Classic Romantic Moment: When In Rome's Beth and Nick

When In Rome

Happy Saturday, everyone. I hope you're enjoying a splendid weekend full of happiness and, perhaps a book or two. My weekend has been gloomy. Like, seriously, it's dreary outside, which makes a person not want to do anything. I've read a bit, worked on a few blog-y things and made soup for dinner because it's chilly out there. Ironic since last weekend was in the 70s and 80s. Yikes. What a difference a week makes, huh?

Anyway, I'm stopping by tonight to share my latest Silver Petticoat article which spotlights a romantic moment between Beth and Nick from the chick flick, When in Rome. If you're weather is anything like ours, you might be searching for something light, happy and cute to watch, and in my book, this is just the ticket. When in Rome is like a modern fairytale with an overabundance of fairy dust... and somehow, it works.

FILM REVIEW | When In Rome (2010)

Have you seen this charming little film that stars Veronica Mars Kristen Bell? What's your favorite thing about this one? Comment down below with your thoughts!

Classic Romantic Moment: When in Rome – Beth and Nick

THE FILM: When in Rome (2010)
THE PAIRING: Beth (Kristen Bell) and Nick (Josh Duhamel)
THE MOMENT: “The only spell I’m under… is yours.”

There’s a saying that encourages “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In many ways, When in Rome embraces that sentiment. In a lighthearted, fluffy kind of way, When in Rome is a charming sentimental piece of chick flick magic. Given that I recently rewatched it, I thought revisiting it for today’s spotlight seemed like a fun idea. Continue Reading ➔


Month in Review | April 2016

Hello, happy blogger friends - and happy Saturday. Hope your April has been wonderful. We've been another up-and-down roller coaster of temperatures - climbing as high as the eighties and today, yeah, I doubt it'll reach 50! It's cool, cloudy and unpleasant.

Another month’s close means another “month in review” here on Finding Wonderland.

…..Favorites from April 2016…..
Doctor Strange

 1. The Blog | I've been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work (reformatting and editing old reviews; changing pictures; updating archive page links, etc.) on the site here, so if there are periods of no new content, more than likely, that will play a big role in the "why." It's a big task, but one I really feel needed to be done - some of my old reviews are in desperate need of edits and I want them to be more uniform in the "format" I use now. 

Also, I mentioned this earlier this week, but thought I'd throw it out there again: I'm toying with some collaborative blog idea. What, I don't know...

2. Books | I've read some amazing books this month, and had some great conversations about them with the INSPYs girls. Cannot wait to announce the books, which will hopefully require no more than a 48 hour delay.
3. Doctor Strange | Marvel finally released a proper trailer/teaser images for this upcoming extravaganza. How excited are we!?
4. Grantchester | Got my series two (U.K.) DVD set this past week. Cannot wait to watch it.
5. Gilmore Girls | YAY! There was news about Gilmore Girls this past month. And I loved it.
6. Hallmark Channel | Learned about some new spring Hallmark movies coming, which is also a happy day indeed. One of them will be a film adaptation of Denise Hunter's The Convenient Groom.

…..Favorite Blog Posts…..
(Blog posts that, while not necessarily the most popular, were fun to write) 

1. Barley Lethal (2015) | This cute flick is the "perfect" little chick flick.
2. The Imitation Game (2014) | Brilliant movie. Enough said.

3. Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg | Loved this darling romcom as only MTagg can write it.
4. The Player, the Complete Series (2015) | Short-lived though it was, I really enjoyed this one.

5. White Hot (2016) | Loved this Hallmark mystery based on Sandra Brown's novel.
…..Monthly Popular Posts (April 2016)….. 

1.  Top Ten Tuesday | 13 Books that Inspire Smiles
5. Love by Chance (2016)

…..Popular Posts the Week of April 23rd - 30th….. 

1.  Top Ten Tuesday | 13 Books that Inspire Smiles
3. Movie Talk | Upcoming 2016 Films
4. The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)
5. INSPYs 2016 | Judging Panels

.......Books Read.......
April 2016
(yes, I realize there is only one book listed here, but I promise I read more than that in correlation with the INSPYs program. sadly, I cannot discuss them... yet.)
Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg

 …..Around the Interwebs…..

