Month in Review: October 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hello, readers. Another month has come and gone. The end of this month is really kind of sobering. As it exits, it ushers in the real start of the holiday season. There is Thanksgiving to think about followed immediately by the rush of the Christmas season. October has been such a busy month for me that again my reading suffered. But on the plus side, I probably did accomplish some good things, which is always a plus. So a silver lining?

Supergirl, Season One “Pilot” (2015)

Friday, October 30, 2015

As is bound to happen every new TV pilot season, I have again tried one too many new shows, and as is bound to follow that, am again finding myself obsessed with one too many. With the successful launch of a handful of superheroes owning our small screen, CBS decided to get in on the action with their own try. This one keeps to the tradition of the superhero mettle while branching out and appealing to a new audience.  

A Note of Apology

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dear Readers,

Hello! This note has been a long time coming, but until today, I never really thought through it and sat down to write it. I only just realized today, this past summer marked four years blogging. I'm a little amazed by that. It seems only yesterday I was dipping my toes in the water, testing the world known as blogging. To say nothing of it being kind of a big and intimidating world.

This brings us to today. Between my pursuit of getting our Etsy store started (thank goodness my mother seems to be the more prolific and certainly, more amazing designer, leaving me to mostly work on the technical side), life and family, meeting article deadlines for my contributing gigs, reading and my TV obsessions (I really should cut back on the latter, but guys... come on, it's a relaxing thing *wink*), I fear Dreaming Under the Same Moon has suffered. Add in the fact that I suddenly realized I've not worked a wink on my Christmas cards and it's nearly November first, and life has been... busy. My sincere apologies for this. Neglecting this space has never been my intention. I love it. I love the people who have taken time to read it. I love all of the conversations I've had with the people I've met, whether they've been on our long-winded albeit fun Twitter conversations or on our blogs, they've all been amazing.

The intention of this letter isn't to again go into my blogging journey or become sentimental but rather to apologize for my lack of attention. I want to you all to know, I appreciate every comment even if I'm not promptly responding to them. (Between you and I, the days fly by too fast to suit.) I still read every one of your comments and have every intention of becoming more prompt at responding. At this writing, I am again caught up on replies. I've got two-three more posts coming this week, two of which I am excited about despite them being only reviews, the third is the love-to-hate month in recap post. I still cannot decide if I want to continue that - your input?

Anyway, all of that babbling to say, the blog is still around, there is still content planned. I'm trying to find out the best balancing act right now and until I do, it may be a bit quieter in terms of when I get replies to your comments. The idea is next week to get back on schedule as well as catching up with you on your blogs.

As always, thank you for being a part of this blog's readership, commenting and taking time to read this blog. I appreciate it.

- Rissi

A Tag │ Sweater Weather

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Morning, dear readers. Since I am again skipping out on Top Ten Tuesday (I always miss the comfort of the weekly meme when this happens because a.) it's fun and b.) it ensures I have something to kick off a new week of blogging), I decided it was well past time to finally get to this fun tag that Grace (of Fictionally) tagged the blog with a while back. First things first, thank you, Grace for the Dreaming Under the Same Moon shout-out. I appreciate it. Secondly, how fun is this tag going to be? I mean, seriously, it's all about my favorite time of the year! What could be better!? Especially considering this week is starting off to be a proper Midwest fall; sixties and beautiful sunshine. This means pulling out the sweaters (several of which are my cozy favorites) and boots.

Romantic Movie Scene Feature │Penelope and Max, and a Reunion

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I'm not sure if I've ever shared a blog post here for one of the romantic moments I've put together over on Silver Petticoat or not. But today felt like just the day to do just that. The romantic moment series on Silver Petticoat happens at least once a week (or that's always the intention) and can be either classic (something older than a year) or more current like moments from what we'd see currently at the box office or our weekly shows. This week I had the pleasure of putting one of these moments together and I'm really quite giddy about it.

FILM REVIEW | Penelope (2006) - Whimsical Modern Fairytale

Why am I giddy? Because I wrote about one of my very favorite "classic" films. It's the ideal fairy tale really. Contemporary, yes, but all of the proper elements combine to make Penelope one of THE most beautifully written little gems to come along in well, nearly ten years. Because I needed to put this together, I popped my disc into my laptop intending to kind of skip through it since it's not been overlong that I did watch it in its entirety plus I figured I could focus on only the moments required for writing this piece. That plan flopped. Instead I let the entire film play which meant I stayed up late, but oh, it was worth it. I think each time I watch Penelope, I grow to appreciate its beauty a little bit more.

