Monday, February 24, 2014

Take Me Downton: Series 4 Finale In Review

If you were expecting something phenomenal in the finale of the current series of Downton Abbey, well you were probably disappointed.

However there were some things that were fantastic about it.

Let's list them now

Daisy attracting the attention of Howard Levinson's valet

Howard Levinson played by Paul Giamatti was really the best part of the show. I'd love to see him back along with his mother Martha Levinson (Shirley Maclaine). For a gentlemen who doesn't care for debutante's his little romance was lovely.

Rose! How one young lady can almost bring down the monarchy!

Mrs Hughes and Carson. So sweet!

Lady Edith getting some gumption!

Is there no end to the stuff that Bates can do?

Branson coming into his own. Love him!

Now for the cons..

Lady Mary is just too snotty. I would have liked a better relationship with her and Edith, most of the time I want to smack her. And she doesn't deserve any of the gentlemen at her beck and call.

Dear god the Anna/Rape thing that would not go away....and it didn't help the characters develop.

The Prince Of Wales...they found actors/actresses that looked enough like King George V and Queen Mary, why could they not find one for the Prince.

No real closure for Edith..I want to know what happened to Michael.

I liked that the episode ended on an uplifting note, but overall this season has been a downer.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Take Me Downton: Downton Abbey Epi 7

Ah Downton Abbey, the most depressing show on television that you just can't stop watching.

This episode was terribly boring with too many stories taking up the hour.

Lady Edith is prepared to give up her baby and there still is no sign of Michael Gregson.

Really Mr. Fellowes, how much can one girl take?

Bates is prepared to avenge his wife, now that he knows who her attacker is.

~sigh~ more trouble there...

Then there's Rose. She's the exciting one right now, it is just a shame that you can't really like her all that much, because she's not genuine.

I really wish she loved Mr. Ross as much as he loved her.

Lady Mary is, as always surrounded by suitors, but she's still not over Matthew and may never be.

Ho hum.

I have to admit to being on Team Gillingham, because he really seems to care about her.

Then there's the whole Albert/Daisy/Ivy thing.

I could never understand this at all.

And while we're downstairs, Molesley seems to be striking up some sort of relationship with Baxter.

It is a shame that the only excitement of this series revolves around the terrible rape story arc.

While there have been many great guest stars this series, nothing has made it stand out.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Album Review: Tom Levin - Them Feet

Artist: Tom Levin

Album: Them Feet

Review by Andrea Guy

Tom Levin has one of those voices that will leave you scratching your head. You'll think you've

heard it before, probably sometime in the late 80s or early 90s. He sounds like two 80s Ians, Ian

Astbury and Ian McCullogh His music is dark and moody, without depressing the listener.

Them Feet is his fifth album. The opening track is also the title track. At first listen you might

lose the romantic nature of the lyric, because Tom's music doesn't have that shiny, bubbly tone

that most romantic ballads have. When you hear him sing "I'm going to dance with you, when

you get old," it is hard not to be filled with warm fuzzy feelings. "Them Feet" is a modern answer

to "When I'm Sixty-four."

"I Raise My Flag" has a melody that could be ripped from the Echo And The Bunnymen catalog.

Once again it can be hard to capture the message of the song, because of the song's tone. Tom

sings about celebrating freedom and sharing his view points, yet the song conjures images of a

night sky with a few vampires lurking in the shadow.

The acoustic, bluesy "As Long As It's Good," will have your toe tapping. Tom's deep voice is

almost hypnotizing along with the fabulous percussion, the guitar isn't too shabby either.

"Once I Almost Killed A Horse" is bittersweet. The lyrics really say it all, "Moments of love,

moments of truth, moments of life, led me to you." This song speaks of one man's life. The

opening line is almost humorous, but then quickly turn sad, "Had chickens as a kid, named my

favorite Goldie Hawn. Forgot to close the coop, and the fox came in at dawn.

Them Feet is full of songs with different messages and different styles, but none of them as

different as "Company Man." Not since "Take This Job And Shove It," has there been a song that

really speaks of the plight of most of the working class. Slow and bluesy, this is the white collar

worker's kiss off to a job that takes over life. In short, this song is pure brilliance. The best line; "I

gotta work hard to make this shit shine."

