Monday, July 30, 2012

The End Is Near! My Picks of the Week! (July 31st)



Hello, Muses!

July ends with a bang! In Adult books, the premise of Blood and Feathers by Lou Morgan sounds like an interesting twist on the angel mythology. Aliens? Zombies? Devil's Wake by married couple Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due might be bringing something different to the genre. In Young Adult, I am super excited for the release of Flawed by Kate Avelynn, Skylark by Meagan Spooner, and Survive by Alex Morel. Oh, and if you are a fan of Simone Elkeles and her steamy, edgy novels, you might want to check out Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. I've already read it and should have a review up by Wednesday. All I can say is WOW.

Not much going on in the Movie department but if you are in the Olympic spirit, you may want to take a look at Going for Gold, based on a true story. I personally am interested in checking out indie romance flick Falling Overnight. And the only movie that is coming out in a blu-ray-DVD combo pack this week is We the Party. In TV Series, Hatfield & McCoys starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton finally comes out tomorrow, so if you missed it on the tube, here is your chance to view it. BBC series Misfits Season 1 is something I've been wanting to check out for awhile.

Enjoy!









BOOKS (July 31st-August 2nd)



ADULT

Blood and Feathers (Blood and Feathers, #1)
by: Lou Morgan

“What’s the first thing you think of when I say ‘angel’?” asked Mallory.
Alice shrugged. “I don’t know... guns?”


Alice isn’t having the best of days. She was late for work, she missed her bus, and now she’s getting rained on. What she doesn’t know is that her day’s about to get worse: the epic, grand-scale kind of worse that comes from the arrival of two angels who claim everything about her life is a lie.

The war between the angels and the Fallen is escalating; the age-old balance is tipping, and innocent civilians are getting caught in the cross-fire. If the balance is to be restored, the angels must act—or risk the Fallen taking control. Forever.

That’s where Alice comes in. Hunted by the Fallen and guided by Mallory—a disgraced angel with a drinking problem and a whole load of secrets—Alice will learn the truth about her own history... and why the angels want to send her to hell.

What do the Fallen want from her? How does Mallory know so much about her past? What is it the angels are hiding—and can she trust either side?

Caught between the power plays of the angels and Lucifer himself, it isn’t just hell’s demons that Alice will have to defeat..


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires, The (Half Moon Hollow, #2)
by: Molly Harper

Iris Scanlon, Half-Moon Hollow’s only daytime vampire concierge, knows more about the undead than she’d like. Running all their daylight errands—from letting in the plumber to picking up some chilled O neg—gives her a look at the not-so-glamorous side of vampire life. Her rules are strict; relationships with vamps are strictly business, not friendship—and certainly not anything else. But then she finds her newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, and only Iris can help.

Cal - who would be devastatingly sexy, if Iris allowed herself to think that way - offers Iris a hefty fee for hiding him at her place until he figures out who wants him permanently dead. Even though he’s imperious, unfriendly and doesn't seem to understand the difference between "employee" and "servant," Iris agrees, and finds herself breaking more and more of her own rules to help him - particularly those concerning nudity.

Turns out what her quiet little life needed was some intrigue & romance—in the form of her very own stray vampire


Release Date: 31 July 2012


Darklands (Deadtown, #4)
by: Nancy Holzner

They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its border—but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…

Boston’s demons have been disappearing, and Vicky’s clients are canceling left and right. While fewer demons might seem like a good thing, Vicky suspects foul play. A missing Celtic cauldron from Harvard’s Peabody museum leads her to an unwelcome conclusion: Pryce, her demi-demon cousin and bitter enemy, is trying to regain his full powers.

But Pryce isn’t alone. He’s conjured another, darker villain from Vicky’s past. To stop them from destroying everything she loves, she’ll have to face her own worst fear—in the realm of the dead itself


Release Date: 31 July 2012


Devil's Wake
by: Steven Barnes & Tananarive Due

The first book of an exciting new paranormal series from two award-winning authors about what happens when an alien race brings Earth to the brink of the Apocalypse. The husband and wife writing team of Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes continue to achieve extraordinary literary feats with this first book in the exciting new Devil’s Wake series.      