(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can rent or own Penelope through Amazon Video or purchase the film on DVD.

Want to have a look see at the romantic moment (either by reading through it or rewatching the scene - because I added videos!), find the link below.

Classic Romantic Moment | Penelope and Max

Without a flowery preamble, the most straightforward description of Penelope is a compliment – that it is the ideal contemporary fairytale. It’s the kind of film fairy tale addicts wish came around more frequently. Sadly, the reality is this kind of story only visits us every few years… and that’s if we’re lucky. If you’ve not seen the film, it’s a modern role-reversal of Beauty and the Beast. This time, it’s the girl who suffers a deformity (she’s cursed with a pig nose and ears) and is in need of true love from a blue blood to break the curse. The trouble is, Penelope’s mother is something of a control freak who believes that by placing her daughter in a bachelorette setting, she can secure her the perfect man. Instead, Penelope’s deformity scares away every blue blood her mother finds… and then Max enters her life. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat ➔

Emma (1996) - Star-Studded Cast (aka Jeremy Northam) Brings Alive the Witty Austen Classic

Friday, October 23, 2015


It's happened. I've finally succeeded in reviewing all three of the primary adaptations of Jane Austen's Emma. Where did this happen? Over on Silver Petticoat of course. Within a month (give or take), I revisited all three of the best known adaptations of Emma. Beginning with A&E's (my mother's favorite), and then moving onto the most recent which is BBC's before ending with the first I ever saw: Miramax's version starring Jeremy Northam. Not only was this my first exposure to the witty side of Austen (I really think Emma is her most humorous, tongue in cheek story), but this may have been my first introduction to Austen, period. For these reasons, I do adore this adaptation and honestly, have a kind of attachment to it.


Overall, I probably prefer the BBC miniseries for a variety of reasons, but gosh, this version is wonderful in its own way. Plus, guys, I'm sorry but NO ONE does the "badly done, Emma" speech like Jeremy Northam. Just sayin'.

If you want to read the review, you can find a snipped (as is the norm) down below and find the link to the complete review.

Emma (1996) Film Review – Jeremy Northam Stars as Mr. Knightley

For many years, this adaptation of Emma – from writer and director Douglas McGrath – easily won my heart as the favorite in a crowd of other interpretations of this witty Austen classic. I think the primary reason can be attributed to this being the first version of the classic love story I’d seen. The more recent BBC version was merely an idea at the time and I wasn’t aware of A&E’s retelling as of yet. Because of these factors, I’d already seen this several times before introduction to any other versions. Grouped in with the lineup of other period dramas Miramax released during the ’90s, this version is also flawed but still one of my favorites for reasons I shall attempt to put into words. Continue Reading ➔

If you want to, share your favorite memories, thoughts or opinions. Anything goes.

Insurgent (2015)

Following true to my pattern of being the last girl on earth to watch the popular blockbusters, I took normalcy a step further with this popular blockbuster hit. I bought a copy of Insurgent its first week to DVD and waited… and waited …and, well, you see the trend. Finally, last week I put it into my laptop, snuggled in and hit play.  

FILM REVIEW: Divergent (2014)

Beginning just where Divergent left off, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her gang of Dauntless rebels are in hiding among one of the fractions. Tris is haunted by the choices of her past, including the blood on her hands and the death of her mother. It doesn’t help that fellow Dauntless member, Peter (Miles Teller) taunts her about everything. Taking a bit of control, Tris chops off her hair and tries to keep her boyfriend, Four (Theo James) from discovering she is still suffering nightmares. Freedom doesn’t last long and close on its heels is discovery when fraction leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet) finds Tris and her friends.  

Escaping thanks in part to Peter’s distraction, Tris, Caleb (Ansel Elgort) and Four set out to find the rest of Dauntless, all of whom are scattered about the fractions. Only Four is the one who winds up surprised when he is forced to take shelter with his mother (Naomi Watts), a woman with an agenda of her own...

Given that I’m watching these movies without benefit of reading the books, I probably have a different perspective than most fans. I remember when this played in theaters fans were crushed over the divergence the script took from the book. These many months later, while finally watching this (in two parts), I can say, I still easily prefer this YA dystopian story to The Hunger Games. I can get behind this one more and feel more invested in the characters as well as the romance. Then there is Katniss, who is far too staid to feel much for though I do understand why she is that way. Tris has more fire, more personality and though she may run the wrong way at times, at least she’s inciting a change with a purpose. 

