Monday, January 30, 2012

Say WHAT?! My Picks of the Week!

Happy Monday! I made a few changes. A co-worker of mine suggested I change the title from "Releases of the Week" to "My Picks of the Week" so that people don't get confused. The books, movies, and tv series I list weekly are my personal picks. So there may be other books & movies being released that same week that I may not mention. Also, instead of posting "My Picks of the Week" on Tuesdays like I've been doing, you will see this weekly post on Mondays now. Thanks and Enjoy!


BOOKS (Jan. 31st)


Article 5
by: Kristin Simmons

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes. There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back. Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Website | Buy

Destiny and Deception (13 to Life #4)
by: Shannon Delany

The sensational fourth novel in the 13 to Life series sees Jessica and the Rusakuvas fighting to overcome one of their biggest challenges yet--the possibility of a cure for lycanthropy. With the threat of the mafia seemingly gone and the company's headquarters in Junction destroyed, Pietr Rusakova is adjusting to being a normal teen and Jess is realizing normalcy may not be what she wanted after all. But both Jess and Cat know the truth--that normal can't be taken for granted. Their precious cure isn't permanent--and when a new danger stalks into their small town, Alexi decides he must overcome his issues with the mother who abandoned him to be raised by wolves and make a brand new deal to save his adopted family.

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Website | Buy

by: Jodi Meadows

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Website | Buy

Sadie Walker is Stranded (A Zombie Novel #2)
by: Madeleine Roux
Sadie Walker is one of the survivors in this new world. Living in north Seattle behind barrier that keep the living in and the dead out, she trying to get back to a normal life, while raising her eight-year-old nephew, if anyone even knows what “normal” is anymore. Then everything goes sideways when Shane is kidnapped by a group of black market thieves and they bring down a crucial barrier in the city while trying to escape, and flood the city with the walking dead. After rescuing her nephew, Sadie and Shane escape Seattle on the last remaining boat, along with other survivors. However, now they must face the complete chaos of a world filled with flesh eating zombies and humans who are playing with a whole new rule book when it comes to survival in their journey to find a new place that they can call home.

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Website | Buy

Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire #2)
by: Courtney Allison Moulton

Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Website | Buy


FILM (Jan. 31st)


Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan
Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can't help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac). After a heist intended to pay off Standard's protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defense for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals. But when he realizes that the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash in his trunk-that they're coming straight for Irene and her son-Driver is forced to shift gears and go on offense.

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Website | Buy

In Time
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried
In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage - a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Website | Buy

The Big Year
Directed by: David Frankel

Starring: Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson
Three avid bird watchers compete to spot the rarest birds in North America at a prestigious annual event. teve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are at a crossroads -- one is experiencing a mid-life crisis, another a late-life crisis, and the third, a far from ordinary no-life crisis. From David Frankel, the director of The Devil Wears Prada and Marley & Me, comes a sophisticated comedy about three friendly rivals who, tired of being ruled by obligations and responsibilities, dedicate a year of their lives to following their dreams. Their big year takes them on a cross-country journey of wild and life-changing adventures.

Release Date: 31 January 2012
Website | Buy

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Introducing Guest Blogger: Rhiannon Marie

Hey, everyone! So this week I will have the pleasure of posting a new review that just got submitted by my very first guest blogger, friend, and co-worker, Rhiannon :) She recently finished The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern, which coincidentally I bought awhile back but haven't had the time to read nor review. So Rhi did me a HUGE favor and I can't wait to share her thoughts about The Night Circus with everyone!

Without further adieu, I introduce you to Rhi!

Rhiannon Marie

I'm a Sophomore in college studying to be a Dietician. In my spare time I like to read, write, belly dance, play ukelele, kick box, learn different forms of martial arts, and watch the funny animations on Google's home page. I get by with the love and support of my friends and family in life, and I use books to inspire me to go on my own adventures. It is an honor to be a guest blogger for Mia and The Muses Circle.

You can contact me on my Facebook page HERE.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Twilight Special: Breaking Dawn Part 1 DVD/Blu-ray Editions

As many of you may or may not know, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is being released on blu-ray and dvd on Saturday, February 11th. If you're a huge fan and a collector then you probably would like to know about all the different dvd/blu-ray editions that will be available in exactly 2 weeks from today. And if you are just jumping on the band wagon now, you might be confused as to which dvd/blu-ray version you should buy and where! With the help from some of my friends and colleagues at Moviestop, here is what I came up with. Oh, and remember that places like Moviestop, Walmart, Target will be having some "Midnight Release Parties" so make sure to check out your local stores for more info! *Note* All prices may change as it gets closer to the release date!

