Monday, July 31, 2017

I'm Back!!

I posted last Wednesday and then nothing. I know, I know this is very bad for business so to speak but we went away fro an extended weekend.  We had never been to the Thousand Islands in NY and so we thought we would give it a try.  It was simply amazing. We actually stayed at a campsite, tent and all.  It was right on the water and I got lots of great pics of sunrise and sunset.  We took a boat tour that took us all around the islands and it's popular castles ( the Boldt Castle and Singer Castle) and just relaxed.  Needless to say this is why I have not posted since last week and why I have no particular movie to discuss today.

I did notice that Netflix has added some new and interesting shows to start watching.  There is " Van Helsing" and it is one season.   "Ozark" stars Jason Bateman is new and is also 1 season.  It seems to involve some sort of murder and drug money. The have added a family friendly original series called "The Worst Witch".  This one looks super cute.  The one I am starting tonight is "Friends From College".  It stars Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Fred Savage, and a slew of others.  It takes place 20 years after college graduation with a group of friends trying to reconnect.  I will post a review when I finish it but until then I am off to eat espresso chip ice cream and Netflix.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Newest Show You Should Be Watching On TV

***Courtesy of YouTube***

I spent most of this past weekend watching live interviews and new trailer premiers that were featured at San Diego Comic-Con.  There were so many live interviews on Twitter that I didn't know where to start. There were a few things that made me super excited but more on that later.  

My new TV obsession is NBC's new show "Midnight, Texas". It premiered Monday 7/24 at 10 pm est. It is based on the book series of the same name by Charlaine Harris (also the author of the Sookie Stackhouse aka True Blood series). All the books take place in a small town called.....wait for it.....Midnight, Texas.  The town in on a crossroads literally in the middle of nowhere and all the inhabitants have secrets. There are witches, vampires, murder, and all manner of paranormal creatures. Manfred Bernardo is the newest resident. He is a psychic on the run looking for a place to fit in. There are currently 3 books in the series so that is a pretty good indicator of how long this  TV series could potentially last.

I love the books and was not in the least disappointed in the TV adaption.  There are a few actors you might recognize such as Jason Lewis ( think Smith in "Sex in the City"), Peter Mensah (or as I remember him...Kibwe in "True Blood"), Dylan Bruce (Adam Donner from "Arrow"). and Arielle Kebbel ( Lexie from "The Vampire Diaries").  This show is odd to a great start and sure to be popular with "True Blood" or "Supernatural" fans.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Today I have two books added to my "TBR" list. First is a book I actually found for a buck at a local Dollar General.  The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith. I read 2 of his other books which went on to become movies. I, of course, watched them both ( Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter and Pride and  Prejudice and Zombies). The main character in this new book, Henry Sturges,  actually appeared in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The story is told from Henry's point of view as a lone vampire traveling throughout the 20th century. I love how the author takes what you think you know about history and twists into something almost unrecognizable and highly entertaining.

The next book has me so excited that I am actually scared to start
reading it for fear I won't be able to put it down.  I mentioned in
an earlier post just how much I love Anne Rice and I was honored
to be gifted an ARC of her newest book. The only thing I almost
love as much as her Vampire Chronicles series is the Ramses The
Damned. The first book ( The Mummy or Ramses The Damned)
 was so freaking good I read it in 1 sitting.
Actually, make that 1 1/2 because I did take a break and inhale
a pot of coffee so I could read the rest.  This new book picks up
with Ramses and Cleopatra as immortals who are constantly
fighting each other while at the same time trying to come to
terms with the new powers they possess.  The are trying to
figure out all there is to know about the elixir that made them
this way and find themselves being hunted down by an entity
even older and more powerful than they are.

FYI: It was announced in April this year that Paramount
Television and Anonymous Content optioned the rights to 11
of Anne's the Vampire Chronicles books with the intent to
produce a long- form TV version. The companies have
already produced series together such as "Berlin Station" and
"13 Reasons Why".