This film is much different than Divergent because Tris spends a good portion of it suspended in a virtual reality.  Like our protagonist, once this section begins, we have to pause and wonder whether what we’re seeing is real or imagined, most often it’s the latter. The primary reason I adore this franchise (as films) so well is because of the romance. I feel like Four’s and Tris’ romantic liaison is more settled and mature than more young adult novels give us. Do they fight? Yes. But I never feel like I’m about to combust because one of the parties is keeping their feelings a secret or they're being plan and simple stupid. Theirs is a relationship with more wisdom than its peers and for that alone, I have to give this series props. 

But naturally, this film is about more than romance. It’s about a young heroine with unique powers, and a bleeding heart that makes her stronger as she makes every effort to give the innocent voice and freedom. I don’t know what differs from the film vs. book storytelling, but just doing a Google search will reveal multiple headlines signifying Movie Insurgent’s infinite differences from Book Insurgent. I thought the story it told was… good. It had a plot even if it played more like a bridge between Divergent’s explosive introduction and the third film (part one adaptation of the final book Allegiant.) The cast and characters are both extremely interesting. I’m most intrigued by Peter with his flip-flopping alliances and cannot help but love-to-hate him. One character disappointed me, but no one in the cast seems a weak link. Theo and Shailene lead what is, really, a brilliant cast. While watching this, I was reminded how funny it is to know that Shailene has played leading lady to two of the men in this film; Miles and Ansel (The Fault in our Stars), who she now plays sister to.

Anyone who likes dystopian worlds is certain to like this adaptation. Though I cannot say those of you who were fans of the book will feel any warm fuzzies for this. It worked nicely in my opinion because it gave Tris time to grieve, to consider what her life had been. She came away stronger (hopefully) and is ready to walk into what she’d like to believe is a better future. Naturally that’s not likely what is in store for our heroine, but I feel like this script did have a purpose whether it followed protocol or not is irrelevant. There is a time and place for creativity, and I do applaud this as a film entity. I feel like I’d even admire this had I read the book because generally I respect creativity. Though not as spectacular as its predecessor, Insurgent has plenty of "wow" moments, and slower yet equally important poignant tearjerkers. It helped drive and sell the characters which is more than some word-for-word adaptations can say. 

What did you think of this movie? Do you like the idea that part one and part two of the finale now have two separate titles? Share any of your thoughts on this series down below.

(Content: there is one sensual scene – a couple begins to undress and kiss before the camera cuts away, all without catching anything graphic. There is a scene or two of an unmarried couple lying in bed, sleeping. There is plenty of “violence” or fighting though again, nothing is overly disturbing; people are shot with sleeping potions, others are forced to commit suicide. Multiple virtual realities involve tense situations and people free falling through the air. Hand to hand combat features in the film’s primary action scenes. The film is rated PG13.)

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

Thursday, October 22, 2015

About the Book:
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Waterbrook
Source: Author (Publisher) Provided
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Goodreads ǀ Novel Crossing ǀ Wordpress
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Genre: Fiction; Historical (Biography), Romance
Rating:  5 out of 5

I’ve never been what someone would call an avid reader of historical events or figures. Any kind of historical “biography” type story kind of scares me off. Those I do experience are exclusive to the silver screen, which we all know is often skewed to suit entertainment purposes. That is also where anything I know about Martin Luther really came from as I vaguely remember watching the film starring Joseph Fiennes in the role of Luther. When I learned Jody Hedlund was tackling the iconic figure, I confess my reaction was one of neutrality. However, it’s safe to posit I have a different opinion now I’ve actually read this nearly 400-page tome… 

As I’ve already suggested, the story is about reformer Martin Luther. But Katharina, the women who would later become his wife, also enjoys a primary role in the story as it switches off perspectives between the two. The book covers Katharina’s escape from the convent (inspired by Luther’s writings to do so – God doesn't require such a sacrifice and instead advocates marriage); Luther’s fits with illness and battles he fought for the right to freely worship God; their relationship as well as intertwining fictional story threads, to add more layers to an already complex novel.  

What a life Martin Luther lived. In coming to the end of this book, I don’t think a person can have any other reaction save that. His crusade to do right by God his conscious and what he believed was incredible. Nearly every move he made was met with opposition, sometimes even within his counsel. It’s his persistence and belief in what he cannot see that sets him up as being a person to admire. We should all strive to be as bold as he was. He never wavered no matter how bleak, and was as trustworthy as is the gospel he tried to ensure people came to know. Whatever you feel about this historical figure, I admire how noble he was in pursuing faith.  