MOVIESTOP/ Blu-ray (1 disc) & DVD (2 disc) Special Editions

Check to see if you have a Moviestop store around your area. I work at a Moviestop part-time and their prices are great. We have a reserve program that if you put $5 bucks down on an upcoming release, the $5 dollars will go towards your purchase AND we will guarantee you the lowest advertised price. So whatever prices you see at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, our prices are lower. Since we won't know the exact reserve price until other stores ads are out a week before the Breaking Dawn release, here are the prices which will probably be close to our price:

Blu-ray 1 disc Special Edition: $22.99
DVD 2 disc Special Edition: $19.99

Special Features: Audio Commentary with Director Bill Condon; "Fast Forward": Watch your favorite scenes over and over in "Edward Fast Forward" and "Jacob Fast Forward".
Go behind the scenes with a captivating 6-Part Making-of Documentary; Relive the memories with Edward & Bella's personal Wedding Video; Get a glimpse into "Jacob's Destiny". Music Videos, Languages: English and Spanish; Subtitles: English SDH (Subtitles for Deaf and Hearing Impaired) and Spanish.

WALMART: Blu-ray & DVD Wedding Dress Editions

Walmart has an interesting Wedding Dress Edition that they will be selling. Check it out.

Bella's Wedding Dress Edition Includes:
  • Collectible Wedding Dress Packaging
  • 30'x40'' Wedding Photo Fabric Poster
  • Music Videos From Bruno Mars, Christina Perri and More
  • Wedding Dress Edition Blu-ray:$26.96

    Wedding Dress Edition DVD: $22.96

    *NOTE* The special features on the disc (s) are the same as the other editions above:

    Special Features: Audio Commentary with Director Bill Condon; "Fast Forward": Watch your favorite scenes over and over in "Edward Fast Forward" and "Jacob Fast Forward", Music Videos, Go behind the scenes with a captivating 6-Part Making-of Documentary; Relive the memories with Edward & Bella's personal Wedding Video; Get a glimpse into "Jacob's Destiny".

    TARGET: Limited Blu-ray & DVD with Prop Flower Editions

    Exclusive, limited-edition DVD with authentic prop flower from the film’s wedding scene encased in a collectable keepsake. All collectables come with a letter of authenticity.

    *Note* The special features on the disc (s) are the same as the other editions above:

    Special Features: Go behind the scenes with a captivating 6-PART MAKING-OF DOCUMENTARY; relive the memories with Edward & Bella's personal WEDDING VIDEO; get a glimpse into JACOB'S DESTINY; watch your favorite scenes over and over in EDWARD FAST FORWARD and JACOB FAST FORWARD; plus an AUDIO COMMENTARY with Director Bill Condon

    Limited Edition Prop Flower Blu-ray Edition: $32.99

    Limited Edition Prop Flower DVD Edition: $29.99

    BEST BUY: Blu-ray & DVD Steelbook Editions

    If you are into collecting steelbooks, then Best Buy is the place to go. They will have both the dvd & blu-ray editions in a steelbook packaging.

    Steelbook Blu-ray Editon: $29.99
    Steelbook DVD Edition: $24.99

    *Note* The special features on the disc (s) are the same as the other editions above:

    Special Features: Go behind the scenes with a captivating 6-PART MAKING-OF DOCUMENTARY; relive the memories with Edward & Bella's personal WEDDING VIDEO; get a glimpse into JACOB'S DESTINY; watch your favorite scenes over and over in EDWARD FAST FORWARD and JACOB FAST FORWARD; plus an AUDIO COMMENTARY with Director Bill Condon

    Other Thought: I'm not sure what's up with the red cover dvd edition. It's listed on the Best Buy site but there is no information about it, what's included, etc. I'll keep everyone updated once I find out.

    Red Cover DVD Edition: $22.99

    FYE: Exclusive Framed Wedding Photo With DVD Edition

    Okay, so FYE is being a bit vague as to what exactly they are selling but this is what I got out of it. The picture to the left is supposedly the framed wedding photo that will be given with the purchase of the dvd edition they will be selling. I guess that is their exclusive.

    Also, there will be a special Twilight Breaking Dawn DVD Valentine's Day Packaging Edition, but no cover art has been released yet. The wedding photo does NOT come with the Valentine's Day packaging.

    *Note* The special features on the disc(s) are the same as the other editions above:

    Special Features: Audio Commentary with Director Bill Condon; "Fast Forward": Watch your favorite scenes over and over in "Edward Fast Forward" and "Jacob Fast Forward", Music Videos, Go behind the scenes with a captivating 6-Part Making-of Documentary; Relive the memories with Edward & Bella's personal Wedding Video; Get a glimpse into "Jacob's Destiny".