The eeriness of Devil’s Wake begins a week after tomorrow. An unprecedented infection has swept across the world, bringing an epidemic of mindless biting attacks from the infected that leave their victims “changed.” Society has broken down.      The victims are more than mindless zombies. They are the result of a sinister alien life-form in the wake of the aliens’ insidious plot, humanity ultimately becomes enmeshed in a brutal struggle for control of its home, planet Earth.     

Part Dawn of the Dead and part Road Warrior, Devil’s Wake is a testimony to courage, friendship, and the power of faith. Horrifying and heartbreaking, exciting and challenging, it is a compelling, brilliant story on the edge of what could be the end of it all

Release Date: 31 July 2012



Lady is a Vamp, The (Argeneau, #17)
by: Lynsay Sands

One late night leads to . . .

Kidnapped When Jeanne Louise Argeneau left work, she never thought she'd end up tied down by a good-looking mortal. More attracted than annoyed, she quickly realizes there is more to her abductor than meets the eye.

One desperate act leads to . . .

Love? Paul Jones has need of a vampire, and only Jeanne Louise will do. He just has to convince this beauty of a Vamp to help him . . . never imagining that he would fall in love. But with the immortal world's answer to law enforcement hunting them, their time together is running out . . . and Paul and Jeanne Louise will need to risk everything to spend an eternity together


Release Date: 31 July 2012


Moonglow (Darkest London, #2)
by: Kristen Callihan

Once the seeds of desire are sown . . .

Finally free of her suffocating marriage, widow Daisy Ellis Craigmore is ready to embrace the pleasures of life that have long been denied her. Yet her new-found freedom is short lived. A string of unexplained murders has brought danger to Daisy's door, forcing her to turn to the most unlikely of saviors . . .

Their growing passion knows no bounds . . .

Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has spent lifetimes hiding his primal nature from London society. But now a vicious killer threatens to expose his secrets. Ian must step out of the shadows and protect the beautiful, fearless Daisy, who awakens in him desires he thought long dead. As their quest to unmask the villain draws them closer together, Daisy has no choice but to reveal her own startling secret, and Ian must face the undeniable truth: Losing his heart to Daisy may be the only way to save his soul


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Night Forbidden (Envy Chronicles, #5)
by: Joss Ware

The world is ash, destroyed, and now controlled by Strangers. Survivors live in constant peril. But in the heart of Envy, resistance grows . . .

Somehow Bruno "Fence" Washington survived the apocalypse—emerging from a Sedona cave into a strange and terrible new world . . . fifty years later. Now, scouring the ruined earth for answers about the malevolent Strangers, the former extreme sportsman encounters an Amazonian beauty who calls to his every desire, but whose secret could mean his end.

Ana grew up in the ocean, diving far beneath the waves to the remnants of a world she never knew. Try as she might she can't resist the man who tempts her in ways she never knew possible . . . whose touch elicits truths she swore never to reveal. But the passion between them won't be denied even though it means facing a new evil rising up from the roiling waters to blanket the world in unending night


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Shadow Rising (Dark Dynasties, #3)
by: Kendra Leigh Castle

Ancient Secrets, Dark Passions...

As one of the Grigori, a noble vampire dynasty shrouded in mystery, Ariane has spent her life hidden away in the desert. Like all of her kind, she is a watcher, fated to observe, forbidden to act. Yet when her best friend, Sammael, vanishes, she defies all rules and flees her safe haven to bring him home.

A shape-shifting assassin for the House of Shadows, Damien Tremaine is hired to locate Sammael. His hunt for the wayward Grigori leads him to Ariane, the rogue vamp who stands between him and his bounty. Damien never lets emotion interfere with his work, but a single touch from the sexy, beguiling vampire shatters his self-control. Drawn together by their common goal, what begins as an alliance of necessity soon becomes one of desire. But when the secret at the dark heart of the Grigori comes to light, Damien and Ariane must make a choice that could bind them eternally...or tear them—and everything they care about—apart.


