Romantic Movie Scene Spotlight | R and Julie from Warm Bodies

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

No secret has been made of the fact that I adore the zombie romcom, Warm Bodies. I saw it quite on a whim, and loved it ever since then. Though I didn't get a chance to re-watch it leading up to All Hallow's Eve (though I won't say that I won't still watch it, because, it's Warm Bodies), I did relive it in some sense.

FILM REVIEW | Warm Bodies (2013) - A Zombie RomCom Adaptation


As an excuse, I mean, I had to for an article I was working on, I did re-watch clips of this one, and awww. Cuteness. Overload.

Though its quirky (and admittedly, strange), this is one of those films I adore. Do I want to watch it every weekend? No. But then there are very few films that do inspire a once-a-week-rewatch kind of emotion. Today I'm sharing a snippet of the Romantic Moment feature I wrote for Silver Petticoat.

The romance between the star-crossed lovers, R and Julie (who'd thought it from a zombie flick??) is as charming, sweet and swoon-y as I remember. Check out the full feature, and tell me all your thoughts!

Romantic Moment of the Week: Warm Bodies’ R and Julie, and a Balcony Scene

THE FILM: Warm Bodies
THE PAIR: R (Nicholas Hoult) and Julie (Teresa Palmer)
THE MOMENT: R risks his safety in order to see Julie again.


No matter how you look at it, there are some love stories that are strange. Not all are strange in ways that make them unlikable, but rather are “strange” in a loveable, almost charming way. Warm Bodies tells the story of R and Julie and is one of these wonderfully strange stories. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat Review

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.)  You can purchase or rent a digital copy of Warm Bodies on Amazon Video or buy it on DVD!

Have you seen this charming film adaptation? Do you like or dislike these two together? Comment down below with all of your fangirl (or non-fangirl) thought! I'd love to chat.

Top Ten Tuesday | All Hallow’s Eve and All the Spooky and Creepy Reads!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hey, hey happy reader friends. Today’s another Tuesday which equals another round of Top Ten Tuesday meme-ing – this time around, it’s sporting a spooky vibe.

Broke and Bookish October 31: Halloween Freebie! (Happy Halloween! Let your creativity run wild with a themed post to celebrate!) - Broke and Bookish


(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

Anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time knows I don’t celebrate All Hallow’s Eve. Since I already talked (overmuch??) about my October 31st aka Halloween non-celebratory feelings, in my latest Booktube Talk post, we’ll leave that thought there.

The Faces of Adaptations | Jane Eyre Edition

Instead, let’s focus on ALL THE BOOKS!! Because, let’s face it, don’t we all enjoy a mysterious read now and again if not a spooky one? I know I do. In fact, most of the time I tend to read more mysteries this time of year – or maybe that’s simply the fault of publishing houses since they publish more of the genre this time of year. (Or is that just me who thinks this?) No matter what, there’s always plenty of mystery reads on my shelf and TBR.

Let’s take a look at some mysterious – both cozy and white-knuckle, and spooky reads.

1. Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Antsey | As so many books are on my Top Ten Tuesday lists, this is another one I haven't read... but it's one I've intended to read , so much so that I've added it to my shelf. Now I just have to crack open its pages. Amazon | Goodreads

2. Everneath by Brodi Ashton | Since I read one of Brodi's contemporary novels, I'm all the more curious to read this one. The supernatural themes isn't always my genre, but it still intrigues me. Amazon | Goodreads

3. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | Why did I add Wonder Woman? I don't know except that it feels somehow like a really good autumn read... and likely, it does boast some white-knuckle moments! Amazon | Goodreads

4. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman | Since my YA historical reading is slim, one of the ways I'd like to improve on that is to read this one! It sounds so good. Amazon | Goodreads


5. Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye | Yet anther one I should read and haven't. Amazon | Goodreads

6. Bewitching by Alex Flinn | It surprises me how well I like this book (and character!!). We first meet Kendra in the novel Beastly, so when it was announced that she'd have her own story, I was shocked. Amazon | Goodreads
  
7. There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins | Horror is NOT my genre, but I do adore Stephanie Perkins as an author, so my hope for this one is a cautiously optimistic thought. Amazon | Goodreads

8. Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Politano Davidson | Reading this one now, and so far, it's amazing. I love the intrigue and the "period drama" appeal of its historical setting. Dear BBC, let me introduce you to your next production. Amazon | Goodreads

9. Jackaby by William Ritter | A "copy and paste" scenario (as what I've said of the rest of the books on this list) can also be said of this book. Amazon | Goodreads

10. Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson | This one has sat on my shelf for a looong time, and it remains one of the most interesting reads I'd like to read; it tells a story about a girl who  Amazon | Goodreads
*publishes tomorrow afternoon; channel linked above
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Though there are many other books that could be featured with today’s topic, these are a few I discovered. Do you enjoy cooking? What new recipes have you discovered? What books/topics did you feature today? Comment all the thoughts down below.

