SLIDER

TV Teaser | He's Back

Monday, July 25, 2016


In looking through my Twitter feed (last night) and my dashboard this afternoon, I realize I am woefully behind among the Sherlock groupies. But, since a comic-con trailer for the upcoming fourth season of Sherlock (BBC TV show) is now out in the world, I couldn't resist sharing it here. Just in case you haven't expressed enough fangirl moments. Because if not, feel free to share them here.

Or if you simply want to relive the epicness of this fourth season (What!? Mrs. Hudson telling a person in her house to GET OUT!? Um, sassy) trailer, feel free. We all no this is a teaser worth reliving. Over and over.

We need something Sherlock related to keep us curious until 2017!


Blogging 101 | An Introduction and Ask the Blogger

Thursday, July 21, 2016


I’ve had an idea bubbling for a while now. The problem was I hadn’t sat down to put words to paper sharing said idea. My idea isn’t so much inventive as it is an event that will hopefully offer interested readers a chance to ask some questions, and my fellow blogging friends a chance to offer their expertise (and more importantly to me) while also allowing me to advertise their amazing creativeness. This leads us straight into the topic.  

FOR READERS 

Are you a new blogger? Are you considering blogging? Have you been away from blogging for an extended hiatus? What would you like to know or learn more about? I want to hear from you about blogging. Do you have any specific questions, thoughts or have you been looking for a how-to guide on something?  

Please, don’t be shy! Let us know.  

Is there a blogger you’d like to see featured or introduced to the world? You can share that too! Maybe they can be featured in our “Meet the Blogger” series.
 
Along with myself, I've asked some bloggers to join this series, which will hopefully allow for varying opinions (perspectives new to this blog), thoughts and tips on the blogger life.

Below I’ve created a form where you can comment and share anything you’d like to know about. The purpose of this is twofold. One being to open the conversation to those of you who might be curious about the behind-the-scenes helpful-hints-and-tips for would-be bloggers. The second because I would love to try and fill in some gaps if there's anything you're looking to see more of or learn about in this blogging world. It's because of you, the readers that Finding Wonderland is still in existence, and I'm grateful you continue to return.

The form will ask for your name/email, but this will only be used in the event we need to clarify what you’d like us to write about. 



FOR BLOGGERS 

As written about above, I’d like to open some sort of series that allows Finding Wonderland to collaborate with some of the bloggers I’ve met through this journey. One way that can happen is by gathering our collective advice and tips which we've learned through the (painful) exercise of "trial and error" in this thing called blogging.    

Some of you have already been contacted and are willing to join this series. To you, I say thank you. I’m anxious to see the interest/response, and hopefully the result will allow me to showcase your talents through this series.  

In short, this is an introduction/exploratory post. I’d love feedback, to see bloggers/readers share their ideas/pitch their article requests (below or in the form) and as a fellow blogger, if you have any thoughts, please don’t hesitate to share them. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts.
 

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

Five Magic Spindles - Sleeping Beauty, Re-Told

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


About the Book:
Publisher: Rooglewood Press
Source: Author and Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2016
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Blogger ǀ Goodreads | Wordpress
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble ǀ Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Fairytale, Novella Collection
Rating: 5 out of 5
There probably aren’t many of us who don’t love a good fairytale. We swoon over the romantics, become captured by the adventure and smile in pleasure over the comfort a happy ending is around the corner. Imagine then enjoying not one but five neat little fairytales captured in one pretty novel. That’s what you’ll find if you open the pages of Five Magic Spindles, the product of Rooglewood Press’ third fairytale retelling contest.

Inside these pages are five diverse and unique stories. The authors were tasked with reimagining the Sleeping Beauty legend, no small feat considering the heroine sleeps through (nearly) her entire story. Since this features multiple stories, I thought I’d break this review up to better share my thoughts about each story rather than lump suppositions in a larger scale. With that said, let’s get started.

THE MAN ON THE BUCKSKIN HORSE by Rachel Koviciny

The POV in this story is that of Emma, a good-hearted midwife who rides to her neighbor’s farm to warn him of a danger he isn’t aware of. It’s here that we meet “Sleeping Beauty,” the farmer’s daughter. Perhaps the most difficult to (blindly) accept as a retelling, Rachel has not only challenged herself by telling this story, but her readers.