"June's Memory Lane" is more than a touch melancholy. Tom's voice is soft and deep as he sings

about a life in reminiscence. "A life passing by, the city in the rain, I took her on a drive down

memory lane." This is a song that will soften the hardest of hearts and will bring a tear to a few


Tom keeps tugging at the heartstrings with "Father to Son." The haunting melody really brings

out Tom's vocal.

One thing that's consistent throughout this album is the quality of Tom's songwriting. His lyrics

evoke a myriad of emotions. They make you think as well as feel. None so much as "June's

Memory Lane" and "Father To Son."

Both are very emotionally charged and sometimes more than a little bit sad. He sings of life as it


The album ends with "King Neptune" a song in memory of Magnus "Magne" Olsson one of

Sweden's most popular sailors, and one of the best in the world, who passed away in April 2013.

This song helps to close the album on a sad note. The final three songs seem to be a sad trilogy,

yet they are also the most beautiful on the album.

"King Neptune" celebrates the life of a sailor who was known for his smile. This song is a

wonderful tribute to him.

Them Feet is a must listen for 2014. If you haven't heard Tom Levin, you are missing out on

some great music.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, February 10, 2014

Take Me Downton: Downton Abbey In Review

Watching Downton Abbey this season has truly been a depressing thing.

Rose is truly the only character that brings any amusement to the series, with her amorous antics and constant quest for fun.

This episode did bring some humanity to Lady Mary's character. It was great to see her acting more human and less of a robot, or rather a person with a very large stick up her bum.

Once again Penelope Wilton shows her great talent playing Isobel Crawley. I adore her and her determination to take care of people, especially the slightly curmudgeonly Violet.

Lady Edith is still going through some nasty trials, she's pregnant and contemplating an abortion. Yikes! Can this character have any happiness? Apparently not, if Julian Fellowes keeps on this way. It just doesn't seem fair when Lady Mary has....three or more men vying for her attentions less than a year after the death of her husband.

The Anna/Bates storyline is getting close to coming to a head. Mrs. Hughs did a splendid job giving a certain man whatfor. I would have liked to have taken a frying pan to that guy's head.

Lord Robert is off to the US to save Cora's brother's backside. Really wanted to sock him when he made a comment to take care of his dog...wait not sock Lord Robert but rather Hugh Bonneville, because he doesn't like the dog, which actually puts him on my list of actors I don't like.

Thomas is really coming out of his shell this season. I hope he sticks around the Abbey, his character really is breath of fresh air.

This was quite probably the best episode of this series.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I've Been Sherlocked: His Last Vow

His Last Vow is one of those episodes that just leave me speechless. It reminded me why I always say, Moffat is evil.

In fact this series proves how evil Moffat can be.

Sherlock is kissing girls all of a sudden...


I object to I am not one of them.

However props to Molly for getting to slap him senseful a few times in this episode.

But lets just say...

Mary Watson...OMGWTFBBQ! This is a plot twist on the evil genius that is Moffat, could come up with. I loved it and I hated it all at the same time.

Oh and I wanted to know all her dirty secrets, so Moff...I flip you the bird for keeping them secrets. This is not THE NAME OF THE DOCTOR!

Mycroft Holmes is a huge Asshat...that is all.

The ending...

Uh...I just don't know what to say about it. Sherlock is a sociopath, and one that will do whatever it takes to protect those he loves, but still...I wish Moff would've come up with something better.

But on a happy note...Yes, I've Missed You!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Take Me Downton Episodes 5 & 6 In Review

This season of Downton Abbey really is lackluster. Even with all the drama of Series 3, there were high points, with weddings and pregnancies etc.

This series is all about the gloom and doom. The only bit of excitement comes from Rose, who is a bit of a tart. (OK, no, she's slutty, but you have to love her) Rose's party girl behavior is about the only thing that makes this show tolerable right now.

First there was the whole Anna rape thing. As much as I love Julian's writing, this story arc was not done well.

Episode 5 is all about Bates finding out what happened to Anna and Alfred getting reading for his test at the Ritz to see if he can make it into their training program.