    Regular 2 disc DVD Edition: $21.99 (not sure if this is the dvd set that comes with the framed wedding photo)
    Valentine's Day Packaging Edition: $21.99

    Other Thoughts: If anyone has any questions or comments about editions listed, leave a comment and I will try to answer it to the best of my ability. Thanks!


    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Movie Review: ROMEOS

    Movie Title: Romeos
    : Sabine Bernardi
    Rick Okon, Liv Lisa Fries, Maximilan Befort
    Studio: Strand Releasing
    Language: English/German (with English subtitles where needed)
    N/A (strong nudity, mature audience)
    Foreign, Gay & Lesbian, Drama, Romance
    Theme: Pre-op Transgender
    Run Tim
    e: 94 mins
    DVD Release Date: 17 January 2012
    My Rating:

    Synopsis: A twist on trans stories – a 19-year-old pre-op FTM falls for an openly gay man in Romeos , a tautly told and sexily romantic drama. Lukas is a handsome young man but was born a woman, is on hormone replacement therapy, and still has breasts that he keeps bound and hidden. His new male life is complicated when he is frustratingly assigned to a female dorm while doing community service. Stressed by the unfamiliar surroundings and insecure with his new body, Lukas is aided his lesbian friend, Ine, who keeps his secret when he reenters the world as a man. Lured by Ine and his new friends, Lukas ventures into Cologne’s gay nightlife where he meets Fabio, a cocky, dark haired gay hunk who beds whom he pleases. The two opposites strike up a friendship, but when Fabio begins to make romantic moves, Lukas is forced into making a decision: end contact or tell him and face the consequences. Lukas’s courage to live his life as he desires makes this a great film for trans audiences but it is also is a revelatory one for gay men. It is in essence a sexy, entertaining, if unconventional, story of two young men who fall in love. (English and German with English subtitles)

    **The Following Review May Contain SPOILERS**

    My Review: Wow. Romeos moved me in so many ways that I feel...speechless. It's been a long time since I watched something that made the tiny hairs on my arms stand on edge. Moved to tears not only because of the performances (although they were extremely good) but because...finally someone has come along and made a movie so brutally honest, without apologies, on a topic that so many people are ignorant about. And we all know what happens when people are ignorant. Ignorance leads to fear and fear leads to blind hatred. That ignorance, fear, and hatred is what kills our youth, whether its from suicide or bashing.

    Romeos was one of the movies I actually paid to see at last years 2011 Philadelphia Q-Fest. And guess what? When my mom and I got to the theater and were standing in line, we found out that something was wrong with the film equipment, therefore, we could either get a refund or come back tomorrow. Well, I had work the next day and I live about a good 40 mins from Philadelphia, so I ended up taking the refund. Since then, I have been patiently awaiting the movie's release on dvd and worried that I would be disappointed after waiting so long. Normally, that's what happens, but I was tickled pink that Romeos far exceeded my expectations.

    As the synopsis states above, the movie is about a 20 something pre-op transgender FTM (female to male) named Lukas. He gets accepted into some sort of Nursing program and must live in a dorm while completing the course work. Even though Lukas has been taking hormone treatments that have changed his voice, hair growth, and general appearance, he is technically still a female. Because of this, he is forced to stay in the female dorms. The head of housing keeps Lukas's secret, telling the girls that there is no room left in the men's dorms, therefore, Lukas would be staying with them until further notice. Lukas is upset at his housing situation, but perks up when he sees Ine, a friend that knew him when he was known as "Miri" and learns she will be staying at the dorm as well.

    As Lukas gets settled in, the first part of the film reveals his daily routine as a transgendered person: hormone injections, lifting weights, measuring different areas of his body, etc. He also keeps a live journal online where he connects with other transgendered people in all stages of their transition. When Ine invites him out with her to a party, you really get to see how awkward it is for Lukas. Even though the hormone treatments have done wonders with his outward appearance-- facial hair, muscles, deep voice etc., the one thing they haven't helped him get rid of are his breasts. Lukas wears some sort of chest binding vest, but it still does not keep his bosom completely flat. This is why he layers his clothes, crosses his arms over his chest, never getting too close to anyone--another words, Lukas is always in a state of anxiety or paranoia, afraid that someone will notice.