Set in the rip-roaring old west, the detached perspective of a second party made this one a unique read. Instead of a prince or hero being the one to save a Kingdom, a hero arrives in the form of a midwife. Emma is a spunky heroine and those surrounding her are no different. Everyone gets fleshed out nicely despite being only inside Emma’s head. From the innocent Rosalind to the “Man,” this novel sparks with personality and unique perspectives.

What I admired most about Rachel’s story was its unafraid way of re-tooling a classic. Rachel’s deep love of the old west shows on every page as she weaves inklings of the beloved story we love so much into each page. ‘The Man on the Buckskin Horse’ is entertaining, and a wonderful start to what is, a wonderful collection of fairytales.

GUARDIAN OF OUR BEAUTY by Kathryn McConaughy

From the Old West to the Far East, Katheryn’s story introduces us to Palli, a young princess whose destiny is to rescue her people from a terrible fate. Falling into a deep sleep on her wedding day, Palli must help a hero rise to the occasion not only to save her people, but to win her hand. Prince Neriya is the younger son in the line of monarchs, but he becomes the only hero able to seek out the fated kingdom where Palli lies in slumber.

This high fantasy story is as exciting as it is romantic. The technique Katheryn employs to spin a new idea into the Sleeping Beauty legend is fantasy at its brightest. Despite being in slumber, I appreciated that Palli was “present” for much of the story. Also pleasant were the subtle intricacies woven into the elegant writing that showed the growing affection between her and Neriya.  

Beautifully established writing and great characters is sure to set ‘Guardian of Our Beauty’ apart in the fairytale realm.

THE GHOST OF BRIARDALE by Grace Mullins

Ghostly shenanigans abound in this zany little comedy. Roselee is a ghost, with few memories, trapped and on a mission to seek out a mortal hero for a mysterious sleeping princess. All of which takes place in an insane asylum no less! As Roselee searches for just such a boy, she encounters Franz. But is he the chosen one? Or will she be forced to continue searching?

Grace’s story is like an infectious personality. It’s pure delight from beginning to end. The story moves swiftly through the ghostly (and crazy!) halls of the asylum featuring an ensemble cast of loveable characters. We root for Franz to break free of his prison of brick and mortar, and for the princess to be awakened from her prison of slumber.

There’s excitement, laughter and a unique voice (pen) that the author should be proud of. 

SPINDLE CURSED by Michelle Pennington
 
The Sleeping Beauty of this story is Arabella, a beautiful spirt who’s been comatose for many years, protected by her loyal fairy godmother. Under the guise of assisting in breaking the curse so that Arabella might claim her rightful throne, her cousin plots behind her back. All of this might have gone off with no one the wiser had a Prince not walked in on her nefarious plans. 

Perhaps the most traditional of the bunch, ‘Spindle Cursed’ is a beautiful romance from beginning to end. Michelle’s skill in crafting a story is poetry. I admired how simplistic this story is because it was just what I craved to help make this collection complete. The beautiful romance that develops between Arabella and her hero might seem to go unnoticed, but really it’s the strength of the novella. I admired that the heroine, while lost in dreams, wasn’t lost to the reader and instead was very present in the present. This gave the story room to breathe and come alive. 

If you’re yearning for a traditional spin on the classic beauty that is the legend of the sleeping princess, discover this story. There’s dragons, and magic, to say nothing of the fact that the story allows its female protagonist to be the heroine (in part) of her own story. It’s a jewel from opening page to that iconic kiss.

OUT OF THE TOMB by Ashley Stangl

Burdened with a past that's sketchy, Tanza is a tomb raider. As a thief who knows the score in her world, Tanza believes she’s worth no more than what she has. All of this changes when she meets a prince caught under a spell that sent him into a deep sleep. Tanza chose the wrong – or could it be the right? – tomb to raid when her presence awakens the prince. Unaware of how his kingdom has changed in his absence, the prince is unprepared for what is to come, but with Tanza’s help, perhaps the two can right the wrongs of their rapidly changing world.  