The surprising thing about this novel was how romantic it is. True it’s not ideally romantic in the same way as Jody’s historical romance novels (Bethany House) are, but it’s definitely more so than I anticipated. The story is as much Katharina’s as it is Martin’s. They each have separate things to work through emotionally and survive (including illness, kidnappings and general persecution), but the sparks they send off as a romantic duo is really, quite intriguing.  Their marriage begins amid one too many misunderstandings and yet, beautifully, they still find a way to each other. In any fictional rendering, there is of course bound to be some creative license taken, but I feel confident Jody did her research on this one and did her utmost to ensure accuracy of historical timelines while still crafting an interesting novel that would appeal to fiction aficionados. With that in mind, Luther and Katharina is a delightful story of romance, tragedy and perseverance we can all learn something from.  

Synopsis: Katharina von Bora has seen nothing but the inside of cloister walls since she was five. In a daring escape, Katharina finds refuge with Martin Luther and seeks his help to pair her with the noble, wealthy husband she desires.

As class tensions and religious conflicts escalate toward the brink of war, Martin Luther believes that each day could be his last and determines he will never take a wife.

As the horrors of the bloody Peasant War break out around them, the proud Katharina and headstrong Martin Luther fight their own battle for true love, in one of the greatest love stories of history.
– Goodreads 

Coming Next from Jody Hedlund: Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won't be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can't help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him.

Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she's the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.
- Goodreads, add it ǀ In stores January 2016

Sincere thanks to the author, Jody and publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

Book Giveaway ǀ Luther and Katharina

Recently I realized something. After a good three weeks of being done reading Jody Hedlund's Luther and Katharina, I still had not reviewed said book. A book that officially released the beginning of October (the sixth if you want to get technical). Thus that brings us to today and my random giveaway. By way of apology for being so late with this review and promotion, I am offering a Kindle copy of Jody's latest novel, Luther and Katharina. If you'd like to enter, all of the usual details are down below. (As is standard, the normal rules apply.)

BOOK REVIEW: Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

Next, before we get to the awesome details of the book, let's talk about those boring rules.

The giveaway(s) is open to all readers. But if you are outside the U.S., by entering you're agreeing to accept a gifted Kindle version of the book; U.S. readers will have the option of choosing Kindle or paperback (when applicable). I do ask that anyone who leaves a comment under "anonymous," please leave the same name you enter into the widget in your comment - it's not easy to try and match comments when there is no name and in fairness to everyone else, I want to be able to be sure everyone who used the Rafflecopter correctly has a fair chance at winning against those who abuse it - there have been a few people I could not verify. So please, I don't mean to overwhelm, but just keep this in mind when entering future giveaways. I'd sure appreciate it! Winner(s) will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification before another winner is randomly chosen.

To be entered in the giveaway, just enter as much or as little as you like into the Rafflecopter widget, which you'll find down below. The Giveaway ends October 30th.

Luther and Katharina SynopsisKatharina von Bora has seen nothing but the inside of cloister walls since she was five. In a daring escape, Katharina finds refuge with Martin Luther and seeks his help to pair her with the noble, wealthy husband she desires.

As class tensions and religious conflicts escalate toward the brink of war, Martin Luther believes that each day could be his last and determines he will never take a wife.

As the horrors of the bloody Peasant War break out around them, the proud Katharina and headstrong Martin Luther fight their own battle for true love, in one of the greatest love stories of history.
– Goodreads

Amazon ǀ Goodreads

Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While You're Awake by Amber Stokes

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

About the Book:
Author: Amber Stokes
Publisher: Seasons of a Story (Indie Publishing)
Source: Author Provided
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Blogger ǀ Goodreads ǀ Wordpress
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble ǀ Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Novella (Novelette), Contemporary
Rating: 5 out of 5

As anyone who has read this blog for any length of time could probably tell you, fairytales are a favorite of mine. Or in the words of Miss Dorcas Lane, they are my “one weakness.” To be truthful, like the beloved character on Lark Rise to Candleford who loved that phrase, ‘tis true I do actually have more than one weakness, but fairytales are certainly high on that list. When I discovered that blogging friend Amber Stokes was going to release her loose retelling of Sleeping Beauty, needless to say I was elated. It was time for a new story from her. (Selfish as that may sound, it’s true.)  

