My Summer Movie Must List

It’s ridiculously hot outside. RIDICULOUSLY hot. As in you have to be sitting in a pool with water up to your eyeballs to stand being out there. Anyway, you get my meaning. So, what happens after you’re sunburned or what if it actually rains? Then, it’s time to go to the movies. Where the snacks are plenty and the air conditioning blows true (fortunately, on someone else’s bill).

To help you decide what to watch while you munch on some snacks and suck up all that cool air read my breakdown below. Please keep in mind this is the adult guide. All kid friendly movies can be found on a future list.

June – It’s not too late – there are plenty of good choices left.

Wonder Woman –On the off chance you haven’t seen this gem yet, go! This is easily DC’s best. Grab your girls and catch the ultimate chick flick.

The Bad Batch – Go for the cast. Jason Momoa people… I repeat it has Jason Momoa.

The Book of Henry – This one might require a tissue or two.

Baby Driver – Another cast bursting with talent oh and it’s about a heist which is always the bad batch

 

fun.

Kill Switch – Could be the first interesting sci-fi flick of summer.

The Beguiled – Based off a book and with a stellar cast, Colin Farrell is going to wish he’d ended up somewhere else.

July

Atomic Blonde – Hands down the July movie that I would consider my must-see. Come on, it’s Charlize Theron kicking ass with a little James McAvoy on the sideatomic blonde.

The Big Sick – You’ll laugh, you might even cry, but it’s original and should definitely be checked out.

Dunkirk – Oscar bait in July? If Christopher Nolan has anything to do with it, then possibly so.

Spider-Man Homecoming – This kid was a lot of fun to watch in Civil War, so why not go see him in his own movie? Not to mention Iron Man himself, Michael Keaton and Marissa Tomei are also part of the cast.

Wish Upon – This is for those of you who need a little horror in your life. You can let me know if it was worth the $$.

August

The Dark Tower – I can’t wait for this one. Like millions of others, I’ve read the books and while I know they’ve taken serious liberties with the movie, for once, I might be able to look past that little issue. Bring on the gunslinger.the dark tower

Tulip Fever – If you like old school forbidden love, this one’s for you. Oh and little actor named Christoph Waltz is in it.

Detroit – A little history that plays like a thriller starring Finn from Star Wars – go.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard –  Okay, this might be terrible, or the humor might work. Since it stars Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, I’m willing to give it a try.

Okay, so that’s my list. What’s on yours? Or if you have a chance to see any of these gems, let me know what you thought. I’ll be in the pool if you need me…

 

 

The Latest YA Adaptations on TV

This winter has brought in more than just the white stuff. With it, we’ve also gotten a double dose of YA on TV. Freeform (what was once ABC Family) is breathing new life into the Shadowhunter world and MTV has launched a series called The Shannara Chronicles. Naturally, both shows are full of hot young people, but where do they stand now that several episodes have aired. Are they a credit or discredit to the world of YA? Let’s discuss.

shadowhuntersShadowhunters is based off of the bestselling Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I’ll be the first to admit the series is a favorite of mine and after the movie was a bust I assumed that was the last chance I had to see my beloved series come to life, but low and behold now it’s on the small screen. A better fit in my opinion since there’s so much ground to cover, but I digress.

I want to like this show, but there are issues, like the acting for one. It’s showing signs of getting better, but there is work to be done. And what’s crazy is that I can’t figure out if it’s the actors or if the fault lies with the writers. I’m not sure Robert Downey Jr. could make some of the cheesy lines work. (And people wonder why YA gets such a bad rap… sheesh) It makes me wonder if the show would’ve been better suited on The CW. They’ve turned out lots of YA-style shows and they’ve done it well.

All negativity aside though, the show is including great details from the book which as a fan makes me very happy. Fingers crossed this show ups the ante, because its online presence is staggering.

shannara

On a different channel on the same night, we have The Shannara Chronicles which is based off the books by Terry Brooks. I haven’t read them, let me say that right out of the gate, but based on the first four episodes, I’m loving the show. It appears MTV hasn’t skimped on expenses which is nice because the setting is important on this show and the actors, while still young and ridiculously good looking, are just plain better.

I have high hopes for The Shannara Chronicles and pray MTV doesn’t cancel the show before it has a fighting chance.

How about you? Have you checked out either of these new shows? And if so, what do you think?

