex, especially considering Kale is keeping secrets. But soon, Libby has bigger problems than the elusive warlock when her spells turn up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats.
Now Libby has landed herself in the midst of an uprising. She trusts no one and isn’t safe—not from the warlocks stirring up trouble. Not from the worrisome rebellion she can’t escape. And certainly not from Kale, who is weaving a very dangerous spell over her heart.


Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments, and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband and two children. If she’s not plugging away at a new story—which is rare because her muse is annoying—you’ll find her camping, curling up with the latest flick, or obsessing over Sons of Anarchy, Supernatural and Dexter.
Stacey welcomes comments from readers. You can find her at


Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Entangled Publishing.
Chapter One
Fur. Guts. Blood.
I scrunched my nose as my spaghetti dinner threatened to make an appearance at the sight of the slaughtered black cat on the forest floor. The kitty’s stomach gaped open and its intestines spilled out along the ground, as well as other grossness I’d rather avoid.
Not how I intended to spend my night, or any night for that matter. I turned to my fellow witch, Peyton. “Of all the hobbies to take up, taxidermy isn’t something I’d peg you as interested in.”
Flicking her blond bouncy curls over her shoulders, her baby-blue eyes narrowed on me. “This isn’t a time for jokes, Libby.”
Not as if her wrath had the desired effect; an angry Peyton looked as deadly as a growling puppy. She placed her hands on her tiny waist, pursing her lips. Too bad, I only paid attention to her cute knee-length black baby-doll dress, a tad jealous I didn’t own it. “Look at the poor kitty. Its guts are hanging out.”
“Yes, I see that.” Even if I wanted to pretend I didn’t. In fact, I would have preferred to enjoy the dark night surrounded by the rich earthy scents of the large trees hugging the trail. Sadly, that wasn’t an option. Once again, I glanced down at the disgustingness at my feet.
From all viewpoints, this appeared to be an open-and- shut case. “Looks like a wild animal wanted a snack.” Evil warlocks, I’m there. A dead cat was not a priority. “You better have a good reason for bringing me here.”
“An animal didn’t do this. There’s magic present.” She fiddled with the hem of her incredibly cute dress. “Besides, it’s the fourth gutted cat in three days.”
I paused at that bit of weirdness. I had dealt with at least a hundred cases in the five years I’d worked for Charleston’s coven, and out of all of those cases, none had ever involved animal murders. Four cats in three days was staggering.
I sighed, beginning to understand my presence there. “Four, really?”
Worry darkened Peyton’s eyes. “Each death the coven has sent me to, there has been this weird magical presence.” She rubbed her arms, shaking her head at the dead cat. “It’s peculiar.”
The leaves beneath the cat’s body were soaked in enough blood that I assumed it had been killed at this location. To my disappointment, even with that knowledge no answers materialized, and actually more questions were raised. “If this is the fourth cat, why is this only coming up now?”
“At first, it didn’t seem malicious and no human deaths resulted from the dead cats.” She shrugged. “Now, with this many felines dead, it could be an animal ritual.”
“Possibly,” I agreed. Charleston’s last case of a warlock tapping into dark magic happened only a week ago, but it got cleaned up quickly enough and the warlock received his death sentence. Compared to that, a few dead cats wouldn’t concern the coven, but then why did it now?
Furthermore, why hadn’t the coven contacted me? Peyton held the ability to sense magic’s presence. I am an Enchantress, a witch gifted to work spells. We both held an important role in the coven, as did every witch and warlock who worked for them. Peyton located the scenes tainted with magic, I found the offenders, other witches assisted with different gifts, and warlocks killed the guilty.
If the coven had been as concerned as Peyton seemed now, I would’ve been brought into this a lot sooner. They would’ve requested I take on the case to search around and see if I discovered a reason behind it. That I knew with total certainty. The coven didn’t take chances on these things. The longer we waited to act on someone who harbored evil, the higher the chance they would succeed.
“The coven clearly wasn’t worried about the past deaths, so what’s happened to change their opinion?”
Peyton nibbled her lip. “They didn’t think much of it before because the level of magic isn’t dangerous. Strong, yes, but not dark.” She continued to rub her arms, shifting uneasily on her feet. “I’ve been watching over the matter to see if things worsened, but the only change has been more deaths.” She tilted her head. “One cat can be shoved aside as maybe someone who practiced their magic. This many deaths can’t be overlooked.”
The coven obviously requested that she see if the levels of magic had increased. Yet, why did Peyton call me and not the coven? An order had never come to me in this manner before and it made me curious. “Who told you to ask me to come here?”