    The hunky, charismatic Fabio is the one person Lukas wants to notice him, but not for his upper appendages. Fabio is the epitome of a gay alpha male, appearing to be confident in mind and body. He attracts the attention of both males and females and in some scenes in the movie, you wonder if he is bi or if he dates women to make Lukas jealous (you will see what I mean if you watch the film). Lukas is fascinated by Fabio; a part of it could be first love, a crush, but I got the sense that Lukas views Fabio as the perfect male specimen. He is everything that Lukas wants to be-- perfect body and the confidence to go with it.

    But all is not as it seems. The more time Lukas spends with Fabio, the more he tries to convince himself that it's his manly attributes that attracts him. But one of the hardest lessons Lukas must learn is how can he expect someone to love and see the real him if he can't even tolerate his own self? And although Fabio may be good at making people believe he is confident and an out and proud gay man, in reality he is closeted in many ways (again, I don't want to give too much away).

    There are so many interesting topics that are addressed in this movie, but there were 2 that really fascinated me. One is during a scene where Lukas reluctantly goes with Ine to the beach because he finds out that Fabio is going. While everyone is stripped down to their swimming shorts or bikinis, you feel Lukas's awkwardness as he sits fully clothed with his layered shirts. As he watches Fabio and some of the guys swimming, Ine, his best friend, takes her bikini top off (remember, nude beaches are common in some other countries). Lukas points to Ine's breasts and starts explaining the breast removal process that he will eventually go through and Ine pushes his hand away and tells him to stop.
    She asks, "If you like boys, why don't you just stay a woman?"
    Lukas responds, "One has nothing to do with the other."
    Lukas is completely right. But Ine's question is one that confuses so many people in the world. There is a BIG difference between someone's gender and someone's sexuality but oftentimes they are thought to be one and the same. Gender is whether you are a male, female, or transgender (born with parts you don't identify with and wish to change such as in Lukas's case). Sexuality is your sexual preference, what you are attracted to, such as being straight, gay, bi-sexual, etc. So even though Lukas was born female, he identifies himself as male. He is in the process of physically becoming a male. Since he is attracted to men, that would make him gay. His best friend is being hypocritical. Ine openly admits she is a lesbian. So for her to tell Lukas that he might as well stay female if he likes guys sort of makes no sense. I could see that being more of a comment that someone homophobic would say. Lukas could have turned her words back on her and say, "since you like women, why don't you grow a penis?"

    This leads me to the last point I want to make that the movie addresses. Once Lukas's secret is revealed (I won't say how and why), prejudice starts to rear its ugly head. Fabio turns into one of his greatest tormentors, calling him a "tranny", flaunting other men and women around him as if to say he would date anyone other then him. Straight people are not the only ones that can be ignorant and prejudice towards transgendered people. The homosexual community can be a transgendered person's greatest nightmare. Why? Because ignorance breeds fear, and fear breeds hate. Fabio really does care for Lukas. What holds him back is his lack of knowledge about transgendered issues and the pressure of what others would think of him liking someone like Lukas. There is no denying Fabio's curiosity and once he lets go of worrying about what others may or may not think about him and Lukas, he is then more willing to let go of his prejudices and learn more. And let me be clear, Fabio is not as confident as Lukas thought he was. There are many reasons why, but that is for you to find out!

    If you think that is all that's covered in Romeos, you are in for a surprise. For a 94 minute movie, it touches on so many more issues, themes, etc. But I don't want to give everything away. It sounds like I did, but I'm telling you, I really didn't scratch the surface. So if you are up for a good drama, some romance, a little comedy, mixed in with real, true life issues that transgendered people go through in today's society, then you really are in for a treat!

    Other Thoughts: I just wanted to quickly mention that the acting was top notch, especially Rick Okon who played Lukas. It may sound easy to play a female transitioning to become a male since Rick is already a male, but it isn't.

    Oh, and may I also add that the make-up/special effects were AMAZING?? This movie does get graphic and there are some scenes where you see Lukas with his shirt off, so...yeah, that means you are the picture?? It looked SO real. I wonder if they got a real transgendered person to model for those scenes? If you like movies or stories like this, then I would like to recommend a movie called Different For Girls, a 1996 film way ahead of its time. For more info about that movie, go HERE.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Say WHAT?! Releases of the Week! (Jan. 24th)

    It's that time! I thought there was way more stuff coming out this week that I wanted, but hey, at least I won't be breaking the bank this time around! Note that some of the books mentioned are sequels to long running series, like Darker After Midnight and Horizon. So if you haven't read any of Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed Series or Sophie Littlefield's adult Aftertime series, check them out before grabbing those titles. Enjoy and happy shopping!