 

My Top 10 Literary Villains

With Halloween lurking around the next corner, I thought now would be a great time to list my top ten literary villains. Who doesn’t like a top ten list, am I right? As my readers well know, I love a good villain and not just any old antagonist will do. To make the top ten they have to be truly sinister. The kind who keep you up at night and make you wish for their demise. Generally, the more painful, the better. So, here goes my top 10 literary baddies in no particular order.

  1. Nils Bjurman – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – This guy was a piece of work, but boy did he get it in the end. He becomes the overseer of Lisbeth’s finances in the first book after her previous caregiver has a stroke. Unlike the sweet man who cared about her, Bjurman forces her to partake in sexual acts to get access to her money. Horrible, horrible man. Don’t worry, if there’s one girl you don’t want to mess with, it’s Lisbeth Salander.
  2. Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Abusive, sadistic, truly evil. I’d say that about covers it. Next time you have a nurse caring for you, just be glad it isn’t old Ratched.
  3. Mrs. Coulter from “His Dark Materials Trilogy” – She was beautiful, smart, and also the main little girl’s mother, but that didn’t stop her from destroying children by separating them from their souls or ‘daemons’.
  4. President Snow – “The Hunger Games” – This guy set up games where children kill other children to keep from having any sort of uprising. He lived like king while others starved. He wiped out an entire district and he did it all with a smile on his face and a white rose pinned to his lapel.
  5. Annie Wilkes – Misery – If you’re ever stranded on the side of the road and are found by your ‘number one fan’, might I suggest you stay on the side of the road? When the author in the story is taken in and nursed back to health by his fan, he has no idea how unstable she is, but he sure does find out. Let’s just say you will never look at a sledgehammer the same way again.
  6. Randall Flagg – “The Dark Tower” – Shows up in nine Stephen King novels including The Dark Tower series where I was first introduced to him and The Stand. You know you have an evil character when the King, no pun intended, himself uses the same character in that many horror novels.
  7. Mrs. Danvers – “Rebecca” – This is one creepy housekeeper. She manipulates a man’s new bride until she is a nervous wreck on the brink of killing herself. Why does this woman hate the new lady of the house so much? Because Mrs. Danvers is attached to the previous mistress and the house in a way that isn’t healthy. Don’t worry, this one is going down with the ship.
  8. Pennywise – “IT” – A being who was around before humankind who becomes whaITt you truly fear. Oh, and did I mention he kills kids? If the pointy teeth, clown costume, and murderous nature aren’t enough to freak you out, wait until you hear the character brought to life by Tim Curry in the film. This character will haunt me FOREVER.
  9. Professor Umbridge – “Harry Potter Series” – Okay sure, Lord Voldemort is the big baddie from the Harry Potter series, but can you honestly say Umbridge didn’t upstage him just a little? She got under my skin in a way that made me grind my teeth. When she had Harry write that sentence over and over again as it simultaneously carved into the back of his hand, I saw red. Luckily, ol’ J.K. gave her a proper end. Good riddance lady we weren’t sad to see you go and that’s no lie.
  10. Jack Randall – “Outlander Series” – For those of you familiar with this series you know who I’m talking about and you probably just got fired up reading his name. Captain Jack Randall will stop at nothing to break our hero Jamie Fraser. And by nothing I mean, rape, murder, torture, you name it, it happens. This guy is one of the worst I’ve ever come across.

Didn’t see a villain on the list who tops yours? Please share your picks below in the comment section.

Author Spotlight on Linda O’Connor

On this week’s Author Spotlight I would like to welcome Linda O’Connor, author of Perfectly Honest. She stopped by to tell us a little bit about herself and creating her first ever book trailer. Enjoy.

Creating the trailer…
Just after Christmas, I recorded a book trailer video for Perfectly Honest. My son’s bedroom had the perfect green wall for a green screen effect. My son picked the color when he was younger, and I remember trying to talk him out of something so bright. Luckily he insisted! Sandy James, one of my son’s friends and a recent graduate of the Radio and Television Arts program at Ryerson University, set up the ‘studio’ with lights and sound. We filmed 3 versions – one line by line and two without stopping. Sandy did a fantastic job editing, adding the cartoons, and choosing the music. The result is fun and light-hearted, which I love. View the trailer for Perfectly Honest here.

Cover PerfectlyHonest400Perfectly Honest by Linda O’Connor

You never know where your words will take you…

When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor.

