Book Review: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From The Making of The Princess Bride

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Book two of 2019 is one that my hubby gave me for a gift last year. I’ve crossed off ‘A book that makes you feel nostalgic’ on my  reading challenge . It was the perfect gift. before I get into my review, I should say a few things.

First, The Princess Bride Came out when I was five. I watched it at least five hundred times, if not more. I can recite dialogue as it is being said, (or randomly with friends). This movie made me fall in love with fantasy, pirates, princesses and whimsical worlds. It has gotten me through illnesses (including the WORST FLU EVER, when I watched it 9 times in one week). It is the movie I pick up when I am blue, when I am happy or whenever I just want to relive the story of Westly and Buttercup.

I have read the book, which sits proudly on my bookshelf. I own the board game, and am planning a tattoo. So when Mr. C gave me this book, I fell in love with him even more. Because that man just gets me.

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!

With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.

as you wish

This book is a MUST HAVE for any fan of the film. Cary writes about all aspects of making the film, including when he was cast, the table reading, meeting his fellow cast mates, how he injured himself on set: twice, preparing for the duel, and the last day of filming.

He tells stories of what it was like having Billy Crystal on set, the night he went for drinks with Andre the Giant and how the film became a classic

There are also inserts from many people who worked with him, giving their take on the movie, different things that happened and how the film affected them.

I devoured this book, and I am so pleased that Cary Elwes wrote it. It will sit on my bookshelf, right next to my copy of The Princess Bride. Now if you will excuse me, I think it is time for me to watch the best film ever made.

What film(s) have affected you? Which one got you through rough patches or made you fall in love with new worlds?

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Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One is my first read of the New Year, and it also crosses ‘A Book You Meant To Read In 2018’ off of my list from Pop Sugars reading challenge.

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In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

I don’t know what I love more about this book: the fact there’s so much 80’s jam packed into this, or the geeky goodness. I’m an 80’s girl. I love the movies, music and the decade as a whole. Growing up in it made me the nerd I am today. So I loved reading a book that took me down memory lane.

The book is pretty freakin good, in my opinion.

Wade is a believable character, and I found myself feeling for him and rooting for him from the beginning. From living in poverty, to trying to escape reality and escape what his life is by winning the big contest, he has a lot on his plate. The futuristic setting is also very realistic. I often wonder what living will be like in the future, with an every growing population. The stacks described a scary view of what living may look like. Technology keeps progressing and the OASIS sounds like something that could very well come to pass.

The OASIS is an intriguing thing, but shows the dangers of technology.  People spend most of their time hooked up in a virtual reality world. Some to escape their crapping real life, or for other reasons, like making money or friends.

I also loved the supporting characters. I’m a sucker for any type of ragtag group, even if they weren’t working together.

When Wade is searching for the first clue to the key and passing the gate, I felt like I was playing the game with him. At one point and let out a “Yes!” as his points on the big scoreboard increased. Maybe it is the gamer in me, but I loved reading about every point he earned and every time he unlocked a clue and found a key.

Of coarse every story, especially in a world where fortune is involved, has to have a Big Bad. In this case a corrupt and evil corporation that wants to win so they can own the OASIS and do whatever they please with it.

I did find the novel to be too wordy. Long descriptions were used in places I (personally) didn’t think necessary. Aside from that though, I pretty much loved every aspect of this book. It was a really fun read.

 

Top Faves of 2018

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Hey all! Well, we are about to say goodbye to another year. Since I started off this year focusing on the positive, I thought I would make my last blog post of 2018 on the same note. From books to tv and personal moments, here is my list of favorites from the year!

Book: While I didn’t read as many books as I had wanted this year, I did binge out on some great reads. It’s a hard thing to pick a favorite book, but I think for this list I am going with new-to-me author Candace Osmond and her Dark Tides series, which I have raved about here. The Devil’s Heart is the first in the series and it got me hooked! I am looking forward to reading more of her work in 2019.

Movie: Again, another hard pick. I watched a lot of great flicks and there were a ton that came out this year I didn’t get to watch yet. But I am going with Black Panther, which was a kick ass awesome movie! I loved every aspect of this movie, and I can’t wait for the sequel.

