Film Review: Zulu (1964) starring Stanley Baker, Michael Caine

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Film: Zulu (1964)
Director: Cy Endfield

Producer: Stanley Baker, Cy Endfield

Starring: Stanley Baker, Michael Caine

Introduction: A dear friend of mine recommends past films to me that I should watch. He tends to pick older films that I might not have heard of or wouldn’t see hanging around the local big brand shops that sell movies. He lent me Zulu so I could see Michael Caine in his first big role, and I couldn’t say no! I remember my Father used to love this movie, so I felt a little sentimental watching it for the first time.

Quick Plot: The film follows the British Army’s 24th Regiment of Foot in 1879. During this time, there was a battle against the Zulus – where the British army gets defeated. This movie chronicles some of the events that happened.

Review: I wasn’t sure if or how I would like this film. I never enjoyed war films and it had always been hard getting into them. While watching this film, I did tend to lose a little focus, but that was because it wasn’t a genre I typically enjoy watching. I wanted to watch this movie to see Michael Caine in the beginning of his acting career, since I find him one of my favourite actors.

This film moves slowly, but it is filled with extravagant details and imagery. The Zulus walking through the fields of the dead bodies of the British soldiers and the  waves of Zulus and soldiers attacking each other,

Overall, I found this film to be beautiful but slow. This film was definitely not a film made for me – I prefer fast moving, action packed and sometimes mysterious movies. This film was more a fictional documentary of the battle of the Zulus. But, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fantastic. It is definitely a movie I suggest to film goers. Seeing Michael Caine in his prime, the beautiful imagery, and the way the story was captured within this film is a real treat!

I give this film 85% out of 100%.

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Quick Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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Photo via Goodreads.

I love Gillian Flynn and her writing story! I decided to read this novel after I became obsessed with all things Gone Girl.

This novel, from my understanding, was the first one she had ever written that was published. Even for a first novel, it was amazingly thought out and had me hooked at every word. I found it to be a little short and I saw the ending coming, but I still found the book addicting and well planned.

There’s not much wrong that I can critique about the book, other than wanting more action to happen or the book to be longer (but I think that’s because I adore Gillian Flynn and I just want more books and writing by her out right now). I did see the ending coming from the very beginning, but that might be due to the part that I read and watch a lot of books and television shows about crime.

I found this book not to be as good as Gone Girl, but still an amazing read. For me, the book was a five out of five stars. A good crime novel mystery that made me want more out of Gillian Flynn immediately.

Wonderful novel! 5 out of 5 stars!

Quick Book Reviews: Chambers Crossword Manual, 5th Edition by Don Manley

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Photo via Goodreads.

I enjoy a good crossword puzzle, and this book takes the reader step by step through the different types of crosswords and clues that there are available. I was never the best at crosswords, and this book helped me gain a wonderful understanding to how someone might make a crossword.

The book was very informative and helped me solve a lot more crosswords to be honest! This book would be great for anyone wanting a little extra help with their crossword completing skills or those who are interested in becoming a crossword writer!

Five out of five stars! Informative, helpful and absolutely amazing!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Batman: The Killing Joke – Book Review

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Batman: The Killing Joke is an excellent graphic novel following two of comics leading stars: Batman and the Joker.

Introduction: I have always loved superheroes – Adam West’s Batman was a key staple of my childhood. Slowly as I got older and Marvel and DC were the beckoning lights at the movie theaters, I became totally obsessed with everything superheroes, super villains and comic books. I began collecting them, reading them, and trying to get my hands on every adaption possible. So, I decided to watch The Killing Joke animated movie. I was so enchanted and enthralled with the film that I had to see the famous comic/graphic novel it was based on. It was a short search – a local store had it in stock the first time I went to look for it, and the rest is history.

Review:

This comic is so simple in theory, but so complex in art. A joker origin (of sorts), a splash of James and Barbara Gordon, some tragic ultimatums, Batman, and beautiful art.

The introduction to the Joker’s “back story” is so interesting. The Joker has always been this mysterious character, and the reader is welcomed into one theory of how the joker came to be. But the joker says it himself – he prefers his past as multiple choice. So is anything he tells us actually true? That’s up to you to decide.

The Joker is cunning and intelligent, as well as insane and wild. The reader gets to see his thought pattern and how truly manipulative he is when he takes control of the plot and causes his destruction. But then, he makes it worse by not only physically torturing his victim, but try to mentally destroy him as well. How can someone be to cruel yet so smart? It’s an incredible reading experience for fans of the Joker.

The ending leaves viewers with many questions – one that we may never know the true answer to. This cliff hanger wasn’t as troubling as other cliffhangers have been for me in the past. It leaves it off at the perfect ending – the reader questioning the events that happened. This leaves the reader to interpret the ending in their own way. What truly happened and what are we to believe?

Brutal is one word to describe this novel – there are graphic scenes, ones that changed DC comics dramatically – and it’s not for the lighthearted.

Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. It changed my views on the Joker and Batman, and I really appreciated the little splash of Barbara Gordon (one of my personal favourite characters DC has ever created).

For those who are fans of the film / want to watch The Killing Joke animated film: The plot is very similar, but there are a few changes. These changes don’t impact the end of the story, but it may change some of your personal feelings/understandings of the characters.

Five out of five stars.

Book Review: Halfway Bitten (Halfway Witchy #2) by Terry Maggert

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Book Title: Halfway Bitten
Book Author: Terry Maggert

Introduction: Terry Maggert gave me free copies of this series in return for an honest review.

Review:

“Like I said, I’m an adult. And I do adulty things.”

Halfway Bitten is the second novel in the Halfway Witchy series. The first book was a home run so I wasn’t sure how Terry would make a book that could outdo the first novel, but he managed it!! The second novel kept me interested right from the start, hooking me in with action and mysteries that I wanted to know more about.

The writing style improved a lot from the first book. I’m not sure what changed in Terry’s head, but I really liked this novel better for the style of writing. It helped that there wasn’t as much introduction as the first book (which you needed, since in the first novel we didn’t know the characters), but it helped make this book move so much faster. It also made this book more interesting than the first one, and I was way more invested in finishing this book than book number one.

That doesn’t mean that the first book didn’t set this book up perfectly though. What lacked in the first book helped set up this novel – so you win some, you lose some.

This book starts off with a bang – dead bodies! What happened and why? Carlie has to deal with more drama and adventure in this novel, which helps develop Carlie’s character. I liked seeing her slowly develop as she dealt with the cards at hand in this novel. Wulfric, Gran, Maggie – all of the characters we know and love – as well as all the new characters ignore this story into a beautiful firework of literature. It goes up and splashes a magnificent story to the reader.

There are some beautiful metaphors that heighten this reading experience – such as using the Cheshire Cat to describe a disappearing image. These metaphors and imagery give an added bonus to this already great novel. Add in Carlie’s humor – snarky, sarcastic and overall sassy – a full packed twisty, turny, surprising plot and a spark of romance and you’ve got the full package!

It was a very different read for me – I enjoyed reading a book that was pulling from typical story tropes (love story, vampires, drama) and twisting it around with new tropes (circus, clowns). Overall, this book was absolutely fantastic. I need to read the next book ASAP!

Vampires. Circus. Dead Bodies. Magic. Witches. Crime. Necromancy. Clowns.

This book holds a lot of potential for the continuation of this series. It breaks your heart, sews it back together, takes it on a roller coaster and then throws it around – you’ll get attached and desperately want to read more by Terry!! This indie author definitely does not disappoint!!

Four out of five stars.

 

Book Review: From Wedding to Funeral: Spouses who Murder by Mindy M. Shelton

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Photo via Goodreads.

Book Review
Book Title: From Wedding to Funeral: Spouses who Murder
Book Author: Mindy M. Shelton

Introduction: I received the entire series from Mindy M. Shelton as a trade for some honest reviews. Thank you for this opportunity!

Review:

This series of books is non-fiction. The books describe true crime murders that have been initiated by spouses. Like the previous encyclopedias, each chapter starts with a form about the Murderers and what they have done. The forms give information such as the date of the murder, the murder weapon, the sentence and any other information needed to give a basic insight into their situations. Following that, Mindy gives a thorough description derived from many trusted sources of every murder and the follow-up. Each investigation is explained in an unbiased tone, which makes this an excellent book to use for research or for citations.

Compared to the previous books in this series, I felt like this textbook in the series had a lot more description an writing in regard to the murders. This added ‘umph’ of explanations gives a better insight into what actually happened to these murders.

Overall, I really enjoyed this series as a whole. There weren’t any hiccups or negative aspects that I could find. I do hope Mindy continues researching and creating more non-fiction textbooks (whether it’s about murders, crime or any other subject) as I would love to continue reading them!

As always, I should include a disclaimer for individuals wanting to read  this book: This is NON-FICTION and is written as if it is a TEXTBOOK. This is not a fictional story or tale. Going into this book expecting a crime novel format will leave you disappointed because that is not how this book was written. If you are looking for a set of facts, or an encyclopedia to assist in research than this book is for you!!

Five out of five stars – what a wonderful “end” (for now? Maybe?) to this great set of textbooks!

Anchor Me by J. Kenner – Excerpts and Release Day Party!

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ANCHOR ME

STARK TRILOGY BOOK 4

By J. Kenner

Release Date: April 11, 2017

FROM NEW YORK TIMES AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR J. KENNER comes the highly anticipated fourth novel in the fast-paced series including Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me. This sexy, emotionally charged romance continues the story of Damien Stark, the powerful multimillionaire who’s never had to take “no” for an answer, and his beloved wife Nikki Fairchild Stark, the Southern belle who only says “yes” on her own terms.