Silver Petticoat:  Following in the footsteps of the norm, I had a fabulous month over on Silver Petticoat. Mainly this might have been because I had opportunity to review a box office flick as well as a musical, and write various other fun stuff. Below are my contributions, "sorted" by their categories.
Articles and Lists | Took a look at the Spring 2016 YA Book Preview; spotlighted Katniss and Peeta (Mockingjay, Part 2), and Beth and Nick (When In Rome) in two separate "Romantic Moment of the Week" features.
Recaps | Also been recapping the fabulous fifth season of Call the Midwife; so if you want a place to gush about Heidi Thomas' brilliant writing, join me!

TV and Film Reviews | Went and saw (and really, really liked) The Huntsman: Winter's War; revisited Deanna Durbin's Up in Central Park; also, I reviewed the obscure gem that is The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music; Good Witch's second season premiered on Hallmark this past month; Julian Fellowes' charming Doctor Thorne came to U.K. DVD, so I naturally, snatched that up; and also (finally) caved in and watched the moody BBC period drama, He Knew He Was Right. 

If you're curious to see what else I've reviewed or written about over on Silver Petticoat, you can see my archived articles on the Silver Petticoat page of this blog.

That is #FindingWonderland Blog's Month in Review.
What new discoveries or favorite finds did you discover?
 Share any of your fun finds or thoughts down below.

Always thrilled to chat with you, friends. 


The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game

Seeing how long ago this film released in theaters serves to remind me how quickly time passes us by. I vividly remember reading about this one around the web and favorite blog, discovering Benedict Cumberbatch (a.k.a. Sherlock Holmes) led the cast, and being giddy with a must-see “need” to watch it. Well, clearly that didn’t pan out. Until quite recently (a month or so ago), I’d still not seen this one. Fortunately, in my opinion, the wait was worth it.  

Winning World War II looks bleak, and even for the cleverest of minds, beating the Germans seems improbable. This is why the intelligence community is prepared to put together a team of brilliant minds to do the impossible: break the German’s code. Their top recruit is mathematician, Alan Turing (Cumberbatch), a brilliant man ready to give his all to the top secret project. Only Alan sees the solution to the codes as being something very different than those who work alongside him. Instead of the painstaking methods they use, Alan sees a mechanical machine being the answer, and much to the resentment of his collogues, he sets about building it.
When his plan begins sounds implausible, MI6 questions his methods, but with the support of Churchill despite the suspicion of his boss, Commander Denniston (Charles Dance) hindering him, he succeeds in moving forward. 

As a man unable to connect with the world around him – and someone who has a very dangerous secret, Alan’s colleague’s resent the methods of his work. They see what he’s doing as insignificant while they are left keeping up the real work. But as Alan persists to a point of madness, each of them, including Hugh Alexander (Matthew Goode), and with the constant support of his best friend and confidant, Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), support what Alan is doing. But as it turns out, even when he convinces those of his machine's significance, Alan’s most harrowing challenges have yet to find him.  
TV REVIEW | The Bletchley Circle, Series One (2012) 
The Imitation Game

It’s rare that I run across a film that I leave feeling as if it’s an all-encompassing, well-done production. Such was the case with The Imitation Game. From the moment it opens on Benedict’s voiceover (which is also him recounting the story for us, so it starts at a later point and returns to “how it all began”) to the brilliant cast, everything inside this BBC production is proof of what an exceptional drama looks like. There’s even something about the voiceover (which is likely more impressive because of who is delivering those lines) in those opening moments that “sets the tone” for the rest of the film; it’s an enigma just like the code Alan is recruited to break.  

A good script can be undermined by a bad cast, and vice versa. Fortunately, The Imitation Game suffers no such fate. The cast is dynamite. From the supporting cast which also includes Mark Strong (A&E’s Emma) and Allen Leech (Downton Abbey) to the leads, there’s no weak link among them. Since the last few roles I’ve seen her take on haven’t been winners (in my opinion), it was lovely to see Keira return to a complex, well-rounded character who was easily one of the most liked and important in this story. Then there was Alan. His story is, undoubtedly, at the crux of this film. It’s through his story that we feel that sense of awe, inspiration and eventually, some sense of injustice. His sacrifices and incredible mind saved countless lives, and undoubtedly helped the war effort in ways we couldn’t imagine. Naturally, Cumberbatch plays this role brilliantly, delivering a multi-dimensional performance that’s mesmerizing.  

