Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: When Copper Suns Fall

Title: When Copper Suns Fall
Author: KaSonndra Leigh
ASIN: B0065QYXQA
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Futuristic
Theme: Dystopian, Angels
Binding: ebook

Length: 266 pgs
Published: TriGate Press; First Edition 6 Dec 2011
Buy: Amazon.com
My Rating: 2 1/2 stars


Synopsis: In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city, alchemy is forbidden and angels hide among the mortal. With a deadly virus ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish memories compels her to experience a past riddled with gloom, and now her brother is infected.

Chela’s only hope is the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect the last seven Light Keepers and the ancient memories they share. A group led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But can she trust this boy with the mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories?

With the Caduceans aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, desperate to find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease.

In this haunting debut, KaSonndra Leigh offers an escape into a world as intriguing as The Mortal Instruments and a story as chilling as Enclave. Full of celestial creatures, fascinating villainy, high-stake choices, and a secret romance, When Copper Suns Fall, is a fresh and original urban fantasy—with a dystopian twist—that will take readers on an unforgettable adventure.

My Review: I signed up for this e-book through goodreads.com's "Read It & Reap" section under the group "Shut Up and Read". This story had such an interesting premise and me being a lover of angel themed books, I was really excited at the prospect of reading a different take on angel mythology. I was also excited when the synopsis mentioned it was as "chilling as Enclave." If someone is comparing it to Ann Aguirre's Enclave, then I am game! So you can imagine my disappoint When Copper Suns Fall did not live up to my expectations.

First with the positives. I thought the beginning was engaging and heartfelt. Chela, our main character, is sitting by the bedside of her twin brother who is in a coma from the glutovirus. In this dystopian world, there is no cure and Dr. Van Meter tries to convince Chela to give up hope and allow them to use Micah's body for critical research since he'd make a "strong vessel". But Chela stands firm, knowing deep down inside something isn't quite right and vows silently to herself that she will find the cure and the answers to her troubling questions.

The mythology and new world the author creates is interesting and different. In this futuristic world, the Tribunal now governs and the citizens are given new rules to abide by in order to help rebuild what was lost during the "Great War." Children must now take "ale-meds" in order to protect their immune systems, when really it is to do something entirely different. It is forbidden to associate with Caduceans and the Tainted-- light and dark celestial creatures (angels) that are blamed for the "Great War".

All of these important factors are introduced in the beginning of the book and combined with the well written opening scene, I thought I was in for a real treat. But that is the big problem with this story. The author gives us the elements but doesn't EXPLAIN them! What happened during the "Great War"? I am not the type of reader that needs everything spelled out for me-- I like some mystery, drawing my own conclusions-- BUT, if you are going to introduce everyone to a new world and a new mythology, some sort of background story is a must if you want your reader to connect.

My other issue was the characters. It's not that I hated Chela or any of the other characters, it's that I didn't really feel a connection with them. Here we go with that word "connect", right? Don't get me wrong, I was really feeling her turmoil in the beginning, but somewhere along the way I just lost interest :/ Oh and the love interests? I did love the scene where Faris was introduced. I liked the chemistry between the two. But then Seth came into the picture...then later you find out that Jalen has feelings for her....really? I guess I am just tired of that type of love triangle. Or is that a love square? Why do all the guys have to fall head over heels for the one girl? And if you are going to do it, then do it right because there are soooo many authors that have written GREAT love triangles, so much so that you can tell the difference between the good ones and the bad ones.

Oh and since we are on the topic of Faris...okay, I love alpha males. If you've been reading my reviews, then you already know this. HOWEVER, there was way too much "wrist grabbing" if you get what I mean. Literally. Faris was constantly taking her by the WRIST instead of hand, or when she pulled her arm away, he would grab her arm/hand again. I love an alpha but not a caveman and if I notice hand grabbing in a book, then you know there is just way too much.

I give When Copper Suns Fall a 2 1/2 star rating. I give the author a lot of credit for creating a unique world and new angel mythology to go with it. But without some back story to fill in the holes, to really make me feel like I was there and to better understand the characters plight, I found myself bored. I know this book is the first in a series, but I highly doubt I will be picking up book 2. I thank the gang at the goodreads.com group "Shut Up & Read" for giving me this opportunity to read and review this book.



Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscar Thoughts & My Picks of the Week! (Feb. 28th)


Hello, my lovely Muses!

Before I go on with my normal "Picks of the Week", I wanted to give my thoughts on last night's 84th annual Academy Awards. I think the picture to the left sums it up. While I am completely annoyed (but not shocked) that Meryl Streep won over Viola Davis in the Best Actress category, I'm so relieved that George Clooney walked away with NOTHING. I'm sorry for all you Clooney fans, but I can't stand the man. It would have been nice to see Brad Pitt (Moneyball) or Demian Bichir (A Better Life) walk away with an Oscar as they were strong performances, but I'm content with the Best Actor award going to Jean Dujardin of The Artist. Oh, and speaking of The Artist, I'm fine with it winning Best Picture too. I understand that many people had issues with this movie because of it being in black & white and a silent film, but as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo walked away with awards that I felt should have gone to other films, such as Cinematography (should have gone to Tree of Life) and Visual Effects (should have gone to Transformers: Dark of the Moon or Rise of the Planet of the Apes), but hey, you can't always get what you want. The one thing the academy did get right is picking Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actor/Actress.


My random thoughts: George Clooney's blonde of the week/date, Stacy Keibler with her disgusting s
pray tan and golden gown-- was she trying to look like the actual "Oscar" statue? As a matter of fact, was Meryl Streep that confident she was going to win that she had to wear a gold dress as well?

And lastly, MOST importantly...was it just me or did Angelina Jolie look alarmingly thin??? The woman seriously needs an intervention!

Other then the two big major upsets-- one being good (Jean Dujardin winning over George Clooney) and one being bad (Meryl Streep winning over Viola Davis), the Academy Awards was as I expected it to be. But seriously, someone needs to talk to Angelina Jolie. I hope people took notice of her last night and gets her the help she needs.

For a complete list of Oscar Winners, you can go HERE.
Now to "My Picks of the Week"!

Enjoy!




My Picks of the Week
(February 28th)


Books rule this week! But no worries, movie and tv series lovers! March is a huge month for movie releases! Enjoy my picks below!

---------



BOOKS (Feb. 28th)






ADULT

Darkest Seduction (Lord of the Underworld, #9)
by: Gena Showalter

Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive-but his potent allure comes at a terrible price. Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die. And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he'd thought was forever beyond his reach…until now.

Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet in Paris's arms, the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up. Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally-or tear them apart?



Release Date: 28 February 2012
Website | Buy





Deadly Sins (The Callahan's, #2)
by: Lora Leigh

Witnesses to a shocking crime, three men must face the dangers of the past to unlock the passion in their hearts…

Logan Callahan has fought hard to forget what happened that fateful day, so long ago. But every night he tries to sleep, he relives the nightmare. Every time he closes his eyes, he sees the woman whose life he could not save…

A newcomer in town, Sky O’Brien is a mystery to Logan. Like him, she is a night owl. Like him, she is fighting her own demons. Like him, she hides a secret in her eyes—a fire that consumes him with every glance. Could she be the one to heal him?

When Logan’s ex-girlfriend is brutally murdered, his past implicates him as suspect—and his new neighbor Sky may be the only person he can turn to. Together, they share an attraction that can’t be denied. But as he searches for the real killer, he discovers that Sky is tracking down a murderer too—and she intends to use him to do it…



Release Date: 28 February 2012




YOUNG ADULT


Black Hole Sun (Black Hole Sun, #1) paperback release
by: David Macinnis Gill

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.

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. The repartee between Durango and Mimi is particularly brilliant, but throughout the novel, the dialogue crackles with expertly delivered sarcastic wit and venom. If intelligent sophomoric humor exists, Gill is the master at creating it. The intriguing dystopian setting is a Mars purposely polluted by immigrants from Earth. Readers will have a hard time turning the pages fast enough as the body count rises to the climactic, satisfying ending, which will leave new fans hopeful for more adventures.


Release Date: 28 February 2012
Website | Buy





Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)
by: Lauren Oliver

I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
push, push, push,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her. I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.