“Glenda.” Peyton grimaced at Fluffy. “There’s a reason behind this. The Goddess is warning me.”
I refused to look at the mangy beast and attempted not to inhale the odor of decomposed flesh beneath me. Instead, I scanned the area. Within the dark night the old trees around me created shadows. The stars above twinkled in the sky and the damp grass below my boots glistened with dew. A typical night for me—I hadn’t seen a sunny day in the five years I’d been employed by the coven.
Danger happened during the witching hours of midnight to three in the morning because magic held the most strength then, so the coven stuck to the night shift. I’d become so accustomed to it I never missed the days I had lounged in the sun anymore.
On a sigh, I continued to ponder the fluff ball at my feet. If magic were present, clearly someone had either spilled its blood as an offering to dark magic, or simply practiced a spell to kill. Either one sucked, at best. Resolved I’d get nowhere in discovering the truth right now, I moved along. “What does the coven expect me to do about this?”
Peyton rolled her eyes, giving her customary flippant look. “Find who’s responsible.”
I snorted. “What am I, a pet detective?”
“Yes, Lib, that’s exactly what you are.” She frowned. “Must you be a smart-ass all the time?”
I grinned. “I must.”
She ignored my dig—as usual—and carried on in a hurried tone. “Stop stalling, conjure a spell, and fix it.”
“You know I can’t—it’s dead.” I glanced at the cat and groaned. Yes, still very dead. “The coven would wring my neck if I brought it back to life.”
The role as Enchantress with the coven came with one rule—never step out of white magic boundaries. Resurrecting a dead cat hit the no-no list. My job within the coven: stop those who went against the coven rules to protect human lives, since the last thing we needed was the human population going out on a witch hunt. The coven existed to keep witches in Charleston safe. That one law ruled my life.
Peyton’s shoulders slumped and her eyes saddened. “Okay, okay. I know we can’t, but it’s so sad, the poor little kitty.”
My best friend at her finest: her soft heart in this cold magical world had never changed over the years. Yet Peyton’s innocence had once been damaged by loss and pain over the death of her mother, and ever since she’d been emotionally fragile. Three years ago, I’d seen her go into a deep depression at the death of a teenager, and it took her a good month to recover. I would give my life to ensure she stayed away from anything that could damage her again.
Especially now, seeing the vulnerability in her eyes, confirming that any death still rattled her. “Who’d do this?”
“Someone after a higher power.”
At the low velvety voice, I glanced over my shoulder, scowling at the approaching warlock. The coven’s muscle came after I found the offenders. I preferred no help, so his presence at my scene awakened my inner bitch.
Not to say I didn’t realize their worth to the coven. I might be brave, but I couldn’t kill, and warlocks held that desire in spades. However, his presence this early in an investigation meant this matter leaned to the serious side. The coven wouldn’t have called him in if something wasn’t up. More to the point, called in a warlock I’d never seen before. Two strikes against my coven on the “what the hell are they doing” meter.
“Go away.” I pushed the bitch to the forefront of my voice and snapped, “I’ll call the coven when I’m done.”
“I’m looking for Libby Jenkins.” The warlock stopped a foot away by a fallen tree, ignoring my demand, and in the same low voice with a slight Southern accent said, “Would that be you?”
I grunted, not at all impressed with the confidence he exuded, either in his voice or his powerful posture. Doubly annoyed, in fact. “I’m Libby. You are?”
As he took a step into the moonlight, the shadows of the night left his face. He appeared relaxed, shoulders back in his black T-shirt, chest out, and chin lifted. Typical I am a fine specimen of man.
His eyes were a shadowy gray and his face was defined by hard angles, from his high cheekbones and sculpted jaw to lips that seemed carved out for a serious smooch. His chocolate- brown hair reached the bottom of his ears, all scruffy and sexy-like, and he filled out his pair of faded blue jeans well enough.
Not like that impressed me either. Warlocks tended to be pretty. Maybe to some I’d be easy on the eyes with my small frame, longish light-brown hair with honey and auburn highlights, and my dark-blue eyes. But it came from the magic, not a natural gift. Besides, witches aged the same as the humans we lived among. We just tended to do it a little more gracefully, and typically lived to be over a hundred.
The warlock’s focus swept over Peyton as if he took a measure of her before his firm gaze returned to me. “I’m Kale Griffin. The coven requested I join you on this case.”
Great. What serious danger had I landed myself in? “They what?”