Let’s chat. Tell me all the bookworm, fangirl thoughts! I look forward to chatting with you and visiting your bookish spaces.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

The Faces of Adaptations | Jane Eyre Edition

The Faces of Adaptations | Jane Eyre Edition

Most days, this blog’s normal is some type of review. Since I’d like to step away from writing and publishing only reviews, today I thought it’d be fun to look beyond that and write about period drama in a different way.

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

This all begins with Twitter. Twitter is a wonderful place. Or it can be depending on how you chose to use it. I use it to share my writings (because I take this “work” seriously) and to hang out with some of the coolest people I know: authors and the book blogging community. The drawback of Twitter is the character limit, and when it comes to my tweeting, which is anything but concise (unless it involves tweeting blog titles and adding hashtags). This is why a recent Twitter conversation inspired today’s post.

(And by “recent,” I mean, nearly two years ago. Yes, that’s how long this post has sat on my USB archive.)


Some of my friends (shoutout to those #bookbesties; because I'm too lazy, I don't want to go back in time and find said Twitter convo, but you know who you are!!) and I were discussing the many versions of Jane Eyre, and I thought it might be fun to take a closer look at the many incarnations of them and take a trip down memory road of which are my favorites, and why.

As I’ve not read the novel Jane Eyre, judging these as adaptations goes beyond my scope however as cinematic masterpieces and a lover of a period drama aficionado, I feel qualified to fangirl over these in those regards.

To begin, we’ll take a look at some I haven’t seen (and to be honest, probably won’t), and then move onto the newer versions, all of which I have (finally) enjoyed.

1. Jane Eyre (1943)


Though on occasion I don’t mind sitting through a classic film, old cinema isn’t my forte. This is the primary reason why I've not see this version or the following...

2. Jane Eyre (1943)


Most believe an actor like Orson Welles is a great actor from his era yet I’ve never been particularly fond of him. Ironically, I do enjoy watching the 1940 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice now and again, but as the Bronte classic isn’t one of my most favorite stories, tracking down a copy of this version isn’t high on my priority list. Buy Jane Eyre (1943) on DVD.


3. Jane Eyre (1983)



Dark and intense, this is BBC’s first adaptation of the Bronte classic. Lengthy and putting a great deal of stock into Jane’s past, I find myself consistently caught up in this version. Timothy Dalton is controversial in his role as Rochester, however he gives the character a kind of wonderfully intense characteristic. Rent or buy this on Amazon video or buy Jane Eyre (BBC, 1983) on DVD.

4. Jane Eyre (1996)



Another film that cast a mediocre Rochester for their piece, that actor being William Hurt. Unlike Cirian Hinds, this version isn’t “ruined” by the leading man, but considering the last two adaptations listed below, he’s further down the list as a favorite. Charlotte is quite talented in the titular role, a role seems to suit her quiet, modest personality. Rent or buy Jane Eyre (1996) on Amazon Video or purchase the DVD

5. Jane Eyre (1997)


A&E’s film adaptation of the classic is not at all my cup of tea. The filming is properly Gothic if memory serves (it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it though there have been multiple viewings), however Cirian Hinds as Rochester? Sorry, no. He’s one of those obvious actors I only like in certain roles. Buy Jane Eyre (A&E) on Amazon Video or purchase on DVD

6. Jane Eyre (2006)

After many (many) people telling me this most recent BBC miniseries ranks as their favorite, I finally tracked down a copy (thank goodness for region 2 capabilities) and binge watched the 3-hour version in the course of one Saturday afternoon. It’s really quite beautiful. Toby and Ruth are marvelous together, especially Ruth who gives Jane a girlish, whimsical quality. Overall, I’d go so far as to say this adaptation is the most lighthearted there has been to date.

Unfortunately, this one is nearly impossible to find available in the US... unless you're willing to pay $100+ dollars for a DVD copy. If you have the capacity to watch a region two DVD, luckily, those are more reasonable in price. 

Since I will be reviewing this one soon, I have to say this one might have overtaken my favorite, which was the 2011 feature film.

MINISERIES REVIEW | Jane Eyre (2006)*

7. Jane Eyre (2011)



(This scene is SO underrated, isn't it?)

For me, this version is perhaps the hardest to relate to. The character of Jane, as played by Mia is beyond difficult to feel anything for. She keeps her emotions in check to a greater degree than even the general perception of Jane’s character demands. That being said, Michael is quite swoon-y as the brooding Rochester and portrays a Gothic hero to perfection. This is saying nothing of the stunning cinematic qualities this boasts.