It’s a new chapter in the life of Nikki and Damien Stark …

Though shadows still haunt us, and ghosts from our past continue to threaten our happiness, my life with Damien is nothing short of perfection. He is my heart and my soul. My past and my future. He is the man who holds me together, and his love fuels my days and enchants my nights.

But when tragedy and challenge from both inside and outside the sanctity of our marriage begin to chip away at our happiness, I am forced to realize that even a perfect life can begin to crack. And if Damien and I are going to win this new battle, it will take all of our strength and love …

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Amazon http://amzn.to/2bBX3EZ
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iBooks http://jklinks.co/anchor-ibooks/
Kobo http://jklinks.co/anchor-kobo/
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Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2hcBEQV
Amazon AU http://amzn.to/2lvkhgm
iBooks UK http://apple.co/2lvo0uz
Kobo UK http://bit.ly/2lQjWaP
Google Play UK http://bit.ly/2l8h4at

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

J.Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy,  and paranormal mommy lit.

JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A five time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy). Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development with AwesomenessTV/Awestruck.

Her books have sold over three million  copies and are published in over twenty languages.

In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas.  She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | YouTube | Amazon Author Page

EXCERPT

I stand there for a moment, enjoy the view and letting my imagination fill in the blanks. But I want more than imagination, and so I peel off the nightgown and let it drop onto the floor. I don’t usually sleep in one unless there are guests in the house, but I’d been wearing it on the couch last night, and Damien hadn’t undressed me when he put me to bed.

Now, I stand naked and watch the shape of him move in the steam. I’d been aroused even before I entered this room, simply from the thought of him. But now, seeing him in this wet heat, my body is on overdrive. My nipples are hard, my sex clenching with need. I want his touch—and I damn well intend to have it.

His back is to me when I open the door, his face in the pounding water. I’ve let a wash of cool air in, though, and he turns to face me. As he does, I see the heat flare in his eyes. More interesting, though, is the way his cock hardens, the immediacy of his reaction making absolutely clear that Damien has no objections to my joining him here this morning.

He opens his mouth to say something, but I press a finger over his lips, then step closer. He’s almost finished his shower, so his body is no longer slick with soap. I consider that a good thing, because as I kiss his chest, he tastes fresh and clean.

I move slowly down, licking his skin, teasing the light smattering of hair on his chest. I flick my tongue over his nipple and am rewarded by the way he grabs my hair, his body stiffening beneath my hands that are sliding down his body, too, keeping time with the progress of my kisses.

I go lower, dropping to my knees as I reach his navel. His abs are rock hard and the muscles quiver under my lips. I can tell I’m driving him crazy, and he tightens his grip on my hair even as his other hand reaches for the side of the stall to steady himself.

Lower and lower, my lips teasing his skin, tracing that magical line of hair that leads from just below his navel all the way down to his cock. And when I reach it, thick and wet, I draw my tongue along the velvet steel as Damien moans under my ministrations.

With purposeful slowness, I lick around the head, then flick the end of my tongue over the tip, tasting the pre-come. Then I draw him in, and as I do, the hand that Damien has twined in my hair shifts to the back of my head. At first he just holds me steady, but as I suck in long, deep strokes, he groans with satisfaction and longing, and tightens his grip.

Right now, I’m the one in control, but I can feel that control slipping from me. No, not slipping. Damien is grabbing it by grabbing me—by holding tight to my hair and keeping me in place as he fucks my mouth, totally turning the tables on me.

But I don’t care. I’m too turned on to care, and as his cock fills my mouth and water pounds down over us, I slip my hand between my legs and touch myself, then whimper softly. I’m slick and swollen and so turned on it’s painful, and as I suck my husband’s cock, I tease myself, seeking release.

I’m close, too, so close I can feel electricity filling my body like an approaching thunderstorm. I can feel the tension building in Damien, too, and I know the explosion is coming.

Doesn’t matter. He pulls back, leaving my mouth open in surprise. Then he pulls me to my feet and turns me around, his hands gliding over my wet skin as he spins me. “Hands on the wall,” he demands, and I comply eagerly as his fingers slide over my ass to find my core. And then his cock is there, and he’s pounding inside of me, his hands tight on my breasts as he orders me to “finish what you started, baby. Touch yourself. I want to feel you come with me.”

I don’t hesitate, and as Damien’s wet body slaps against mine—as he thrusts deeper and deeper inside me—I tease my clit, feeling the shockwaves gather inside me, readying for an explosion.

And when Damien’s body goes rigid—when he thrusts hard that one final time—when he releases completely inside me, that’s when I finally go over, my deep cry of satisfaction ringing out in harmony with his as our bodies shake and quiver together from the force of our simultaneous release.

When the shockwaves have faded, he turns me gently in his arms, then rinses me off before shutting off the stream of warm water. He opens the door, and steam curls into the rest of the bathroom.

He leads me out onto the fluffy bathmat, then uses a thick, cotton towel to dry me off.

Only then do I lean my head back, smile, and speak to him for the first time. “Good morning, Mr. Stark.”

“Yes,” he says, matching my grin. “It is.”