Monday, July 24, 2017

5 Things I Love About Spider-Man: Homecoming

                                        ***Clip courtesy of YouTube and Marvel Studios***

Oh Monday, how I despise you. I am feeling fairly sluggish today.  It is Monday and it's very rainy here but I need to talk about my feelings on Spider-Man have changed drastically. I have seen all the movies made about Spider-Man and I really liked Andrew Garfield's version so I was positive I would hate this new reboot. Now all of a sudden we have a relatively unknown guy playing him and he actually is high school age, It just seemed confusing to make him a teenager while all the members of the Justice League he idolizes are adults. I will admit to finding his appearance in Captain America: Civil War pretty entertaining. I just wasn't sure I wanted to watch a whole movie abut him. I WAS SO WRONG! I loved it and here are my reasons why:

1. The opening sequence where they roll the Marvel Studios logo out is all new and updated. It shows all the characters in the Marvel Universe including Black Panther and other newer characters in their live action form instead of in their comic book version.

2. Tom Holland makes a really perfect teenage Spider-Man. Spoiler: The movie opens to show the viewer that Peter was videotaping his stint with the Avengers. In fact Happy is driving him around and yelling at him not to record anything. It is such a teenage thing to do these days. He films himself all through the movie and it is very funny.

3.The evolution of the suit throughout the movie. There are a couple of versions in the movie thanks to Tony Stark. He gives Peter a new suit that he has trouble figuring out but it comes equip with his very own "Suit Lady" guide. (See clip above)

4. The girl Peter is crushing on is NOT Mary Jane. It was a nice surprise not seeing him fawn over MJ until the end where you realize the error of your mistake. Watch the movie and I promise that will make perfect sense.

5. Michael Keaton as the bad guy. He is one of my favorite actors. I just watched him in the movie The Founder ( about how he "founded" McDonald's- He made me not want to eat there again just because he was not a nice man). He was a pretty awful guy in that movie. Well, at least I thought he was but it was nothing compared to how bad he was in his role as Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture.

True to Marvel fashion there are 2 extra credit scenes but only one of them foreshadows what is to come.  I really, really liked this movie so much. It had just the right blend of humor, action, and teenage angst.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

So Many Books, So Little Time

Hello there! I know it's been a few days since I posted anything new. I have been trying to catch up on some reading that I was way behind on. I hit a wall. The problem with loving books like I do is that sometimes I don't know when to stop . Seriously, I have a stack of 8 books waiting to be read and I have literally started each one. They are all pretty good which is made it hard for me to just settle on reading one. Does this happen to you? I can't even begin to tell you how many ebooks I have purchased for my kindle. I have decided that the lucky winner will be the newest Anne Rice book. She is one of my very favorites and her series The Vampire Chronicles is just so good. Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis was published in November 2016. If you are not familiar with the title you may recognize Interview with the Vampire as one of the books in the series or the movie version of it starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

Product DetailsProduct Details

She has several different series out and I love them all.  If you like witches then you should read her series Lives of Mayfair Witches. Do wolves make your heart race? Try her series The Wolf Gift Chronicles. Anne Rice is amazing. I am looking forward to her new book due out this fall.  I get very picky about the whole "book to screen" situation but the 2 movies made from her The Vampire Chronicles series have been done so perfectly that I have watched them at least 30 times each.  Lestat as played by Tom Cruise was admittedly not what I had pictured but it worked out well enough. Lestat as played by Stuart Townsend was exactly spot on. If you haven't read the books or seen either of these movies do yourself a favor and do so immediately. You will not be sorry.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Select by Marit Weisenberg


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Shakespeare Will Never Be The Same!

I mentioned in a previous post that TNT was debuting a new series called Will.  It is a modernized version of William Shakespeare's life in his early 20's. There is not much known about his life prior to him becoming the famous playwright we've all heard of.  I have read several reviews that were less than kind. I personally loved everything about it. The music is punk/rock and so obviously not what would have been heard in the 16th century in London but I love the extra edge that it adds. I know so many people are going to pick apart every little thing about this series that doesn't seem historically accurate but it is too much fun for all that.