Rent or buy Jane Eyre on Amazon Video or purchase on DVD

FILM REIVEW | Jane Eyre (2011)
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Which adaptations are your favorites – and why? I’d love to read your impressions or thoughts on these many versions of the Charlotte Bronte classic Jane Eyre. The comments are now open to you. Comment down below.

*Publishing soon (check back in the next week).

A Harvest Wedding (2017) – Sweetheart of a Hometown Hallmark Romance

Sunday, October 29, 2017

There are some romance films that seem sweeter than others. A Harvest Wedding is one such movie. The story is one we’re well acquainted with, but manages to alter some of the common cues to keep its story unique.


Though comfortable in the small town she grew up in, Sarah Bloom (Jill Wagner) is as at home in the city. This is where she houses her business, a wedding and event planning business that’s doing well. Her next goal is to earn the magazine cover of a prestigious publication. Priorities shift when she takes on a wedding that needs to be photo shoot ready in two weeks! More complicated still is the realization that the groom is the brother of Sarah’s former sweetheart.

With the wedding set to take place in her hometown, Sarah and her assistant, Emma, head to her hometown to prepare for the big day. During her stay, Sarah reconnects with David (Victor Webster), a farmer who also happens to have a business idea that may take him away from small town living. Between the diversion that is the wedding planning, a reporter and their rekindled feelings, what does the future hold for Sarah and David?


Though I adore them all, once in a while, Hallmark releases an original romance that’s somehow special. This is one of those. At least for me it is. The story is an oft-retold one, but this one breathes fresh life into it all without sacrificing the charm and appeal we love about this branding.

One of the ways this script (kudos to writer William Penick) takes a new approach is the opinion of the city. Instead of vilifying it, the story shows the best of both worlds. There’s good to small towns as there can be to the city. It’s refreshing to meet a father who likes to visit his daughter in the city and isn’t at odds with her (because of her choice to live in the city). In addition to this, it’s nice to see characters who don’t have an aversion to the metropolitan, all of which plays into the ending (which I cannot say more about because spoilers!!).

If any of these faces look familiar, it’s likely because they’ve appeared in many a Hallmark original. You’ll see When Calls the Heart favorites, and of course, its primary love story couple will look familiar. Jill Wagner has been seen in Autumn Dreams and Christmas Cookies, while Victor Webster is known from (one of my VERY favorites) Love Blossoms. He’s also co-starred with fan favorite Candace Cameron Bure in Puppy Love (plus lots of other Hallmark originals).


The same being true of any Hallmark story, the cast is wonderful. Furthermore, the actors who seem to have a fun time while telling these stories. Another point in favor of this story IS that love story. The fact that it’s not an awkward-reunion kind of set up makes it all the more entertaining. Instead, the scene when Sarah and David see each other again is casual and cute. Plus, I like that there is an obvious (from the start) interest still lingering rather than the obstacle of a new boyfriend/girlfriend or the we-can’t-be-together-because-of-X (or not overmuch) plot complicating things.

Though there is no longer promotion for the 2017 Fall Harvest campaign (is anyone else kind of sad about this?), I still wanted to write a fangirl-y review for this one. If you didn’t get the chance to see this one, you might not be able to catch a showing until next year, but it’s well worth keeping an eye out for. The charm oozes from this one (oh, and the scenery is stunning), and that ending! Without giving anything away, let’s just say, it’s adorable. Add that in with all the other reasons, and A Harvest Wedding should be something you RSVP to without hesitation. (Even if it is a year in advance. ♥)

Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press

Hallmark Channel Preview | #CountdownToChristmas 2017 Begins! (Part 1)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

If you take a look at your phone, you'll discover it's only October 28th. All Hallow's Eve has yet to come. Thanksgiving (does anyone else feel like Thanksgiving is the forgotten "middle child"? I like you, Thanksgiving!) and its wonderful busyness hasn't yet descended upon us... and yet, one popular Christmas campaign is upon us.


Of course, I speak of nothing other than Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas programming.

Tonight, it all kicks off. Technically, Hallmark began their campaign yesterday by starting to re-air former originals, but the real fun begins TONIGHT with an all-new original, Marry Me At Christmas. The first in their new line up tells the story of a popular Hollywood action star and the small town girl who, of course, captures his heart.

It's next weekend that I'm looking forward to! Why? Because Brooke D'Orsay (Royal Pains, How to Fall in Love) returns to Hallmark in their all-new film, Miss Christmas. This one is about a character who's in charge of finding the perfect tree for Rockefeller Center. This year she thinks she's found it in a small town after an eight-year-old sends in a submission for his family's tree to be chosen. Sounds simple right? Well, not really. You see, Holly must contend with the boy's stubborn uncle who isn't so keen on the idea. The leading man is played by another favorite, Marc Blucas (First Daughter, Operation Christmas).


No matter how you look at it, they'll be lots more titles to enjoy as from here on out (through Christmas), Hallmark will have at least TWO new originals every weekend between Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Fun times ahead, right?