    *NOTE* All books/movies/tv series are in order by release date


    BOOKS (Jan. 24th)


    DARKER AFTER MIDNIGHT (Midnight Breed #10)
    by: Lara Adrian

    In the dark of night, a blood war escalates within the hidden world of theBreed. After existing in secret for many long centuries, maintaining a fragile peace with the humans who walk beside them unaware, a single act of retaliation has put the entire vampire nation at risk of discovery. It falls to the Order—a cadre of Breed warriors pledged to protect their own and humankind alike—to stop Dragos, the power-mad vampire at the center of the conflict, before his push for domination can explode into catastrophe.

    At the center of the Order’s quest is Sterling Chase, once a morally rigid enforcer of Breed law, now a warrior fallen from grace, whose biggest battle is the one he wages against his own savage nature. With addiction beckoning him toward eternal darkness, Chase’s path to redemption has never seemed more out of reach. But when his eyes meet those of Tavia Fairchild, a beautiful witness who identifies him at the scene of a mission gone terribly wrong, Chase finds himself drawn to the woman—and convinced she is something much more than she seems.

    Date Released: 24 January 2012
    Website | Buy


    HORIZON (Aftertime #3)
    by: Sophie Littlefield

    Cass Dollar is a survivor. She's overcome the meltdown of civilization, humans turned mindless cannibals, and the many evils of man.

    But from beneath the devastated California landscape emerges a tendril of hope. A mysterious traveler arrives at New Eden with knowledge of a passageway North—a final escape from the increasingly cunning Beaters. Clutching this dream, Cass and many others decamp and follow him into the unknown.

    Journeying down valleys and over barren hills, Cass remains torn between two men. One—her beloved Smoke—is not so innocent as he once was. The other keeps a primal hold on her that feels like Fate itself. And beneath it all, Cass must confront the worst of what's inside her—dark memories from when she was a Beater herself. But she, and all of the other survivors, will fight to the death for the promise of a new horizon.

    Date Released: 24 January 2012



    by: Syrie James

    She should not exist.
    He should not love her.

    Claire Brennan has been attending Emerson Academy for two years now (the longest she and her mom have remained anywhere) and she’s desperate to stay put for the rest of high school. So there’s no way she’s going to tell her mom about the psychic visions she’s been having or the creepy warnings that she’s in danger.

    Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson as the ideal hiding place where he could be normal for once. He hadn’t factored Claire into his plans. . . .

    Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the reason behind Claire’s unusual powers is revealed and the threat to her life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?

    Date Released: 24 January 2012


    The Way We Fall
    by: Megan Crewe

    It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.
    And then you're dead.

    When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.

    Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak.

    When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.
    Because how will she go on if there isn't?

    Date Released: 24 January 2012


    MOVIES (Jan. 24th)

    Directed by: Jonathan Levine

    Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen Based on a true story, Adam is a 27 year old writer of radio programs and is diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. With the help of his best friend, his mother, and a young therapist at the cancer center, Adam learns what and who the most important things in his life are.

    Date Released: 24 January 2012


    Directed by: Shawn Levy

    Starring: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly
    Charlie Kenton (Hugh Jackman) was a true contender when the sport of boxing was changed forever. Now, instead of humans duking it out for the masses, huge, powerful steel robots trade blows in the ring. As a result, former gladiator Charlie has been forced into the role of two-bit promoter, piecing together cut-rate fighting bots from scrap metal as he makes the rounds on the underground boxing circuit. Just when it seems that Charlie has sunken to the nadir of his career, his estranged 11 year old son, Max (Dakota Goyo), offers him the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a comeback by constructing and training a true champion. Now the stakes are higher than ever before, and Charlie is about to get a second chance at leaving an indelible mark on the sport he once dedicated his life to.

    Date Released: 24 January 2012


    Monday, January 23, 2012

    TV Series News: 1980's Beauty and the Beast Remake!

    Vincent: This is where the wealthy and the powerful rule. It is her world, a world apart from mine. Her name is Catherine. From the moment I saw her, she captured my heart with her beauty, her warmth, and her courage. I knew then, as I know now, she would change my life forever.

    Catherine: He comes from a secret place, far below the city streets, hiding his face from strangers, safe from hate and harm. He brought me there to save my life; and now wherever I go, he is with me in spirit. For we have a bond stronger than friendship or love...and although we cannot be together, we will never, ever be apart.