Song: I got hooked on a few new bands this year, thanks to my husbands great taste in music. The band July Talk is now on the top of my list of fave bands, but the song Roots by In This Moment is my binge song of the year.

Celeb Meet: Hands down, Manu Bennett. I met a few cool people and had a blast at comic con in Toronto, but he was on my bucket list for a few years and I was supposed to meet him a few years ago. He was an awesome guy, and I enjoyed chatting to him.

me and manu

I was so happy meeting him I didn’t even care I looked like shite in this pic haha.

Life Moment: Adopting our greyhound, Foxy. It has been a much more rewarding experience then I could ever have imagined. Watching her come out of her shell has been amazing. She’s a hoarder of stuffies and she makes me laugh every day.

 

Bucket List Moment: Getting to see Bryan Adams in concert with one of my best friends. Mr. C surprised me with the tickets last spring. He wasn’t able to come with me but miss Tanya joined me for an amazing night.

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This year was a good one. I hope 2019 is just as good. What are your favorites of 2018? I would love to hear what book, movie or moment is on the top of your list! 🙂

Writing News: My Book Release!

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Happy October, y’all! It’s 2:32 am on this first day of my favorite month and I can’t sleep. For two reasons. 1) I napped a lil too much today. And 2) My e-book is now LIVE!!! I am so excited! I got the email just a few minutes ago from Amazon that it’s now up and available! *squeeeee*

 

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Lily Myers is living an ordinary life until she meets Quinn Carter. When Quinn turns out to be a century-old vampire, Lily is thrust into a reality where she’s an unwilling believer. But as her fear fades and her curiosity wins out, she finds herself falling for Quinn and learning more about this new world. From hunting down a vampire killer to meeting werewolves, Lily’s life has definitely taken a turn…but whether it’s for the worse or better, she’s still finding out.

This collection of short stories are those that I have written over the last ten years. The first story, Awake and Alive, is one I am proud of as it was the first story I ever had published. But each one in this collection holds a place in my heart for one reason or another.

I have fallen in love with these characters, and I keep getting sucked back into their world. There is so much I can do with the world I created for them. And they are always getting into trouble somewhere and meeting new…beings.

Since October is a month for spooks and the supernatural, I figured it was the perfect time to release my collection. I plan to write some posts this month about my characters, but in the meantime you can start getting to know them over here at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. 

I do plan to expand to Kobo and a few other places. Bear with me, my fellow word lovers. This world of self publishing is a new one for me. 😉 Now I think it is time for me to head to bed, since work isn’t too many hours away!

Book Review: The Siren’s Call by Candace Osmond

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I have been patiently impatient for the release of the fourth and final book in the Dark Tides series by Candace Osmond. And finally, I got a copy in my hands!

Warning! Some spoilers ahead…

I have been devouring these books. This series has everything I love. A handsome hero with a hard past, a strong and kick ass heroine who keeps going even when she wants to quit; secondary characters that are complimentary and support the FMC and MC. There’s no cardboard cutouts here. Each person has their own important role to play.  Not to mention adventure, romance, time travel, action, quests, and more!

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As the crew reach the shores of England, the power of a wish weighs heavy on Dianna’s shoulders. What should be a simple task snowballs into an endless pit of questions and second guesses as Dianna’s yet to mutter the words that will finally put an end to their formidable journey.

Find her mother before Maria Cobham ends her life. 

The mission is simple, yet so much stands in the way. Including Roselyn Wallace, queen of the port and an old friend from Henry’s past. Time after time, Dianna reluctantly crosses paths with the tall, dark beauty until she finds herself in a world of trouble. Can she dig her way out before everything she’s worked for falls apart? Or will the world Dianna loves wash away with the unforgiving tides? 

As I began to read, I had so many questions. What wishes would Dianna make? What would become the fate of her evil sister and the mother she thought was lost? When would the siren call on her and what would she ask of Dianna? And what of Benjamin; would Dianna find out if her wish worked, or was he still stuck on the cursed ship?

So. Many. Questions.

I was excited and thrilled to start reading book four. I dived right back into the story of Henry and Dianna. I devoured it, but tried to take my time simply because: this is the last book in the series. *insert super sad face here*

The writing flow is consistent throughout the entire series. It was if Candace sat down to write a novel and it turned into something she had to break into four sections.