You'll also be able to purchase (on Amazon Video) at least two of the new originals post premiere. Those are:

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a percentage of the sale. This will not affect your price. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

The Sweetest Christmas (stars Lacey Chabert) - November 21
Christmas in the Air (stars Catherine Bell) - November 14

*You can preorder these today!

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There's new originals starring recurring Hallmark favorites, Catherine Bell, Eric Close, Danica McKeller, Lacey Chabert and Candance Cameron Bure; stories about quaint inns, St. Nick and I've no doubt, lots of mistletoe, and this is only the first set of new originals!

If you want to know more specifics and read more about these originals, we've got a "part 1" preview of 19 new movies on Silver Petticoat (and this only covers those premiering in November!) with a "part 2" to follow it.

PREVIEWING HALLMARK CHANNEL'S COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS 2017, Part 1

Tell me, which of the 2017 originals are YOU anticipating? Is there any familiar or new faces you're looking forward to seeing? Do you collect these films on DVD? I'd love to chat with you about all of the romantic and festive originals heading to our TV screens! Tell me all about them down below.



Photos: Hallmark Channel / Crown Media Press

Bookstagram Challenge | November 2017 #WishfulWonder Challenge

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hello happy readers and fellow bookworm friends. Posting today to share another #WishfulWonder bookstagram challenge. Yes, that's right, it's time for a new edition of #WishfulWonder.


Tressa (of Wishful Endings) and I have had a blast putting all of these together these past many months. Though Tressa is taking a step back due to a busy schedule (#relate), we have a few more challenges already prepped, and ready to go, so that means #WishfulWonder isn't going anywhere. If you have ideas for this challenge or suggestions, please let me know. I'm open to them.

(PS: There was a change in the blog's feed/email subscriptions, so let me know if anything changed for you, and you can also sign up for a new once/twice weekly "newsletter" that will recap the blogs new content.)

Here's a look at some of October's contributions to our challenge!!


A post shared by Jeanna Michel (@jeannamichel) on



Pressed for time? Not sure a bookstagram challenge is for you? Below I give a spiel hoping to convince you otherwise.

+ If you’re pressed for time to participate in daily challenges, first and foremost, while we love it when you do, there’s no rule that says you must post every day. (Not that you needed my permission to say this, but I thought I'd put this out there.)
+ If you think you can’t participate because of it being “too much work,” try taking a handful or several days’ worth of photos for an hour. (This is generally what I try to do, which is nice and I often find I have a little “stock pile” of Instagram photos as a result.)  
+ If you're looking to meet other Bookstagrammers (people in the book community on Instagram) and bloggers, or build your "brand" in the book community, joining a challenge is an excellent way to do this. 
+ If you don’t think our #WishfulWonder challenge looks like a good fit for you, there are TONS of challenges on Instagram. A brief #Bookstagram or some variation of a #BookChallenge hashtag search will show this. 
+ Best of all, the best thing about these challenge (well, aside from the people. And the books.) is the creative outlet. You develop your OWN style of photos, which is what makes everyone's account so unique! I've seen simplistic (in terms of prop use, etc.) photos that are stunning and I've seen more elaborate shots that compliment the book and suit the style of the bookstagrammer. Plus, if you're like me, and you love creative outlets, this is an excellent way to do this. 
+ Still not convinced? Go ahead and follow our #WishfulWonder tag on Instagram or Twitter to be inspired!

\\\\\ You're invited to join our November 2017 #WishfulWonder Challenge.


Hopefully everything is self explanatory, but if you have any questions about the prompts. We’d love to see your pictures, so be sure to tag us with the usual, #WishfulWonder hashtag. Also, feel free to share this.

As we do every month, we extend our thanks to everyone who has joined our challenges. We're having so much fun browsing our tag, and appreciate your creativity and time. (If we haven't clicked that heart on your photos and/or commented, it's not because we won't, it's simply due to time restraints - summer always seems busy. BUT please know we enjoy browsing your photos, and sooner or later one or both of us will find them with that #WishfulWonder or for November, #WishfulWonderNov17 tag.)

We'd also LOVE your feedback on favorite prompts. Drop a comment down below. 
___________________________________
Happy day, Book Nerdigans. Join us in our fun, bookish endeavors - we look forward to chatting with you.
Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

Top Ten Tuesday | Why These Books Stand Out (Hint: Today, It’s Because of their Titles!)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Hello, and happy #BookishTues, fellow readers and friends. Today’s Tuesday and on Finding Wonderland, we celebrate by joining the bookish meme that is Top Ten Tuesday.

Broke and Bookish October 24: Top Ten Unique Book Titles – Broke and Bookish

                (This post does contain affiliate links; read the disclosure page for details.)