Sci-fi and adventure abound in this re-telling. The classic story is turned on its head in this gender swapped tale that is uniquely coded. Who’d imagine a classic fairytale could work in a space setting? Ashley Stangl did, and she creates a whole new kind of magic because of this. Despite the heroine being in need of redemption, I loved Tanza and eventually, Auren’s presence in her life. The way in which he affects her life is a beautifully realized journey.  

If you love sci-fi stories, but are unsure about fairytales, give ‘Out of the Tomb’ a fair chance. It’s clever, humorous and not without a message of forgiveness and hope. In short, it’s a story with depth and purpose.  
_______
From a spunky midwife in an old west showdown to the ancient mysteries of the Far East; an asylum dungeon to the romantic traditions of a castle tower and dragons, and finally to the great unknown (space), Five Magic Spindles is sure to enchant. Some of these characters grabbed a hold of my heart sooner than others. Some of the settings and sweet romance enchanted me beyond my expectations. But when I clicked the final page to the end of this collection, one thing stood out. In their own way, each of these five novellas is splendid.

To potential readers, I say this: don’t delay in snatching up this magical collection. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be mesmerized.  


 
Awaken the Magic!

Emma, a good-hearted midwife, rushes to warn a neighbor about the hired gunman headed to his ranch but can't prevent the catastrophe in store for his daughter.

Palli, the prophesied daughter of a king, is fated to rescue her people from the destruction called forth by a vengeful priest.

Roselee, a ghost with a faulty memory, flits through the halls of an insane asylum in search of the mortal boy who can help her save the day.

Arabella, a living spirit trapped in her own comatose body, helplessly watches from the realm of dreams as her usurping cousin plots to destroy her once and for all.

Tanza, a tomb raider on a distant planet, struggles to make a living and doesn’t need a long-lost prince to complicate her difficult life.

One way or another, these beauties have no intention of sleeping away their problems. - Goodreads
 

Sincere thanks to the publisher (and author, Rachel) for providing a complimentary e-copy of this book for reviewing purposes. 

Review text is © Copyright 2011-2016 Rissi JC and first appeared on Finding Wonderland (Dreaming Under the Same Moon), RissiWrites.com

Top Ten Tuesday | Armchair Journeys and Adventures

Monday, July 18, 2016

 
Hello, happy Top Ten Tuesday readers and friends. Welcome. It’s a new week, and around here, it’s supposed to be hot, hot, hot. What’s worse is the humidity is forecasted to soar. *sigh* This is summer in the Midwest. To combat this summer heat, what better option is there than to become lost inside a fictional world? None I’d argue. With that said, let’s discover what today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about. 
 
Broke and Bookish July 19th Topic:
 
Ten Books Set Outside the US
 
I love (lovelove) this topic. I am a big advocate for more stories set outside the US or at least out of the “safe” format stories tend to take (Small Town USA). Much as I enjoy the simple pleasures of fiction set in their safety net (and believe me, I do), I yearn for more books that take a few risks and step outside those lines. As I put this together, I realized I have read more than I thought that fit this mold, but still, very few in comparison.
 
The first seven novels on this list are the books I’ve read that center on this, the last three are books I’d like to read. Beyond this, I shall rely on all of you to recommend (enthusiasm welcome, friends!) the books you’ve loved that are set outside the good ole’ USA. Or even books inside the USA that are set in a big city or unique place. I’m also adding another “spin” on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday and recommending a film with my book choices. Why? Because it seemed like a fun idea.

That said, let’s have a look at the ten books on my list.
 
1. All Fall Down by Ally Carter | This one is about the granddaughter of an American ambassador serving in a foreign country. It also marked my first Ally Carter read. So. Good. Amazon | Goodreads
 
Film Recommendation: Chasing Liberty; I know this isn't the same story, but it has the same kind of feel, and involves overseas travel.
 
2. Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon | A popular YA novel, this is the first (of four) book in a series that follows two best friends transported to historic Scotland. It’s full of pop culture references, and retains its modern feel because the girls “contemporize” Scotland. There’s romance, too, although my favorite is the friendship between Veronica and McKenna. Amazon | Goodreads
 
Film Recommendation: Going with the classic on which this one is based, Brigadoon.
 
