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!

LOVE SONG by KG Fletcher – Blog Tour & Excerpt!

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Today is our stop on the blog tour for Love Song by KG Fletcher! Check out our stop and grab your

copy today!

Love Song Synopsis:

Her heart searched for a melody. Will the love song she finally hears be loud enough to drown out the screaming memories of her past?

Back-up singer Casey lived the old anthem, “work hard, play harder.” When she meets handsome sub-drummer, Sam Wildner on a gig, their attraction is immediate. The two musicians forge ahead in a dizzy rhythm of passion and music, both impressed by each other’s harmonious abilities. When Sam learns of Casey’s family trauma involving her sister’s abusive ex-boyfriend, he commits to being there for her and her young niece who is caught in the middle.

The melody of their love song rings loudly in Casey’s ears as she and Sam navigate the precarious fast lane of jealousy, murder and rock ‘n roll.

 

Authors Bio:

KG Fletcher is the author of the romantic suspense novel, Love Song released in April, 2017 and Unexpected released in December, 2016. She is an active member of RWA and the Georgia Romance Writers Association. She was a singer/songwriter in Nashville, TN and a recipient of the “Airplay International Award” for “Best New Artist” showcasing original songs at The Bluebird Café. She earned her BFA in theater at Valdosta State College and has traveled the world professionally as a singer/actress. She currently gets to play rock star as a backup singer in the National Tour, “Remember When Rock Was Young – a Tribute to Elton John.” (www.almosteltonjohn.com)

KG lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Ladd and their three gorgeous sons. She is a hopeless romantic continuing her work on her original cabaret act called, “The Novel Romantic – an unexpected evening of sweet & spicy love” to help promote her romance novels.

 

Rafflecopter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb519/

 

Buy Links:

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/love-song-25

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XFVWQR2

 

Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Thank you again for taking part in the Blog Tour of Love Song. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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Excerpt:

Casey stared at her reflection in the hotel bathroom in disbelief. Her false eyelashes from the show the night before clung haphazardly to her eyelids, looking more like insects than lashes. She pulled them off quickly, shaking her head in disgust. She covered her face in makeup remover and started to clean off the heavy show makeup just as her phone pinged with a text message. Sitting on the toilet lid, she woozily looking at the screen.

I won…” It was a message from Sam that included a smiley face emoji.

She immediately texted back. “How did I get to my room? OMG, I’m mortified!

Her phone rang. She hesitated before answering, not sure if she was ready to hear about her after-hours escapades. She was disgusted with herself for letting her drinking get away from her—again. She usually only drank beer and had no idea why she’d started drinking the hard stuff in front of her friends. Perhaps she was trying to feel relaxed around Sam, whom she was genuinely attracted to. And then, of course, he started egging her on in their little impromptu drinking contest. Why did she play along? What had gotten into her?

“Hello?” Her voice was raspy and she realized she was dying of thirst, the very thought of gin making her gag.

“Hey you. How ya feeling darlin’’?” She could tell that Sam was smiling on the other end.

“Ummm. How do you think I’m feeling?”

He laughed.

“Was I a complete idiot? Did I embarrass you in any way?” She suddenly felt nauseous thinking about all the drunken scenarios that could have happened in her vulnerable state. If her overprotective sister knew what she had done, she’d be livid.

“No. You were a very good girl. A little drunk and quiet, but very good. Rocky and I helped you back to your room. I hope you don’t mind that I had to look through your little purse to get out your room key.”

“Oh…. yes, that’s okay. That’s fine.” She fingered the soiled washcloth in her hand, not sure what to say.

“I have your jacket. You left it in my room—”

“I was in your room?” She started to panic.