Spoiler Alert:
The series is meant to show how Will (Laurie Davidson) leaves his wife and 3 young children to move to London to make his fortune as the next famous playwright. He comes from a very strict Catholic family at a time when members of this religion are being hunted down. He is mugged almost immediately by a street rat but none the less he manages to find a job working at a theater run by James Burbage (Colm Meaney).  It is in this theater that he meets Alice and Richard Burbage who he clicks with right off the bat as well as Christopher Marlowe (Jamie Campbell Bower).  Marlowe is also a playwright, a spy, and Will's greatest rival.

The first 2 episodes played back to back on Monday night and I can't wait for the next one.  The series is 10 episodes long and it is rated for mature audiences.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My July TBR List

This month my TBR list is pretty long. I have about 10 books on tap but these 3 are the ones I am reading first.  These ones are all ARCs offered to me through NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for my voluntary and honest reviews.  I have almost finished Select by Marit Weisenberg.  I will not go into detail here because I will post a full review later but it is so good. I literally hate putting it down.  The other two books I have not started yet but I am really looking forward to it. I am also in the middle of Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty and Prince Lestat and the Realm of Atlantis by Anne Rice.  These are my own picks and I am only a few chapters into each and can only imagine the awesome endings each has in store for me. I am also auditing a course through the University of Virginia called Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction because I clearly need more reading in my life. Seriously the reading list for the course is fairly lengthy. Today's post is super short because...I have some reading to get back too. Later!

Monday, July 10, 2017

ChiPs Was Too Funny

I don't want to show my age with this but....I actually remember being a little kid and watching the TV series of CHIPS. I may or may not have thought Erik Estrada looked amazing in his California Highway Patrol uniform.  Seriously though, I was actually excited to see what a movie version of this would look like.  It stars Dax Shephard (Hit and Run) and Michael Peña (End of Watch).  The general storyline is that Ponch is an undercover Federal agent that has been assigned to the CHP to bring down a criminal organization and he gets a rookie Jon Baker as his partner. Jon is an ex-motocross racer who has just been beaten up by life literally and figuratively. His wife ( played by real life wife Kristen Bell) wants nothing to do with him and he is sure being a cop will help save his marriage.
I was surprised that this was only rated 6 out of 10 stars on IMDb.  I really enjoyed it.  I laughed so much throughout the whole film.  The way that a bromance forms between these two is super funny. There is a scene where Ponch has to carry a naked Jon to his bathtub and he slips. The end result was laugh out loud funny.  I would give this one at least 8 out of 10. It is definitely a must see if you are looking for something to unwind with after a long week.

FYI: Be on the lookout for a guest appearance of Erik Estrada at the end of the movie.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Bully Hill Vineyard is a Must See

I usually enjoy spending my birthday just relaxing at home with my family and eating my favorite meal.  This year my sister-in-law surprised me by inviting me along on a girls only road trip to Bully Hill Vineyard. Her mother and I share a birthday so it was a perfect gift for us both.  I have never been to a vineyard but have always wanted to go.  The road trip there and back was filled with laughter, pics, and lots of singing to the radio. We decided to eat lunch first and then walk around and experience what Bully Hill had to offer.  The restaurant is overlooking Keuka Lake and the view was breathtaking.

The food was the very best part.  We all tried to order something different but my sister-in-law and I couldn't decide what to order so we each got something different and shared. Then of course we ordered wine!  

They let us sample the kind of wine we wanted before deciding. Clearly we liked Red and White both. I can't remember what the white wine was but the red was Sweet Walter Rose and if you love a sweet wine then this is for you.
This is the Soft Shell Crab Sandwich. It is fantastic as long as you can get past the legs dangling from the bun. The fries are covered in garlic, parmesan, salt, and pepper.
This is the Portabella Crab Cake. This is by far the tastiest hing I have eaten in forever. It was topped with scallops. So yummy!