3. The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson | Set on Prince Edward Island, this one is lovely. It’s a simple (said in only the most complimentary way) contemporary, and romantic novel about finding yourself in the most unexpected places. Amazon | Goodreads
 
Film Recommendation: Anne of Green Gables. I know this one is 100% different in its era and story, but it’s Prince Edward Island. I had to use this one.
 
 
4. There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones | Another stunning YA novel from talented Jenny B. Jones, this one is a coming-of-age story about a girl reeling from loss and the (cute) boy who helps her heal. Amazon | Goodreads
 
Film Recommendation: Another film that isn’t remotely the same kind of story as Jenny’s beautiful novel, but it visualizes Ireland (and is darling in its own right). The movie is Leap Year.
 
5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | I’d wager a lot of people are using this one today. And it’s completely understandable – plus a worthy choice indeed. Amazon | Goodreads
 
Film Recommendation: Good question - what movie do we watch to coordinate with this darling story? Clearly, it needs it own adaptation!
 
6. The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan | Set in 1900s Toronto, this one is a darling “period drama” read about two female detectives bulking at the rules society places on them. Amazon | Goodreads
 
Film Recommendation: Going with a TV show this time around, Murdoch Mysteries.
 
7. The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay | This beautiful novel (more about reinventing yourself than romance) is lovely. It has a great message, a heroine who’s unconventional and an appreciation for the vintage in life. Amazon | Goodreads
 
Film Recommendation: Picking the cute Letters to Juliet for this one. Totally different story (and setting), but the friendship between Claire and Sophie (movie) reminds me of Helen and Lucy (the book).

BONUS! Three Books I Want to Read Set Outside the US
 
8. Close to You by Kara Isaac | I’m SO ashamed that I’ve not read this novel yet. A friend recently read it and says it’s amazing (not that I doubted), so I’ve been reenergized (and determined) to make this one a must-read this summer. Amazon | Goodreads
 
9. Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae | Been intending to read this one since it released. It looks and sounds darling. Part of the ‘If Only’ line from Bloomsbury, it’s about a girl who dreams of falling in love with an Italian boy, only to meet the polar opposite. Amazon | Goodreads
 
10. Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch | Just bought this one, and aww, it sounds darling! Plus, this cover and being by a new-to-me author? I'm excited. Amazon | Goodreads
________________________________________________________________

That’s it for July 19th’s Top Ten Tuesday bookish epicness. What books made YOUR list this week? Which books would you recommend to this armchair adventure novice? I’d love recommendations. Comment down below with any of your thoughts. I look forward to chatting with you, and of course, visiting your awesome blogs.
 
Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Series One – A Character-Driven Australian Mystery Series

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Doctor Blake Mysteries

One of the things I probably spend way too much time searching out are new BBC-esque dramas. My latest find was picked up for distribution by BBC, but is actually an Australian series. Fortunately, I stumbled across this one and therefore didn't have to invest time searching it out.

This latest find is The Doctor Blake Mysteries, a crime drama that our friends, the Aussie's do up right.

The show follows a tortured hero and the people around him who try to help in his healing even as he continues to emotionally destruct. As usual, the show is top-notch brilliant. Everything from the cast to the costumes (and the cars!) are of a caliber that is sure to impress.

If you'd like to read specific thoughts on the first season, I reviewed it this week on Silver Petticoat.

The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Series One – A Character-Driven Australian Mystery Series

Doctor Blake Mysteries

There is something about a British mystery that calls to my inner sleuth. They’re tightly scripted, well cast and contain just the right dose of dry humor. Imagine my delighted surprise when I realized that our friends, the Aussies, also boasted some of the best crime dramas around. First came Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, then I discovered the zany gem that is Mr. and Mrs. Murder. My latest discovery is The Doctor Blake Mysteries, a brilliant period drama that deserves our attention.