The 50-some page novella tells the story of Ava, a young entrepreneur, who has suddenly become like honey to a group of bees. Every time Ava tries to go to sleep, the bees that somehow took up residence in her home seem to haunt her. Then there is Keagan. Keagan works at the local coffee shop Ava frequents and despite virtually knowing nothing about each other, the pair form a kind of friendship… with a possibility of so much more.  

Because it’s so short, saying anything with ease about this novella isn’t fair. Giving away too
much will essentially give away what you could simply discover for yourself in an hours’ time. Baring that in mind, my best intention is to keep this short. As with any novella length, from a reader’s perspective, the author already has an uphill battle from the very beginning, no matter the plot. Somehow this story feels very “full” irrespective of that. It’s beautifully told, hitting all of the right highs, and offers a poignant backstory for its hero that slips in unexpectedly to sure up the gaps and appropriately, tugs at our hearts.

The fairytale elements are few in a traditional sense, and the contemporary setting suits the characters and their motivations. With deft pacing and charming capabilities at telling the story, While You’re Awake is one of those pick-me-up reads you can enjoy in a matter of minutes. It has all the qualifiers of being on the edge of a more complete novel yet what it needs to say, it says and does so with skill. Bees may play a pivotal role, but leaving behind anything other than the sweetness of honey they do not.  
Ps; Want to know who won this book in the recent giveaway hosted here? Find the winning announcement on Twitter!

SynopsisAva always knew the bees would come. Just when she’s settled into a place of her own, freelance editing and savoring her independence, her rental house is invaded by a swarm of honey bees. And with their arrival, her lifelong fear morphs into a full-fledged panic that steals her sleep—and her peace of mind.

Keegan knows all about fear. When he meets Ava at the coffee shop where he works, he can’t help but come to her rescue. Together with his German shepherds, Sun and Moon, he sets out to break the “curse” that hovers over Tired Girl. But is it possible to conquer nightmares and live a dream while you're awake?

This sweet novelette is a contemporary re-imagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that sheds light on the worries that bind us and the love that leads to peace. - Goodreads

Coming Next from Amber Stokes, Where Trains Collide: Burned out and disillusioned with her chosen career path, Trisha Knolane gives in to impulse and hops on a train bound for Oregon, eager to escape the stress of college for a few days. But what begins as a fun little adventure suddenly collapses into a nightmare when she discovers that her ex-boyfriend is also on board.

All her hopes and dreams had once centered on Paul Benson. Now, when Trisha doesn't know where her current track will lead, Paul’s questions only complicate matters and spark a few of her own.

Questions that could change the course of her life.

A heartfelt and thought-provoking contemporary romance novella, Where Trains Collide faces the uncertain season of new adulthood head-on and shows that sometimes a path of broken dreams can lead to life's best destination. - Goodreads, Publication TBA

Sincere thanks to the author for providing a complimentary e-ARC copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

Top Ten Tuesday ǀ Book Genie, Please Grant these Wishes

Monday, October 19, 2015

If there is a Twitter handle, Facebook URL, PO box, smoke signal, phone number or Pidgeon carrier that a book genie can be found at, I should dearly like to know. There has to be some way to communicate with whomever might be in charge of granting #bookishgoals. Right!? I mean, we book nerds do find ourselves randomly wishing things about our favorite and occasionally overzealous pursuit of that. The challenge is finding the proper channel to contact that Book Genie at. Until I discover just what that is, I’ll settle for the following list, addressing these wishes to the proper contact and hope through the power of social media, they might see it... 

'Gilmore Girls' Returns

Oh. My. Gosh. The one show that fans raved about, the one show that ended without really ending, the one show that had the best wit ever is returning. Netflix is reviving Gilmore Girls for a four 90-minute episode run, this according to TV Line.

This is very (very) good news indeed.

I'm a total newbie to Gilmore Girls as I'm still not done with the original seasons yet, but I adore the show. It's quick-witted, power team of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore is crazy likable. Though the guys in their lives certainly inspired the dreaded love triangle-like "teams," I really loved the whole Luke and Lorelai story and spoiler reader that I am, "know" how it all ends. I'm just hoping this revival will give us MORE awesomeness!


Your thoughts!? Who else is grinning from ear-to-ear? Share your hopes, dreams, thoughts and opinions for the reunion of our most beloved, quick-witted mother/daughter duo.