The title ‘The Siren’s Call’ works in a few ways. That’s one of the things I love, that each book title doesn’t give away the story. Instead it captures several aspects of the story, ones you don’t see coming. One aspect this fits is that one of the places Henry and Dianna visit is called The Sirens Call. It’s the home of Roselyn Wallace, a woman that Dianna not only feels jealous of but doesn’t know if she trustworthy. In a way, Roselyn is a siren of sorts, with her beauty and Dianna wonders if that will lure Henry back into the arms of his former flame.

Dianna and Henry’s characters are always growing, as are the secondary characters. There has been growth in friendships and relationships. And the hard times they all go through only make them strong, better and smarter. I just adore Lottie, Finn and Gus.

With being the last book, there were loose ends being tied, including some I forgot. Dianna had to take Charlie home to see his dying mother, and to bring Pleeman’s ashes back to his family. Neither event went as expected, but life never does.

I felt Dianna’s desperation throughout the story. She never stops believing that she will find her sister, even when she is doubted. She never stops her quest. She is also on a time limit of sorts. Dianna needs to finish what she started before she is to pregnant to stop. And she also needs to protect the growing baby inside of her.

The end of the book….endings are the hardest to read, when a series you are in love with is ending.

Of coarse, Dianna and Henry get their HEA. It wasn’t easy getting there, but they make it.

There was one detail at the end that made me go “OMG you are killing me here!”

Here’s some bad news, kids. The ending leaves you wanting-no, NEEDING- more. I had a half hour of processing what I had just read. The ending of the series ended on a cliffhanger.  Then I reached out to Candace, because I needed help processing it all. I didn’t expect a book series to end on such a…WOW note. Not like that, anyway.

So, here’s the good news, kids: Candace will be writing with these characters once again, sometime down the road when the siren calls to her to return to this awesome world she created. She’ll be working with other worlds and projects she’s creating at the moment. As much as I want more NOW, I can wait. Because when the time comes I will happily step back into the magical world of Dianna, Henry and the others that Candace has created.

On a personal note, I have another reason for being happy about this series. When book one came out, all I knew is that Candace was an author in an online writing community I am in. Her book was promoted, I read the blurb and knew it was for me. But now I have also gained a new writing friend. Candace and I have been talking during the year, giving each other pep talks and chatting about writing and life. So I feel like I have made a new friend, which is a gift in itself. And hey, never hurts to know one of your fave authors. I won’t let her forget about coming back to Dianna and Henry someday, and getting back to that cliffhanger. 😉

If you want to grab up your copy of The Sirens Call, get it at a few places including amazon.com or at amazon.ca.

Happy reading y’all!

Early Review: The Blackened Soul by Candace Osmond

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OMG!!!!

Yes. Just yes.

I can honestly say that the third installment in the Darktides series is just as wonderfully well written as the first two. Like the others, there is something always happening, the characters develop  more as the series goes on and the story line keeps you on your toes! And wanna know one of my favorite things?

The books are consistent! That is so huge in a series! I have read books where the author has gone way off base with the plot/characters/etc… But Candace has written these in such a way that I feel like I am just reading one big book, not three.

Book Blurb:

 Dianna’s in over her head.

The Queen is her ship now. Hers to sail with a crew to keep safe as they voyage across the Atlantic to stop Maria’s evil plan of killing her mother. The stress of responsibility, her pregnancy, and helping Henry deal with his PTSD has become a nightmare from which she has nowhere to run. Henry is suffering, refusing to let her in, and Dianna is worried that their love won’t survive the tumultuous journey ahead.

Just when she thinks all hope is lost, a massive storm hits and threatens to sink The Queen. By some miracle of fate, Dianna survives and finds herself alone, stranded on an island to fend for herself. But she soon discovers that the isle may not be as deserted as she thought.

Can she charm her way to safety and find her crew? Or will she be forced to stay on the island forever? 

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Dianna certainly has a lot on her plate. She is pregnant, learning how to be captain on her ship, The Queen, and  trying to help Henry, who is dealing with an inner darkness/PTSD. On top of that, she is trying to get to England and save her mother from her evil half sister, Maria.

