Scents and Sensibility (2011)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

There probably aren’t many girls who haven’t gotten lost inside a Jane Austen novel or seen one of the many film adaptations one can find on the shelves of their local video store. Over the years, I myself have probably seen most of the British adaptations made from her novels plus a handful of modern interpretations. For the most part, I’m a girl who is up for anything that is “inspired” by Austen’s timeless classics but that doesn’t automatically assure the script has the right pizzazz to be coupled with Jane Austen.

Book: Chasing Jupiter

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

About the Book:
Author: Rachel Coker
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2012
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen, Christian
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blaine is far from the average young woman. She has undertaken the responsibility of running her household and it’s starting to get to her. Her brother Cliff has never been “normal,” Grandpop Barley is a compulsive peanut butter eater whose mind isn’t what it used to be and her sister Juli has become a free spirit who no longer confides in Scarlett. What’s a girl to do? Cliff’s answer is that Scarlett dreads the idea of growing up. Things are complicated further when Scarlett falls for the guy who is crushing on Juli, her parent’s encounter financial difficulties and Cliff insists on building a rocket to Jupiter… life couldn’t be any crazier, right? It’s not until her whole world is threatened that Scarlett begins to realize she needs more than earthly help.

It puzzles me to no end why I’d never heard of teen novelist Rachel Coker until now. Introduced to her by my wonderful friend, Rosie, I was taken aback at the glowing reviews, forgot about it, and was then offered a copy through DJC Communications - to whom I extend many thanks! Already Rachel has an impressive résumé and if only one word were to describe (as impossible as this is) Rachel’s sophomore novel, it’d be unique. Missing from the story is any hint of a feel-good vibe because its impact is meant to go deeper – to  emotionally touch its reader – than the average teen novel. Unlike the majority of YA fiction, there is no love triangle or flying creatures, just straight-forward, “solid” writing centering what could have otherwise been a story thought too quirky for the happy-ending sort of reader.

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

Monday, February 25, 2013

About the Book:
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2013
Series: “Alaskan Courage” (book two)
Genre: Christian Fiction; Mystery, Sequel
Rating: 4 ½ out of 5
Review: She may be the baby of the family but Piper is one determined girl. Her brother’s return to Alaska is shattered when he stands accused of murder. Fiercely protective of those she loves, Piper refuses to believe that Reef could ever murder anyone even as the evidence is mounted. Making matters worse, the one person Piper thought she could trust, is who makes the arrest. Deputy Landon Grainger is conflicted at the prospect of arresting Reef McKenna. For over ten years, he has been a part of their family and Cole’s best friend but now, in order to uphold the law, he has to follow where the evidence leads, only doing so will mean crushing Piper. Refusing to stand by helpless, Piper determines she’ll carry out her own investigation, and Landon can do nothing to stop her. In order to keep close tabs on her, he sticks to her side, wanting to protect the woman he has silently loved since they were kids…

Lessons Learned from the Bookshelf

Friday, February 22, 2013

Writing can be many things. For some, it’s therapeutic, to others it’s an unexplainable passion and some people communicate best by expressing feelings on a blank piece of paper that becomes their canvas. Blogging began for me as nothing more than a place to cultivate my scribbling’s and “spread my wings” in a sense, to see how well I could get along writing by standing on my own two feet.
In this past year and a half, all of the opportunities for bloggers who were avid readers opened an entirely new vista – one that is challenging but also has become a virtual place for friends to meet over coffee and enjoy some good old fashioned book talk. After getting “settled” into a routine of sorts, it wasn’t long before I was able to connect with some book bloggers and find many fabulous programs for bookworms. Not only has this opened that entirely new world, it is also an excellent teaching instrument – believe it or not. Reviewing has taught me much about my reading habits – ones that I needed to confront. 

Cover Candy: Edition Six

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hey, there, readers! Decided to put out another edition of "candy love." Finally built up a decent amount of cool concepts, was inspired by Bethany House's new fall 2013 line-up as well as being reminded by the lovely Rel how fun this was! So without further ado,
Let's talk about books...