Needless to say, after the wine and food, we did not actually go on the  minute walking tour. We opted to go through the gift shop where I purchased my very own Bully Hill wineglass and coaster.  We did tour the Walter S. Taylor Art Gallery.  This is filled with stories from the early beginnings of the vineyard to the original paintings by the founder himself. Our last stop was in the tasting room where we all purchased several bottles to take home.  I had the best day and left feeling relaxed and stuffed. I will be returning in the very near future and may just tour some of the other vineyards through out the finger lakes region.  

If you are in the area and want to plan a visit you can find all the info you need on their website

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine is FANTASTIC

 This is the 3rd book in what I have recently found out will be a total of 5 books.  I enjoyed the first 2 so much that I was on pins and needles waiting for this book.  I almost passed out when I was lucky enough to get picked to receive an ARC ( hence the not so colorful pic above) from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group. This one picked right up where I left off in the previous book without missing a beat. I just can not get enough of these characters. I would be lying if I didn't say that I really love the badass ladies of the group. A book about books and an evil Library that writes history as it sees fit is a genius concept. The way the characters interact with each other to form a family is one of my favorite things about the series.  I agreed to give my honest opinion of this book voluntarily and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Why not 5? I am dying from suspense due to the extreme cliffhanger I was not ready for.

Here is a quick blurb compliments of NetGalley for those of you not too familiar with this series:

The unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone and Paper and Fire unite to save the Great Library of Alexandria from itself in this electrifying adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.
Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny....
Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.
Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library....

Ash and Quill will be released on July 11. You can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or whatever your favorite retailer is. Just make sure you grab a copy!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Welcome to July!

Wednesday came too soon this week.  I had plans for the holiday weekend but to say they went well would be a gigantic lie.  I had planned a 2 day camping trip to a state park in PA that we had never been to. I had my book all picked out to take with me and I was feeling particularly stoked about spending less money than these trips usually cost us. My version of camping is to explore during the day, spend late afternoon reading, and roasting marshmallows by the fire at night. None of this happened! The trip there was 3 1/2 hours of nothing but windy country roads. Seriously, I felt like I was on a roller coaster. I have never been car sick a day in my life but this trip had me feeling nauseous for sure. The road to the campsite (which was on top of a very steep mountain) was loose gravel and only suitable for 1 vehicle at a time. Did I mention we were very high up in the mountains and the roads were narrow and WITHOUT any guardrails? Upon reaching said campground we discovered that all the tent sites were literally inches apart. Ours promised it was by the water. We had a swamp. Don't get me wrong there was a very large creek nearby but it could be heard instead of enjoyed because of all the people. We passed a few places at the bottom of the mountain that sold firewood but we decided to set up first and then go back for the firewood.  This was a huge mistake. It turned out that it was another 15 miles uphill to get to our spot and it took 40 minutes to get there.  Needless to say, after our disappointing site was revealed we had to drive all the way back down to get the stupid wood. We only stayed overnight because we were both so stressed out on the way there it would have been a nightmare to make our way back out of the forest in the dark. Oh and the best part.....the road destroyed my muffler so now it sounds like I am driving a jet. Screw you tiny PA state park!

However, we came home early Sunday morning and the rest of our weekend was amazing.  We grilled and relaxed by our own fire pit. I got my read on (see pic above) and it was fantastic. Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty is just one of the books I am in the middle of.  I am also finishing up Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine ( more on this will be posted tomorrow). I didn't get any ,movie watching in but I did discover a couple of new series that I plan to check out. The first is Daytime Divas. It's about a popular daytime women's talk show with co-hosts Maxine, Nina, Mo, Kibby , and Heather. They discuss the same types of things you would expect from a talk show but behind the scenes is a world full of drama.  It's based on a book called Satan's Sisters by Star Jones.  It features Vanessa Williams, Tichina Arnold , and a few other familiar faces.  You can find this on VH1 on Mondays at 10 pm est. The next one premiers on July 10th on TNT. It is called Will and it is a modernized, steam punk version of the life of William Shakespeare in his early 20's and his rival Christopher Marlowe. TNT is airing the first 2 episodes on the premier night. I love Shakespeare and look forward to this series, especially since Jamie Campbell Bower will be playing Marlowe.