So unique book titles… I cannot say that I’ve run across that many. This sounds strange I know, but as I sit down to write this meme, I’m wondering: what books have I read with uber unique titles? Chances are there are some, but bringing them immediately to mind escapes me.

Not to be deterred, I’m determined to come up with ten. I shall not let this prompt be any kind of legit bookworm undoing. Let’s do this!

*looks at bookshelf*

*peruses all the books*

After a little bookshelf browsing inspiration, we’ll hopefully have enough content to create our list of ten. Some of these might not sound unique because of the common words in their titles (but it's the use of these words that matters) or maybe their titles sound super unique, but I’m going to (shamefully) confess I haven’t yet read most of these unique books.

Why is a mystery I’ll have to unravel.

With all that said, let’s have a look at the ten books fitting with today’s ask.

1. Rook by Sharon Cameron | This title could go one of two ways – or it could be in reference to both. Rook could be a “what” or “who,” or it could be in reference to the game of chess. Or… what else could it be suggesting? Rook on Amazon | Goodreads

2. Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe | This title is more cute than unusual, but I love it nonetheless. It’s been on my shelf for far too long, so here’s hoping I read it soon. Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe on Amazon | Goodreads

3. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard | Had to add this one as an obligatory creep-close-to-October-31. Plus, I AM curious about this story – something strange and deadly?? What’s strange??? Why is it deadly? Way to intrigue! Something Strange and Deadly on Amazon | Goodreads

4. When We Collided by Emery Lord | An action title that I suspect is inspired by its emotional narratives. When We Collided on Amazon | Goodreads

5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | Why is someone ruling a throne of glass? Is the actual throne made of glass? Is the entire kingdom festooned in glass? Is it metaphorical? No matter how you look at it, don’t you want to know what this throne is all about? Throne of Glass on Amazon | Goodreads 

6. The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson | A sandcastle empire?? What could this book be about… color me curious. The Sandcastle Empire on Amazon | Goodreads

7. How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat | Saw this one at Barnes and Noble, decided not to pick it up and then, found it inexpensively listed on Amazon. It’s about a girl who creates online profiles to boast her popularity (which is, in the beginning, nonexistent). How to Disappear on Amazon | Goodreads

8. Hearts are Like Balloons by Candace Robinson | Why are hearts like balloons… I wonder! Coupled with its adorable cover design, I’m all the more curious about this novel, which sounds emotional but lovely piece of literature. Hearts are Like Balloons on Amazon | Goodreads

9. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith | As a fan of contemporary romance, I cannot wait to read more by Jennifer. Loved her ‘Hello, Goodbye’ novel, so I anticipate only the best from the rest of her books. Plus, who else thinks her novels have THE best covers and TITLES!! The Geography of You and Me on Amazon | Goodreads

10. The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber | Way to amp up the unique-title game!! Love this title, and of course, the story too is exciting. The Evaporation of Sofi Snow on Amazon | Goodreads

BONUS! Unique Titles I overlooked when putting above list together

11. The Hidden Memory of Objects by | This is one I don’t know much about, but its title has a thumbs-up-way-to-intrigue look. Have you read ‘Objects’? The Hidden Memory of Objects on Amazon | Goodreads

12. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | I’m going back-and-forth on reading this one. I liked The Fault in Our Stars but wasn’t pumped about Paper Towns (film adaptation). That said, this new John Green novel seems to be living up to its hype (via reviewers), so the question remains: YES or NO!? Amazon | Goodreads

13. The Heart Between us by Lindsay Harrel | A beautiful cover art is the backdrop for an equally lovely title. There’s a reason it’s the title font that takes front and center in this design. Amazon | Goodreads

14. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | This is a novel I’ve not read (nor seen the film because of this!), and though I know it won’t be a “me” story (spoilers are a girl’s best friend), this title is interesting. Why is someone putting themselves before someone else? Since we’ve been taught otherwise (morally and grammatically), this immediately begs questions that intrigue. Amazon | Goodreads

*publishes tomorrow afternoon; channel linked above
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Those are ten of the unique book titles I found! How did you spin this week’s meme? Did you stick with the prompt or go for a rebel spin and topic? What books did you feature; have you read any of these?

Let’s chat. Tell me all the bookworm, fangirl thoughts! I look forward to chatting with you and visiting your bookish spaces.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland 

Changes | Subscription Feed, Newsletter and Questions

Hello, readers! There is about to be a minor change to the way you, readers and friends, can follow Finding Wonderland. Unfortunately.

Because of a program I recently joined and will be using on Finding Wonderland, I can no longer send out my feed burner subscriptions. This means, you'll no longer receive new posts to your inbox - at least not in the same manner you have been. While I'm disappointed in this, and would love this to continue "as is," it cannot.

This leads me to some questions. Questions I'd be more grateful to have your feedback on.