Safe Haven (2013)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Looking at past statistics, it seems a reasonable assumption that every year will be bringing to cinemas a new Nicholas Sparks adaptation. If they continue in the mold of Safe Haven, I won’t mind in the least. And this has nothing whatsoever to do with Josh Duhamel starring.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

About the Book:
Author: Nicholas Spark
Publisher: Grand Central Station
Publication Date: 2010
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 

Review: Frightened for her life but without the means to be a self-sufficient woman prompts Katie to finally run from everything she knows after an entire year of careful preparation. Ending up in a small Southern town that is more a tourist hangout than a place to put down roots, Katie begins a new job while catching the eye of the local shop keeper, Alex. Widowed and raising two kids, with a past in law enforcement, Alex has a keen sense, and he knows Katie is hiding from a past – and the threat is a danger that still frightens her. Paralyzed by the life she left behind, Katie’s resistance to Alex is soon challenged when she slowly finds herself relying on his protective embrace and her heart is lost to his two children, all of which is threatened when her past rears its ugly head. 

Casting Scoop: Downton Abbey

Monday, February 18, 2013

Update: In a Zap 2 It article just from today (February 21st), this was reported:
Tom Ellis 'Downton Abbey' Season 4 rumors squashed by 'Gothica' casting

The rumors that British actor Tom Ellis may be joining "Downton Abbey" as a love interest for newly widowed Lady Mary can officially be put to rest now that Ellis has landed a role in the ABC horror pilot "Gothica."
Ellis -- whose credits include "The Fades" and "Merlin" -- will play Victor Frankenstein in the contemporary series that weaves together the legends of horror icons Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and Dorian Gray.
Hmm... So I guess the search for a new beau is still on...

Good evening, readers! The lovely Ruth (thanks, friend!) reminded me about this fabulous (well for those of us who are actually excited *wink*) news for the fourth series of Downton Abbey. If you haven't watched the season three finale or don't want to know about any series four spoilers, then I must advise you to stop reading.

Don't say I didn't warn you. *grin*

Laugh of the Day - Princessess with Attitude: Part 2

The intention is never to bore you all, but I could not resist posting the rest of these adorable Disney princess parodies. Hope they make you smile.

 Wishing you a happy-faced kind of day.

Picture Perfect by Janice Thompson

Sunday, February 17, 2013

About the Book:
Author: Janice Thompson
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: 2013
Series: “Weddings by Design” (book one)
Genre: Fiction; Christian, Romantic-Comedy
Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

Review: Hannah Grace is tired of her life being a series of “almosts.” Though the eldest in her family, she is the only one not yet married and is in fact, still living at home with her parents whose repetitive routines are enough to make any girl go mad. This time, Hannah has had enough: No more is she going to settle. She has started her own business – a photography studio – plans on winning the favor of Bella Neely, Galveston’s most sought-after wedding coordinator and shoot the wedding of one of the music industry’s best talents, which could make or break her burgeoning career. First, she must get over the re-appearance of her high-school nemesis, Jacque Goldfaurb. This time, however, Hannah’s Jacque arrives in her competition, the handsome Drew Kincaid – a man whose good looks and beautiful eyes may tempt Hannah to stop thinking of Drew as the enemy. To make matters worse, there is an Irish legend that says the Kincaid’s and McDermott are mortal enemies. These near-misses, Hannah is determined to ace!

Finding Superman

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Like any little girl who may play dress up in her innocent childish manner or the more mature version of that child who dreams that the cool guy in school is more than a handsome face, thoughts of weddings have entered my mind – and specifically what my own will someday be like and more importantly, who the man will be waiting at the end of the aisle.
Many of the young ladies whom I have become friends with have written posts in which they pour out their hearts  over desires and questions about someday being in a relationship that, let’s be honest, most of us don’t even fully understand yet. These are some of the most honest posts that have felt like heart-to-hearts that we all relate too. To my knowledge, there is not one blogger on my dashboard that hasn’t written a post on this subject. Every one of us girls would probably be lying if we were to say that we haven’t thought about the man who will someday capture our heart – even those of us who were not constantly feeding our boy-crazy minds with posters or magazine covers featuring the newest all-boy band would have to admit to daydreams. With our head in the clouds, I think we sometimes forget that though we have our criteria down to a science, guys too, have a “list” – and though we will want him to respect us among other things, Prince Charming is human not a figment of our imagination.

Laugh of the Day: Princesses with Attitude

Friday, February 15, 2013

Good morning, friends! It's Friday. Finally! So glad that the weekend is nearly here. Instead of posting what I intended too today, I wanted to share something that made me smile. Found these cute spoofs of Disney princesses (I mean seriously, are they cute or what!?) from Amy Mebberson on Tumblr earlier this week, and couldn't resist sharing. Hope they bring a smile to your face.
Wishing you all a terrific weekend.

