A Love for Movies & My Top 3


I am a huge movie buff, and I have been since I was a kid. My sister worked at a video store for twenty years. Which meant I often got free and cheap movie rentals. (Side note: I really miss video rental stores. Going with a friend or boyfriend on a Friday night to pick out a flick. Grabbing snacks and freshly popped popcorn for the evening. I worked there for a little while too.)

I had countless movie posters and spent my allowance on VHS tapes, and then DVD’s. (Lord I sound old 😉 )

Depending on the day of the week, my list of favorite movies would vary. Like books, there are too many good ones to pick just one favorite. I don’t have a top 10 or top 20…more like top 50 😉

But for the sake of this post, I am keeping it to three.

1-The Princess Bride


I have watched this movie at least five hundred times. I have watched it nine times in one week when I had one of the worst flues of my life. I watched it last week when it was on tv. I stoped my cleaning and sat to watch one of the best movies ever made. It’s a classic and if you don’t know who said “Inconceivable!”, “As you wish”, or have no clue who the six fingered man is, I suggest you stop what you are doing and find this movie. It has a little bit of everything…fencing, true love, revenge, pirates…the list goes on. This is my go-to movie no matter how I am feeling. If I was told I could watch one movie for the rest of my life, this would be it.

2-The Shawshank Redemption 


I have a lot of feels for this movie.

First of all, it is a fantastic story with an amazing cast. A man wrongly accused of murdering his wife and her lover is sentenced to prison, and after years of being in Shawshank, manages to escape. I love the relationship between ‘Andy’ and ‘Red’. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman played them wonderfully.

I used to watch this movie with my dad a lot. It was his favorite too. We had watched it countless of times, and yet we loved when Andy made his escape every damn time. I lost my dad in May of 2009. It wasn’t until October that I took this dvd from my shelf to watch. It was his birthday and I wanted to watch our favorite movie. I admit, as soon as certain music pieces played, I started to cry. It was really hard watching it, because all I did was miss my dad. But now when I watch it I smile because of the memories I had.

3-King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

king arthur

When I found out Guy Richie was planning on a six movie franchise I was stoked. Aside from the fact he is a great director, the Arthurian story is one of my favorites. And the cherry on the top, some  of my favorite actors were set to star in it. Eric Bana, Jude Law and Charlie Hunnam. I was super excited. (And totally bummed that there probably won’t be any more movies. I blame timing and critics on that one).

Anyway, I loved everything in this movie. The actors did an amazing job. Jude Law played an excellent villain and Charlie Hunnam knocked it out of the park his role of Arthur. I loved the take on Arthur, that he grew up on the streets. It had bits of humor, action, great dialogue and more. I bought the dvd and watched the behind the scenes of the movie. Their was A LOT of hard work that went into that movie, between costumes and settings for filming. And that hard work paid off. Even every piece of music played was spot on. I often listen to it (the soundtrack) when I am writing.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts on these movies. There are many great films out there. What are some of your favorites?



















Book Review: Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts


Oh my. *le sigh*

Last night I finished book three in the Nora Roberts ‘The Circle” Trilogy. And I was totally in love with it. As my mother said, it was delicious. (I love my momma, and every time she talks about these books, that is how she describes them).

Book Blurb:

The battleground has been chosen for the final showdown between those selected by the gods and the minions of the vampire Lilith. But there is one vampire who dares stand against her. And his love for the scholarly queen of Geall will complete the circle of six – and change the face of eternity.

Having traveled through the Dance of the Gods to the land of Geall, the circle finds themselves convincing then training the people of Geall to defeat Lilith’s vampire army. The Valley of Silence is a forbidding place for the battle of all battles, but the circle continues to prepare through magic and a few early stakeouts that test their strength individually and as a team.

Moira finds herself playing the roles of warrior and royal, as she follows the tradition of her people and prepares to take the crown before leading them into battle. And if that isn’t enough, she finds her thoughts turning to Cian more often than not.

So what’s a chaste and intelligent young woman to do when given less than a month with the man she loves, who’s not a man, but a vampire? And how will the people of Geall fare against an army of blood-thirsty vampires who have had centuries to prepare?

nora r

I have been anticipating this book since I started book two.

For starters, the epic battle between Lilith the vampire Queen and her army with the circle of six comes to ahead. I was afraid for our band of ragtag misfits. Even though they prepped, trained and prepared as much as possible, I wondered if they would make it. If they would all come home safe.

My favorite couple, Cian and Moira, FINALLY get together!!! I loved seeing them get their happily ever after. Cian was my favorite character from the beginning and he just got better and better. While all the characters grew and improved throughout the series, Cian was well developed right from the start.

I loved that we seen how Lilith was turned, and what happened to her in the past. The vicious and slightly mad vampire queen was well written. The battle ground itself felt like a character. I didn’t see it coming when Cian had to fight his vampire urges on site, but it added another level of danger.

It took me a couple days longer to read this book, simply because I wanted to savor it. All the lose ends were tied and good won over evil. And a goddess gifted a vampire with the gift of a life of a man with the woman he loved.