There was some question, prior to the release of this film, about the direction the script travelled. Filmmakers chose to focus more on the obsessive importance Alan’s work was to him than that of his social life. I thought that was a wise decision. It bolstered the film without sacrificing the meaning Alan’s work and life had during the war effort. I also found the attachment between Joan and Alan a particularly interesting distraction. There is some controversy surrounding how the writer’s portray their relationship, but from the little I’ve read of the historical accuracy of it (whether or not the snippets I’ve read are true, I don’t know), it seems a fair depiction of an unexpected friendship that was, in its own way, as beautifully loving as it was bittersweet. 

The Imitation Game
Fans of films like The King’s Speech or Benedict Cumberbatch as an actor (that's reason enough, right?) will be missing out if they skip over this one. Of course, it’s more than just its cast though I'd be lying if I didn't say it's the cast that helps make this film the success it is. Not to mention, as an aside, it’s also fascinating to see, essentially, the first computer being imagined and constructed. Nominated for a handful of Oscars (and winning one), it’s not hard to concede the brilliance of this film with the buzz it created. Clocking in at just under two hours, nothing ever lags nor does the film feel like an advocate for anything other than the story it’s here to impart. This was a surprise to me, and helped make the experience that unfolded all the more poignant. 
CONTENT: Alan was a homosexual, so there are some references to his sexual orientation and brief flashbacks to his childhood school days where he was friendly with one of his classmates (notes is as far as it goes). During these flashbacks, there is some bullying present (shoving someone beneath floorboards), and there might be the common sprinkling of minor profanity. The film is rated PG13.

The Player, the Complete Series (2015)

The Player

One of fall 2015’s network premieres, this show captured my fancy because of its leading lady. Charity Wakefield was a familiar face whose talents I saw in the ITV miniseries Sense and Sensibility. Being the period drama aficionado that I am, and of course, a TV show nut, I wanted to tune in to see what the slick actioner of The Player was all about.
Since he left the United States military, Alex Kane (Philip Winchester) has lived a quieter life. He now works private security for the Vegas elite, and is trying to figure out the complicated relationship that is with his ex-wife, Ginny (Daisy Betts). Still in love, Alex and Ginny agree to work on their relationship because, though the law says differently, they don’t want to not be together, all on the very night that armed men break into Ginny’s home.
This results in the death of Ginny, and Alex being accused of murdering one of the assailants. 
Bailed out of jail by a mysterious and powerful man who calls himself Mr. Johnson (Wesley Snipes), Alex finds himself recruited into a game of cat and mouse. He’s been handpicked as the new “Player” in a high stakes game that involves betting on the lives of people. Outraged, Alex refuses to go along quietly until he learns that Mr. Johnson might know something about Ginny. With the resources of “The House” (a massive computer system) and its engineer, Cassandra (Wakefield) at his disposal, Alex engages in a dangerous game of life and death. 
TV SHOW REVIEW | The Blacklist, Season One (2014)
The Player

TV shows seem to come as quickly as they disappear from our screens. This sleek, slick NBC actioner is one such show. Cashing in its chips at a mere 9 episodes (cut from the normal thirteen order), this was over before it really was given a chance to shine. The principal and cutting-edge storytelling was definitely here, it just didn’t appeal to a large enough audience to ensure its survival which is, by and large a disappointing outcome. Flaws and all, I thought this was a dynamic little show that was as intriguing as it was compelling. Both feelings tie into Alex’s journey in discovering the secrets of his wife’s checkered past.  