The Doctor Blake Mysteries introduces us to Dr. Lucien Blake (Craig McLachlan), a doctor recently returned home to run his now deceased father’s general practice. Suffering the effects of too much drinking brought on by the loss of his wife and daughter, Lucien too frequently takes those around him for granted. This includes his housekeeper Jean Beazley (Nadine Garner), a woman no stranger to loss. Curious, but well-meaning, Jean takes every opportunity she can to learn about the mysterious Lucian only to discover a horrifying tragedy. Continue Reading ➔

Top Ten Tuesday | Blogger, Bookish and Other (Unimportant) Facts

Monday, July 11, 2016


Oh dear. Whenever I find myself the topic of some sort of “facts” blog post, my mind immediately goes blank. Why is this? Well not only do I feel awkward talking about myself (sharing opinions is, to me, a completely different thing which is why I don’t find it difficult to write reviews) and my life isn’t interesting enough for Internet consumption. I also never carved Finding Wonderland niche as a journaling outlet. All of this to say that today’s Top Ten Tuesday meme asks us to overlook these reservations in favor of sharing ten facts about ourselves.
 
Like I said, oh dear.
 
Broke and Bookish July 12th Topic

Ten Facts About Me
(bookish or just general about you facts or ten facts about you as a blogger...whatever you want) 
 
Below is probably a mash-up of “facts.” Such as they are – one that’s not below is also the fact that I do most of my blogging or article writing late night or wee hours of the early morning. Some geared towards blogging and bookish things others are just about life in general. Ok, let’s get this started and see what crops up!
 
1. 2011 | The year I began blogging. How has it been five years already? (Fun giveaways coming next month.)
 
2. Baking | I’ve become a tiny bit obsessed with reading foodie blogs. My favorite things to bake these days? Muffins! I’ve made more of those these past six months that I probably should have. It’s a good thing I (most of the time) use discipline and don’t overeat otherwise I’d be in a heap of trouble. What recipes are among your favorite?
 
 

3. Cell Phone | I’m probably the ONLY person on the planet who DOESN’T own a cell phone. At least not one in the normal sense. I have one primarily for emergencies and it’s one of those pay-as-you-go phones. Yeah, I’m clearly living in the dark ages (and proud of it). That said, at some point I will have to get a phone/plan, so I ask you all, the experts: what phones/plans do you recommend? 
 
4. Decorating | I tend to be an artistic soul, but the one thing I haven’t done is decorate my room. I painted it about five years ago now, have a collection of wall decorations, admired ideas and thought about décor bliss, but haven’t actually done any of it.
 

5. Fashion | BOOK NERD ALERT CONFESSION! No secret has been made about my being a book cover snob. I’m a sucker for a pretty cover and because of this I kinda’ want to raid the closets of the following characters: America Singer, Lady Kestrel or Natasha Romanoff (as seen in the 2016 adaptation, War & Peace). I wouldn’t have a place to wear all of these beautiful things, but golly, it’d be fun! Practical realist me loves Kohls.  

6. Flying | I didn’t step foot on a plane until I was 17 or 18 and haven’t since. Although I didn’t mind the experience at all – taking off was beautiful because we flew at night and seeing the lit-up skyline? Gorgeous

 

 
7. Graphic Design | The art of “graphic design” (using this term loosely for myself) is an amateur hobby I’ve grown to love in the last 6 months to a year. There is SO much material out there and inspiration because of this material. What are some of your favorite design resources?
 
8. Lemon Poppy Seed  (Muffins) | Speaking of muffins, while I love variety and flavors in muffins, overall, one of my favorite “sweet tooth” treats are lemon poppy seed muffins. It’s stood the test of time as my long-standing favorite.
 
9. Politics | There’s a lot going on in our US world today. With this, no one can legitimately argue. And I have opinions on it. In fact, some of the time I can barely restrain from commenting when I see something on Twitter, but I chose not to. The reasons vary, one of which is because I decided long ago to keep my bookish place in this community “fun.” That’s primarily what it was created for, and that’s what I want it to remain. Creating it to be something other than that was never an option: I encourage and respect differing opinion in the comments, but this subject? Well it can bring heated opinions, and I'm not sure that's Finding Wonderland's purpose. 