Release Date: 28 February 2012




Partials (Partials, #1)
by: Dan Wells
Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.



Release Date: 28 February 2012
Website | Buy





MOVIES & TV SERIES (Feb. 28th)




MOVIES



Hugo
Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, Sacha Baron Cohen
Welcome to a magical world of spectacular adventure! When wily and resourceful Hugo discovers a secret left by his father, he unlocks a mystery and embarks on a quest that will transform those around him and lead to a safe and loving place he can call home. Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese invites you to experience a thrilling journey that critics are calling “the stuff that dreams are made of.”




Release Date: 28 February 2012
Website | Buy


TV SERIES


Breakout Kings: Season 1

Starring:
Domenick Lombardozzi, Serinda Swan, Jimmi Simpson
Suspenseful storylines and fascinating characters drive this riveting new series from the creators of Prison Break. To help capture dangerous fugitives two veteran federal marshals Duchamp and his volatile Partner Zancanelli recruit three convicts who are master escape artists themselves. Lloyd leads the way as the genius with a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor and a talent for predicting behavior. Joined by street-smart 'entrepreneur' Shea and sexy expert tracker Erica these Breakout Kings are out to prove it takes a con to catch a con.



Release Date: 1 March 2012
Website | Buy





Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: Season 1

Starring: Alex House, Maggie Castle
A stoner metalhead named Todd Smith, his crushee Jenny, his best friend Curtis, and the geeky Hannah, search their high school for a mayhem-causing Satanic spell book, while being opposed by Atticus, the evil guidance councillor.






Release Date:
28 February 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lesson on Female Exploitation Films & a Review by Guest Blogger Jake Henderson


Title: Big Doll House (1971)
Dire
ctor: Jack Hill
Actor(s
): Judith M. Brown, Pam Grier
Language: English

Rated: R
Genre: Exploitation
Theme: Women in Prison (WIP)
Runtime: 95 mins
DVD Rele
ase: 1999, 2011
Buy: Amazon

Jake's Rating: (3 1/2)


Synopsis: Beautiful women prisoners are abused in a Philippine prison, until 5 of them plot an escape by taking the evil female warden hostage with the reluctant help of 2 male fruit vendors.


Jake's Lesson & Review: Ah yes. One of the most infamous Exploitation genres: "Women in Prison", often just called WIP. An extremely controversial sub-genre due to it’s main focus being the torture of beautiful young woman, often naked. The plot would tend to concern a young girl who was wrongfully incarcerated and now has to deal with the cruel life of a prisoner. There would also usually be a torturous warden, most often a woman. The final climax would be the woman attempting to break out. These films became a huge hit with exploitation nuts everywhere. There were American made ones, Italian, and even Asia took a crack at the sub-genre. Some of the most prolific films being Big Doll House, its sequel Big Bird Cage, Women in Cages, 99 Women, and of course the Ilsa films. The ironic thing is how much the "Nazisploitation" films like Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS spill over into the WIP films. The difference is obviously a heavy reliance on the Nazi culture, as well as ghastly experiments there were actually performed during WWII. So what was the allure behind these films? Well probably the biggest thing is beautiful, young, naked women. What can I say? Men are pigs. I myself am a newcomer to the genre, having only seen the first Ilsa film before I sat down to watch Big Doll House. I had little idea what I was in for.

Big Doll House follows a group of imprisoned girls. The main focus being on the new girl: Collier. The cast also includes the great Pam Grier in her second role after Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Her character in this is actually a lesbian caring for her crackhead girlfriend. It is actually an interesting sub-plot that really adds some substance to what would otherwise be a routine WIP film. I could be wrong but I believe this may be one of the first "Women In Prison" films. It was directed by Jack Hill who Grier would go on to work with for a few more films including the "Blaxploitation" Classic, Coffy. In addition, the famed Roger Corman produced it. The film follows Collier as she adjusts to her new life as a prisoner of a Jail located in the Philippine’s jungle. Collier befriends her cell mates as well as two produce salesmen and together they plot their escape. Along the way she has to deal with the cruel and sadistic warden as well as the corrupt prison psychologist. Furthermore, there is a new prison doctor who feels there is something fishy going on.