Episode 6 is more lively with Lord Grantham's birthday party. The ragtime was fabulous and Gary Carr's singing really made the show.

I do like that the little one's are appearing a bit more. Young Sybil is adorable and Tom is proving to be a loving father, which is more than we can say for Lady Mary. I have to say, her character becomes more unlikable with each episode.

And then there's Lady Edith. Why can this poor girl not catch a break? Every man in her life disappears, in one way or another.

I really loved Michael, and I shake my fist at Julian Fellowes for what is likely going to become the outcome of this relationship.

One can hold out hope that series 5 may see him return.

The other awesome story arc is with the Dowager and Lady Crawley over the gardener that may or may not have been a thief. I love when these two characters butt heads. (I also love Maggie Smith and Penelope (the Prime Minister) Wilton.

We watch tv for entertainment and fun. Downton Abbey is neither anymore, yet like any good soap opera, I can't stop watching.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Literary Nook Excerpt Tour: Ever Hopeful




Combining heart-soaring contemporary romance with heart-pounding suspense is a trademark of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Ryan—and in her novel Ever Hopeful she delivers spectacularly on both counts. Two-months pregnant and trapped in a violent marriage, Laura Kensington realizes that her ruthless and powerful in-laws will never let her go, even after the strange sudden death of her abusive husband.  Fleeing far away to the Texas ranch of Cade Bishop, a strong yet tender man who believes in second chances, Laura finds herself irresistibly drawn to Cade’s gentle passion and giving heart. But there is no escaping the shadows of her past and soon danger re-enters her world, pulling Laura into a deadly web of lies, betrayals, and murder.  And only Cade Bishop’s quiet strength and unwavering love can set her free.


Laura smiled but Cade’s comment sent her thoughts in a completely different direction. She was suddenly painfully aware that she wanted him to see her as a woman. How totally inappropriate was that? She was pregnant with her dead husband’s child and running from his family. She might be a grown woman but the fact was, she’d never been independent. She’d always been tied to a man—first her father and then her husband. This was the time in her life when she needed to take charge, learn to support herself, and be independent. Yet, here she was thinking about how gorgeous the man sitting across from her was and wondering if he liked what he saw when he looked at her.

Cade frowned at her. “What are you thinking? You seem like you took a little trip in your head for a minute.”

If only you knew.

Laura shook her head. She needed to figure out how she was going to take care of her baby when it came, how she would support them both. How she was going to get away from the Kensingtons and their powerful, seemingly endless reach. How she’d fight them if they tracked her down and tried to take the baby from her. The last thing she should be thinking was what it would be like to be in Cade’s arms, to touch him and feel his mouth on her skin....

“I was just thinking that I need to find a way to support myself and the baby. I can’t live off you guys forever.”

“Try telling that to Mama. I think she’s planning to adopt you,” said Cade.

Laura felt a sharp pain at his joke and had a feeling she probably grimaced. What would it have been like to be born to May Bishop? To have been raised in a place like this by someone who loved her? To receive the unconditional love that a parent is supposed to have for their child?

Fairy tales…. She’d given up on things like that a long time ago. It wasn’t useful to sit and pity herself and cry about her circumstances. But, being so close to a family like the Bishops...made her want to go back in time and rewrite her story. If not rewrite who she was born to, at least change her decision to marry Patrick.

“Well, I’ll have to come up with something,” Laura said, but in all honesty waiting tables was about the only thing she was qualified to do.

She forced a smile. She may not have ever had a mother like May Bishop, but she’d make damn sure her child did. Her baby would know she was loved no matter what. That nothing could ever take her mother’s love away. If Laura was sure of one thing in her life, she was sure of that. She would love this child with all her heart and all that she was.
Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing. Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has written three more books since then. Each of Lori’s books have made their way to the Amazon bestseller list and she quickly climbed the Amazon bestselling author list, as well. In November, 2013, Lori and a group of romantic suspense authors landed on the USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists with an anthology only eight months after the release of Lori’s first book. Lori loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog. Oh, and if you’ve read Lori’s books and loved them, please consider leaving a review on or with the retailer of your choice. Writers live and die by their reviews and Lori promises to do a happy dance around her office every time you write one!