Saturday, December 31, 2011

Movie Review: Mary Poppins

A magic nanny comes to work for a cold banker's unhappy family.

Since it's Christmas time, our TV is airing many old movies. One of those was Mary Poppins, and since I haven't seen it before, I decided to watch it now.

The movie was great for many reasons. The acting was amazing, the songs lovely, in a way that the songs are stucking into your head and they have something to say, and the costumes were beautiful.

I liked the idea of having both animation and real-life actors in one scene, it was unique and very funny, in a way that it's not boring and more appealing to the kids. Mary Poppins was a marvellous woman, she could make the kids listen to her without shouting or yelling, but with singing to them and making them understand in a good way and she could make the others do as she said without them noticing. Bert was gret too. He had many talents and really liked Mary Poppins. As for the parents, I think they were just busy in what they were doing and the kids were not naughty, they just wanted their parents to pay a little attention to them.

I'm not the only one thinking that the movie was great. It was nominated for 13 Oscars, and it won 5 of them, including Best Special Effects, though in your eyes and mine would look little fake, but it's 1964, Best Actress for Julie Andrews and Best Song for "Chim Chim Cher-ee", my personal favourite.

It's the last day of this year, I'm not going to able to write anything else today, so I wish you all A Very Happy New Year and since I have nothing else to say, I salute you with the world's biggest word: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Author Interview: Steven Shrewsbury

Steven L. Shrewsbury is a fantasy and horror author who has well over 300 tales published online or in print.  He is the creator of  creator of Dack Shannon and the Majestic Universe, as well as the novels Tormentor (Lachesis Publishing), Hawg (Graveside Tales) and Stronger Than Death (Snuff Books).  

He has appeared in many anthologies, most recently Harlan County Horrors from Apex Publications.  Other anthologies include Deathgrip: Legacy of Terror from Hellbound books; Blackest Death-Vol I from BDB; the high fantasy epic Grimoire De Solace from iUniverse, the hardback Cemetery Poets, Scary, Atrocitas Aqua from DDP.

For more information on Steven L. Shrewsbury, please visit his website at 


SOOW: Try to describe your book in one sentence.-

SS: THRALL is an epic adventure that shows courage sometimes arrives in a dented package.

SOOW: Your genre in "Thrall" is "Sword and Sorcery"? Did you choose that genre on purpose, or did you just start writing?

SS: I write many horror or fantasy tales. THRALL just happened to be seen as S&S. Frankly, it's a horror story set back in the days of things long forgotten so S&S works I guess.

SOOW: What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?

SS: Ever since I've been a child, I've been telling stories. They just arrive in my head. I used to re-arragne Biblical battles in my sand box until I discovered this was likely to get me sent to hell. I read books by
Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs to start with, then it was off to the races. I never cared for Tolkien really as a youth, but read more horror as I grew up, King, Bloch, Lovecraft, Ellison along with many great sci fi like Heinlein, Bradbury and then Martin and Gemmell.

SOOW: Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books?-

SS: I read a great deal on many topics. I'm a real history goof so at times I'll do honest research, but many things in a fiction novel pop in there from years of reading on varied topics. The background in THRALL is set before the flood in a misty era not many know much about. I had some fun with that.

SOOW: Which scenes were the hardest to write?-

SS: The climax was sort of emotionally draining.

SOOW: How long has it taken you to write a book ?-

SS: Some pop out fast. I cna do a first draft in a month, but redrafts and other dressing up for it takes much longer. Each book is a beast unto itself.

SOOW: What's the best part of writing for you?-

SS: The escapism and just letting it out. I can tell a story, enjoy it and share it.

SOOW: Are you reading or writing something else at the moment?-

SS: Reading some old Tim Zahn STAR WARS books at the moment, but yes, I just finished a horror novel and am ready for edits on another.

SOOW: Did you have support at the beginning and/or during your writing?-

SS: No. However, some friends give me that inspiration now.

SOOW: Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?-

SS: I've been writing down stories since I was 12 I think. Always knew it.

SOOW: How important you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews? -

SS: I love to hear from readers either via the internet or at Cons. If one
writes me on FB or email, I'll answer. I don't answer comments on reviews,
though. Folks are entitled to their opinions.

SOOW: Are you working on any other projects except writing, right now?-

SS" Trying to get stuff in line for Christmas as well as writing.

SOOW: Something special you want to share with us?

SS: In the next week or so Seventh Star Press well start releasing short
tales in eBook format. Two of my tales (featuring Gorias La Gaul from
OUR FLESH. Next year we'll see the release of my horror novel HELL BILLY and
a prequel to THRALL called OVERKILL, um, but dunno if I was supposed to say
the latter yet :)

SOOW: Now some simple questions and more fun:

SOOW: Your favourite books and author?

SS: HOUR OF THE DRAGON by Robert E. Howard; MOTHER NIGHT by Kurt Vonnegut;
BLOODSTONE by Karl Edward Wagner
Those three fellas are my favorite authors, too.

SOOW: Your favourite band/singer?

Johnny Cash

SOOW: Twitter or Facebook?
SS: Facebook. My fingers are too big for twittering.

SOOW: Favourite place in the world?

SS: My farm

SOOW: Last movie you watched at the cinemas?

FRIGHT NIGHT. Bloody terrible save for David Tennant parts.

SOOW: The last book you've read?

SS: BIGFOOT WAR by Eric S. Brown

SOOW: Have you ever googled yourself?

SS: Sure. More than once, in fact.

SOOW: Writing, reading or hanging out with friends?