The Lost Valentine (2011) - Emotional Time Slip Story about the Power of Love

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Some love stories have a cheerful demeanor with that instant satisfaction reaction but no lasting impression, others use cheap gimmicks to equate love with something it is not and then there are the rare few that are timeless. The Lost Valentine fits into the last category. 

BBC Comissions Death Comes to Pemberly

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Good morning, everyone! So, I was thrilled to read that BBC has commissioned what is described as a "sort of sequel" to Pride and Prejudice. Don't know about you, but this is an exciting prospect! Considering its an anniversary year, the timing couldn't be more perfect and I am thrilled that producers chose to honor Jane's works with a new production, add in the fact that I'd love seeing Lizzie and Darcy in marital bliss plus a murder mystery inter-woven into the elegant world of Pemberley and I am absolutely thrilled about this! How about you? Below the cut is the official BBC press announcement:

Little Letters: Sixth Edition

Here is another edition of Little Letters. Just because it's fun.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Cast of X-Men

Considering I went on a movie marathon of Marvel titles last year, it seemed only logical that I’d eventually get around to seeing these and begin what was sure to be an… interesting journey into the world of mutants.

Casting Scoop: Captain America 2

Friday, February 8, 2013

Since the sequel of Captain America is something many of us are looking forward too, I thought I'd share it's most recent cast member. Because of how the first movie ended, we are all probably aware that Captain America is without his lady love. Sadly, they were parted by unforeseen circumstances, so names like Emilia Clarke, Teresa Palmer, Imogen Poots, and also Jessica Brown-Findlay, which for us 'Downton' fans would have been way fun! This week it was announced that Emily VanCamp will play, presumably, Sharon Carter and Steve's new love interest.

22 Things

Morning, all! Last week, Kaylee picked me as one of her "tags." Thanks bunches, Kaylee! And then Chasity also did the same! Thanks so much, Chasity. It's always fun to answer the questions that come with these but since everyone has likely experienced this fun meme, I won't be singling anyone out and instead nominate all of you! (Plus, I am out of good questions to pass on.) Instead, if you think this looks like it'd make for a fun post, please, feel free to use either Kaylee or Chasity's (or both!) great lists.

Kaylee's Questions:
1. Night Owl or Early Bird? Definitely Night Owl! I cannot stand mornings. My father is up at four a.m., me? I say that isn't even the morning!
2. TV or Books? Both. I grew up an avid bookworm (and still am) partly because TV watching was virtually foreign in my house. Now, there are several TV on DVD series that I devour. Fiction is still a love but I think because of my tendency to be more "visual," I always appreciate book-to-screen adaptations.
3. What's the Craziest thing you have ever done? Um... methinks, nothing that would qualify... Seriously I am a very normal girl who probably doesn't have a single adrenaline-obsessed-junkie bone in my body. I've a feeling that an event that may fit into this category will, if ever be in my future. Maybe. 

4. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live? Without knowing anything about the place, gosh, either somewhere overseas (Ireland, England) or further South within America. I think I've love the beauty of places like Hawaii or Florida but wouldn't want to live in the warmth year-round. Alaska is beautiful during the fall season, but I would detest the cold and days that are completely dark during the winter. Then when considering different countries, the politics has to come into consideration.
5. do you own your own cell phone? Yes and no. I have one but it's for everyone in my family to use - though usually I am the only one who uses it.
6. last movie you watched? It's a secret... cannot spoil the review that is about to be posted!  Oh, all right, I'll give you a hint (it has the letter "X" in the title) and I will say, I cannot believe I missed out on seeing it! *grin*
7. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla! Breyers Vanilla Bean ice cream is my one weakness. (Okay, so its one of my weakness'.)