    The News: Sound familiar? That's right, the cult classic, live action Beauty and the Beast tv series that ran on CBS from 1987 to 1990 is getting a remake! For those of you who may or may not remember the show, it starred Linda Hamilton (Terminator) who played Catherine, a district attorney in NYC, who is beaten and left for dead in Central Park. Luckily, she is rescued by Ron Perlman's character, Vincent, a mysterious, yet gentle Beast man who nurses her back to health down in a secret society living beneath the city's sewers and tunnels. This show was one of my favorites! Hands down, the theme song of Beauty and the Beast is still the most achingly beautiful ever created for a series. The show really had it all: romance, drama, some action, and might I add some really great makeup artists for that time period. The reason it was cancelled after only 3 seasons is because the main star, Linda Hamilton, decided to leave the show after season 2 ended, due to her being pregnant. The network decided they wanted to steer the show in a darker more action packed direction so that they could get more male viewers, but Linda Hamilton's exit and her character being killed off only angered die hard fans. The show was finally cancelled after a severe decline in ratings.

    It was announced back in September 2011 that the CW would be teaming with Jennifer Levin (Felicity, Without a Trace) and Sherri Cooper (Everwood, Brothers & Sisters) to write the script. Last week it was confirmed that the CW put an order in for a pilot episode. The new show will be simply called Beast. No actors/actresses have been confirmed for the parts yet.

    My Thoughts: A part of me is very excited about this remake. So far I've been hearing that the CW plans to follow the original 80's show as far as plot-- if not, why would they call it a remake, right? Then again, I am nervous because how many movies and tv series remakes have we seen that are almost completely unrecognizable when compared to their original? I can't wait to see who they get to play the parts, especially Vincent's character. What will the Beast look like this time around? What do you think?


    Friday, January 20, 2012

    It's That Time...COVER ART FRIDAY!

    Happy Friday! So today I thought it would be cool to not only show you some pretty cool cover art, but also shine some light on this YA Science Fiction book series that's been getting a lot of attention lately. The first book in the series by David Macinnis Gill is called Black Hole Sun. It was published in 2010 in hardback. Check out the original cover below:

    Pretty hideous, right? I think the author and the publishing company figured that out too. This apparently happens a lot to some authors who have no control over what cover art they get. I know that the original cover art for Simone Elkeles' book called Leaving Paradise was ungodly as well. Once she became more popular, she begged for new artwork because she was positive that the reason the book had poor sales was because people were just passing the book by since the cover wasn't eye catching enough. As soon as they reissued the book with different artwork, the book flew off the shelves. Now it's one of her most popular titles! This is probably what happened to Black Hole Sun. Because check out the new cover art for the reissue:

    Much better, right??? More then much better! It's just yummy to look at. On February 28th, the paperback version of Black Hole Sun will hit the shelves.

    Here is a brief synopsis of the book:

    Durango is the 16-year-old chief of a team of mercenaries who eke out a living on Mars by earning meager commissions for their dangerous work. Their current job, and the main thrust of this high-energy, action-filled, science-fiction romp, is to protect South Pole miners from the Dræu, a cannibalistic group who are after the miners' treasure. Two feisty women help Durango lead. Second-in-command Vienne and Durango care more for each other than either wants to admit, although there is little time for romance amid all the flying bullets and detonating bombs. Mimi, the other central woman and Durango's former chief, is now implanted in his brain as an artificial intelligence. Durango is playing the cards he was dealt. And it’s not a good hand.
    He’s lost his family.
    He’s lost his crew.
    And he’s got the scars to prove it.
    You don’t want to mess with Durango.

    And if you want more Durango check out....

    Invisible Sun, book #2! Yes, that's right. Book #2 hits shelves on March 27th, a month after the paperback version of Black Hole Sun gets released. Another stunning cover art, right? But there is a catch. Invisible Sun is being released in hardback. So for all of you book collectors out there that likes to try to keep their collection either all in paperback or all in hardback, I guess you will have to wait until this one goes to paperback :( That could take months. Here is the synopsis for book 2:

    Obsessed with MUSE, the clandestine project that created the AI in his brain, mercenary chief Durango draws the ire of the government when he steals part of the secret project data and hightails it with his lieutenant, Vienne, to an ancient monastery. There, he meets the monks who raised Vienne from an orphan and also encounters soldiers working for his old nemesis, the crime lord Mr. Lyme. Lyme controls the territory surrounding the monastery, as well as the datacenters housing the rest of MUSE.

    Undeterred, Durango and Vienne pull off an ill-advised raid on Lyme’s complex. During the ensuing battle, however, Vienne is captured, and Durango is beaten and left for dead. Now, wounded and shaken, Durango must overcome bounty hunters, treacherous terrain, a full scale civil war, and a warrior monk with an eye for vengeance (not to mention his own guilt, self-doubt, and broken arm) to find Vienne and free her from Archibald, a brain-washing pyromaniac with a Napoleon complex who wants to rule Mars--and kill Durango in the process.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Book Review: Into the Crossfire

    Title: Into the Crossfire (A Protectors Novel)
    Author: Lisa Marie Rice
    ISBN: 0062085794
    Reading Level: Adult
    Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary
    Theme: Navy Seal, ALPHA
    Binding: paperback
    Length: 384 pgs
    Published: 29 November 2011
    My Rating:

    Synopsis: Sam Reston’s world is dangerous, uncertain, violent . . . with no room in it for the helpless and weak. Then the most beautiful woman in the world moves next door to him . . .