The plan is to continue providing some type of "newsletter" that updates all the recent blog content for those of you who like to receive the latest in your inbox. Or that's in the plans. Before this can get up and running, I need to ask the following questions. These questions to you are as follows.

+ Service: What do you use for subscriptions and/or newsletters? What are the best programs you use? I'm open to suggestions!
+ Frequency: How often would you like updates? Twice a week - or keep it to a once-a-week roundup?
+ Transfers: Is there any program that would allow me to transfer everyone currently following via email to a newsletter service?

+ Subscribe to our Weekly (once or twice weekly) wrap up and round up newsletter!

Let me know down below your thoughts, best advice, and what you feel works. I'm open to suggestions and welcome the feedback. 

As always, thank you all so much for your support and readership of Finding Wonderland. I appreciate everyone who's stuck with Finding Wonderland, and to all the new readers, thank you - and welcome!! I'm glad you're here.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland 

Darrow and Darrow (2017) – The New Sleuths on Hallmark’s Block

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A therapist, librarian, bargain hunter, detective, baker and archaeologist are the women headlining Hallmark Movies and Mysteries respective mystery series. Tonight a new sleuth (an attorney!) is introduced in the launch, of what likely anticipates being a Hallmark serial, Darrow and Darrow.

TV FILM REVIEW | Darrow and Darrow (2017) – The New Sleuths on Hallmark’s Block. All *TEXT* © Rissi JC; review first appears on RissiWrites.com.

Running the small-town small practice built on her father’s reputation is something of a life passion for Claire Darrow (Kimberley Williams-Paisley). Settled in her life, she's been busy with the business, and raising her daughter, Louise (Lilah Fitzgerald) in the town she grew up. Now this is where they live and where she's reopened the firm her mother closed after her father’s death. When Claire lands a case involving a local business owner on parole, things get muddled – and fast!

Coinciding with this new case is the arrival of Claire’s ambitious mother, Kay (Wendie Malick). Of course, to add more pressure, Miles (Tom Cavanaugh), the DA who takes the case, has a kind of personal connection to her. You see, Miles has a standing monthly date to ask Claire out, which is a penciled in date Claire perpetually turns down.

As is true of the many Hallmark series that are popular and recurring, Darrow and Darrow is an entertaining TV film. The mystery is about deduction skills rather than a “dark tunnel chills” mystery. Unlike some of their other franchises, solving this mystery involves surveillance videos and conversations which opposes the kind of Nancy Drew-esque sleuths of other series.


The story is more about the characters over the suspense, which is a nice change. With just an edge of riddle surrounding the outline of the script, the story is able to dig a little deeper into these characters. Focus is put on the personal relationships and of course the cute friendship between Miles and Claire. The flirty banter between these two characters is adorable! It’s all about the nerdy, geeky kind of banter, and this makes the viewer smile big. What we don’t first realize is there are underpinnings to this potential relationship that strengthens it. Their shared emotional connection makes their interactions weighty with some emotion, but never goes “too” deep. (Meaning, the same feelings and branding Hallmark is best known for remains intact.)

Beyond this, all I can say is watch Darrow and Darrow. It’s a fabulous start to a new series that is sure to want future installments. It’s lovely to see Kimberly (star of Father of the Bride and wife of country music star, Brad Paisley) on screen again. Plus, it’s nice to see Cavanaugh step into character shoes that I can actually like! His character on The Flash? Not so much love there.

For fear of spilling spoilers or giving too much away, I’ll end with this: tune in and meet the quirky, but loveable characters of Darrow and Darrow. I suspect, you’ll enjoy their brand of justice.

Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media Press

Booktube Talk | Spooky-ish Period Dramas, Films and All Hallows Eve!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Darker days coupled with shorter days (and dark nights!!) plus the invasion known as PSL can mean only one thing. It’s October. How this happened I’ll never now. But in celebration of this most momentous event, I wrote a little post.

Booktube Talk | Spooky-ish Period Dramas, Films and All Hallows Eve!! All *text* © Rissi JC; post first published on RissiWrites.com

If you were to dig into the archives, you’d like discover some post, somewhere, in which I mention that I don’t celebrate Halloween. I grew up not celebrating October 31st and as an adult this is something I’ve also chosen not to celebrate. It’s a personal choice and one I haven’t felt jipped about nor as if I’ve particularly missed something that would aid me in my every day.


However, during October, I cannot deny that – on occasion – I enjoy a spook(ish) read. Or a Gothic infused period drama. I also cannot hide from the fact that mystery novels are something I tend to read during this season. In consideration of all this (and because, guys, I’ve seen some ah-ma-zing Gothic-esque dramas), I decided to write a little “spooky” post today.

As I like to do, I’ve split my list up. On the blog’s Booktube channel, we talk about eight films that are perfect atmospheric dates. Below, we discuss an additional four that also fit nicely with this season. Without further intro or rambles or incoherent speaking, let’s have a look at those six dramas.