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Voracious (Clare Point, #5)
by: V.K. Forrest

In the coastal hideaway of Clare Point, Delaware—home for centuries to the Kahill vampire clan—a vampire sworn to protect the love that may cost him everything, will make the ultimate choice…

Voracious

After months spent eliminating some of the world’s most ruthless criminals, Aedan Brigid is on sabbatical in Clare Point. Instead of relief, he feels on edge. Part of it is due to Dallas York, the gorgeous blonde bar owner whose touch just sparked an intense, inexplicable connection. But there’s another reason too. A local woman has been brutally attacked, her face and body carved beyond recognition. And one glance tells Aedan whose grisly handiwork it is.

Centuries ago, Aedan lost his beloved to a depraved monster nicknamed Jay. Now Jay is back, more vicious than ever. Aedan is already breaking clan rules by getting involved with Dallas—even if her mysterious gift sets her apart from other humans. And soon, he’ll have to decide whether he’ll turn away from the only life he’s known to protect a love he thought he’d never feel again…


Release Date: 31 July 2012



vN:  The First Machine Dynasty (The Machine Dynasty, #1)
by: Madeline Ashby

Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot known as a VonNeumann.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother's past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she's learning impossible things about her clade's history - like the fact that she alone can kill humans without failsafing..


Release Date: 31 July 2012



When Temptation Burns (Shadow Keepers, #6)
by: J.K. Beck

Half human, half daemon, Ryan Doyle is a driving force for justice. As an agent for the Preternatural Enforcement Coalition, he’s investigating murders linked to a Los Angeles fringe group bent on exposing the shadow world to humanity. He is a master of self-control, keeping his deepest hungers hidden beneath a veneer of cool professionalism. Until he crosses paths with sinfully sweet Andy Tarrent, a gutsy reporter who makes him crave all the pleasures he’s denied himself for centuries.

Tracking a band of conspiracy theorists eager to spill blood, Andy has uncovered the story of her career. Brooding, mysterious Ryan is an enigma—but their dance of seduction is hotter than any fantasy. As they race to stop mass murder on the streets, Andy knows that Ryan is holding back, keeping secrets. But getting close to Ryan means opening the door to a world that will challenge her deepest beliefs—including what it means to truly surrender to love
.

Release Date: 31 July 2012




YOUNG ADULT

Colandra's Crusade- Angels and Demons Collide (Cronkel Chronicles, #1)
by: Susie Pilkington-Wood

Angels and demons collide in this epic new series. Last year alone, over 300 coma patients' souls went wandering. Colandra has the opposite problem: he's lost his body. Somewhere, he believes, it's locked in a coma. And the demon Lars will do everything in his power to stop Colandra taking it. But Lars is so busy with his plans of world domination that he fails to notice the troupe of angels lining up to stop him - and his own servant, Vorce, quietly gaining power to achieve his own plan - to take over the universe. Meanwhile Colandra's spirit is reintroduced to his soulmate Michelle from a previous life, and together they resolve to thwart Lars' and Vorce's plans - and in the process reunite Colandra with his body.


Release Date: 30 July 2012




Destiny (Immortal, #4)
by: Gillian Shields

Everything is connected. We weave in and out of one another's lives, like circles within circles, and everything is for a purpose.

Helen has always been the "crazy" one among the girls of Wyldcliffe, scarred by her bleak past and her troubled relationship with her mother, the former headmistress and leader of the Wyldcliffe coven, Mrs. Hartle.

But Miss Scratton promised Helen that a love "beyond the confines of this world" is waiting for her. Could this be Lynton, the mysterious music student who visits Wyldcliffe for his lessons? And what about the brooch her mother gave her--what can the Seal reveal about Helen's past and future?

Now that Miss Scratton is gone, life at Wyldcliffe takes an even darker turn. An unexpected threat arrives in the form of a new high master, whom Helen remembers from her unhappy childhood. Can Helen, Evie, and Sarah finally overcome Wyldcliffe's darkness? Will Lady Agnes come to their aid? And what sacrifices must they make to fulfill their destiny?

"Destiny" is the stunning conclusion to this gripping series about sisterhood, the circles of time, and love.


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Far West, The (Frontier Magic, #3)
by: Patricia C. Wrede

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia C. Wrede, the fantastic conclusion to her tale of magic on the western frontier.