Apart from his "day job," Alex’s side project revolves around uncovering the circumstances surrounding his wife's death. He’s blinded by his love for her which is what makes his quest to uncover the secret behind her past (saying more than this wanders into spoiler territory) so, oddly enough, poignant. But then, I realize I’m biased since I do like Philip as an actor. A fan I first became when seeing him on another short-lived series, Crusoe and later in a romcom miniseries. Also, adding to the stylish atmosphere of this one is Charity’s presence. Her Cassandra is not only another complex puzzle whose past is never completely revealed, she also gets a killer wardrobe. Noticing the costuming in a contemporary piece may see odd, but when a female lead dresses as sharp as this, the fashionista in me cannot help but notice. Also appearing recurring among the cast as familiar faces are Nick Wechsler (Revenge) and familiar TV actress KaDee Strickland 
The Player
Another reason this appealed is its executive producers, who are credited with The Blacklist, which I suspect show runners were hoping would have scored them some points. As I said, I thought this one was interesting. From the first episode in which we’re pulled into a curious web of potential (though some might this concept a gray line, morally) to the final episode in which many a question is left unanswered there was something about The Player that I liked. Unfortunately, the TV powers that be weren’t primed to give this a second deal because audience numbers remained unimpressed. Still, if you don’t mind seeing nothing resolved, and are looking for something with no long-term strings attached, this is a fun show to binge watch over a long weekend.  

CONTENT: There is 2-3 implied sex scenes scattered throughout the episodes. One shows a couple undressed sitting under a mound of blankets talking. Various minor profanities may be scattered about (my memory is a bit hazy there), and of course, there is violence. The range includes everything from heavy weaponry to brutal hand-to-hand combat. The show is rated TV14.

Cover Candy, Edition the Second

Happy Wednesday readers and friends! Can you believe that, four months into 2016, this is only the second post I've put together featuring some of the recent "cover candy" books I've put together? How strange is that!?

Anyone, within the books below, there are some I am *dying* to read because they sound amazing (always a plus for books), and some of them I am including simply for their eye candy appeal. Most of these are probably NOT new to you, but if you haven't seen them (or even if you have), let me know what you think! Soon as I publish this, an entirely new crop of covers will probably be released (as has happened in the past), but I went ahead and hit that "publish" button today because, well, why not!?

Short and sweet though today's opening is, I know you really would rather see the cover pretties, so let's have a look, shall we!?

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood will devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown. - Amazon, September 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

January 2017

Amazon | Goodreads

As Old as Time by Liz Braswell

What if Belle's mother cursed the Beast? As Old as Time is the third book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. When Belle touches the Beast's enchanted rose, memories flood through Belle's mind-memories of a mother she thought she would never see again. And, stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful enchantress who cursed the castle and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is 21 years in the making. - Goodreads, September 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Storm by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Selah has survived the forces of both man and nature to reunite her family. But her happiness is short-lived as they are forced into a barren world of volcanic ash that conceals the storm boiling beneath. The clock is ticking and Selah's abilities are growing--along with the list of those out for her blood.
Selah feels unworthy of her status as a novarium and is tortured by the knowledge of lives lost to protect her. Her physical and mental abilities will tempt her to be reckless, but she must learn to wield such power responsibly. Time is running out as more lives are tragically cut short and the search for the Third Protocol takes Selah into lands that have fallen into legend. Can Selah follow the trail of ancient artifacts and finish the quest? Or have she and her companions pinned their hopes on nothing more than a fanciful story?

Calhoun's characters race headlong into an explosive combination of futuristic technology, age-old greed, and the sacrifices for love that drive them to impossible choices. - Goodreads, November 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her. - Goodreads, September 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers first watched the couple fall in love. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition.

With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday magic of New York City in December.

Told in alternating chapters, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily reunites two beloved characters and is bound to be a Christmas favorite, season after season. - Goodreads, October 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.

Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.

As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare. - Amazon, September 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day

Ash Gupta is having an amazing senior year, hanging out with his tight circle of friends and cranking out the grades his wealthy, immigrant Asian-Indian parents expect. A model student in every way, Ash is on track to earn every school honor there is... except one. It looks as if valedictorian will go to the anti-social, foul-mouthed girl who has been a thorn in his side throughout high school, and that’s just not a part of Ash’s—or his parents’—plan.

Eden Moore’s biggest goal is to escape the poverty that haunts her family. When she’s not babysitting a special needs boy, managing the high school website, or attending classes, she’s studying her ass off. Her perfect GPA should be enough to win her the class valedictorian title, and with it, an endorsement for the full-ride Peyton Scholarship. Eden’s sure this is her chance to get out of her dead-end town and her trailer-park life for good, until she discovers that the arrogant, rich Ash also wants the title and the scholarship that will come along with it—for the prestige.