SS: Lately, more of the former.

SOOW: If you wouldn't be a writer, what you would be?-

SS: A LUMBER JACK! No, I dunno...a famer. I've lived on a farm my entire life
yet don't farm.

SOOW: And last one....printed or ebooks?



Friday, December 30, 2011

Game Review: Heroes Of Might And Magic VI


The adventure in Heroes VI, starting 400 years before events in Heroes V, catapults a family of heroes into a fast-paced epic story where Angels plot to end -- once and for all -- an unfinished war with their ancient rivals, the Faceless.

A legendary Archangel General is resurrected, but with his powers crippled. Plagued by horrible memories of the Elder Wars, he plots to recover his powers and take control of Ashan while destroying both Faceless and Demons in a series of carefully orchestrated attacks and betrayals. He underestimates, however, the power of the all-too-human Griffin dynasty.

The destiny of these Griffin heroes will be determined by our players.


The latest game in the Heroes Of Might And Magic series which as you all know or SHOULD know that it is my favorite game series, Heroes Of Might And Magic VI leaves a mixed feeling.

Well to begin with lets start with the poster. I mean...OMG right?! HOW AWESOME IS IT?! Now this poster, the soundtrack and the artwork were TOTALLY worth the money for the Deluxe edition.

As for the game now, well it had some very nice parts and some parts that disappoint greatly. Lets begin. The story of the game is interesting, it shows the journey of 5 siblings and its amazing how different their story was, and how much they each affected the main plot in their own way. The story is shown through cutscenes and dialogues as it was in Heroes V, which is something I enjoyed there as well. The story unfolds in a more cinematic kind of way and keeps an interest to the player.

Then we have the obvious change on the graphics. The graphics are now smoother, the animations and effects are much better and they add a very nice touch to the overall scene of the game. The battles are smoother since the analogy of the size of the units is way better than in Heroes V (you dont have dwarves or wolves that are in the same size as a grown man, if not bigger), and the magic and the way it is cast and shown is much better worked.

Then we have music, which as always is very nice and blends in with the world perfectly. They managed to embody the factions with their music very nicely and they even made a tribute to the older games by adding a few soundtracks similar to the older games such as Heroes II. The sound effects are much better than before, and they vary according to distance and point of view. The voice acting was better as well.

Finally there were a few things in terms of gameplay that were improved as well. For instance i liked the fact that every nation had its own unique set of spells and powers as well as looks (both male and female, mage and fighter, which was a thing that was lacking from heroes V). They also had their own catapult when you assaulted forts and cities, which was a great touch. They also worked very nicely on the rpg element of the game. The fact that every hero gained a skill point that he could then spend on various abilities or spells was to me a great improvement. Though many would argue that the cities no longer had the mage's guild that had spells and you had to learn the necessary skill to learn them, i find it an improvement since many times you wanted to train your hero to lets say "fire magic" and the mage's guild you had only had water spells on higher levels so you were stuck with an awesome fire mage that had crappy spells. This way you have full control of what your hero knows and doesnt.

However there are also a few things that disappointed me greatly with this game. First of all the fact that you have to be online to unlock content and experience the game in its full is a major minus for me because I dont want all of my games to require internet to play properly. I mean, what if I am stuck somewhere with no internet? that means I cant play anything? That is a big minus Ubisoft.

Another thing that disappointed me was the lack of choices when it comes to races. I miss having the old plethora of choices, from Lizardmen, to humans, to elves, to dwarves, to undead, to barbarians, to orcs etc etc. Yes I know that after Heroes III (the best heroes game imo) there was never much variety, i found it annoying that they did not have some key races in Heroes as I have come to think of them. For instance this game did not have Mages and Elves, which is stupid. I mean, the game is practically called might and magic, and you dont have the Mage people? or elves? Elves always played a great role in Heroes universe. I know that they were not part of the plot, but they could and should add them. Perhaps in future expansions?

Last the MOST disappointing element of the game was the city view. Dont get me wrong they did major improvements on the way the city looks in the world map when you upgrade things. Meaning that a city with a capitol, castle and all the bonus buildings build was WAY more different than a city that had no castle, or different bonus buildings. However the in town view is just dreadful. I mean really Ubisoft? they had in town camera awesome and replaced it with a boring 2d moving picture. How could the improve so many things from heroes V and the only key thing that Heroes V ROCKED the waves with was left out? Bad move. VERY bad move.

To end with I think that it is a worthwhile game, a fine addition to any might and magic fan out there. Sure it has a few things that keep it from the level of perfection we all want, but it is not to shabby. It has a solid ground to begin with, and I hope it will only improve.

P.S Those b....bad people kept some of the music tracks off the soundtrack!!!! the best ones were out!

Movie Review: All Good Things & The American

About: In 1970s New York City, David Marks (Gosling), the son of a powerful real estate tycoon, marries a beautiful working-class student, Katie McCarthy (Dunst). Together they flee the city for country life in Vermont — only to be lured back by David's father. Upon their return, Katie goes back to medical school while trying to understand David's mood swings and unwillingness to have children. As she becomes increasingly independent, David mysteriously turns more violent and controlling. Family secrets are slowly revealed as Katie disappears without a trace. Years later, when David's best friend turns up dead, the 20-year-old case is re-opened, with David as the main suspect, and the Marks family’s dark secrets pave the way to a disturbing truth.