Eff is an unlucky thirteenth child...but also the seventh daughter in her family. Her twin brother, Lan, is a powerful double seventh son. Her life at the edge of the Great Barrier Spell is different from anyone else's that she knows.

When the government forms an expedition to map the Far West, Eff has the opportunity to travel farther than anyone in the world. With Lan, William, Professor Torgeson, Wash, and Professor Ochiba, Eff finds that nothing on the wild frontier is as they expected. There are strange findings in their research, a long prarie winter spent in too-close quarters, and more new species, magical and otherwise, dangerous and benign, than they ever expected to find. And then spring comes, and the explorers realize how tenuous life near the Great Barrier Spell may be if they don't find a way to stop a magical flood in a hurry. Eff's unique way of viewing magic has saved the settlers time and again, but this time all of Columbia is at stake if she should fail.


Release Date: 1 August 2012



Flawed
by: Kate Avelynn

Sarah O’Brien is only alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago—James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she’s watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she’ll give it freely.

Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give.

Sam Donavon has been James’s best friend—and the boy Sarah’s had a crush on—for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she’s in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he’s going to save her. Neither of them realize James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he’s not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact..


Release Date: 31 July 2012


Otherkin (Otherkin, #1)
by: Nina Berry

I thought I knew myself. Then I met Caleb.

Dez is a good girl who does as she’s told and tries not to be noticed.
Then she rescues a boy from a cage, and he tells her secrets about herself.
Now inside her burns a darkness that will transform her.

Everything is about to change -- and neither Caleb, nor the Otherkin, nor those who hunt them are prepared for what Dez will unleash.


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Pushing the Limits
by: Katie McGarry

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Skylark (Skylark, #1)
by: Meagan Spooner

Sixteen year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.

Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret – but can she stay alive long enough to find them?


Release Date: 1 August 2012



Survive
by: Alex Morel

Hatchet meets Lost in this modern-day adventure tale of one girl's reawakening.

Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.

Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive.


Release Date: 2 August 2012





MOVIES & TV SERIES (July 31st)




MOVIES

 4.3.2.1
Directed by: Noel Clarke

Starring: Emma Roberts, Tasmin Egerton

Writer/director Noel Clarke (Kidulthood, Adulthood) returns to the helm for this frenetic urban thriller following four friends who went their separate ways, but find their fates colliding following a chance meeting with a group of ruthless diamond thieves. Jo (Emma Roberts, Cassandra (Tasmin Egerton), Kerrys (Shanika Warren-Markland) and Shannon (Ophelia Lovibond) used to be inseparable, but lately they've begun to grow apart. As Jo struggles for a sense of direction while earning a meager income in a sterlile supermarket, Cassandra races off to New York for a fling with a guy she met online, militant feminist Kerrys wages an unrelenting war against a male dominated society, and Shannon falls into a treacherous, self-destructive tailspin. But just when it seemed as if these old friends were headed down different paths, a brazen crime thrusts them back together for an exhilarating adventure that will prove just how unpredictable life can really be. Sean Pertwee and Kevin Smith co-star.

Release Date: 31 July 2012


Dead Season
Directed by: Adam Deyoe

Starring: James C. Burns, Scott Peat

In the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse, desperate survivors Elvis and Tweeter flee America for the safety of a tropical island, only to find that the locals have lost their humanity, and pose an even greater danger than the flesh eaters back on familiar shores. In addition to be the first feature film shot on the Canon 7D camera, Dead Season also holds the unique distinction of being the first film shot on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico since Peter Brook's Lord of the Flies.

Release Date: 31 July 2012




Detention
Directed by: Joseph Kahn

Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook

An apocalyptic fantasy, horror, science fiction, action- thriller, body swapping, time-traveling teen romantic comedy starring Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook and Shanley Caswell, Detention follows the local students of Grizzly Lake as they survive their final year of high school. Bringing even more angst to student life, a slasher killer has chosen their high school as his new home of slaughter. It becomes a race against time to stop the killer, which will in turn save the world - if only they can get out of detention.