To both of their surprise, when Eden and Ash are forced to work together on a school project, sparks fly. As they spend more time together, antagonism changes to romance. They start a secret relationship, even though they’re on opposite sides of nearly every social hierarchy their friends and families can imagine—race, class, social status.

Can they put all that behind them and start something real? - Goodreads, September 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Unblemished by Sara Ella

Eliyana has always recoiled from her own reflection in the mirror. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world existed where her blemish could become her strength?
Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a hideous birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her as normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird.

Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself? - Amazon, October 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Hearts, Fingers and Other Things to Cross, by Katie Finn


Gemma and Hallie's world has come to a screeching halt. Their parents are engaged, which makes them step-sisters. Nothing in the world could possibly be worse for Gemma and Hallie--they won't let it happen. Even if it means putting their own feud aside to separate their parents.

Events quickly escalate as a hurricane rips through the Hamptons leaving everyone (including Gemma's two exes, her current crush, best friend, and her nemesis) bottled up in one house. One big, miserable group of exes and enemies together allow secrets to unfold and plans to be plotted. The calm before this storm definitely doesn't exist.

Katie Finn pulls out all the stops for this fast-paced, dramatic conclusion in the Broken Hearts and Revenge series, Hearts, Fingers, and Other Things to Cross. - Goodreads May 2016, Amazon |

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.  - Goodreads, January 2017 Amazon | Goodreads

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

It’s been five years since Avery Truitt and Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom fell in love. But he broke her heart with no explanation.

Fast forward to present day, and Colin is Brighton’s most eligible bachelor now that cousin Stephen has married. When Avery’s father dies of a heart attack, she puts her life on hold and returns home to St. Simons Island, Georgia, to help Mama with the family restaurant. But Mama misses Avery’s sister Susanna, who lives four thousand miles away in Brighton Kingdom—and is expecting her first child. So Mama insists she and Avery spend the Christmas season in Brighton.

Colin and Avery are going to see each other a lot while she’s visiting. But she can’t forget the way he hurt her, and he didn’t expect his feelings to still be so strong.

Avery is torn between considering a future in Brighton and taking a coaching job in Georgia, and Colin is finally pushed to pursue what he really wants. Is it too late to convince Avery that she is his true love? And even if he does, will she make it to the chapel on Christmas Day to give him her heart? - Amazon, October 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

This YA novel from New York Times bestselling author A. G. Howard marks the beginning of a new era for fans of the Splintered series. Rune Germain moves to a boarding school outside of Paris, only to discover that at this opera-house-turned-music-conservatory, phantoms really do exist. RoseBlood is a Phantom of the Opera–inspired retelling in which Rune’s biggest talent—her voice—is also her biggest curse. Fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the Splintered series will find themselves captivated by this pulse-pounding spin on a classic tale.

Rune, whose voice has been compared to that of an angel, has a mysterious affliction linked to her talent that leaves her sick and drained at the end of every performance. Convinced creative direction will cure her, her mother ships her off to a French boarding school for the arts, rumored to have a haunted past.

Shortly after arriving at RoseBlood conservatory, Rune starts to believe something otherworldly is indeed afoot. The mystery boy she’s seen frequenting the graveyard beside the opera house doesn’t have any classes at the school, and vanishes almost as quickly as he appears. When Rune begins to develop a secret friendship with the elusive Thorn, who dresses in clothing straight out of the 19th century, she realizes that in his presence she feels cured. Thorn may be falling for Rune, but the phantom haunting RoseBlood wants her for a very specific and dangerous purpose. As their love continues to grow, Thorn is faced with an impossible choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or save her and face the wrath of the phantom, the only father he’s ever known.