Review: I saw this movie because of Ryan Gosling. I have seen him in other movies and I was impressed by his performances, but in this one he portrays a whole different kind of character. This movie impressed me because it started and ended in a very different way. The plot was very interesting, it captured the viewer in so many levels. I couldn't stop thinking about it even days after. Kirsten Dunst as Katie Marks was very good at her role too. To sum up, I suggest this movie to those of you, who like romantic dramas, but I have to warn you that it is a very emotionally brutal movie. For me it is a 8/10.

About: An assassin hides out in Italy for one last assignment. The American of the title is Jack (Clooney), a hitman who is living a seemingly idyllic life in Sweden which is quickly shattered when men come to kill him (for reasons never explained). Jack makes it out alive and hides out in a small, beautiful Italian village awaiting instructions from his contact on how to proceed. He’s given a job that requires him to build a specialized rifle for an assassination. However, his life remains in danger and Jack’s (justified) paranoia becomes more intense throughout the film.

Review: The main reason I decided to watch this movie was George Clooney. However, I am not glad I did. The movie was very slow, even though it had action scenes and also it seemed very unrealistic. The classic hit-man “superhero”. I found it very boring, I was looking at my watch, the whole time. My review is very small because this movie had actually no plot. In my opinion it is not a worth watching movie even though George Clooney is the lead actor.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Movie Review: Ides of March

About: Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) is the Junior Campaign Manager for Mike Morris (George Clooney), Governor of Pennsylvania and a Democratic presidential candidate, competing against Arkansas Senator Ted Pullman (Michael Mantell). The candidates are campaigning in Ohio. A win for Morris would all but guarantee him the nomination; a win for Pullman would give him vital momentum. Both campaigns are also attempting to enlist the endorsement of North Carolina Democratic Senator Franklin Thompson (Jeffrey Wright) who can give either one 356 pledged Democratic convention delegates and, ultimately, the nomination.

Review: George Clooney as President of the United States? And Ryan Gosling as his press secretary? How could I not watch this movie? The Ides of March is a movie with an impressive cast. Clooney directs, and has co-written the screenplay with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon. Some of the actors are Marissa Tomei, playing a sassy New York Times reporter, Paul Giamatti as Tom Duffy, a rival campaign manager and Evan Rachel Wood as Molly Stearns, an intern for Morris' campaign were some of the actors that impressed me the most.

Mike Morris, the governor of Pennsylvania in “The Ides of March” is an image of the liberal heart’s desire, and not only because he is played by George Clooney. Morris, who keeps his cool while inflaming the passions of Democratic primary voters, is a committed environmentalist and a forthright secularist who sidesteps questions about his faith by professing that his religion is the United States Constitution. He is against war and in favor of jobs, though the economy figures much less in his fictitious campaign than it will in the real one just around the corner (New York Times).

The movie is slow and dark in a way that captures the viewer. It shows a young idealist at a turning point in his career and his life. Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers was amazing at his role. I was touched by his performance. The Ides of March shows the rivalry between the republicans and the democrats and reveals the power games and conspiracies in politics.

To sum up, personally I believe that this is a movie worth watching. It will leave you with many productive thoughts and you will enjoy a movie very well made, with amazing performances from amazing actors. A political drama that's real and intelligent, The Ides Of March is a thrilling watch.

The film is an adaptation of Willimon's 2008 play Farragut North

Monday, December 26, 2011

Book Review: Farsighted

Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

Farsighted ( Farsighted #1 ) by Emlyn Chand
E-book for review, 228 pages
Published November 24th 2011 by Blue Crown Press

There are just so many things i liked about this book! I can't even believe i had doubts on reviewing it. At the end was a really pleasant surprise.

So i was at my bed, warm and all (and ill) and i was like "ok let's start this book. i would read about 50 pages for start and i'm done". So i started. At some point i noticed i was past the 50 pages, and i decided to go until 100 because i like those round numbers. Needless to say i got past 100 without even noticing and finished the book like that. I just couldn't stop. At the end of every chapter i was "i can't stop here! just one more chapter". enough with my monologue...

The writing is simple and light. Still it engages you and connect you with the story easily. I mean i did have a headache when i started the book, and it was actually a really calm and easy read and didn't tire me at all. There is action, there is romance, there is mystery. Even though the book is small, the author manage to blend everything so good in the right amount and the story turned out just really good.

At the start of every chapter, there is also a really small paragraph -3 lines most- which i decided to call "little prophecies" because they were mystically telling you what will happen, without spoilers or names and really in general. I was trying to guess what the author meant by that. Sometimes i did, sometimes i didn't. Anyway, i really liked those "little prophecies" because firstly i connected them with the voice and the character of the book, Miss Teak, who kinda tells the future so i decided she was the one talking. And secondly, because i liked how i could see and understand what the author wanted to show us by writing a certain chapter and how she thought in general with proceeding the story.

On the other side we have the characters! Oh how much i loved all of them. They seemed so normal with their weak and strong characteristics. Alex is just one of the greatest guys i have seen. Yes the book is written by his POV and the fact he is blind made a nice change on caring how everyone looked like. He can see thought the characters personalities and appearance doesn't matter at all in this book. Which actually made me connect more with all the characters, even the secondary ones.
Then we have the whole family thing. I really love when in YA books, the family of the kiddohs (he is 16 but i just i like the word too much), are also big part of the story instead of forgetting them in a corner and just appear to cook or something.

So yes, the book might be a little cliche at some points but still has an originally and sweetness in it. I really really liked it and once again it was proved to not judge a book by its publisher or how famous is it. For me: read it!