October Kiss (2015)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Once again Hallmark sets about enchanting us. With its seasonal flavors and eye on that of an unlikely romantic pairing, its next-to-last autumn movie introduces us to Poppy (Ashley Williams). Poppy is a free-spirited 20-something who is more like her mother than she'd like. Her sister sees it, Poppy simply wishes to believe she knows what she wants, and hasn't found it yet. This leads her to a new job (after a string of failing nearly every other job - from pizza chef to yoga instructor) as a nanny to a single father. Successful in his work, Ryan (Sam Jaeger) is struggling with his two young kids. Zoe and Zach (Hannah Cheramy, Kiefer O'Reilly) aren't exactly open and welcoming to their new nanny, but temporary or not, Poppy may be just what they need to make them remember what it feels like to be a family.

TV MOVIE REVIEW: Harvest Moon (2015)

As is the standard of any and all content from this channel, a bit of magic and cute romantics is the make up of this charmer. Ashley Williams (a face you'll likely recognize from other similar roles) is fantastic fun in this rom-com role; her free spirit personality makes the role "pop" with some unique traits and I enjoyed her interpretation of the character - it was a kind of roll-with-the-awkward punches to see what good might come. I also have to say I love her name. So cute! The entire cast is great really; the kids are darling and I appreciated that their resistance towards Poppy wasn't for the normal reason.

If I had one tiny quibble, it'd be the romance. The relationship didn't feel quite as fleshed out as some of its peers. That being said, I think that was mostly because the script focused on the family angle - its importance, rather than anything else and for some reason the story seemed to disallow really good scenes between the couple. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the film 100%, I just noticed a lack of... something during some of the scenes that should have been igniting sparks. Oh, and fun fact, this was once titled, Temporarily Yours, which ties nicely into the script: which title do you like best?

Same as always, my recommendation remains the same (Hallmark's are one of my weaknesses - they're always such sweet treats). Those looking to enjoy a darling romantic-comedy will love this. Plus if the weather for you is anything like mine, you'll want to curl up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn (or candy), slippered-feet and a cup of mocha, and then sit back, relax and enjoy the seasonal delights October Kiss has to offer.

October Kiss premieres tonight, October 17th on Hallmark Channel. Are you tuning in? Let me know your thoughts down below.

Emma (2009)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

One of my favorite ways to employ when wasting time is searching out new period dramas. I probably can spend an hour on any given day doing this very thing on Amazon. (Never fear, I don't do this daily, but I'm just putting it out there that I could.) But recently in an effort to help Silver Petticoat build up their period drama review archives I've been revisiting some of the oldie but goodies and re-watching them in consideration of writing a review.

My recent rewatch journey included the adaptations of Emma (I own three and have watched two of those three with the third version getting its review later this month). Today I reviewed BBCs 2009 adaptation that was more miniseries than film starring Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have "issues" with the miniseries and its lack of sophistication, but overall, I do adore this version. It's more of a whimsical version, really. And as someone who appreciates individuality in cinema, I really, honestly do enjoy this take.

If you'd like to know more specifics or reasons behind my likes, dislikes and rambled fangirl thoughts on the romance, you can read the review* down below.

Emma (2009) Review

It’s been six years since I first sat down to watch BBC’s most recent adaptation of Emma. Ironically, that inaugural viewing was I believe, around the same time of year I sat down to watch it again this month. (In those six years since watching this adaptation, this is only my second viewing.) While a second viewing didn’t damper my appreciation or take away from the charm that is Jane Austen, there was a certain commentary of criticism running through my mind as everything unfolded. Continue Reading →

(*The ONE thing I was horribly remiss about and blanked on talking about in said review is the ball. Oh. My. Gosh. The vitally important dance between Emma and Knightley? It's gorgeously choreographed and staged.)

This makes two reviews of Emma down, one to go.
As always, I'd love to know what you think of this version. Share your thoughts!

Home Fires, Season One (2015)

As any period drama lover knows, a little entity called Masterpiece Theatre (ITV/PBS) airs most of the dramas when they cross the pond to the USA. Currently, they're airing a little WWII series called Home Fires. I saw it back when it released to region 2 DVD and then reviewed it over on my favorite, Silver Petticoat. Much to my surprise, I wound up really liking this little series - a lot. It started about with a so-so reaction, but each episode grew and became better. It's the kind of series that isn't afraid of being "tragic," yet still finds ways to be uplifting. The ending is dim with its grim image, but since it aired it has indeed had another series episode order which means we get more time with this little village.