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Falling Overnight
Directed by: Conrad Jackson

Starring: Parker Croft, Emilia Zoryan

Falling Overnight tells the story of twenty-two year old Elliot Carson on the day before he has risky surgery to remove a brain tumor. Facing what could be his last night, Elliot's path intersects with Chloe Webb, a young photographer who invites him to her art show. Elliot welcomes the distraction and as the night descends, Chloe takes him on an intimate and exhilarating journey through the city. But as morning approaches, and Chloe learns of Elliot's condition, the magic of the evening unravels, and they must together face the uncertainty of Elliot's future.


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Firstborn
Directed by: Michael Apted

Starring:  Terri Garr, Peter Weller, Corey Haim

A teenager and his kid brother spar with their mother's shady new boyfriend in this dramatic thriller from veteran British director Michael Apted. When her ex-husband remarries, Wendy (Teri Garr) feels despondent -- until she starts dating handsome, unctuous Sam (Peter Weller), an underemployed salesman with no shortage of big ideas. Excited to finally feel good about herself again, Wendy invites Sam to move in and offers to invest in his get-rich-quick schemes. None of this sits well with her sons, Jake (Christopher Collet) and Brian (Corey Haim), who remain unimpressed with Sam even after he convinces Wendy to buy Jake a motorbike. They're even less jazzed when Sam stops currying favor and turns disciplinarian even while pulling Wendy into his hard-partying lifestyle. Within a few months, Brian's on the verge of expulsion for picking fights at school, and even honor-role student Jake is mouthing off to his teachers. As for Wendy, she's too busy taking beatings and doing cocaine to notice that her family has fallen apart. It isn't until Jake gets wise to the industrial quantities of white powder squirreled away under the floorboards that he comes up with a plan to get Sam out of their lives forever. Although onetime Tiger Beat heartthrob Christopher Collet plays Firstborn's title role, the films' supporting cast is littered with actors whose stars would far eclipse his (Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey Jr.) -- though in some cases only for a little while (Corey Haim).

Release Date: 31 July 2012



Going For Gold
Directed by: David Blair

Starring: Matt Smith, Sam Hoare

The powerful and uplifting story of how two men from very different backgrounds triumphed against the odds, capturing Olympic Gold and embodying the battling spirit of the 1948 London games. The fact that the games took place at all was astonishing in itself, as Britain was still struggling with the damaging after effects of war. The film follows the compelling journey to the Olympic final of an unlikely pairing of competitors, boatbuilder’s son Bert Bushnell and Eton and Oxford-educated Richard “Dickie” Burnell. Thrown together as double sculling partners just six weeks before the games, they had to confront and overcome vast differences in their personal and professional lives, as well as push themselves to their physical and emotional limits. 

Release Date: 31 July 2012


LOL
Directed by: Lisa Azuelos

Starring: Miley Cyrus, Demi Moore

An authentic story that perfectly captures coming of age in today's digital world, LOL is a remake of the hugely popular 2008 French film LOL (Laughing Out Loud). Starting a new year of high school, Lola (Miley Cyrus), (or "Lol," as her friends call her), works to find the right balance between family, school, friends and romance. Broken-hearted by her ex, Lol's world is soon turned upside down when she is surprised to find her best friend, Kyle (Douglas Booth), a musician in an up and coming rock band, could possibly be the love of her life. In her quest towards independence, self-identity and young adulthood, Lol discovers that while Facebook "status" is easy to change; true relationships are worth the effort. 

Release Date: 31 July 2012




We the Party
Directed by: Mario Van Peebles

Starring: Mandela Van Peebles, Simone Battle

A revealing look at contemporary youth culture, writer-director Mario Van Peebles' We the Party shows teenagers as they are, not as adults would like them to be. Set amidst the latest trends in music, dance and fashion, We the Party is a colorful, cutting-edge comedy set in an ethnically diverse Los Angeles high school during America's first black president. The film focuses on five friends as they deal with romance, money, prom, college, sex, bullies, facebook, fitting in, standing out, and finding themselves. Evoking such classic teen comedies as The Breakfast Club and House Party but with an attitude and style all its own, We the Party captures the hopes, confusion, challenges and dreams of today's teenagers as they plunge headlong into an uncertain future.