Announcing the Farsighted Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Farsighted eBook edition is just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including lots of Amazon gift cards (up to $100 in amount) and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 30th, so you don’t miss out.

To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of Farsighted for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!
  5. DOUBLE BONUS: If I receive more comments than any other blogger, *I* win $100.

...And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

The Featured Events include:

Monday, a guest blog on Novel Publicity! Emlyn kicks off the tour on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog by discussing her brightly burning passion for books in a guest post entitled “My journey through the pages and toward a life-long love of reading.” One commenter will win an autographed copy of Farsighted. Don’t forget to enter for the other contest prizes while you’re over there!

Tuesday, Twitter sharing contest! A tweet is tiny, only 140 characters. But on Tuesday, it could win you $50. Send the following tweet across the twittersphere, and you just may win a $50 Amazon gift card. An autographed copy of Farsighted is also up for grabs. The winners will be announced Wednesday morning. Here’s the tweet: Looking for a fun read to round out your holiday break? The paranormal YA hit Farsighted is just 99 cents! #whirlwind

Wednesday, Google+ sharing contest! Yup, there’s yet another awesome opportunity to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and this time it just takes a single click! Visit Google+ and share Emlyn Chand’s most recent post (you’ll see the Stay Farsighted book cover included with it). On Thursday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Farsighted is also up for grabs. Two chances to win with just one click! How about that?

Thursday, Facebook sharing contest! Stop by Novel Publicity’s Facebook page and share their latest post (you’ll see the Farsighted book cover included with it). It’s ridiculously easy to win! On Friday morning, one lucky sharer will be $50 richer. An autographed copy of Farsighted is also up for grabs.

Friday, special contest on the author’s site! Are you ready for some more fun? Take a picture of yourself with your copy of Farsighted either in paperback or on an eReading device, then post it to Emlyn Chand’s Facebook page or email a copy to You just way win one of three Amazon gift cards! A $100 prize will go to the photo with the most interesting setting (so put your holiday travel time to work for you). Another $50 will go the funniest photo, and one more prize of $50 will go the scariest photo—this is a paranormal YA book after all. An autographed copy of Farsighted will go to one randomly selected entrant. For more details about this contest, please visit

Remember, it’s all about the books!

About Farsighted: Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Farsighted is the winner of the 2011 Dragonfly eBook Awards. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the Author: Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Movie Review: The Help

Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, “The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed—even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times.

Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, “
The Help” is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change.

Easily one of the best movies i've seen this year.....The Help is a movie with not only strong story but also really strong performances. 

Every actor is one with their roles in an unbelievable way. I still remember how i could see Aibileen's pain from the way she was talking or her expressions. She easily had the best performance in the whole movie. It's been really long since i've seen such a good acting in a movie. When you see an actor put all the heart in their role.
This is also the first time i see Emma Stone in something serious. I knew she was good in comedies but i have to admit she did great in here as well. Voicing and showing us, how difficult and how people judged a person who was different than them or had a more open mind. And even then ones close to you, they were so afraid of the society that could easily let you be alone for their sake.

It seems so weird to me, to see or learn stories like that. Where the people were so judgmental and they were treated badly because of their color. And even when they raised their kids and doing everything for them, still they weren't treated at least with some respect.

I don't think the movie is for everyone, just because many will find it boring and they won't see its true message. But if you decide to give it a chance, try to full enjoy it and pay attention. It's brilliant!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Book Review: Fractured Light

I’m dying, I thought. This was unexpected and not at all how I envisioned my death. I was supposed to die gardening in a flowerbed as a hundred-year-old woman, not as a seventeen-year-old trapped in a lake beneath inches of ice.

Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. She can’t take any chances. But when she starts to make friends for the first time in her life, she gets careless and lets her guard down. Big mistake.

As an Aura, Llona can manipulate light and harness its energy. But if she wants to survive, Llona will have to defy the Auran Council and learn to use her power as a weapon against the Vyken whose sole desire is to take her light. Now she’s caught in something even bigger than she can understand, with a power she can’t wield, and no one she can trust, except, just maybe, a mysterious stranger.

In this breathtaking and romantic adventure, Rachel McClellan delivers a truly mesmerizing story that will keep you guessing to the very end

Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan
Galley, 312 pages
Expected publication: February 8th 2012 
Buy @ Amazon

How original and cool the concept of the books seem eh? It really makes you want to read it! That's why i picked it up anyway.

So here we are with what seems like something new. Is it though? Yes and no. I mean there are some cliche things and it reminded me other YA books from the point of a more generic theme but still it had the element of difference. The mysteries in the book, really make you to want read and read to see what happens. Plus, Llona is a really great character and quite enjoyable to read about her. She does have some weird moments, but don't we all? I like when a character it's not too perfect.
I can't say the romance was too much of wow after everything i have read but it was nice and the scenes were quite entertaining even though it was the usual forbidden love story, we all see nowdays in books.

If i have something negative to say, it would be on the writing part. There were points it seems so poor done and others that it seemed really professional from someone who has write before. It wasn't bad, but it make me wonder if some parts of the book were written a lot earlier than the others.

In general i would say, it's a good read. I could maybe read one more time. Do not expect the super duper novel, but it worth its time.


Spotlight List: Christmas Movies

Spotlight List: Christmas Movies
Enjoy a special Spotlight List, with some Christmas movies for the holidays to watch with your family...or if you are just bored, including old ones and new ones :)

Do you have any good movies for Christmas too? Tell us at the comments!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Movie Review: That's What I Am

Set against the backdrop of the mid-sixties, That's What I Am is a coming-of-age story which follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student whose English teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris), pairs him on a project with the school's biggest outcast and social pariah, Stanley (aka Big Red). When Andy watches Stanley fearlessly confront a school bully, a series of events is unleashed, which changes the lives of both young men – and their teacher – forever.