Things are hard enough for her and she certainly doesn’t have it easy. During a massive storm, she is washed overboard. She survives but finds herself stranded on an island, alone and worried about the fate of Henry and her crew.

But the island is not as deserted as she thinks.

Enter Benjamin Cook. A pirate on his brother’s ship, The Black Soul. He takes her aboard the ship, and finds herself yet again trying to befriend its crew and trying to escape with her life. She learns some terrifying truths about the ship: it and the crew are cursed. Thanks to the greedy Captain Cook who stole a siren heart, his crew and ship are tethered to the island- and have been for a hundred years.

She faces horrid weather, evil pirates, magic, breaking a curse, a siren and even a Kraken. But she does it and survives it all with friends new and old at her side.

The title of the book works in a few ways, and I really like that. For starters, the first thing I thought of was Henry. He is having a really hard time with what happened on Kelly’s Island and what Maria had done to him. He has night terrors and has  attacked Dianna. The guilt makes him retreat further into his darkness.

Then there is the new ship, The Black Soul. Very fitting seeing as how it a) looks like it is charred and b) Captain Cook is insane. His soul is tainted from greed and evil.

I am very excited for the fourth and final book in the series, A Siren’s Call. I am anxious to see how Dianna’s story is going to play out and how everything will tie up. Will she save her mom? Will she kill her sister or grant her mercy? What about the siren who she owes a favor? And what of Benjamin? Did the curse really break and will she see him again? So many questions! Oh yes, I am very anxious already for this book!

The Blackened Soul is available on June 25th. However you can pre-order The Blackened Soul on Amazon as well as pick up the first two books if you haven’t already!

 

 

Book Review: Planet Fleep: A Science Twins Adventure by Sherry Ramsey

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Last week I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of Planet Fleep: A Science Twins Adventure. 

About the book: 

Robots don’t always know best!

When a meteorite storm wreaks havoc on their family’s cargo ship, sort-of-twins Rudi and Trudy find themselves stranded on an alien planet. In their search for help, they uncover a fiendish plot against the friendly and mysterious alien critters the twins call “fleeps.” With only an overprotective robot for company, can they survive on their own, find their parents, and save the fleeps from a horrible fate?

Action-packed adventure science fiction for kids of all ages!

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The first thing I have to say about this book is that it really is a book for kids of all ages-including the big ones! While this is for school children, I found myself engrossed in the story and I wished there were stories like this when I was a kid. While I enjoy sci-fi movies, they aren’t usually my first picks when it comes to reading. If I had read books like this when I was younger, I think my love for science fiction would be greater. I think of this story as “sci-fi jr”.

It has a great mix of adventure, science, humor and action.

Planet Fleep is well written and focuses on three unique characters: Rudi and Trudy are siblings and “sort of twins”, who both have a passion for science. They each have their own specialty. One is more for nature while they other is more for gadgets. Then there is BIFT, an over protective robot who is doing his best to do his job: protect the kids and teach them. He has a human-like personality, which gets on the kids nerves-especially when he is overprotective.

The kids might be ‘science nerds’ but they are typical kids. They get scared, annoyed, and stubborn. In the beginning Rudi is hiding away from his family in the cargo pod, to play his game alone and in peace. It isn’t long before his sister Trudy comes along. Their ship, The Starchaser,  enters a meteor shower and in the midst of it the cargo pod is disengaged from the ship, where it crashes on a nearby planet.

The kids have been separated from their parents, and need to find a way to contact them. While exploring, they find a gerbil-like creature, which Rudi immediately loves. They set out to explore and in the meantime discover that the creatures, which they have called Fleeps, are in danger.

This story is action-packed. The kids and BIFT don’t have it easy. They need to work together and use their smarts to save the Fleeps and find their parents.

As for kids reading this: I think not only will it help them love science fiction and get them reading, it teaches valuable lessons. Like the importance of team work, bravery, kindness and thinking about something beyond yourself.

This grown-up kid is really looking forward to what Rudi, Trudy and BIFT get into in their next adventure!

If you want to pre-order this little adventure, you can find it at: Amazon.