A. G. Howard brings the romantic storytelling that Splintered fans adore to France—and an entirely new world filled with lavish romance and intrigue—in a retelling inspired by a story that has captivated generations. Fans of both the Phantom of the Opera musical and novel, as well as YA retellings such as Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, will devour RoseBlood. - Amazon, January 2017 Amazon | Goodreads

Can't Help Falling by Kara Isaac

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with curious a wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in Kara Isaac’s inspiring and romantic story about second chances. - Goodreads, October 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world. - Goodreads, February 2017 Amazon | Goodreads

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.
Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless. - Amazon, October 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.
Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and has achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina's story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series. - Amazon, October 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget. - Goodreads, September 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Wending Darling: Seas by Colleen Oakes

Wendy Darling: Seas finds Wendy and Michael aboard the dreaded Sudden Night, a dangerous behemoth sailed by the infamous Captain Hook and his blood-thirsty crew. In this exotic world of mermaids, spies and pirate-feuds, Wendy finds herself struggling to keep her family above the waves. Hunted by the twisted boy who once stole her heart and struggling to survive in the whimsical Neverland sea, returning home to London now seems like a distant dream - and the betrayals have just begun.

Will Wendy find shelter with Peter's greatest enemy, or is she a pawn in a much darker game, one that could forever alter not only her family's future, but also the soul of Neverland itself? - Goodreads, September 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century—with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.

Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take. - Goodreads, October 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter

Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly landlord of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the services of her detective-agency tenants to solve a decade-old murder--her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced. - Amazon, August 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead. - Goodreads, August 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men.
a mysterious city stripped of its name.
a mythic hero with blood on his hands.
a young librarian with a singular dream.
a girl every bit as dangerous as she is in danger.
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep. - Amazon, September 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts. - Amazon, August 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye? - Goodreads, March 2017 Amazon | Goodreads
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
 - Goodreads, November 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

All in Pieces by Suzanne Young

“Anger-management issues.”

That’s how they classified Savannah Sutton after she stuck a pencil in her ex-boyfriend’s hand because he mocked her little brother, Evan, for being disabled. That’s why they sent her to Brooks Academy—an alternative high school that’s used as a temporary detention center.

The days at Brooks are miserable, but at home, life is far more bleak. Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy.

Then there’s Cameron, a new student at Brooks with issues of his own; a guy from a perfect family that Savvy thought only existed on TV. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself, except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant.

And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. But she’s not sure how much tighter she can be pulled before she breaks completely. - Goodreads, November 2016 Amazon | Goodreads

As always, comments, thoughts, fangirl moments and all that bookish fun stuff is most welcome. Leave your thoughts below - the comment section is open to you all.
Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland and reading.

The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016) - Ice Palaces and Trained Warriors with Romantic Flair

The Huntsman Winter's War

Afternoon lovely readers and friends. This past Saturday, I went to the movies and because I review nearly everything I see, naturally I reviewed said movie. Of course, the purpose in going was to review this one for "work," so I didn't have a choice. The film I went to see is the critic bashed The Huntsman, Winter's War. Let me tell you friends, my mother went with me, and we both absolutely adored this one.

FILM REVIEW | Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

Is it perfect? Absolutely not! (Not that this bothers me because, what is?)

Could it have better balanced its humor against the darker elements? Perhaps.

The Huntsman Winter's War

Might it have done better as a straight prequel or sequel? Possibly.

But, no matter what might have been changed about it, as a fantasy flick with a strong fairytale theme (with contemporized visuals), this is gold. I loved every second of it though I missed Snow White's presence, Chris Hemsworth made up for a lot. *wink* The production from start to beginning is stunning. The cast magnificent, and the costumes!? Yeah. Those are masterpieces all on their own.

Below you can read a snippet of my review which went live today on Silver Petticoat, and find direct links to read it in its entirety should you be interested.

The Huntsman Winter's War

The Huntsman: Winter’s War – An Enchanting Dark and Romantic Fairytale

Four years, multiple story revisions and casting rumors later, the follow-up to 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman (or SWATH as it’s commonly referred to) is finally here. The characters who returned for the sequel treat us to quite a journey that takes place in the same world as its predecessor. Or at least it’s a return to the same world for our titular character (played to perfection by the rugged Chris Hemsworth). High fantasy lovers will be delighted as the production qualities are, in my opinion, off the charts good. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat Review ➔

CONTENT: The Huntsman is more adult than SWATH with two non-graphic sex scenes (one of which has barely avoided upper female nudity). There's also plenty of fantasy violence.


Have you seen The Huntsman or Snow White and the Huntsman? Did you like them, dislike them or have so-so feelings? Share your thoughts below! I'd love to read them.

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