(This post does contain affiliate links; read the disclosure page for details.)

1. Beastly (Film Adaptation) | Super sweet, this "dark" YA adaptation re-tells the Beauty and the Beast legend for a younger, contemporary audience. (PG13)

Watch Beastly on Amazon Video (currently free with Prime) or purchase on DVD! Beastly is rated PG13 (innuendo, minor profanity)

2. Gosford Park | An Oscar-winning film, Gosford Park is from acclaimed writer Julian Fellowes (of Downton Abbey fame). The story follows a group of people at a house party, all of whom find themselves embroiled in a whodunit when someone is murdered! Of course, this isn’t a film marketed for this season, but it boasts the proper vibes – plus it’s worth seeing for the cast alone. (One that reads like a let’s-pack-all-of-the-British-talent-in-one-film agenda.) (Rated R)

3. Great Expectations | Anything based on a Dicken's novel is apropos this time of year. Great Expectations or The Mystery of Edwin Drood is particularly so. (TV14)

4. Houdini & Doyle (Fox Series) | Lighthearted and fun, this cute series starts off as a fun series! Though I haven't finished the entire set, I was thoroughly enjoying the stories, and appreciated that the brevity was complimented by deeper themes and topics. (TV14)

Buy Houdini & Doyle on Amazon Video or purchase the entire region 2 (UK) series on DVD. The show is rated TV14 (some innuendo/sexual content, minor profanity, violence)


5. The Living and the Dead (BBC Series) | Spooky with sweeping cinematography, this miniseries is as elegant as it is atmospheric. Its only flaw? The ending! I suspect the writers wanted to keep the door open for future installments, but had it ended five to ten seconds earlier, things would have been rosy. (TV14)

Buy The Living and the Dead on Amazon Video or purchase the DVD set.


6. Pirates of the Caribbean (Franchise) | Again, this isn’t a series catered to this time of year, but with its ghostly pirates and ships, it “feels” appropriate. Plus, I have a soft spot for this series (even though I can admit the first is the best of the bunch). (Rated PG13)

Buy Pirates of the Caribbean on Amazon Video or purchase the DVD or combo set (DVD/BuRay) on Amazon.
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That’s it for our little “spooky” recommendation talkative blog post. Have you seen any of these? Do you like any of these? Or are you drawn to any for any reason? Let’s chat all about these down below! Or any other bookish talk.


Thanks for visiting Finding Wonderland

Written in the Dust by Christina Coryell - Sequel Completes Readers Hope Canyon Journey


ABOUT the BOOK
Publisher: Indie Published
Publication Date: 2017
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary
Series: Backroads, Book 2
Source: Author Provided – thank you, Christina
FIND the BOOK ELSEWHERE:
FIND the REVIEW ELSEWHERE:
Amazon | Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Rating: ★★★½ 

With her past unresolved and her future uncertain, Brooke Langdon feels stuck. As she continues to prepare her grandmother’s house to sell, Brooke’s life remains unsettled. Making matter worse is Gatlin Moore. The boy whose heart everyone accuses her of shattering. The longer Brooke remains in Hope Canyon, the more hostile he becomes. Words are spoken, hearts break anew, and healing seems out of everyone’s grasp…

Then there’s Holly Christian. She’s still trying to figure out how to live among people who believe she was still planning to marry her recently deceased fiancé. A challenging feat in the small town she calls home; a place where everyone knows everyone and everything. When things shift between her and Hunter Pearce, they’ll have to decide how to define their relationship…

Full of interesting character connections, and past histories, Coryell’s follow up (to Written in the Stars) is a lovely way to end the duo near to her heart. Those characters are further explored in this story, which threads everything together in the back half of ‘Dust,’ a story that tests its protagonists in all the right kind of ways.

BOOK REVIEW | Written in the Stars by Christina Coryell - Bittersweet Contemporary Indie with Hopeful Underpinnings 

Written in the Dust picks up right where its prequel leaves off. The story starts by diving further into Brooke’s story, her personal struggles and the emotional scars she wears like a second skin. Her story is the most interesting because she has this deep and personal backstory that no one else does. Though a novel told in four POVs (Holly, Hunter, Gatlin and Brooke), it’s hers that feels as if it lends the energy to the story, all of which “drives” it forward. As a reader, hers is the story I was most curious about.

This novel comes across very much as Brooke’s story. Of course, Holly is still present as a vital part of Brooke’s “today” (and their friendship is a solid representation); Hunter continues to be a generous and kind soul who loves Holly deeply; and Gatlin, well, he takes some warming to. His broken heart and pride begins to blur the lines of the present, and rather than learn to move on, he loses himself in the pain. Fortunately, as all great storytellers do, Coryell’s characters learn to come into their own, and come out the story's end as stronger people.