Sam O’Brien, aka ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down.  But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted.
Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!

Get the book here.

About the Author Writing Linda cropped

I’ve been writing romance novels for three years and sincerely thank Debby Gilbert at Soul Mate Publishing for the ultimate encouragement to my writing  – with the leap to publishing. I have many titles including Doctor, Mom, and proud Canadian, but “Linda O’Connor – hereinafter called the Author” on the SMP contract was one of the sweetest.

Contemporary romantic comedies are my favorite novels to read and write. I balance writing with my work as a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic and being a mom to three sons (luckily grown and capable of throwing together a decent meal, in a pinch). I also like to keep active and cycle, cross-country ski, skate, walk with my husband, or dance every day.

Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Visit Linda’s website: http://www.lindaoconnor.net

Like Linda on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Linda-OConnor/229838333874258

Follow Linda on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindaoconnor98

 

Welcome Author Rachel Sharpe

I’ve been away for a while, but I’m back now and ready to jump back into posting. On this terrific Tuesday, I’d like to introduce fellow Soul Mate author, Rachel Sharpe. She is the author of Cold Ambition, the first novel in the Jordan James, PI series. Although born and raised in the South, “Yankee” relatives first led Rachel to historic New England, which she has come to consider her second home and is the setting for the series.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in English, Rachel began dedicating her free time to her childhood passion, writing, and in the fall of 2013, she signed with Soul Mate Publishing. An active member of Sisters In Crime, Rachel currently resides with her husband in the Greater New Orleans area.

headshotRachel
I encourage you to check out Cold Ambition and if you like it, which I’m sure you will, get ready for…
LostDistinction400
“It all started with a favor…”

When private investigator Jordan James agreed to search for the missing son of a U.S. Ambassador, she didn’t realize she was walking into a case one hundred years in the making. The deeper she delves into this unusual assignment, the more shocking, and the more dangerous, it becomes. With time running out and lives at stake, Jordan must race to identify the culprit of an elaborate plot while also uncovering a far more personal truth too intimate to ignore…

Coming Fall 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing!

LINKS:
“COLD AMBITION” Available Now on Amazon! www.amzn.com/B00L2OLQPG

Website: www.rachelsharpe.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorrachelsharpe
Twitter: www.twitter.com/RachelCSharpe

Praise the Lord! TV’s Back

I am an entertainment junkie, a pop culture connoisseur of sorts, and nothing makes me happier than the start of fall TV. After putting up with a mind-numbing cycle of bad summer shows, it’s a relief when the good stuff comes back. Granted, this summer did have one surprise to which I am now completely addicted, Outlander – we all know that’s not the norm. I have no doubts that after this week’s mid-season finale I’ll be forlorn about its hiatus until January. Whatever will I do in the meantime you ask? I’ll be burning up my DVR, that’s what.

outlander

Last night kicked off the season with the return of The Good Wife. It’s never been better. Few shows are at the top of their game after five seasons. The addition of Matthew Goode is an added bonus. Then there’s tonight, Monday. NBC and FOX are going to go to battle.

NBC has The Voice (new coaches Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani will make their debut) and The Blacklist. I love me some James Spader. Over on FOX is the premiere of Gotham. This might be FOX’s biggest show of the season. Lord knows they’ve put some serious time and money into promoting it. Let’s hope it’s worth the hype. Following Gotham, FOX’s big hit Sleepy Hollow returns. It’ll be interesting to see how FOX stacks up against NBC.

gotham blacklist

Now, I’m not going to do a day-by-day breakdown of the best shows to watch, but check back in to see what’s rocking my DVR this fall. I’d also love to hear what shows you’re most excited about. Happy watching!

YA Book to Film Adaptations

With Divergent opening this weekend, YA (young adult) book to film adaptations are back in the spotlight. For Hollywood, and lovers of YA everywhere, it is important that Divergent does well at the box office. Every studio is looking for the next Hunger Games or Twilight and so far no one has come close. Vampire Academy was a bust. The Mortal Instruments, which I love, didn’t do well enough, though a sequel is still being discussed. And those are just two examples. There are more out there.
Let’s hope Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet can bring in the crowds so more of our beloved YA stories will hit the big screen. As long as the money is rolling in, YA will stand a chance. Get out there and support your fellow YA author and her dream.
I want to hear what you think after you see it. Please add a comment and share what you thought of the film.