8. One Direction? hmmmmm? XD Nope, don't go for that group. I think their music is "too young" for me. I'm more of a Casting Crowns/Lady Antebellum/Natasha Bedingfield fan.
9. last time you talked on the phone? Um... Maybe a week ago?
10. nutella or peanut butter? Peanut butter.
11. girly girl or tomboy? Girly girl.
Chasity's Questions:
1. What was the last book you read and last movie you saw? Just finished the delightful rom-com book, Picture Perfect. It was positively wonderful. As for the movie... that is a secret. But... I do give it away with the hint in the question above. *wink*

2. If your nails are painted, what color are they? They are black! This is the first time ever for me to have painted them black. The closest I'd gotten until then was a dark purple or navy. Kinda' am likin' the "classy" black.
3. What's your favorite hairstyle? So many are favorites. For practical reasons, my hair is twisted up into a "messy bun" all the time. When I want to "dress" it up a bit, I either wear it loose after giving it some body or if I want to be really creative, I'll braid parts of it or twist it into some sort of loose chignon.
4. Oreos or Chips Ahoy cookies? Oreos! Yummy.
5. Are you doing anything special on Valentine's Day? No, but then I never have. Other than maybe a romantic-comedy in the comfort of my living room and it's always fun to make some sort of festive desert. If it counts, over the weekend, I do have plans to go see a movie, just not on exactly Valentine's day.
6. Are you closer to your mom or dad? My mother is who I spend the most time with so I probably talk with her the most. Both of my parents are awesome though (so I am a little biased *wink*) and I've always known that anytime or anything I needed to share could be expressed to either one of them. Their personalities are different so I see traits I've inherited from both. In many ways I am more like my dad but my mother is probably the one I have the most "heart-to-heart" conversations with. To answer the question simply, I have a close relationship with both parents.
7. Is you hair naturally straight , wavy, or curly? My mother claims it's got some natural curl. I say she's crazy - it's straight!
8. How many states have you been to? Five... I think.
9. Cocoa or apple cider? Umm... both! My parents Keurig makes awesome apple cider and their cocoa K-cups are delicious. 

10. Favorite type of movie? The happy-go-luck kind. A story can challenge me (that's always a plus) but I basically disown it if it doesn't end happily. That's one of the reasons I love the BBC's Dickens adaptations so well; they are depressing and intelligent in the "middle" but always end well.
11. Favorite type of book? Happy ones! Love authors like Janice Thompson , Jenny B. Jones and Susan May Warren. Also, Christian fiction has some great suspense authors like Dani Pettrey.

Thanks, ladies! I enjoyed this.

The Next Three Days (2011)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

This thing called “life” can throw us some hard curveballs. It tests us and in some situations, breaks us. The revolving idea of this asks how far a person would be willing to go to ensure that those you love aren’t ever hurt or unjustly treated. Would we work within the law or go to an extreme to have our family whole again? This film explores the latter idea in some of its most harsh – and unbelievable realities.

Downton Abbey: A Journey to the Highlands (2012)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Imperfect as it may be, Downton Abbey continues to be the only British series that has excited me to the extent that Julian Fellowes soapy Edwardian drama has. Filled with beloved characters, the Christmas installment was equally lovely but will crush anyone who has been disciplined enough to tune out spoilers.  

Middlemarch (1994)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Most costume dramas are either too short or tomes that are far too long making adapting them a challenge. Though this 90’s Andrew Davies adaptation suffers from other unfortunate elements, one of them is certainly its length. The story itself is interesting – following a half a dozen characters along the way and setting itself in the titular town with social politics rearing its ugly head – yet it seemed to linger in places that should have been cut.

Touch, Season One (2012)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Seasoned television veterans immediately think of the patriot character Jack Baur when the name Kiefer Sutherland tops credits. Following the demise of Fox’s fabulous but intense drama, 24 Sutherland was offered a new script by the same network. The premise of this series is, on the surface the complete opposite of 24 but in looking deeper, it’s merely wrapped in a much different package. 

Femnista: Love Stories

Friday, February 1, 2013

Considering that we are coming up on Valentine's Day, it's perfectly appropriate and quite fortuitous that the newest issue of Femnista released on February first (our editor clearly has everything in line during her yearly planning for which topics we should tackle next. Yes, we are on to you, Charity!). This issue left me anxious to see how it would all come together and I am thrilled that it's finally here. This issue is all about "Memorable Love Stories." And, basically it's vying for a spot as one of my most favorites.

Call the Midwife: Christmas Special (2012)

The new gem of British television is an adaptation of an autobiographical novel by a midwife who practiced her trade in the 1950’s. Following the success of its first season, a second was announced but prior to its airing, there was a Christmas special bridging the two seasons. If anything this was a charming, quaint piece of nostalgia.  

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