I am such a sucker for romance and a good HEA.

So now my problem now is this: what do I read next? 😉

How to Critique a Story When You Don’t Know What You’re Doing


It isn’t always easy to give feedback when an author, friend or otherwise, asks you to be be a beta reader. At least, it isn’t always easy for me.

I’m not used to critiquing. In the beginning, I was crap, no doubt about it. But over the years I have slowly gotten better at it. Between people reading for me and being a beta for others, I have grown better at giving helpful feedback.

Tip 1) It isn’t easy if you feel like you are going to hurt someone’s feelings. Just approach it with tact and know that the author needs your help. Writers can’t approve and grow if everyone keeps telling them “oh I loved your story” with no other input.

Tip 2) Read the story first as a reader. Don’t worry about picking out issues unless something catches your eye. Then read the story again, slower this time, and keeping an eye out for issues with characters, plot and even grammar. Not every beta reader will find every problem. Just do what you can.

Tip 3) Don’t focus on the negative. I try to point out one positive thing for every few points of constructive criticism. Writers need to know what they are doing right, along with the hiccups of their story.

Tip 4) Take notes. As you are reading, jot down what you like, the plot issues, etc…Then later on use these notes to organize your thoughts when giving feedback.

Tip 5) Make sure to let the author know if this is a genre you typically read or not. I know when someone is reading one of my vampire stories, if the supernatural isn’t their thing, then my sights are set low for how much they enjoy it. And that is totally ok. I am looking for issues with pacing, if I have a cardboard character, etc…

I hope this helps. I still don’t feel totally comfortable giving someone feedback, but I do my best. And after all, practice makes perfect. 😉


February Wrap Up


Check it out, two months into the year and I am actually keeping up with my goals. Woot woot! 😉 Today is also my momma’s birthday. She is an amazing woman and I love her to bits.

This month was good in a lot of ways. Winter hasn’t been nearly as harsh as usual, thinking more positive is making a big difference in me, and I am checking off goals and adding new ones.

Writing: I finished a short story which is now in the hands of my first round of beta readers. I am getting great feedback. The biggest thing for me is that my editing skills have improved a lot. Aside from some line edits, I don’t need to make any major changes. Now I am figuring out what to work on next: a fantasy novel I started a few years back, or finish a story I started last NaNoWriMo.

Blogging:  I have been keeping up with this little corner of my world. I love popping in here. It helps to organize my thoughts, and I love chatting to those who comment. 🙂

Positive vibes: This month has had some bumps. For instance, I have hit that wall where I just want my husband to be home. It isn’t easy that he has to work away. BUT, the way I view things now has most certainly gotten me through things. I still write at least one good thing a day in a journal, and when I feel my thoughts going down a bad path, I stop myself and can usually get myself back on track. I feel really frickin’ good, peeps! 😀

The Book Pile: I am now on book four of the year! My goal is to read fifteen, which is very attainable. If and when I go beyond that, bonus! Although I did break my reading rule. Instead of reading books only out on my table, I have been switching things up. But hey, i am in the reading groove again, that’s all that matters.

Other projects: I have been doing pretty good with keeping up on my pen pal letters. I have a couple to write, but they are newer. It feels good being more regular in my snail mail. I am hoping to make my own envelopes soon, or at least creating some mail art.

I hope you have had a great month. How are your goals coming along?

Book Review: Dance of The Gods by Nora Roberts


I devoured book two of The Circle trilogy in less then two days. I found it was even better than book one, on a number of levels.


He saw where the earth was scorched, where it was trampled. He saw his own hoofprints left in the sodden earth when he’d galloped through the battle in the form of a horse. And he saw the woman who’d ridden him, slashing destruction with a flaming sword…  

Blair Murphy has always worked alone. Destined to be a demon hunter in a world that doesn’t believe in such things, she lives for the kill. But now, she finds herself the warrior in a circle of six, chosen by the goddess Morrigan to defeat the vampire Lilith and her minions.

Learning to trust the others has been hard, for Blair has never allowed herself such a luxury. But she finds herself drawn to Larkin, a man of many shapes. As a horse, he is proud and graceful; as a dragon, beautifully fierce; and as a man…well, Blair has never seen one quite so ruggedly handsome and playfully charming as this nobleman from the past.

In two months’ time, the circle of six will face Lilith and her army in Geall. To complete preparations and round up forces to fight, the circle travels through time to Larkin’s world, where Blair must choose between battling her overwhelming attraction to him—or risking everything for a love that can never be…


I thought the writing style of this book was much improved. There was still a bit of back and forth with the PoV, but not near as bad as book one. When reading a characters point of view, we stayed in their mindset for a period of time, instead of several points of view on each page.

I loved getting to know the characters better. We finally get to see more of other characters, and I care about all of them now. I liked all of them at the end of the first book, but I love all of them now.

I loved the character growth from Blair, as well as the little queen. Moira has shown strength in a number of ways, while we see a softer side of Blair. Moira has shown strength in front of her people, both physically and emotionally. She is bound and determined to protect the people of Geall. Blair’s wall is slowly breaking down, which was put there by her father and a former fiance. It was great to see these characters grow and change.