While the film does have a decent amount of torture scenes, the focus really is on the girls. It is a much more character-driven WIP film and that probably led to me liking it as much as I did. I found myself really engaged with the story and got a kick out of Grier, as well as Bodine. Bodine is the bad ass chick that “Even Grier wouldn’t fuck with.” She is played by Pat Woodell, who unfortunately didn’t do much else besides this film and the TV show Petticoat Junction. Sid Haig also has a role in this as one of the salesmen that helps break the girls out. His character is also a bit of a pig, demanding Grier pay him for a pack of smokes with a touch of her breasts. Scenes like this show why Grier's character has turned to women. The love story between her and the drug addict also has a tragic twist ending that really made my jaw drop. I think what really makes this film work is, like I said, it focuses much more on the characters than the actual torture. This was my second WIP film and I look forward to its sequel as well as more of the genre. I can only hope out of the 15 or so I own a few will be as good as this one.

Review by: Jake Henderson

Like Jake's review? He also has a blog! Follow him at Dark Recesses of Cinema or on Facebook! For more about him, check out his guest blog intro on my blog HERE!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Introducing Guest Blogger: Jake Henderson!

Happy Friday, Muses!

Instead of my normal "Cover Art Friday" post, I decided to introduce everyone to my next guest blogger, my close friend and co-worker, Jake Henderson! I am very lucky to have Jake in my life, not only as a great friend, but as a way to help me balance things out on my blog. Here's why. I am a very open-minded person as many of you can tell. But I do have a few downfalls, one of them being I am not a huge horror fan. Jake's area of expertise just so happens to be anything horror! Yes, I know he looks young, but don't judge a book by its cover! Trust me, he knows his stuff and then some!

There is one thing about me that you all must know-- I am not an attention hog! First of all, I like to inform people of the unknown (must be the teacher in me!). If it is a topic I am not too familiar with, I will either do lots of research to make sure I am giving everyone the correct information or I turn over the reigns to people that are experts in those particular areas. I am lucky to be surrounded by creative, unique individuals, like Jake, that are willing to help me out by bringing their own fresh ideas and experience to my blog.

Anyway! Tomorrow I will be adding Jake's post on female exploitation films, a very controversial genre, followed by his review of one of these movies.

Without further adieu, I introduce you to Jake Henderson!





Hey everyone! Jake here. I am the resident horror addict at The Muses Circle and am extremely honored that Mia picked me to be one of her guest bloggers. I am 18 and lead a pretty normal life. I am currently attempting to go to Film School in hopes of eventually become a Film Archivist or preservationist. When I am not working I love to curl up with a good 80's movie. However, I also love me some 70's flicks too! Italy definitely produces the best Cinema has to offer as far as I am concerned. As far as books go I love to read about film and true crime. I also do not mind the occasional Drama. You can expect to see a slew of horror and exploitation reviews from me. I look forward to contributing to this wonderful blog!



`Jake`

P.S. I can be contacted through my Facebook HERE and my very own blog HERE.... But I must warn you, it's sorta under construction at the moment!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: Rook: Allie's War Book 1

Title: Rook: Allie's War #1
Author: JC Andrijeski
ASIN: B004TXR6FG
Reading Level: Adult

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Futuristic
Theme: Seers, Alternate Earth
Binding: ebook
Length: 400+ pgs
Published: White Sun Press; First Edition 25 March 2011
Buy: Amazon.com
My Rating:


Synopsis: Twenty-eight-year-old San Francisco native, Allie Taylor, at least thought she was human. Against a gritty and original backdrop of a modern-day Earth populated by a second race of beings, Allie finds out she's a member of an enslaved yet deeply powerful race, whose members believe her to be their most venerated leader, come to end the reign of humanity. With her guide, Revik, a mysterious and deadly seer who acts as her bodyguard and teacher, Allie will come to grips with who she really is, or end up a slave like the rest of her kind...or worse, betray the very people she always thought of as her own.

My Review: JC Andrijeski has taken me on one hell of a ride with her first book in an ongoing series called Rook: Allie's War #1. I have so much to say but am trying to find the words to express how I feel about this story. So let's start with the positives.