Sure, Kale looked nice, but I didn’t want—or need—his help. The idea of being teamed up with a warlock interested me about as much as if someone pulled out my hair strand by strand. Besides, never in all the years I had worked for the coven did they team me up with a warlock, which only made me wonder why they’d done it. I thought back over the past cases I’d worked. Perhaps some cases took longer to solve than others, but why in the hell had they sent me a babysitter now?
With more confidence than I felt, I returned his look of challenge, and had the urge to take my clenched fist and send it into his flat stomach. “Go tell the coven I refuse your help.”
His eyebrow arched, an emotion close to amusement crossing his face. “The choice isn’t yours. I’ve been instructed to take over this investigation.”
My already hot blood took a nosedive. I might abide by the coven’s orders, even if I had no idea what they were up to now, but it didn’t mean I had to like it. This brute needed to get one thing straight. “We are taking over the investigation.”
He smirked. “Is that so?”
Damn the warlock for making the smile look sexy and damn me for noticing it. “Yes, that’s so.” Warlocks could kick some serious ass, and the coven needed them, but they were so haughty and always the ones to grab the glory.
Of course, I might be—scratch that, was—the only witch in Charleston to dislike warlocks, since most swooned over them. Well, the witches did. Non-magical folk lusted after their hot butts, never knowing what they were up against.
After the Salem incident, we magical folk kept our powers to ourselves and hid from the humans for good reason; a repeat in history wasn’t on anyone’s to-do list. Especially not mine.
Inhaling to shed my frustrations, I fought my gag reflex as I drew in the cat’s putrid scent. “Know this, if you get in my way I’ll hex you.” I poked his chest and met taut muscle.
With indifference, Kale watched my finger hit his hard, delicious pectorals. Seeing that my action unsettled me more than him, I withdrew my finger and shoved my hands into the pockets of my skinny jeans. His head slowly lifted, and when his eyes settled on me, they had darkened. “Warning noted.”
The weight of his smooth voice melted across me like a warm bath. I bit my lip and refocused my thoughts to my angry position. “Good.” My voice sounded harsh, pleasing me since on the inside I’d become gooey. “As long as we understand each other we won’t have a problem.”
Peyton stifled a laugh by coughing. No doubt she’d taken notice of Kale’s attributes too. “I guess I should be…uh… going home to Jace. Call me…ah…” Her eyes twinkled as she fought her smile and turned. “Just call me later, Lib.”
I snorted softly, only imagining what she’d go home and tell her boyfriend, Jace, about this moment. I could do without him having the knowledge that I tried to dominate a warlock and failed miserably, even if Jace was the only warlock in existence I tolerated. “Let me know if the coven contacts you again,” I called after her.
“Will do.” She waved a good-bye, striding down the trail, and her laughter followed her out of the forest.
I watched Peyton until she faded into the shadows before I finally looked at Kale. He regarded me with such a probing look it became all the more irritating. “Before we start, I need to give the cat a proper burial. Which I’m sure you won’t understand since you’re a big ol’ bad warlock.”
His gray eyes sharpened, voice equally so. “You appear to have misconceived notions about warlocks.”
“Sure I do,” I muttered, grabbing the cat by the tail and ignoring the guts flapping in the wind. Without a glance back, I headed out of the forest.
The trees passed by in a blur as I hightailed it out of there. The sooner I got to my SUV, the sooner I could stop pretending I wasn’t holding a dead cat. Thoughts of Kale’s arrival worried me and I didn’t like it. Had the coven hired a new warlock without my hearing of it? While that wouldn’t surprise me, since I tended to stay away from the coven unless I had to be there, it did shock me they didn’t throw a welcoming party for him. Moreover, why would they send a new warlock to me, and not one experienced in Charleston?
If the matter were serious, which I suspected it was if he was there, then why were they taking chances? It didn’t add up. This, I’d get to the bottom of. For now, I focused on getting rid of the stinky cat.
Kale followed behind me for only a moment before he easily caught up with his lengthy strides. When he settled in next to me, he slowed down since my five-foot-five frame couldn’t match his six-foot-three, and he stayed silent.
Fine by me.
At the edge of the forest, I spotted my black Benz parked on the grass near the entrance. My SUV wasn’t anything sporty like I’d prefer, but my M-Class sport utility vehicle made sense. The SUV was safe, big, and powerful. All good things to have in my line of work. Besides, it also had a big-ass hatchback to put things like dead cats in.
I grabbed the keys from my pocket and clicked the button to open the back. Scanning the area, a missing object grated my last nerve. I glanced sideways at Kale. “You didn’t drive here?”
He shook his head.
Terrific! The bitch of it, he had to come with me. “How’d you get here, then?”
The silence continued.
Once at my SUV, I reached into the side compartment of my hatchback and drew out a garbage bag.