    Nicole Pearce’s life is complicated enough. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a secretive, hard-bodied, hard-headed neighbor. Yet Sam leaves her breathless—her body tingling with desire—and it takes every ounce of her fabled control to resist offering herself to him, no strings attached. What she doesn’t know is that Sam Reston is on an undercover assignment . . . and she’s about to step into the crossfire.

    Never has Sam ached for a woman so badly. Now Nicole’s in grave danger and he will become her shield. Because a terrorist plot hatched half a world away is heading to their doorstep—and it can be derailed by only one man and one woman.

    **The following review may contain SPOILERS**

    My Review: Between reading ARCs (advance reader copies) which have to be reviewed by a certain time and completely redoing my blog over the holidays, I was a bit burnt out. I needed a de-stressor and what better way to relax my brain then to go back to my first love, the romance novel. :) I have read some of Lisa Marie Rice's erotic romances when she was writing for the e-book website Ellora's Cave. My two favorites are Midnight Man (book 1) and Midnight Run (#2). I'm not even sure why I haven't stuck with her over the years but maybe that's a good thing and here is why.

    I noticed some reviewers gave Into the Crossfire more like a 2 to 3 star rating, mostly because they are loyal fans of Rice and this particular book did not live up to the standards that they expected. Since I've only read 2 out of the more than dozen romances she has written, I guess you can say I'm cutting the author a little break. My major complaint, however, is exactly what some of the reviewers touched on: Lisa Marie Rice spends WAY too much time on background info in this book. I feel like I read more about the villain and his motivation for setting things in motion rather then the 2 main characters. This made the relationship feel really rushed and a bit under developed. The scenes that we all wait for, ya know, the "intimate" parts seem to only happen twice in the book-- one in the middle and one towards the end. Now, that is not always a bad thing. Some authors are AMAZING at building the sexual tension between characters and once the BIG scene happens, it's so good that you don't even notice that the book is almost at the end. THAT is a truly gifted romance author.

    So why am I still giving Into the Crossfire a 4 star rating? Well, it's more like a 3.5, but since my rating system is still a bit barbaric, I figured a 4 will do. Rice did do a decent job at building the tension between her 2 leads, Sam and Nicole. When the "big moment" happens, it definitely didn't disappoint which earned her major brownie points. Did I forget to mention that Sam is an alpha? Wait, did I forget to tell everyone I LOVE alpha males in my romance novels?? Sam Reston is the epitome of hot male dominance. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that he is a former Navy SEAL, so he is used to being in charge and protecting others. Rice is good at creating alphas, so she gets some more brownie points for that.

    Despite the pages of back story that I found myself skipping through, I do like the way she introduces Mike and Harry into the book, which are Sam's "adopted" brothers. They both appear to be very different characters with interesting backgrounds that will hopefully make 2 solid follow-ups to Into the Crossfire. Actually, Mike's book, called Nightfire: A Protectors Novel (Marine Force Recon) is due out February 7th. More alpha male goodness on the way, yay!


    Quick Note: I just want to add that since Lisa Marie Rice has been around for awhile and some of her books were published in ebook format and later in paperback from ebook publishing sites, you may want to be careful that you aren't buying the same book. What I mean is, some of her older books are being reissued under different titles, different cover art, etc. I believe Into the Crossfire was an old story of hers that got turned into a mass market paperback. So just make sure you check out her website HERE for a complete list of her books. When you go there, you will see that Into the Crossfire actually has a different cover art then what I have.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    The Hunger Games Motion Poster!

    If you haven't seen it yet, then you have to check this baby out. What a beautiful motion poster for The Hunger Games! This really gets me excited for the movie. I just pray that the film lives up to the book!

    Have You Heard the MUSE? Releases of the Week! (Jan. 17th)

    Yes, it's that time of the week already! The bad news is, the list is short today. Other then a few young adult novels and a couple of movies, I think this is a great week to catch up on books and movies instead of worrying about going over your budget. You know why? Because NEXT Tuesday (24th) is a big release day so I'm warning you, get your book/movie budget together now! Just remember that these are my personal picks. So there may be other releases that are out that I haven't mentioned.