First and foremost, Rook: Allie's War #1 is set in a completely fresh, wholly unique world. Andrijeski doesn't take any shortcuts-- the world building is intricate and complex. Not only are we introduced to an alternate Earth where the physical reside, there is a whole world where the non-physical roam, a place where seers --who are enslaved by humans on earth-- can roam freely. The book is filled with original mythology, prophecies, myths, spiritual and physical canons, etc. While there are things going on in this book that are completely unfamiliar, I can see the influence of particular regions and cultures such as India, Egypt, etc. For some reason a movie called Immortal (2006) kept popping up in my head as I was reading Rook: Allie's War #1. Every time the pyramid was mentioned in the book, I kept imagining the floating pyramid in the movie (You can read the synopsis and see the dvd cover art for the movie Immortal HERE).

The story's main characters are well rounded and 3 dimensional. Oftentimes you get a book that has one or the other, a great story, not so great characters, or interesting characters but a mediocre story. That's why I think this book is fully loaded. A great example would be Revik. He has so much back story, everything from his previous life to his ongoing drama with the main villain Terian.

Speaking of villain, let me not forget to mention how creepy Terian is! The fact that he can change bodies when the one he currently is in is damaged...*shudders*

And since we are still on characters, I just have to say Allie and Revik are quite a match! The sexual tension is scorching-- I had to fan myself during one of the scenes near the end of the novel when they are in the backseat of the car and they have a really hot makeout session that nearly gets out of control! >=)

JC Andrijeski is a solid writer. I like that she didn't keep the whole story in Allie's perspective. First person narration can get boring-- I personally like 3rd person, especially when different characters get their turn to tell their side of the story. Andrijeski did a great job with changing up on the point-of-view and narrative form. I at first thought it would be too confusing to jump from Allie's 1st person narration then to Revik's 3rd person, but somehow the author makes it work and keeps it consistent the whole way through the story. What a show off! :)

Now that I have talked about the positives, I want to share some of the drawbacks of Rook: Allie's War #1. The following are not flat out negatives-- I just think there are a few things that could have made this book a smoother read.

I hate to say this because I know some readers detest glossaries in the front of some books, but I believe with the magnitude of this 400+ series opener, a list of key terms would have been a big help. This new world and mythology that Andrijeski creates is SO different from anything that is out there. There are no other books or movies to compare it to; this is not a story about vampires or angels, something familiar we can grasp onto. And that is a good thing, trust me, I'm not complaining about it's uniqueness! But I will admit, there was so much going on and so many new words and phrases being introduced that I had a bit of a hard time keeping up with the terminology. Some sort of reference page to flip back to would have worked wonders!

My other issue is the length of some parts. The scene near the beginning where Revik tries to rescue Allie from Terian, Allie being handcuffed to the car, Allie trying to escape-- I just felt it was way too long. There were some parts that could have been cut down a bit to make the story move along, but again, that is just my personal opinion.

Lastly (these are minor as this could be my own fault) there were a few things that either weren't explained or maybe I missed. Why does Allie get nauseous every time she is around or near Revik? Was it ever explained how Revik and Allie ended up "married"?

I give Rook: Allie's War #1 a 4 out of 5 star rating for its originality, complicated yet fascinating world building and mythology, strong character development, and unique writing style. A glossary of key terms and shortening a few scenes that seemed to go on for pages would have, in my opinion, made the story a little easier to keep up with. Overall, this was a great read and I thank JC Andrijeski for allowing me to read Rook: Allie's War #1 for an honest review. I look forward to seeing how Revik and Allie's relationship develops in the next book in the series called Shield: Allie's War #2!


Monday, February 20, 2012

An Update & My Picks of the Week! (Feb. 21th)


Hello Muses!

Before I carry on with my picks of the week, I just wanted to give people an update on a few things. Last week was very crazy for me-- normally I try to post on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays (every other day except for Fri & Sat) but I ended up posting from Sun the 12th to Thurs the 16th-- that's 5 days straight on top of working 2 jobs! So let's just say I was a bit burnt out!