“I’ve got that.” Kale stepped next to me and took the bag, holding it open while I dumped the cat in. The kitty plopped into the bag and Kale tied the red string to close it, then he threw the bag into the back. It landed with a heavy thud.
I glared at him, even if his helping me came as a shock since no warlock had ever offered to help me before. “Couldn’t you have been a bit gentler?”
“It’s dead.” His eyebrow lifted. “I doubt it noticed.”
A sassy retort hung on my tongue, but I ignored my impulse to rise to the bait. “Warlocks.”
I left said warlock behind, making my way over to the driver’s side of my SUV while Kale got into the passenger seat. Careful not to touch anything with my dirty hands, I settled into my leather seat and grabbed my hand sanitizer from the cup holder, drenching my hands with it.
I could only imagine what I would have seen on the cat’s tail if I had looked hard enough, but I shoved the images of maggots from my mind to settle my woozy stomach. I dropped the sanitizer in the holder, then I started the SUV and headed off in a hurry.
On the outskirts of town, leading back into Charleston, the streets were relatively quiet. For the most part, if any people were out and about they would be downtown to enjoy Charleston’s nightlife. Most around here, including warlocks and witches, lived a relatively normal life. Sadly, I wasn’t among them, and my “normal” involved a hunt for evil before it became danger.
In my hopes of keeping conversation to a minimum, I cranked the radio station, drumming my fingers on my thigh to the alternative song blasting through the speakers.
Kale didn’t appear to have the same wish. “Do you plan to tell me where we’re going?” I turned the music down and he continued, “With a gutted cat, no less.”
Glancing out of the corner of my eye, I noticed how his body filled my seat quite nicely. Too bad warlocks were men I avoided—I found getting with a warlock always led to disaster—because this warlock would be one to have some fun with.
While his looks might tempt me, the decision came years ago when I’d had enough of their egos, their need to be the tough guy, and their tendency to have their own agenda. My last attempt to respect warlocks ended at the age of twenty when one broke my heart. Since then, the only warlock I could stand was Peyton’s boyfriend, and even he walked a fine line of always needing to prove himself to me.
Lately, I’d stuck to the non-magical man, but those relationships hadn’t led to anything serious, nor did they belong on my fantastic memories list. Where warlocks had too much stuff, non-magical folk didn’t have enough. Needless to say, it’d been months since I heard the word date and my regions south had declared death a while ago.
I cleared my mind of unimportant things and set to answering him. “We’re going to Magnolia Cemetery.”
“I see.” He turned in his seat and set his hard stare onto me. “You’re an Enchantress?”
The rich nature of his voice made funny things awaken in my dead regions. Perhaps my libido wanted to be reincarnated. I quashed the thought with a fierce no. “Mm-hmm.” Two could play at the game he presented—if he wanted to assign labels, so could I. “You’re a Ward?”
Not like I needed the confirmation. Any warlock who worked for the coven received the title. “What’s your talent?”
I jerked my head to look at him and the car swerved before I straightened the wheel. “You draw runes?”
A hint of a smile turned up the corners of his mouth. “You look surprised.”
“I am,” I admitted with no shame. “I haven’t met a Ward who holds the talent of rune magic.” Glancing back at the road to avoid a crash, I shrugged to downplay my awe. “At least, not any from Charleston.”
“We are few and far between,” he replied, cool and collected.
My breath seemed lost in the state between shock and bewilderment. He appeared to hold back on the interesting talent. Intriguing, considering most warlocks I’d met would gush at the opportunity to prove their abilities over mine. My curiosity about the warlock next to me rose, especially since I needed to discover the reason he’d been assigned to the case. “How long have you lived in Charleston?”
“Not long.”
Oh, this made no sense at all. We had our own Wards, who were talented in their own right, so we didn’t need Kale. I waited two breaths for him to answer, but he didn’t oblige me. “Where are you from?”
“Down south.”
I blinked at his indifferent voice, keeping the wheel tight in my hands to ensure the SUV went straight, but looked at him. “Do you plan on telling me anything about you?”
“I just did.” He gave a halfhearted shrug. “I’m a Ward, who draws runes, and I live down south.”
I snorted loud enough to ensure he heard it. Elusive might be an understatement when it came to Kale Griffin. I almost laughed at the situation; I wanted warlocks to shut the hell up, and now one did and I’d rather he talked.
I had to wonder if he did it to get a rise out of me, since warlocks tended to do that, too, which is why I bit back the rest of my questions. He might want to play that game, but by the Goddess I wouldn’t feed into it. I slammed the accelerator down, ignoring the sexy warlock next to me. We had bigger problems.
The dead cat stinkin’ up my SUV reminded me of that.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Song For A Cause!