Readers who enjoy Written in the Stars will love this return to Hope Valley; this follow up stitches together beautifully with ‘Stars,’ and digs deeper into the lives of its main central characters. The second half of the novel in particular pulls the reader in as everything comes together and plays out. Frantically, we flip the pages as they make decisions, choices and finally find their respective bliss.

Emotional, Written in the Dust is sure to make readers cry and giggle, and best of all, the ends is a full circle conclusion that will feel nothing but right.   

Synopsis: There are two basic types of people you’ll come across in small towns. Planters have the land in their blood and want to stay forever. Dreamers long for the day they will finally escape. Holly Christian? Definitely a planter. She’s never considered leaving for greener pastures, but it’ll be a whole lot easier to move forward when people finally stop telling her that will never happen. Thank goodness she has an ally in Hunter Pearce. He has no desire to leave now that he has what he’s always wanted. Well…almost. The words he can’t take back are still clinging closer than a humid summer afternoon. 

Then there’s Gatlin Moore, who leans more in the dreamer direction. He used to imagine a future away from his hometown, but circumstances changed his plans long ago. Now he can’t stop thinking about bringing some of his dreams back to life, namely the ones that involve Brooke Langdon. Breaking up in their small town was hard, but getting back together might prove impossible. She may not be around long, unless she rediscovers what she used to love about the place. Putting her future in order by piecing together the past could mend her heart…or break it for keeps. 

Welcome to Hope Canyon. This is our backroads story. - Goodreads

Sincere thanks to the author for providing an e-copy of this book; all opinions are my own. 

Autumn Dreams (2015) – Small Town and Big City Reunite in Sweet Romance

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sometimes there are films (big or small screen) that really draw me in, but for varying circumstances, I cannot see them. This is one of those films. Back when it premiered, Autumn Dreams was one of the telefilms I was counting on settling in to watch. (Especially because of its leading man.) Sadly, I never did have a chance to do so, which is why when I spied the DVD on Amazon, I wasted zero time in preordering it.


At eighteen years old, Annie and Ben are madly in love. So much so, the teens make plans to elope and leave behind their small-town Iowa roots for the bright lights of New York City. The only thing giving Annie pause is hurting her parents. But with Ben at her side, she’s prepared to look to the future, and she does. All their plans shatter when, just after they vow to “love, honor and cherish,” Annie’s father breaks apart the newlyweds citing their age as being too young to marry.

15 years later, Annie (Jill Wagner) is working hard on her family farm and trying to earn a grant for a project she’s working on. She’s also being pressured by her fiancé of two years to set a wedding date. Just when she does, she receives divorce papers from Ben (Colin Egglesfield). It would seem their marriage was never formally annulled, an unexpected complication that brings Annie to New York…

Though a wait was attached to my seeing Autumn Dreams, the wait was worth it. If the plot sounds familiar, then you’re probably a fan of the 2002 Reese Witherspoon-led romantic-comedy, Sweet Home Alabama. With many similarities to that “classic,” this sweet teleplay still manages to stand on its own two feet with lovely results.

For starters, the characters are 110% endearing. I adored their easy-to-relate-to nature and the contrast between their respective worlds. Annie is the epitome of the girl-next-door definition. She’s sweet, caring and kind in all the right ways. Her world is one I can relate to not in every sphere, but certainly the small town vibes. Contrast this with Ben’s city life and wealth, and you have two different characters and worlds that still (for storytelling purposes) blend effortlessly. Furthermore, I appreciate that Ben doesn’t follow the stereotypes. He may be successful by the world’s standard, but none of it has affected how he lives his day-to-day.


Speaking to more specificity about this, it’s this that’s one of the reasons I adore this script. I’m a firm believer that the city doesn’t have to be “evil” to a character or a story. It can be magical, and have an eclectic vibe or feel that the quaint small town never can. While I understand why so many stories do the whole “small town return,” I respect a story that can depict a person living in the big city without a chip on their shoulder. Autumn Dreams accomplishes this with flying colors.

One of the reasons I was drawn to this one was the leading man. Having seen Colin in a romcom (with Kate Hudson), a Nora Roberts TV drama, and also recurring on one of my favorite TV shows (Rizzoli & Isles), I was excited to see him show up in something new. He and Jill (Christmas Cookies) are fabulous together, most especially during the New York sequence, which gives them some great time to rediscover what they love about the other.

If you enjoy sweet, wholesome and funny romances, be sure to add this Hallmark gem to your lists. It’s the perfect Saturday night flick to say “in” with, perhaps with a bowl of popcorn while curled up in your favorite cozy chair. ♥

(This post does contain affiliate links; read the disclosure page for details.) You can own Autumn Dreams on Amazon Video (digitally) or purchase a copy on DVD.



Photos: Hallmark Channel /Crown Media Press

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