Molly Parker portrays Andy's mother, Sherri. Daniel Roebuck plays Andy's father, Jim. WWE Superstar Randy Orton portrays Ed Freel, the father of the bully reprimanded by Simon. When Freel's son spreads a lie about Simon, Ed repeats the accusation and begins a campaign to get Simon fired. Mia Rose Frampton has been cast as Mary Bell, the prettiest girl in the school, who is also known as the preeminent make-out artist of the eighth grade. Amy Madigan plays Principal Kelner, whose decision to suspend a school bully has devastating and unforeseen consequences.

I can only say wow. It really doesn't surprise me anymore that many of the most unknown movies are just really really good! And That's What I Am is exactly .

Telling the story of a boy who has to partner with the kid everyone laughs and how he works it out. We see how much he changes, and understands better what the other is going through only if we are in their position. And at the same time, we see how a kid who thought he suspension from school was unfair by a simple lie his destroys a persons life. How that affects everyone and in the end how important are really what the other is in our jobs or simply in our every day life.

The acting is great from kids to adults, the script and everything being said has meaning. And while the movie is a bit heavy for kids, it's still is a good way to see the POV of many people around them. It doesn't matter if it was set in the '60s, you can still see everything that happens in our days. Even when most of us have more open minds, it's amazing how some things never change. Bullying and rumors are two things in everyone's life, and the movie shows exactly their power.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Contest for Aspiring YA Writers‏

Win a literary agent or acclaimed author's feedback on your unpublished manuscript for young adult or middle grade readers.  This rare opportunity is being offered to the six winners of an essay contest recently announced by the literacy charity Book Wish Foundation.  See for full details.

You could win a manuscript critique from:

Laura Langlie, literary agent for Meg Cabot
Nancy Gallt, literary agent for Jeanne DuPrau
Brenda Bowen, literary agent and editor of Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal winner Out of the Dust
Ann M. Martin, winner of the Newbery Honor for A Corner of the Universe
Francisco X. Stork, winner of the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award for The Last Summer of the Death Warriors
Cynthia Voigt, winner of the Newbery Medal for Dicey's Song and the Newbery Honor for A Solitary Blue

All that separates you from this prize is a 500-word essay about a short story in Book Wish Foundation's new anthology, What You Wish For.  Essays are due Feb. 1, 2012 and winners will be announced around Mar. 1, 2012.  If you win, you will have six months to submit the first 50 pages of your manuscript for critique (which means you can enter the contest even if you haven't finished, or started, your manuscript).  You can even enter multiple times, with essays about more than one of the contest stories, for a chance to win up to six critiques.

If you dream of being a published author, this is an opportunity you should not miss.  To enter, follow the instructions at

Good luck and best wishes,

Logan Kleinwaks
President, Book Wish Foundation

What You Wish For (ISBN 9780399254543, Putnam Juvenile, Sep. 15, 2011) is a collection of short stories and poems about wishes from 18 all-star writers: Meg Cabot, Jeanne DuPrau, Cornelia Funke, Nikki Giovanni, John Green, Karen Hesse, Ann M. Martin, Alexander McCall Smith, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Carol Oates, Nate Powell, Sofia Quintero, Gary Soto, R.L. Stine, Francisco X. Stork, Cynthia Voigt, Jane Yolen.  With a Foreword by Mia Farrow.  Book Wish Foundation is donating 100% of its proceeds from the book to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to fund the development of libraries in Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad.

Movie Review: The Zookeeper

In Zookeeper, the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kindhearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James). Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get a girl in his life is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job. The animals, in a panic, decide to break their time-honored code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk! To keep Griffin from leaving, they decide to teach him the rules of courtship - animal style. The film also stars Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb and features the voices of Cher, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, and Sylvester Stallone.

I remember watching animal movies which were actually really fun. Zookeeper is mostly a cheap way for a funny movie with animals which reminds a lot of Night At The Museum.

I do not say, it was not fun but it was predictable in a way that make me feel like i've watched it before. The animals decide to talk the zookeeper and help him get a girlfriend in their own way. The fact that he actually listens and does what animals do to mate, was really "nahhh....". It's a movie that can't surprise you if you grow up watching comedies, animals movies.

As for the acting it was really average. Kevin James was trying too hard to be funny and in conclusion he was just silly. I don't believe he is such a great actor but in Grown Ups he was really good. As for the voices of the animals, while some of them were matched other fell out of place and not real.

While the movie could have been way better, it seemed to me that they didn't really put much effort in. It's simple okay...though i do believe kids will like it way more.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Movies Review: St.Trinian's

Rupert Everett and Colin Firth star in this raucous comedy about the latest brood of devilish girls at St. Trinian's. When bankruptcy and an abysmal reputation threaten to close the school, the girls plan a heist worthy of detention. With an equally rowdy headmistress (Everett, in a gender-bending role), an inept faculty and a zealous education minister (Firth), the misdeeds are fast, furious and riotously outrageous. Lena Headey also stars.

This movies is pure awesomeness!! While you expect something like an American teen movie with weird jokes,etc you get something entirely different (the movie is British).

You start with an introduction of you can it's a school and the characters and then turns out into a well made robbery film. All of that with an amazing cast and really really funny! Even the trailer doesn't prepare you for this. I can say that non of my friends expected to like but they turned out to be "that was goodddd".