The Midtown Men have a great 60's sound and "All Alone On Christmas" will take you bake in time to a time when Christmas was a little bit more simple.

This song is very reminiscent of the Christmas tunes done recently by Tommy James!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Miranda's Coming Back!

The new trailer for Miranda!

Now I have two things to be excited for at Christmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Song Of The Day

Somehow this song has been floating around my brain. Maybe because I've been feeling like I am losing my religion, or maybe I'm just missing R.E.M. when they were good.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cover Reveal: Beth Ciotta - The Trouble With Love

Release Date: March 2013
Pre-order: Amazon


Rocky Monroe’s bad luck is legendary. So it stands to reason that during a quick trip to New York on behalf of the Cupcake Lovers’ forthcoming book, she winds up in the arms of the one man she never wants to see again. So what if he’s also the man she can’t stop dreaming about?

Mouth-watering Jayce Bello has always been Rocky’s biggest mistake, and she’s not going to let history repeat itself … unless she gets a new taste of his delicious kisses.

When Jayce Bello left Sugar Creek ten years ago, it was the right thing to do—for him and for Rocky, his best friend’s little sister. But one passionate night with gorgeous, reckless Rocky is enough to prove that she’s the missing ingredient in his happiness. Now, with scandalous secrets souring the sweetness of the Cupcake Lovers’ club, Jayce needs to convince Rocky that their love is something to savor …

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Brings Out The Worst In People

I ordered a book from Barnes and Noble.

I have their membership card, so  I get a discount and expedited shipping. The book should have been delivered today, but it never made it inside my house.

UPS claims they delivered it at 11:45 a.m.

I think someone took it off my porch.

I hope they enjoy it.


On a happy note, Barnes and Noble will replace it. So Barnes and Noble gets bonus points from me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When Cute Guys Wear Bad Clothes

Simon Le Bon is probably the only man married to a Super Model that can get away with wearing horrid clothes. Unlike some of my other cute guys, Simon usually looks ridiculous though Case in point!
And again..
Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran at Pacific. Photo: Steven Georges, for the Register.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cover Reveal: Fiance By Friday

Release Date is May 21, 2013!

Isn't this a gorgeous cover?

This is Book 3 in her Weekday Brides Series.

I'm reading Catherine's Not Quite Dating now, and I'm really loving it!

I can't wait to dive into this series too!

I just love the dress!

If you want to read my review of Not Quite Dating, stop by A Chick Who Reads tomorrow.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Movie Review: Arthur Christmas

Blurb: How CAN Santa deliver billions of presents to the whole world in just one night? With an army of one million combat-style Field Elves and a vast, state-of-the-art control center under the ice of the North Pole! So how could this incredible operation have MISSED one child?! To Santa’s young son, Arthur, it threatens to end the magic of Christmas. With retired Grandsanta, a rebellious young elf, an old sleigh and some untrained reindeer, Arthur sets out in a crazy mission to deliver the last present! Deck the halls with excitement, fun and wonder in this new Christmas classic!