That said, I am thinking about writing a generalized blog post (on why I don't go this route). Thoughts?
 
10. TV Addict | This is moi. I watch WAY too many TV shows (the fact that I have so many started is proof of this), and when I’m feeling particularly bored (which should be never considering there’s always work to be done), I search iTunes for new shows to try. Yep, I have a problem. Still this shall not prevent me from asking the important question: What are some of YOUR favorite TV shows? 

BONUS! 11. Blogging Series | Some of you probably already know about this if you’re a frequent reader, but because I’m a blogger nerd, I thought I’d take an opportunity to mention it today. My plan is to start a kind of blogger series that invites my fellow blogger friends to contribute posts to the series. Our topics would (ideally) come from readers or newbie bloggers when I open the questions to readers (i.e., we’d ask you to ask us questions and present us with new topics to discuss or things you’d like to know more about).

Let me know down below if you have any thoughts on a blogging series; any and all feedback is MOST welcome.
 
That’s it for today’s Top Ten Tuesday random-all-over-the-place blogger facts! What did you share about yourself today? Let me know all about your bookish thoughts down below! I’d love to chat. 
 
Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland. 



Falcon by Ronie Kendig – Action Packed Military Fiction at its Most Patriotic

Friday, July 8, 2016

Falcon Ronie Kendig
About the Book:
Author: Ronie Kendig
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (Barbour)
Source: Bought
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Blogger ǀ Goodreads ǀ Wordpress
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Series: Quiet Professionals, Book 3
Genre: Fiction; Suspense, Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5  


Hours after I finished what is, the final novel in author Ronie Kendig’s Quiet Professional series, I’m sitting here, trying to process everything. Something like “wow” has been my reaction since about 30-some pages in, and that reaction stayed the course throughout the 300 pages that followed.  

Falcon is the story of Raptor 6 team member, Warrant Officer Sal Russo (call sign Falcon). Chasing a traitor among their ranks, Raptor 6 has suffered one too many betrayals in recent months, but the greatest of which is yet to come when they lose someone. All of this collides with Sal’s personal past when, for the greater good of the mission, he learns Raptor has to work with Cassandra Walker, the woman he once loved… and the person who he blames for the death of his fiancé.

There’s always a sense of bittersweet feelings that accompany the end of a series that a reader has found – in some varying form, epic. This is certainly true of Falcon. Though many things only add to the heroics of this novel, the hero is certainly the primary hero of the story. Ronie’s leading men are a force to be reckoned with. Not only are they wonderfully (read: they’re HUMAN!) flawed, they never back down from a fight or shirk their moral responsibilities. But above all, they put their lives at risk every single time without question. Unequivocally, that trait never falters. Because of this, the whole fictional thing doesn’t hold up; these men are real heroes.  

What I loved so much about this novel (aside from Falcon, of course) is the conflict. This is one of the most emotionally interesting books I’ve read in a long time. The connection Falcon has with Cassie is tenuous at best, and their past is riddled with mistakes. Their scenes together are tension fueled though not without poignant moments as they respectively remember things left unsaid. The way Cassie loves Falcon is also lovely and the “twist” of the story took me by surprise.  

Fans of Kendig’s earlier books will be missing out if they skip over Falcon. A 2016 INSPYs shortlist novel, this one is not to be missed. It’s a cutting-edge thriller full of heart, which not all novels in this genre can pull off. This takes skill and talent, and yet, with grace, Falcon pulls off this and then some together.  

Synopsis: Special Forces operator Salvatore “Falcon” Russo vowed to never again speak to or trust Lieutenant Cassandra Walker after a tragedy four years ago. But as Raptor closes in on the cyber terrorists responsible for killing two of their own, Sal must put his life—and the lives of his teammates—in her hands. Despite his anger, Cassie is ill-prepared for his resistance and the fallout when she must protect the one asset who can end the attacks. As allies become enemies and hostiles become unlikely partners, Raptor fights for its very existence. – Goodreads  

Coming Next from Ronie Kendig: Four years after a tragic mission, Cole “Tox” Russell wants to be left alone. But when a dormant centuries-old plague is unleashed, Tox is forced back into action. He and his team are pitted against a secret society, the New Black Death, and a codex that holds the key to ending the nightmare. - RonieKendig.com, December 2016
 

Second Chance (2016) - Fox's Contemporary Frankenstein Entertains

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Second Chance

The new pilot season always arrives with a sense of intrigue and pull. I seem powerless under the sway of new stories to be discovered. The past winter pilot season– which is a “midseason” premiere, was no different. Fox’s modern spin on Frankenstein was something of a curiosity for a few reasons. The greatest of which involved seeing a favorite actor in another starring role.