Review snippet with direct link is down below.

Home Fires TV Review – The WWII Battles of Women on the Home Front

On a whim, I bought a copy of this recent ITV series and in spite of the sluggish establishment of facts, I’m glad I did. Based on a novel by the name of Jambusters, the story follows the five principal women who make up the local Women’s Institute bordering in the shadows of a second world war in a small rural Cheshire village. Frances Barden (Samantha Bond) is making it her mission to oppose current president Joyce Cameron (Francesca Annis). Mrs. Cameron believes closing the Institute during war benefits everyone. Unexpectedly, Frances manages to sway the vote (by one) in favor of her. This doesn’t come without consequences. Joyce walks out the door of the institute and steps down as president with her loyal board members leaving with her. This lessens the group’s numbers and forces Frances, along with her sister, Sarah (Ruth Gemmall) to rebuild their numbers. Continue Reading →

Are you watching this one? Let me know what you think!

The Flash Recap, Season Two Episode Two

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I only recently realized something. Instead of getting all of the fun content I have scheduled or planned in my head down on paper so that it can be shared here, I've been borrowing a lot of my content from Silver Petticoat to post here. But, hey, that's okay because I've been having lots of fun with it too. To be honest, I have some stuff from there to share tomorrow as well because, well, both of the subjects are awesome period dramas. In my opinion. But we'll get all that content published here too... perhaps tonight will be a productive writing night.

One of the new things I'm beginning again on Silver Petticoat is recapping The Flash (CW). It's a fun challenge I enjoy because it's a different format than reviewing... plus, it gives me a totally legit excuse to watch The Flash as it airs. Last night's episode was one I'd been anticipating for a while now because - *insert fangirl reaction* - a potential new love interest was introduced for Barry. Suffice to say I loved both of the newbie characters we met last night. If you want to read my recap, here's a snippet and the rest can be found on Silver Petticoat.

Flash of Two Worlds Recap (Season Two, Episode 2)

There is always a lot going on in an episode of The Flash. But today’s recap is going to be short and sweet. Or relatively speaking, it will be. Each episode of The Flash seems to be adding another layer onto the “bigger picture” scope of the season. The second episode of the season picks up immediately where the premiere left off and proves that Zoom is in this for the long haul. He has sent another baddie to kill Barry. But first, we have to learn who this Jay Garrick is…

New Faces in Central City

Jay has come with good intentions to warn the gang. For the past two years in his world, he too was the Flash. You see there was a breach created on the night of the singularity, and through that, Jay was whisked to Central City. Naturally the gang is distrustful because the dude has been in their city for six months with nary a word. His explanation is that he needed to piece this new normal together and approach them when the time was right. Which seems to be now. The most distrustful of all is Barry. (He’s still raw from the whole mentor-turned-criminal-mastermind.) Continue Reading →

What are your thoughts on the start of season two's DC Comics adaptation?

Cover Reveal │The Sound of Emeralds

Getting to help reveal two covers in the space of a week (or so) is amazing. But getting to assist in revealing said covers when they are penned by blogging friends is even better. Today, I'm helping give face to Rachelle Rea's third and final novel in her series, Steadfast Love (WhiteFire Publishing). Rachelle is a rare talent. She has an easy way with words, but still manages to pack history into each of her fictional tales. Her debut impressed me unlike any other historical novel (in a long time) and I also enjoyed her follow up, The Sound o f Silver (review comes later this month), a great deal. Speaking of that sequel, let's have a look at that (which releases this week!) and then talk about 'Emeralds.'

COVER REVEAL: While You're Awake (by Amber Stokes)
About The Sound of Silver

The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One is fighting for faith, the other for honor…

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song? - coming October 15th! Amazon Order

ABOUT The Sound of Emeralds

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?


Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she's lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. An Oreo addict, she is also a homeschool graduate and retired gymnast. She wrote The Sound of Emeralds during her senior year of college.

Amazon PreorderKindle: Coming Soon!│Barnes & Noble: Coming February 15
Books a Million: Coming February 15 │ Add to Goodreads

.......Drumroll Please.......