It's full of girls but it's neither girly or boyish. It has a school but it's not for kids or teens only. It's a movie everyone can watch and the characters you may see on in may surprise you. It's amazing how each actor fitted the role so well, that you couldn't say "hmm..some else would have done it better". Many say it's not as good as the original and that's cheap. I know i like it and when i was done i had to watch the second one immediately!

Cast: Talulah Riley (Pride & Prejudice), Rupert Everett (Shrek), Jodie Whittaker (One Day), Gemma Arterton ( Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans), Kathryn Drysdale (Vanity Fair), Juno Temple ( Year One, The Three Musketeers), Tasmin Egerton (Camelot, Eragon), Lily Cole (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), Rusell Brand (Arthur, Get Him To The Greek), Lena Heady ( Game of Thrones, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Toby Jones (Harry Potter, Captain America), Caterina Murino (Casino Royale), Colin Firth (The King's Speech),Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher), Mischa Barton ( The O.C), Nathaniel Parker (Stardust)

St. Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold sees the girls return for a new term at the eponymous academy, with all the usual hi-jinks and mayhem which that entails. This being a school where anything seems to happen and usually does, on a regular basis, the students soon find themselves thrown into an action-packed treasure hunt that will see them fighting off fierce competition for the coveted Fritton's Gold from establishment rivals and the mischievous Pomfrey (David Tennant; TV's Doctor Who) and his assortment of woman-hating sidekicks.

As i said above there is a second one! This time the girls go into treasure hunting and trying to find clues! The movies turns out to be girls VS boys and is a little more kick-assing with action out of school. More boys, battles, sword fighting, flash mobs and many other things. So where it lacked the first one comes the second, and where it lacks the second comes the first one.

Many girls are now of the school and we get to see new ones, and many others are back. And while you are "ohh..why they changed her", except one or two they actually found actors who matched better the attitude of the clique they belonged.

Again i had much fun watching it. Maybe a little less but i laughed. And the story was a little more exciting than before. Two movies that i believe you should watch back to back (they are 1 hr and half each one), so you can stay in the atmosphere.

Cast: Talulah Riley (Pride & Prejudice), Rupert Everett (Shrek), Jodie Whittaker (One Day), Gemma Arterton ( Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans), Juno Temple ( Year One, The Three Musketeers), Tasmin Egerton (Camelot, Eragon), Toby Jones (Harry Potter, Captain America), Colin Firth (The King's Speech), David Tennant ( Doctor Who, Harry Potter), Gabriella Wilde (The Three Musketeers), Tom Riley (Lost In Austen), Georgia King ( Wild Child), Freddie Fox ( The Three Musketeers)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Movies' Mini Reviews: Geek Charming & A Cinderella Story III

Based on the popular young adult novel of the same name, Geek Charming follows a snobby high school girl who has her perspective challenged when she becomes the subject of a self-proclaimed film geek's documentary. In the movie, spoiled Dylan Shoenfield (Hyland), Woodlands Academy's most popular junior, accidentally drops her designer handbag into the mall fountain and the school's film geek, Josh Rosen (Prokop) jumps in to retrieve it. Although Dylan would not usually interact with Josh, to return the favor, she agrees to be the subject of his documentary for the school film contest - with the hope that the film will help her win the coveted Blossom Queen crown. While Josh sets out to make a hard-hitting film about Dylan and her social hierarchy, once the cameras start rolling he sees there's more to her than meets the eye.

TV Movies are always low budget but that doesn't mean they can't be fun. Especially the Disney ones ^^ . Geek Charming except an obvious romance between a geek and the popular girl, it goes deeper and show us how the life of a popular girl is, her secrets,her feelings and everything which was an interesting take for a teen movie. Apart from that i can the acting was okay. Average or below but i didn't expect much anyway. Most of the actors are new or have done small jobs before except of course Hyland who stars at Modern Family. She was actually the main reason i watched the movie because i wanted to see her in something different. There is no much to say really, in general is a really average movie but it has some really good moments and it's good for a watch when you are out of movies (if that can ever happen).

A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song (previously known as A Cinderella Story 3 ) is a 2011 romantic comedy directed by Damon Santostefano and starring Lucy Hale and Freddie Stroma . The film will be released direct-to-DVD by Warner Premiere somewhere in fall 2011.

Really there is not much difference in the movie than A Cinderella #2 except the fact that instead of dancing we now have singing. I found it really poor done, in comparison both the previous movies and no reason for it to exist. It had some good moments now and there, but was way predictable and something boring. There wasn't much singing either and the songs weren't that nice too. Also it's really small so it goes before you even notice it. Lucy Hale is a good actress but you can't stay she stands out for her work in this one. Only interesting change, was how the stepsister wasn't than mean as the previous movies and instead of a 2nd stepsister, you have an 8 year old genius step brother. My opinion: skip it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Author Interview: Jackie Gamber

Jackie Gamber is an award-winning freelance editor, as well as award-winning author of the fantasy novel Redheart, available now through Seventh Star Press( and ebook at a special rate of $2.99! A veteran of the USAF, she is now, among other things, a rosarian, a professional BookTaster, and an avid believer in imagination. Visit Jackie and her BookTastings on the world wide web at


Try to describe your book in one sentence.

Kallon Redheart is a dragon who has turned his back on everything he once believed in, but must face his past to save the future of Leland Province.