I am also anxious for Moira and Cian to get together! I ship them so hard! They shared a brief, passionate kiss which thrilled me. So I can’t wait until book three…those two better get together! 😉

I am also anxious to know who the narrator of the story is. An old man is telling the tale to a group of children. My guess is that it is one of the three main characters, but a twist can still happen. So it will be fun to find out next book. (Although I feel like a hint was mentioned, I just haven’t put the pieces together yet).

My plan tomorrow after work is to start book three. Thank God for moms who let you borrow their books. 😉

What have you been reading?

Planning My Story Bible


What’s a story bible? Something to help keep your universe and characters in order, especially when writing a series or epic fantasy. All your important info at your fingertips for when you need to find the name of your hero’s first cousin or how your magick system works.

I started making one for my Lily and Quinn series, but I have recently decided to start fresh. The biggest problem for me is that I am a total journal junkie, so now I have to figure out what to use for it. (Word docs or something on your comp works too! I just like having something I can hold in my hand.)

I also want to break mine down a bit more then I did originally. Is that what I should do or is that the planner/journal junkie inside of me? Hopefully it will all work out so that the series bible I make will be helpful and not one big mess. 😉

This is how I plan to break mine down. If you have made one, or plan to make one, I would love to hear what other sections you have in yours! 🙂

Characters-A) My writing buddies know I am a huge fan of visual character sketches. I am going to put a photo or two per page of what my characters look like. (I have some from magazines and those I printed). I will also make bullet point notes on physical appearance, so that if I just want to double check on my hero’s eye color, I will open to the first few ages of my notebook and find it.

Characters-B) The character sketch. Bullet points on my characters and notes.  I will be sure to leave extra space. My fictional best friends tell me something new about them on a regular basis.

Timeline- I have four short stories published with this world, and a fifth on the way. Not to mention novels I have started/written. I will have a section to timeline for linking important events, plus bullet points on what happened in each story.

Vampire/supernatural lore- One big thing I had to come up with in my stories are my vampires. What kills them, how a person turns, abilities, etc… On top of that I have other supernatural creatures and a magick system, so I need to have sections devoted to that. I almost wrote myself in a corner once with how the vampire system works in my universe. I don’t want to do that again.

The Bad Guys- Some of my villains have been killed off, while others are still (possibly) at large. Each one of them, dead or alive, will have their own page of notes. Even the dead ones might come back, since I plan to write a prequel or two.

Setting- My universe is pretty much where I live, but with changes. I need to make notes on certain places, such as where characters live, favorite places to go, etc… If my world was in a sci-fi setting or alternate universe, my notes would be way more in depth.

Maps/photos- As with my characters, I like having a visual as well as written notes to look back on for my setting. I will use my own drawn maps for some of it, as well as sections of real world maps.

Notes- A section for other story ideas and things I want to include. This will be in the back section. Sometimes when I am out, I make notes in my phone, or on scraps of paper. I need to keep my ideas together in one spot for a change, so my series bible will be the best spot for them.

Every writer has their own tools, and for me, a series bible will be a valuable tool.


Comic Con: Top 5 Actor Wishlist


When I was younger, the idea of meeting a favorite actor or actress was nothing more then a dream. I didn’t think it was possible. I live in a small town, and far from any major filming action. (Aside from the rare occasion).

About ten years ago, I went to my first comic book convention. And I was hooked! I love cons for a million reasons, but one of my main reasons I love them is because I get to meet people I never thought I would.

When Mr. C and I have a few bucks to have fun with, we either add to our collection of geekery, or save for a con. And right now I am trying to save what I can for Toronto Comic Con, that is happening next month.

I have met many people over the years, including Stan Lee, Robert Englund, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Ron Perlman, Carrie Fisher, and many more.

With the con next month, I have been thinking of those actors I really want to meet, and hoping they are announced. (Manu Bennett is on that list, and he’s been announced!)

So, here are my top 5 celebs I hope to meet someday.

1-Cary Elwes

a pirate

I don’t care how old this man gets, he will always be my Westly and if I ever meet him I will probably cry like a baby. I have watched this movie hundreds of times in my life. (Including earlier today).

2-Charlie Hunnam

hunnam 1

The odds of meeting him are slim to none, but I also didn’t think I would ever meet Stan Lee or Patrick Stewart. I have been a fan long before he was on Sons of Anarchy, and his movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, is on my top of my all time fave movie list.

3-Milla Jovovich


The Resident Evil movies are one of my favorite series, and Alice is one bad ass chick. Meeting Milla would be super cool.

4-Tommy Flanagan

tommy f

I love this Scotsman. He is an amazing actor and he played one of my favorite characters on SOA, Chibs Telford.

5-Emma Watson


Who wouldn’t want to meet Hermione Granger? I think if I ever meet this awesome young lady, I would have to pick her mind about all things books.

So, that’s my wishlist. If given the chance, who would you meet? Who is on your top 5 list?