Introducing the face of The Sound of Emeralds

Lovely, isn't it!? Don't you love the lushness of this one? Those shade of green... beautiful. I will confess I'm partial to "Silver's" cover simply because the colors are so like those of autumn and it's my favorite season, but each time I look at this third design, I grow more and more fond of it. It's a stunning depiction of the time and I love the castle in the background. Of course the pretty swirls keep continuity with Rachelle's other novels and the scripts of the word "Emeralds" adds dimension.
Congrats to Rachelle on this beautiful new design. Wishing you all the best with this new launch, friend.
Your turn! What is YOUR favorite thing about this new cover?
Leave a comment for Rachelle down below...

The Age of Adaline (2015) - Multi Generational Timeless Love Story

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

There are some films that beg to be seen on the big screen and those that can wait. This fell among the former category for me, but as with most films, I never got around to seeing it. Multiple people told me it was excellent – everyone from family to blogging friends, and yet I never took the initiative to see it while it played in theaters. It’s recently been released to DVD. Taking a risk, a shopping trip saw us buying a copy, which leads us to this review. Before I get into my thoughts, below is a recap of the story. 

Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) was born in the early 1900s. She had a charmed kind of life with a family who loved her. She met and fell in love with a talented architect. Had a daughter named Flemming and lived a wonderfully full life. Until she didn’t and tragedy struck. Adaline lost her husband and not long after, she was in a car accident that altered her forever. Since that fateful night, Adaline stopped aging. 

This curiosity earned the attention of the FBI forcing Adaline to go on the run. She changes her identity through the decades, moving often though still remaining close to her daughter (Ellen Burstyn). With exception to one mistake in the past 60 years, Adaline has also remained unattached. This has been her rule… until today. Ringing in a new year – 2015, introduces her to Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman). Having seen Adaline once before, Ellis is intrigued, and he pursues Adaline without reservation. But her secret remains between them and without promise of a real future, Adaline finds herself afraid of change… and love.  

Between the battle of the sequel and the high-action blockbuster, the box office isn’t exactly a place commonly known for its ingenuity. Nor is it commonplace for quiet dramas. This film fulfills both needs in one fell swoop. Not only does it allow the quiet and unique to co-exist, it does so with a beautifully woven skill. The story suffers a few drawbacks as anything does, but for the most part, I felt like this film is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. The script tells a stunning story of a woman who lived an extraordinary life (even if the scenario was one-hundred percent unbelievable), her fear of love and the journeys she takes. 

To start off, I must say Blake Lively is an amazing actress. She pulls of Adaline’s quiet, classy
and wise persona with grace and self-confidence to say nothing of the stunning costumes she wears “through the years” of Adaline’s story. I adored Adaline as a leading character. She may have had character quirks as with any character, but her classic beauty and grace is a testament to what good characterization can be. This is essentially Blake’s first starring role in the sense of it’s her who carries the film (she isn’t billed under a male lead or bunched together with her peers) and I felt like she performed the role wonderfully and then some. Ellis is something of a different story. He’s not a typical male lead, and is in fact, easily clustered in with the eccentric millionaire trope, but… I liked him. A lot. Perhaps his being played by a relative unknown helped sell that. Everyone in the cast – including Harrison Ford (and I was also very impressed with the actor who played Harrison’s younger self - can we say good casting) and Kathy Baker, are quite good. 

Naturally, the costumes too are beautiful. If there is one complaint there, it’d be that we don’t see enough of Adaline’s fashion from the decades she strolls through. But to make up for it, costumers give contemporary Adaline a stunning wardrobe. Seriously, her party dress in the beginning of the film is the only kind of “evening wear” women should wear because it wasn’t only gorgeous, it was a classic stunner that attests to the true epitome of style. The story itself sort of evolves right along with its fashion and whirlwind of eras. Adaline was, essentially, tired of leading the life she existed in. She was alone and fearful of where time would lead her. She missed living life because she was too laser-focused on escaping what it was waiting to offer her. How she eventually came to learn, accept and open herself to love was a full circle kind of ending that is breathlessly lovely. 

Those of us who admire the quieter, slower-paced drama are sure to make this film a frequent re-watch. It’s one of those films that has as good of a message as its performers stun with their characters. Actually, the script is a kind of fairy tale that does take a few unique liberties though its compass ultimately points to happy-ever-after. If you don’t mind a few flaws (there are some) and a pinch of whimsy, The Age of Adaline is sure to enchant you. It certainly met and exceeded my expectations.  

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a small percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can rent or own The Age of Adaline on Amazon Video or purchase on DVD.

(Content: there is one implied sex scene. The couple begins kissing before the scene fades away; we next see them lying in bed together, tangled up in sheets. There is some minor profanity. The film is rated PG13.)

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