Your genre in "Redheart" is "fantasy"? Did you choose that genre on purpose, or did you just start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy for my personal reading, and most of the stories I envision writing hover around in those genres in at least some way. With “Redheart”, though, the characters definitely came first, introducing themselves to me in such a way that the world filled in around them, and couldn’t have been written any other way.

What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?

For “Redheart” in particular, or any writing project of mine, I believe inspiration comes from a mysteriously secretive place that I don’t even fully grasp. I’m definitely an observer; of life, people, other art forms, other stories. I know my experiences and beliefs and even my own personal questions get thrown into a vat together, where they stew and brew and eventually bubble up something I simply have to write down.

Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books?

I like to make my stories seem as true as possible, so even with fantasy or invented worlds, I do try to mimic the general rules of human and environmental nature. In developing Leland and her neighboring provinces, I often researched which trees and plants could be found growing together in a deciduous forest, what sorts of animals could best survive in certain climates, that sort of thing. I’d like my readers to be drawn into a story that seems so real it must exist somewhere!

Which scenes were the hardest to write?

Now and again while I’m writing, a scene will veer off into danger I hadn’t planned out, or will take a turn for more emotion than I meant. It’s difficult when I stump myself, especially when I like the surprising turn and want to keep it. It’s the “how do I get my character out of this?” question that tends to make writing hardest for me.

How long has it taken you to write a book?

I wrote the first few chapters of “Redheart” in bits and pieces over a long period of time before I finally got serious and decided to finish it for real. Once I got focused, “Redheart” took about six months or so.

What’s the best part of writing for you?

The best part of writing usually comes from those moments mingled with the worst parts! When I’ve stumped myself with a plot surprise, or when the words are a struggle for me during dry spells, but I keep pushing and writing anyway, and then wham! Breakthrough! The story gels, the words work. That’s the best part.

Are you reading or writing something else at the moment?

I read a lot of nonfiction while I’m writing. Just now I’m learning how to knit, so my personal reading revolves around yarns and patterns and all those fun things. I’m currently working on Book Two of the Leland Series, and will be shifting soon to Book Three, followed by a fantasy steampunk novel in a new world.

Did you have support at the beginning and/or during your writing?

My husband and my two children have always encouraged me to keep working, keep envisioning where I want to take my writing. Sometimes the cost of pursuing a dream can seem too steep, too much sacrifice, and I’ve had serious doubts as to whether I’m doing the right thing. My husband, Dan, has always held me to the promises I’ve made myself without condition. My kids, in elementary school when I first starting writing and submitting, are 20 and 16 years old now, and still believing in me.

Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

I’ve written for as long as I can remember, sort of in the way lots of people sing in the shower. Just for the expression of it. But one day I thought, maybe I could really study this craft and see what I can do with it, where I could go.

How important you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?

I love readers, and really enjoy their company and their conversation – I’m a reader, too! Social networking such as Facebook or Twitter are a great outlet for me, especially when I spend so much time at my desk that I’m not getting out of the house much.

I’ve learned to be cautious about reading reviews directly, though. I always appreciate feedback, and I’m honored when a reader takes the time to review, because that’s extra time and energy they’ve given my story! So my husband keeps me informed, generally, of the tone and direction of my reviews so I can benefit from the feedback.

Are you working on any other projects except writing, right now?

I’m really enjoying my knitting! It’s a great way for me to wind down in the evenings, without overtaxing the side of my brain I use to write. I’m getting great at scarves, and I’ve even managed a couple of hats. Next, I want to try gloves.

Something special you want to share with us?

Read books! All kinds! Including Redheart”, of course. Books have antioxidants for the brain. And drink tea while you read, for the whole antioxidant mind and body cleanse. In fact, I believe books and tea are such terrific partners, I love to pair certain blends with certain novels to really bring out the best of both. You can check out my Book-Tasting on my website at

Your favourite books and author?

I have so many favorite books! But without a doubt, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, and “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. Also “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury.

Your favourite band/singer?

I’m an 80’s music generation, so I know a lot of lyrics to Big Hair Band ballads without realizing I do. But nowadays I listen on purpose to Deuter, Gandalf (the musician, not the wizard), Medwyn Goodall: atmospheric stuff.

Twitter or Facebook?

Both! I like the broader communication of Facebook, but I find a lot of friends and kindred spirits through Twitter.

Favourite place in the world?

I love mountains; the shaggier the better. My first favorite chain is the Smoky Mountains in the U.S., but I also adore the Ozark Mountains all throughout Arkansas.

Last movie you watched at the cinemas?

I don’t often get to the cinema, so I’ll have to think back a bit. I believe my last visit was to see “Thor” – which I remember enjoying a lot more than I was expecting!

The last book you’ve read?

The last fiction book I read was “Tamsin” by Peter Beagle. My most recent nonfiction has been “The Knitter’s Life List” by Gwen Steege, which has really challenged me to take on new adventures.

Have you ever googled yourself?

I have Googled myself! A strange part of being a writer is how it isn’t all about art, but business, too. I do need to keep a finger on my pulse in the virtual world, as well as the real one.

Writing, reading or hanging out with friends?

I very much like to write, read, and hang out with friends, although the focus varies, depending on my projects. Lately, I’ve done a lot more writing, and less hanging out.

If you wouldn’t be a writer, what you would be?

I’ve always enjoyed animals and books. I’ve often thought of working in a zoo or some kind of wildlife park. But I could really enjoy running a little book and tea shop in some ancient, rose-covered building filled with comfy seats.

And last one....printed or ebooks?