I was supposed to do a post for last Friday (Cover Art Friday) and Saturday (my Take Shelter movie analysis) but I just couldn't find the energy nor the motivation. Since it was President's Day weekend, I had off from working at the school and decided to go get my hair done-- I am half Italian and half African American so the new "do" that you see in the pic to the left took all day! But it was worth it :) Then me and the boyfriend decided to have a romantic weekend since we have been so busy and didn't get a chance to celebrate our anniversary last month. The picture you see to the right is us getting ready to head out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner! So I apologize to anyone who was looking forward to last Friday & Saturday's posts.

Despite my mini-hiatus, I did finish reading a book that I will be posting the review for on Wednesday and I am half way through another-- so at least I got some reading done!

This Friday, instead of my normal "Cover Art" post, I will be introducing everyone to my next guest blogger, Jake Henderson who is a horror addict AND expert! Saturday his post will be about exploitation films followed up by a review of one. So if you like movies and want to learn about a rare genre of films, Jake's post on Saturday will be very interesting and informative.

Okay, I think that is enough on the updates. I hope everyone is enjoying what's left of there President's Day weekend!

May the gods be forever in your favor,








MY PICKS OF THE WEEK! (February 21st)

For this week, it looks like film rules. I didn't add this movie to my list but in case you see it in your navigation, you can skip Son of No One starring Channing Tatum. The movie received horrible reviews, but I don't always judge a movie based on that. So I figured to give it a chance last night--and wish I hadn't wasted my time. An hour and a half I could have been reading! GRRRR!

Anyway, enjoy!

-----------------------------




BOOKS (Feb. 21st)



ADULT

Tempted By Blood (Sweetblood #3)
by: Laurie London

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, the battle for supremacy rages on between two Vampire coalitions:



Guardian enforcers sworn to protect humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors….



He might be known for his effortless charm, but Guardian Jackson Foss is hiding a terrible secret. For months, he has battled the emergence of his dark nature—deadly urges that threaten to consume him. And those cravings only intensify when he meets Arianna Wells, the human he's been assigned to protect. Smart and perceptive, Arianna doesn't seem like a dangerous temptress. Yet she awakens in Jackson an unstoppable need that, if left unchecked, will brand him a traitor…a crime punishable by death.



But soon their bond may be Arianna's only hope. For stalking her in the shadows is a merciless enemy—one who will stop at nothing to claim her completely….



Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy



YOUNG ADULT




Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When they meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special kind of friendship--the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.







Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy


Catastrophic History of You and Me
by: Jess Rothenberg
BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now tha
t she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?


Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy




Fever (The Chemical Gardens #2)
by: Lauren DeStefano

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.



Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy




MOVIES & TV SERIES (Feb. 21st)


MOVIES

Honey 2
Directed by: Bille Woodruff
Starring: Kat Graham, Randy Wayne

From the d
irector of Honey comes Honey 2. The legacy of legendary dancer and choreographer Honey Daniels lives on in spirited 17-year-old Maria Ramirez (Katerina Graham). When Maria returns to her gritty Bronx roots to pursue her dreams of dancing, her killer moves attract the attention of Brandon (Randy Wayne), who urges her to help lead a rowdy group of rising dancers to win a fierce national competition. Maria’s in for an unforgettable showdown in this inspiring story of courage, dedication and the will to never give up. Also starring Mario Lopez and Audrina Patridge, Honey 2 features moves from some of America’s top dance crews, including Quest Crew, Beat Freaks, Strikers All-Stars, Super Cr3w, Fanny Pak and more!


Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy







J. Edgar
Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Leonardo DiCapio, Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer

As the face of law enforcement in America for almost 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.



Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy




Martha Marcy May Marlene
Directed by: Sean Durkin

Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes




Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.


Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy





Tower Heist
Directed by: Brett Ratner




Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick



When a group of hard working guys find out they've fallen victim to a wealthy business man's Ponzi scheme, they conspire to rob his high-rise residence.


Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy




TV SERIES

Borgia: Season One (not to be confused with Jeremy Iron's version called The Borgias)
Starring: Art Malik, John Doman

It was the age of Da Vinci and Michelangelo, of enlightened creativity and unparalleled intellectual achievement. But it was also the age of Machiavelli, or rampant lawlessness, incessant war and unspeakable depravity. At the heart of the world order was the Vatican, and at the center of the Vatican was Rodrigo Borgia, a man whose quest for power would propel him to seek the ultimate prize, the Chair of Saint Peter. His name would become synonymous with ruthlessness, and his reign as pope would be remembered as the most infamous chapter in the history of the Catholic Church.


Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy




The Fades: Season 1 (BBC)
Starring: Iain De Caestecker, Lily Loveless

A teenage boy named Paul is haunted by apocalyptic dreams that nobody can explain. As if that weren't terrifying enough, he begins to see spirits of the dead, known as The Fades, all around him. The Fades can't be seen, smelt, heard or touched by other humans. When an embittered and vengeful Fade, Polus, finds a way to be human again, it's up to Paul to stop him - and all of the dead - from breaking back into the world and destroying the human race.



Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy



Nurse Jackie:
Season Three
Starring: Edi Falco, Peter Facinelli

Still high and mighty! The Showtime® hit series "Nurse Jackie" ended season two with the ugly truth closing in on super-nurse Jackie Peyton. Jackie's best friend and husband put the pieces together about her pill-popping ways and confronted her about her addiction. But if the people in her life think one little intervention is going to stop her, they don't know Jackie. The great white liar returns for another hilarious season of 12 episodes on 3 discs.


Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy





Weeds: Season Seven
Starring: Mary-Louise Parker

New York, New High! After serving 3 years in the joint, the onetime suburban soccer mom is making a fresh start in New York City and going back to doing what she does best -- selling pot. But when some old friends return, they could send everything up in flames.



Date Released: 21 February 2012
Website Buy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Movie Review: Take Shelter, A Review by Gary Dion


Title: Take Shelter
Director: Jeff Nichols
Actor(s): Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain
Rated: R
Genre: drama, thriller, indie
Theme: Apocalypse, mental illness
Runtime: 120 minutes
DVD Release Date: 14 February 2012
Website:
Take Shelter
Buy: Amazon.com
Gary's Rating:


Synopsis: Following his acclaimed debut, Shotgun Stories, writer/director Jeff Nichols reteams with actor Michael Shannon to create a haunting tale that will creep under your skin and expose your darkest fears. Curtis LaForche lives in a small town in Ohio with his wife, Samantha, and daughter, Hannah, a six-year-old deaf girl. When Curtis begins to have terrifying dreams, he keeps the visions to himself, channeling his anxiety into obsessively building a storm shelter in his backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds those closest to him, but the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within his community can’t compare with Curtis’s privately held fear of what his dreams may truly signify. Take Shelter features fully realized characters crumbling under the weight of real-life problems. Using tone and atmosphere to chilling effect, Nichols crafts a powerful psychological thriller that is a disturbing tale for our times.

Gary Dion's Review: I was looking forward to seeing the new movie titled "Take Shelter" starring the little known actor Michael Shannon. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. Michael Shannon was superb as a man who is having visions of approaching doom and danger, but are they visions of what's to come or of what is being distorted in his mind? Since his character's mother was diagnosed with mental problems, did he inherit these traits?

The movie is a big mystery, keeps you guessing what's going on and wondering what's real. There are many intriguing scenes and tense moments but the trip in between these are too long and wearing. In the end, there is a worth while finale but by that time I was ready to go to bed. 30 minutes or so shorter may have allowed the movie to move along a little better but at least the performances by both Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain (who plays his wife) were worth watching. Just be ready for some down time if you do wish to partake in this film.

Reviewed By: Gary Dion

Like Gary Dion's review? Check out his author & book recommendation post HERE and check out his Guest Blogger Information HERE.



Mia's tidbit: Have you watched Take Shelter but can't make sense of the ending? Stay tuned for my Saturday post on what people are saying about the "ambiguous" ending and why I think there is no ambiguous ending!