Review: There's always a new crop of Christmas movies, some good, some bad and some stellar. Arthur Christmas is one of the stellar ones.

Maybe it is because of the great cast, Bill Nighy voices Grandsanta and Hugh Laurie is Steve, the new Santa in waiting.

The film reminds me a bit of Doctor Who meets Santa Claus, something that never happens in one of that show's Christmas specials. The film opens with Steve directing Santa on a very high tech, unbelievably sci-fi Christmas Eve toy run.

It is totally unbelievable. And everything goes well...until one little girl gets skipped!

That's when the real action starts.

Arthur and Grand Santa go into action and nothing goes right, except maybe to get everyone to remember what Santa is supposed to do.

This is a feel good movie for young and old, the kind you want to watch each Christmas. Totally sweet and totally funny and full of all the things you need to get into the spirit!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Movie Review: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Blurb: In 1818, Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) lives with his parents, Nancy (Robin McLeavy) and Thomas (Joseph Mawle), who work at a plantation owned by Jack Barts (Marton Csokas). There, Lincoln befriends a young African American boy, William Johnson (Anthony Mackie), and intervenes when he sees Johnson being beaten by an overseer. Because of his son's actions, Thomas is fired. That night, Lincoln sees Barts break into his house and attack Nancy. She dies shortly afterwards. Thomas tells Lincoln that Barts poisoned Nancy. Nine years later, a vengeful Lincoln attacks Barts at the docks, but Barts, who is actually a vampire, overpowers him. However, before Barts can kill him, Lincoln is rescued by Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper). Sturges explains that vampires exist, and offers to teach Lincoln to be a vampire hunter. Lincoln accepts and, after a decade of training, travels to Springfield, Illinois. During his training, Sturges tells Lincoln that the vampires in America descend from Adam (Rufus Sewell), a vampire who owns a plantation in New Orleans with his sister, Vadoma (Erin Wasson). Sturges also tells Lincoln of the vampires' weakness, silver, and presents him with a silver pocket watch.

In Springfield, Lincoln befriends shopkeeper Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson), and meets Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Though Sturges warned him not to form any close relationships, Lincoln develops romantic feelings for Mary. Lincoln successfully finds and defeats Barts. Before dying, Barts reveals that Sturges is also a vampire. Lincoln confronts Sturges, who reveals that, many years ago, he and his wife were attacked and bitten by Adam. Adam turned Sturges and killed his wife. Now that Sturges was a vampire he could not kill Adam or any other vampire (since "Only the living can kill the dead"). Sturges has since been training vampire hunters, hoping to destroy Adam.

Disappointed, Lincoln decides to abandon his mission. However, Adam learns of his activities and kidnaps Johnson to lure Lincoln into a trap at his plantation. Adam captures Lincoln and tries to recruit him, revealing his plans to turn the United States into a nation of the undead. Speed rescues his friends, and they escape to Ohio.

Lincoln marries Mary and begins his political career, campaigning to abolish slavery. Sturges warns Lincoln that the slave trade keeps vampires under control, as vampires use slaves for food, and if Lincoln interferes, the vampires will retaliate. After Lincoln's election as President of the United States of America, he moves to the White House with Mary, where they have a son, William Wallace Lincoln (Cameron M. Brown). William is later bitten by Vadoma and dies. Confederate President Jefferson Davis (John Rothman) convinces Adam to deploy his vampires, and this impacts the first day at Gettysburg. Lincoln orders the confiscation of all the silverware to produce silver weapons. Speed, believing that Lincoln is tearing the nation apart, informs Adam that Lincoln will transport the silver by train.

On the train, Adam and Vadoma, who have set fire to the upcoming trestle, attack Lincoln, Sturges, and Johnson. During the fight Adam learns that the train holds only rocks. Speed reveals that his betrayal was a ruse to lure Adam into a trap, and Adam kills Speed for this. Lincoln wraps his silver watch around his fist and punches through Adam's chest, killing him, and Lincoln escapes the exploding train alongside his allies. Meanwhile, Mary and the ex-slaves have transported the silver to Gettysburg through the Underground Railroad - it is here that Vadoma is killed by Mary.