Both! I enjoy e-books for the “all you can eat buffet” sort of experience, and my digital reader fits onto the back of a motorcycle, so I can take my whole library with me on adventures!

But tree-books are treasures. Printed books are a tactile experience, with worn edges and scented memories of a whole life. I still have books from when I was young; they’re admired and remembered as old friends.

Thank you!!

"Enter the lands of Leland Province, where dragon and human societies have long dwelled side by side. Superstitions rise sharply, as a severe drought strips the land of its bounty, providing fertile ground for the darker ambitions of Fordon Blackclaw, Dragon Council Leader, who seeks to subdue humans or wipe them off the face of the land.

As the shadow of danger creeps across Leland Province, a young dragon named Kallon Redheart, who has turned his back on dragons and humans alike, comes into an unexpected friendship. Riza Diantus is a young woman whose dreams can no longer be contained by the narrow confines of her village, and when she finds herself in peril, Kallon is the only one with the power to save her. Yet to do so means he must confront his past, and embrace a future he stopped believing in.

A tale of friendship, courage, and ultimate destiny, Redheart invites readers to a wondrous journey through the Leland Dragon Series."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Movie Review: Prom

A group of teenagers get ready for their high-school prom.

It has been a long time since I saw a Disney teen movie, so I was a little excited when I finally sat down and saw it.

Good things: The movie itself is simple and funny and you pass your time watching it without getting bored. I liked the characters a lot and mostly because they all were young and unknown and they did a great job. And I loved the way the guys were asking the girls to the prom, it was like they were proposing them into marrying them. I liked that there was not too much freak out from the girls for their preperation to the prom, like what kind of dress should they wear and the make-up and all. Even though the end was kinda predictable, I liked the romance evolved between Nova and Jesse and mostly the change in their characters during the decoration of the ball. The opinion Nova had for the whole prom thing was unique and good. And lastly, I liked Lloyd, who was tring really hard into finding a date.

Bad things: Here I only have one complain and it's not part of the movie. Although the movie was fun and light and all, they didn't stayed to the truth. That there are kids that though they are in the same class they don't know each other and that there are girls who are not asking out or have dates to the prom. In general the movie shows you the good side of high-school during the end of the year.

Bottom line, I can't say I didn't enjoy it, because I did. A lot. As I said it's been a long time since I saw a teen Disney movie and this one didn't dissapointed me. For a moment I wished I was back in high-school, which is weird, since we don't have proms and, in general, our high-schools has nothing to do with the USA ones.

Songs Of The Season Tour

Songs of the Season
Event production by
Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Dec. 10-25, 2011

Welcome to the Songs of the Season music hop! You're invited to join us every day from December 10-25, to enjoy a virtual round of caroling.

You can visit another blog each day to find another wonderful music selection, handpicked by a great host. Schedule

Here's our selection for your enjoyment!

Title: All I Want For Christmas Is You
Artist: Cover by Glee Cast
Available at: iTunes

Picked by Yiota: I'm really into the mood for Glee right now and after watching the Christmas episode i just wanted to share all the songs with you. All I Want For Christmas by Mercedes is one of the best covers of the song, i've ever heard you are..hope you enjoy :)

Title: Heavy Christmas
Artist: 220 Volt
Picked by Silvestro: No comment required, it is just the most metal christmass song of all times XD

Title: Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Artist: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Picked by Nina: My favourite Christmas song is Dream a little Dream of Me by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. I know it's not the oroginal version, and I know it's not a Christmas song, but I hear it a lot during Christmas in advertisemnts that is sticking in your head. Besides that the music travels you elsewhere in other older times and for that I really like this song....

Event production by Random Magic Tour
Find Random Magic: Print  | Kindle
Explore Random Magic: YouTube  | Tumblr  | Twitter

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Movie Review: Bleach - The Hell Verse

Bleach: Hell Chapter (Burichi: Jigoku-hen) is the fourth feature film based on the Bleach manga. It was released in Japanese theaters on December 4, 2010. It is directed by Noriyuki Abe, while the screenplay was written by Natsuko Takahashi. Tite Kubo is the production director and character designer is Masashi Kudo. Kubo has stated that he has been involved from the planning and scenario stage. Bleach: Hell Chapter's ending theme is "Save The One, Save The All" by T.M. Revolution. 

Hmmm...Bleach is my favorite manga and the only anime i have watched. Hell Chapter is the 4th anime movie coming out and i was really excited about since i loved the previous ones.

Unfortunately, i was really disappointed.Opposite the others lacked both the good storyline and the action. While it was okay for watching it once, there were many things that didn't interest me.
In general i can say i found it boring. A thing i really liked about the other movies, was how the rest Shinigami had big part in them and at the end there was always a big fight with all of them. Getting to see their shikai, etc and enjoy it. Here they barely appear at the end.
The story was also simple as saving Ichigo's sister while the others had some shinigami background story which was always more interesting since we don't know many of them.
Another thing that bothered me was how they overused Ichigo's final hollow form. I mean, yeah okay...we all love him with his long hair and holy shit power but when you use it to much, it's not that special anymore.
Lastly, there were moments that from simple anime the image turned out simple forms of 3D and you were like "huh?". It didn't suit the movie and it wasn't matched nicely.

I'm sure every Bleach fan watched the movie. The main problem is how many re-watched it. I know not only i didn't rewatch it but when some friends mentioned to watch it, i said no. For the simple people, who want an anime movie i can't say i recommend it. 

P.S: Why they removed Ichigo's bankai movie theme? O_O WHY?

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