2/20/12 **UPDATE** My Take Shelter Analysis has been put on hold! I will update everyone when it gets posted!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Author & Book(s) Recommendation by Guest Blogger Gary Dion



When trying to find a new book to read sometimes the best idea is to get the advice of an expert, so that's what I did. Some months back I was in need of a good companion in the form of a book. I tried to read a couple new authors but found I wasn't interested in what they had to say, or in this case, write. Then I stumbled upon an article from Stephen King in which he was listing the top 10 books he had read this past summer and near the top of the list he mentioned the book Too Close To Home by Linwood Barclay. I'm not sure what drew my attention to this particular title and author, it wasn't his number one selection but was close to the top, maybe it was his synopsis of the book, I don't remember but I decided to give the book a read. I found the book and tried reading a few pages, those few pages were good so I read more, those "more" were good too. Before I knew it I couldn't wait to be able to read more, I was hooked. The book turned out to be very good, so once I finished I looked for more of Linwood Barclay's books. I found them and I read them...all.

Now I don
't consider myself an expert on books but I do consider myself an expert on movies and what is a book but simply a movie that you have to read the subtitles as you watch, but you watch through your mind's eye. But despite this lack of expertise I feel I should resoundingly recommend giving Linwood Barclay a try especially if you enjoy a well written thriller. Here are a couple to get you started: Too Close To Home, Fear The Worst, Never Look Away. Any one of these should do the job of keeping you deeply entertained.


--Gary Dion


Like Gary's recommendation? Check out his Guest Blogger Introduction which includes his contact information HERE

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Muses Circle Wins Two Blog Awards!

Hi my beautiful Muses!

I have some pretty cool news. The Muses Circle has won 2 blog awards! I want to thank Think Books for deeming my blog worthy of these awards. You can visit her blog at THINK BOOKS.

The following awards were created with the purpose of not only recognizing really cool, outstanding blogs, but also is a way to check out other blogs in the community. Each award comes with a set of rules to follow, which includes me choosing which blogs I think deserve these awards.

For those of you who I have picked, please follow the instructions below to pass along these awards to other bloggers you think have great blogs. :)

________________


The first award The Muses Circle received is the Kreativ Blogger Award!


Here are the following Rules for this award:

1. Link back to the person that bestowed the award upon you.
2. Follow the person that bestowed award upon you.
3. Post 10 Random Facts about yourself.
4. Pass the award along to 6 of your favorite Kreativ Bloggers!


10 Random Facts About Me


1. My favorite food is CHEESE & my favorite color is PURPLE :)


2. I am half Italian and half African American


3. I've met Jackson Rathbone, the actor who plays Jasper in Twilight!


4. Met NY Times & USA Today's bestselling author Simone Elkeles and am mentioned in the acknowledgement page of her book Chain Reaction


5. I have a BA degree in English


6. I interned at an art gallery in Philadelphia


7. My favorite time of the year is winter!


8. I always cheer for the underdog


9. I absolutely HATE bullies/bullying!


10. Strong supporter of gay rights & am against animal cruelty!



6 Blogs I chose to receive this award (no particular order):

1. Kristin Feliz "GrowingUp YA"
2. Flora Bateman "From the Bootheel Cotton Patch"
3. Deva "The Urban Paranormal Book Blog"
4. Kindlemom "My Guilty Obsession"
5. Alisha "My Need to Read"
6. Janina "Synchronized Reading"


The second award The Muses Circle received is the One Lovely Blog Award!

Here are the following rules for this award:

1. Link back to the person that bestowed the award upon you.
2. Follow the person that bestowed the award upon you.
3. Pass along to 15 Lovely Bloggers!

15 blogs I chose for this award (in no particular order):


1. Flora Bateman "From the Bootheel Cotton Patch"
2. Deva "The Urban Paranormal Book Blog"
3. Kristin Feliz "GrowingUp YA"
4. Janina "Synchronized Reading"
5. Jessica, Kole, Chris, Brittany "Book Sake"
6. Kindlemom "My Guilty Obsession"
7. Intricate Knot "My Blog & Role Fantasy"
8. Kayla "Kayla's Book Reviews"
9. Alisha "My Need to Read"
10. Ela "Ya-Anonymous"
11. Soumi "Pages From My Thoughts"
12. Mad book Worm "Books With Marshmellows"
13. Addie "Book Worm Recommendations"
14. Taherah "The Book Realm"
15. Jamie "A Book Club of One"