The now leaderless Confederate vampires stage a final, massive assault and are met head on by the Union. Armed with their silver weapons, the Union soldiers destroy the vampires and eventually win the battle. Nearly two years later, on April 14, 1865, Sturges tells Lincoln that the remaining vampires have fled the country. Sturges tries to convince Lincoln to allow him to turn Lincoln into a vampire, so that he can become immortal and continue to fight vampires, but Lincoln declines and leaves for the theater with his wife, apparently implying he is soon to be assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. In modern times, Sturges approaches a man at a bar in Washington, D.C. as he once approached Lincoln. (from Wiki)

Review: This movie intrigued me from the very beginning. I love the idea of a mash up of real historical events and some creepy paranormal activity.

Lincoln as a vampire hunter is totally badass. He wields an ax like no one else can.

I was really expecting a film that was more on the cheesy front, but that wasn't what you got here. Ok, maybe the vampire part was a little bit cheesy, but come on, this is a mashup. You were expecting maybe, thoughtful cinema?

If you were, I feel really sorry for you.

This is an action/adventure. The vamps don't really get scary, at least not in a horror movie kind of way. They just are there.

Though this movie certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, it is worth a viewing. You get a funny twist on history, and yes, the writers try not to destroy history too much, in their addition of the fanged bad guys.

Its like history meets Demons, only no one is smiting anyone.

The best parts of the film are those of Lincoln kicking vampire ass. Benjamin Walker makes the young Abe look very sexy.  This film does a good job of making Mary Todd Lincoln look like a dazzling debutante. Go ahead and google her, you'll see she was anything but.

But people don't want to see ugly people in movies, so we'll forgive them that.

This movie was fun.

Nothing more and nothing less.

It has made me want to hunt down the book too.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Final Twilight Rant

I absolutely hate the whole Twilight franchise. The first two books drove me insane. I never got around to Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, and I don't know that I ever will.

I tried to read the books with an open mind, because I really can't understand why women my age (late thirties) and older get their panties all in a bunch about this series.

The writing is mediocre if best. (Serious, the gals writing for Harlequin Nocturne do so much better) The characters are annoying.

I could go on, but I won't.

I want to rant about the movies.

I've not seen them, because they scare me. Not in a frightened kind of way but in an OMG how did they cast these people kind of way.

What do people see in Robert Pattinson..and more so, Kristen Stewart...and while I'm at it, what did those two see in each other?

She's so meh...

And he's just not what I pictured Edward to look like when I read the first two books.

Of course, he's not as awful a casting as say Tom Cruise as Lestat. That was the worst. To this day I refuse to watch that film because of it.

I hate Tom Cruise.

The only good thing about Breaking Dawn Part 2 coming out, is that I hopefully won't have to hear much more about these books and maybe the two stars will fade into obscurity, as they are both pretty lousy actors/actresses

Bye Bye Twilight. I won't miss you!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bake Baby Bake

Its that time of year when I get glued to the kitchen.

I am a cookie making fiend.

I love making cookies.

The more the merrier.

So far I've made date nut pinwheels and chocolate peanut butter cookies.

Next up are apricot jewels.

I've found a lot of these recipes in old cookbooks and magazines.

Here's where I found some great recipes

I've found the older cookbooks have the best tasting recipes. All three cookbooks here are from the 80s.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

If Bon Jovi Were Country

I know Jon Bon Jovi did that great song with Jennifer Nettles awhile back, with Who Says You Can't Go Home.

But if Jon did a real rock/country song it would sound more like Kip Moore's Beer Money

Listen and see what  you think

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Want This Book!!!

I discovered the Royal Spyness series when the last book came out. I was part of the book tour, and the story was fab! The next book in the series is a holiday mystery!!

Must have!!

Book Blurb: On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig. 

So it’s a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie falls out of a tree, dead…. Dickensian, indeed.

Freddie’s merely a stocking stuffer. On my second day in town, another so-called accident turns up another mincemeat pie—and yet another on my third. The village is buzzing that a recent prison break could have something to do with it… that, or a long-standing witch’s curse. I’m not so sure. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland.  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

An Open Letter To Starbucks

Dear Starbucks,

You've managed to make me love and hate you so much in the last few weeks.

You changed the rewards program giving me a free drink faster. Yay! But you took away the free soy and free syrups. Boo!

You make the pumpkin spice latte iced now! Yay!

But what about the holiday coffees.

I want an iced peppermint mocha!

I'm sure I'm not the only one that loves iced coffee even in the cold weather.