Many years ago, Ray Pritchard was respected with a family who loved him, and he held a title – that of Sheriff, he was honored by. Now, as an elderly man, the cloud of disgrace still haunts him. His resignation came under the pressure of scandal inspiring discord between he and his son, Duval (Tim DeKay). When Ray discovers men breaking into his son’s home, the result is death only his killers stage his death to look like suicide.  

Otto Goodwin (Adhir Kalyan) is not normal. He has a brilliant mind and a tech company he built all on his own to prove that, but socially he doesn’t live a full life. This is why the cancer diagnosis of his sister, Mary (Dilshad Vadsaria) is a crucial blow to Otto. He’s since become obsessed with finding her a cure, a cure that might involve specific donor gene sequencing. Otto finds this in Ray Pritchard, and without his sister’s permission, he begins the process of bringing Ray back. Once his sequencing is complete, Ray (Robert Kazinsky) returns… only he’s nothing like the man he once was.  

In my continued interest of full disclosure, I know nothing about the classic story on which this was inspired, however I do know interesting TV (or what I coin as such) and Second Chance is exactly that. Stepping away from the story, there is a lot going on that makes this so. Perhaps part of the appeal can be discovered inside the out layers of the story which bleeds into a kind of crime drama whereas the overreaching part of the narrative is one of compassion and contemplating human nature.  
 
Though there is a placement of mystery in the story, I do like the quieter urgency placed on human nature and what it might mean for someone to be gifted a second chance. It’s true this is more of a supernatural notion even still the script raised some interesting questions and queries. The theories it starts to tease are intriguing also which means for now, this is a series I can easily see myself becoming addicted to.  
 
Second Chance
 
Subtle though it is, there’s a nice sense of humor and the potential complexities of Ray and Mary’s relationship sparks interest right away, as does the function of DeKay’s character. Much as I like him, he didn’t feel a “primary” necessary to the script or perhaps his character simply isn’t well introduced yet and will benefit from better fleshed out characterization as the show furthers. What we do learn about his past has potential for an emotional subplot, so here’s hoping. If you are a fan of any of the cast or mystery dramas with a lighter bent on the crime drama genre, Second Chance like its name, it’s worth a second look.  

Content: Ray is a womanizer who has a prostitute leaving his place [as an elderly man] when his son visits; later, as his younger self, he again meets up with the same woman. We see her drop a towel, inviting Ray into her room. There is a party scene and social drinking. Some minor commonplace profanity is present. The show is rated TV14.
 
Second Chance Review
 

Top Ten Tuesday | Books Underrated on Goodreads (AKA Books you MUST Read)

Monday, July 4, 2016


Goodreads ratings are more important that we as book bloggers may realize. Or maybe even more important than the cool social status Goodreads encourages are Amazon rankings. For me these two entities are interchangeable since I review faithfully (not always promptly, but faithfully) on both places.   

Today’s topic is one I find endlessly interesting because it means I’ll (with any luck) discover some new books to add to my mental TBR as I visit all of YOUR blogs.  
 
Broke and Bookish July 5th Topic 

Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads
(we've done underrated books a bunch of times in the past 6 years but thanks to Lenore at Celebrity Readers for suggesting this topic as a new way to talk about underrated books especially when underrated is subjective.)

Looking through the books on Goodreads that I have read (and enjoyed) that have fewer than 2,000 ratings surprised me! I couldn’t believe the stories that didn’t boast ratings and reviews above this mark. The caliber of storytelling among these books is amazing. Readers might not know what they’re missing by passing these on their virtual shelves. Next time you plan on going on a book shopping spree (I don’t know about all of you, but this is a frequent retail therapy experience for me), consider adding these to your shopping cart.