    Other Thoughts: I also just wanted to let everyone know I will be posting some reviews soon. I sort of went on a mini-hiatus-- yeah I've been a bit burnt-out-- so expect some new reviews by the end of the week!

    *NOTE* All books/movies/tv series are in order by release date


    BOOKS (Jan. 17th)


    by: Heather Burch

    Split. After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret---and the wings that come with. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys' powers, as well as her role in a scientist's dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

    Date Released: 17 January 2012
    Website | Buy


    HALLOWED (Unearthly #2)
    Cynthia Hand

    For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn’t prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

    Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

    In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

    Date Released: 17 January 2012
    Website | Buy


    by: Megan Bostic

    Austin Parker is on a journey to bring truth, beauty, and meaning to his life.

    Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. The doctors say his chances of surviving are slim to none even with treatment, so he’s decided it’s time to let go. But before he goes, Austin wants to mend the broken fences in his life. So with the help of his best friend, Kaylee, Austin visits every person in his life who touched him in a special way. He journeys to places he’s loved and those he’s never seen. And what starts as a way to say goodbye turns into a personal journey that brings love, acceptance, and meaning to Austin’s life.
    Date Released: 17 January 2012
    Website | Buy


    MOVIES & TV SERIES (Jan. 17th)


    Directed by: John Singleton

    Starring: Taylor Lautner, Maria Bello, Sigourney Weaver
    Taylor Lautner explodes on-screen as a young man whose secret past is set to collide with a dangerous reality. After uncovering a deadly lie, Nathan (Lautner) is propelled on a lethal, no-holds barred mission to learn the truth. Aided by a devoted family friend (Sigourney Weaver), Nathan’s hunt for the facts pits him against ruthless assassins and questionable allies.

    Date Released: 17 January 2012
    Website | Buy



    Directed by: Alex Kendrick

    Starring: Alex Kendrick, Kevin Downes
    Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they are confident and focused, standing up to the worst the streets can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge they’re ill prepared to tackle: fatherhood. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Sherwood Pictures, creators of Fireproof, returns with this heartfelt, action-packed story. Protecting the streets is second nature to these law enforcement officers. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That takes courage.

    Date Released: 17 January 2012
    Website | Buy


    Directed by: George Clooney

    Starring: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney
    Ambition seduces and power corrupts in a nerve-wracking thriller from Academy Award® nominated director George Clooney (Good Night, and Good Luck). Idealistic campaign worker Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) has sworn to give all for Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), a wild card presidential candidate whose groundbreaking ideas could change the political landscape. However, a brutal Ohio primary threatens to test Morris's integrity. Stephen gets trapped in the down-and-dirty battle and finds himself caught up in a scandal where the only path to survival is to play both sides. The all-star cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.

    Date Released: 17 January 2012
    Website | Buy


    Directed by: Sabine Bernardi

    Starring: Rick Okon, Liv Lisa Fries, Maximilan Befort
    A twist on trans stories – a 19-year-old pre-op FTM falls for an openly gay man in Romeos , a tautly told and sexily romantic drama. Lukas is a handsome young man but was born a woman, is on hormone replacement therapy, and still has breasts that he keeps bound and hidden. His new male life is complicated when he is frustratingly assigned to a female dorm while doing community service. Stressed by the unfamiliar surroundings and insecure with his new body, Lukas is aided his lesbian friend, Ine, who keeps his secret when he reenters the world as a man. Lured by Ine and his new friends, Lukas ventures into Cologne’s gay nightlife where he meets Fabio, a cocky, dark haired gay hunk who beds whom he pleases. The two opposites strike up a friendship, but when Fabio begins to make romantic moves, Lukas is forced into making a decision: end contact or tell him and face the consequences. Lukas’s courage to live his life as he desires makes this a great film for trans audiences but it is also is a revelatory one for gay men. It is in essence a sexy, entertaining, if unconventional, story of two young men who fall in love. (English and German with English subtitles)

    Date Released: 17 January 2012
    Website | Buy



    MERLIN: Season 3
    On: SyFy

    Actors: Colin Morgan, Bradley James
    Merlin is back with even more magic, adventure and romance as the young wizard struggles to protect Prince Arthur in the perilous world of Camelot. While battling deadly assassins, mystical monsters and the most powerful sorcerers Camelot has ever seen, Merlin must work harder than ever to conceal his unique abilities while King Uther redoubles his war against magic. Featuring exciting new villains, white-knuckle stunt sequences, and spectacular CGI monsters, Merlin season three is more thrilling than ever.

    Date Released: 17 January 2012
    Website | Buy