I think after screwing me out of my ability to have the peppermint mocha long after Christmas is gone at no charge, is reason enough to allow me to have my peppermint mocha on ice!



When Cute Guys Wear Bad Clothes

I had to do a Johnny Depp edition sooner or later. So I thought, why not sooner?

Johnny is one of those guys that can wear anything no matter how ridiculous and still look gorgeous. He's lucky like that.


Uh, yeah Johnny what's up with ...uh everything?

Again...Mr. Depp got dressed in the dark?

But he doesn't always dress this way.

He can clean up nicely when he wants to.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Movie Review: Hallmark's Christmas Song

Natasha Henstridge and Gabe Hogan play music teachers in the Hallmark movie Christmas Song. The two teachers work at a newly merged private school and though they share some things in common they couldn't be more different.

Natasha, who looks a lot like Mrs. Bobby Flay, Stephanie March, plays Diana. She's the more staid of the two. For her it is all about the classics. Gabe plays Ken, a more fun loving guy. A pop prince.

The two teachers are challenged to win a contest with the best rendition of a Christmas Carol. Any Carol will do.

Now considering that Ken is more a pop kinda guy, I was a bit disappointed in his choice of The First Noel. That song was just as traditional as Diana's choice of Angel's We Have Heard On High.

What keeps this Hallmark movie from becoming too boring are the teenagers. There's a good kid and a not so good kid in each group, and of course by the end of the movie they've all come together so that neither teacher loses their job.

I have to admit, I have a soft spot for these cheesy movies. Its that same soft spot that still reads Harlequin romances. I love getting warm fuzzy feelings, and this movie definite delivers them!

Granted this isn't one of Hallmark's more memorable offerings (Like Mrs. Miracle) it is a good way to get into the holiday spirit.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Must Read Series: The Cottage Tales Of Beatrix Potter

There are 8 books to this cozy mystery series that stars Beatrix Potter and a host of other little animals.

I have to get them all.

It is because of this series, that I renewed my love for Potter. And not Harry.

Blurb: Beatrix is eager to marry her fiancé, solicitor William Heelis. But with remodeling work at Castle Cottage, their future home, going at a snail’s pace, Beatrix finds frustration when the building contractor fires his best carpenter, Mr. Adcock, for stealing. At the same time, Will is investigating thefts on other construction sites—an inquiry that comes to a screeching halt when Mr. Adcock is found dead. Besides the construction debacle, there’s another hurdle for Beatrix and Will to overcome: the Potters have yet to give their blessing on the marriage. And when Beatrix’s brother decides to tell their parents about his own decade-long secret marriage, Miss Potter knows that any chance she had of finding her own happy ending is about to be destroyed

Thursday, November 1, 2012

When Cute Guys Wear Bad Clothes

OK, Justin Hayward is the king of bad clothes, or rather bad shirts.


This pink atrocity took forever to go away.

The canary yellow jacket was pretty horrid too!

This one is just well...I think he might have borrowed it from Graeme!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Favorite Halloween Movies!

I have to say it, I'm not much of a scary movie kind of girl. Never have been, never will be. That said, there are some movies that are perfect for Halloween viewing even for a girl like me.

1. House Of Dark Shadows - This is the original Dark Shadows movie. Yes, I love Johnny Depp and his version is campy and fun to watch, but if you want a taste of what the show was really like this is the movie you have to see.

Buy: Amazon

2. Van Helsing - This movie is all about the Halloween eye candy. It stars Richard Roxburgh and Hugh Jackman! I mean, come on! It doesn't get much prettier than this! And the guys have their candy too with Kate Beckinsale!

I saw this movie 3 times in the theater!

Buy: Amazon

3. Nightmare Before Christmas - OK, not really a Halloween movie, but it does blend Christmas and Halloween nicely. Plus I love Jack Skellington and Sally!

Now sing a long with me: This is Halloween, this is Halloween!

Buy: Amazon

4. Coraline - This movie is deliciously fun and creepy and gorgeous all at the same time. It is another one of those movies I can watch again and again and not get tired of.

Odd that most of my favorite films are geared towards kids..

Buy: Amazon

5. Sweeney Todd - No joke, there is nothing scarier than this!

I watched this movie twice and I'm still traumatized by it!

Depp and the Lady Burton are brilliant in it though!

Buy: Amazon