As an added Top Ten Tuesday bonus, I'm also sharing FIVE books with fewer than 2,000 ratings that I'd really like to read - and fully expect to enjoy.   


1. To Get to You by Joanne Bischof | Beautiful in so many ways, this novel’s DNA is unique in ways I’d have never imagined. The YA POV is male for one thing which is not something I encounter with frequency, and yet it worked wonders for this coming-of-age Indie novel. Amazon | Goodreads

2. The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz | A beautiful historical romance awaits its reader within these pages. When picking this up, I knew it’d be an artfully written story, but I didn’t realize how fully it’d captivate me. Amazon | Goodreads 

3. The Gifting by K.E. Ganshert | Anther Indie YA novel, this dystopian is a “Patience and artful story building are where this story’s at. There’s a lot of depth to the potential “bigger picture” because of the former and intrigue thanks to the latter.” Or that’s what my review says. To this day, my memories of The Gifting remain the same so much so that I’m ashamed to admit I’ve yet to read the rest of the trilogy. I know. (PS; it's currently free on Amazon Kindle.) Amazon | Goodreads 

4. The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert | If you love You’ve Got Mail, you’re sure to enjoy this charming this romcom novella. It’s short, yes, but it has a wonderful premise and story to tell. Read it. Amazon | Goodreads  

5. A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund | This YA is a lovely romance story al-la the Robin Hood legend (only this time it features a fierce heroine – plus a swoony hero). Amazon | Goodreads 

6. Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter | Those of us who enjoy contemporary romance should look into this one. It’s a beautiful story of forgiveness and finding redemption. Also, fun fact, one of Denise’s novels (The Convenient Groom) was just adapted for Hallmark, and a second one, December Bride is heading to the network as part of its Christmas 2016 programming. Amazon | Goodreads 

7. Falcon by Ronie Kendig | I HAD to add a book that would tie into today’s (yes, we still have an hour left in this patriotic holiday, which I’m spending enjoying blogger-y things) July fourth holiday. One such novel is Ronie Kendig’s Falcon or really any of her books. This is one of my favorite (to date) from her pen, and one I plan on reviewing in the coming month. Amazon | Goodreads

8. A Passion Denied by Julie Lessman | My favorite novel and love story in Julie’s passionate historical 'Daughters of Boston' series set in 1900s Boston. Amazon | Goodreads 
 


9. Bleeding Heart by Amber Stokes | Amber’s debut novel (Indie) is such a lovely piece of historical fiction. The story inside is a pretty picture romance that isn’t without its messy themes. All of which crafts poignant must read fiction. Amazon | Goodreads 

10. Stars Collide by Janice Thompson | I don’t have a clear picture of this novel (because I read it so long ago) in my memory bank, but I do seem to remember its fun themes and being thoroughly entertained by the behind-the-scenes world and magic that is TV production. Amazon | Goodreads
 
BONUS! Five Books with Fewer than 2,000 Goodreads Ratings that I Want to Read
 
1. Heat of the Moment by Lauren Barnholt | This one sounds really interesting. Have you read it? Amazon | Goodreads
 
2. Fallout by Gwenda Bond | Cannot wait to read this one! But then I am something of a superhero geek. Amazon | Goodreads
 
3. Sway by Amy Matayo | Sounds beautiful. I have zero doubt it is. Amazon | Goodreads

4. My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal | This is one that intrigued me way back when and I then forgot about it. Hopefully I'll finally read it. Soon-ish. Amazon | Goodreads

5. The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet by Kate Rorick | Need there be any explanation? Amazon | Goodreads

Which of these five have you read? Which should I read first!?
 

Those are some of my underrated (according to the world of Goodreads) reads that are among my favorites. What about you? Which underrated books do YOU like best? Comment down below with your thoughts. As always, I’d love to chat with you all.  

Happy Tuesday, and thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

PS; don't forget to enter the book giveaway featuring Sarah Sundin's Anchor in the Storm.
© Finding Wonderland | Where Stories Begin • Theme by Maira G.