Release Date: 31 July 2012





TV SERIES


Fog and Crimes: Series 1

Starring: Luca Barbareschi, Natasha Stefanko

The River Po dominates the region of Ferrara with its seasons, its power and its mystery. It nourishes the close-knit fishing communities who live on its banks, and it also hides their secrets. Secrets that are sometimes uncovered by people like police inspector Franco Soneri. Almost as inscrutable as the river itself, he stands brooding at crime scenes chomping on a cigar, trying to see what others are missing. In the ensuing investigations, he and his team often stumble upon old wounds left over from World War II, when differing political alliances turned neighbors into enemies. Passion for his job makes him Ferrara's best investigator but takes a toll on his relationship with the beautiful Ukrainian lawyer, Angela Cornelio. Filmed on location in the atmospheric countryside of northern Italy, these mysteries are inspired by the best-selling crime novels by Valerio Varesi.

Release Date: 31 July 2012



Hatfields & McCoys: Complete Miniseries

Starring: Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton

The Hatfield-McCoy saga centers on "Devil" Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy. Close friends and comrades during the Civil War, they returned to their neighboring homes - Hatfield in West Virginia, McCoy just across the Tug River border in Kentucky - to increasing tensions, misunderstandings and resentments that soon exploded into all-out warfare between the families. As hostilities grew, friends, neighbors and outside forces joined the fight, bringing the two states to the brink of another Civil War.


Release Date: 31 July 2012



Melrose Place: Season 7, Volume 1

Starring: Thomas Calabro, Andrew Shue

A nighttime soap opera about the lives, careers, trials and tribulations of a group of young people living in an apartment building in the trendy neighborhood of Melrose Place. The show was a spin off of Beverly Hills 90210 and starred Heather Locklear as the scheming Amanda Woodward, head of her own advertising agency and owner of the apartment building.

Release Date: 31 July 2012



Melrose Place: Season 7, Volume 2

Starring: Thomas Calabro, Andrew Shue

A nighttime soap opera about the lives, careers, trials and tribulations of a group of young people living in an apartment building in the trendy neighborhood of Melrose Place. The show was a spin off of Beverly Hills 90210 and starred Heather Locklear as the scheming Amanda Woodward, head of her own advertising agency and owner of the apartment building.

Release Date: 31 July 2012



Misfits: Season 1

Starring: Matthew McNulty, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett

Kelly, Nathan, Curtis, Alisha and Simon are five unruly teenagers forced to do community service as payback for their crimes. But when a freak electrical storm hits their town, strange things begin to happen to them that are way out of their control. In fact, they have no idea that they've actually turned into superheroes, each with a power they didn't choose or want - a power which reveals each of their deepest, darkest insecurities. But while they just want to finish their community service and get through the challenges of everyday teenage life - relationships, friendships, parents and sex - fate has another task in store for them: they must save their town from the evil that has descended upon it. If you think life's tough for your average superhero, it's even tougher when you've got a curfew... 

Release Date: 31 July 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Muse News: Hans Zimmer Creates Song For Colorado Victims, KStew vs. Fans, Cloud Atlas Comes to Life in 5 Minute Extended Trailer

Good Saturday, Muses.

Today's post was originally going to be Part 2 of my "Most Anticipated Summer Movies", but as you can see, I changed my mind. So much has happened in the news this week, in particular the tragic shooting at a Colorado movie theater while loyal fans were watching The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy.

Who could have been prepared for the shocking, incriminating photos of Kristen Stewart making out with Rupert Sanders, a 41 year old married man, forcing the actress to make an embarrassing public apology to her boyfriend of 3 years, Robert Pattinson.

And move over Matrix, because Cloud Atlas has arrived, and by the looks of it, everyone is in for a treat.






_____


HANS ZIMMER COMPOSES SONG FOR COLORADO VICTIMS

Everyone by now has probably heard about the tragedy that happened on Friday, July 20th. Fans of the much anticipated 3rd film in the Batman Trilogy piled into a sold out midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. About a half our into the movie, a masked man, later revealed as James Holmes, walked into the theater and threw gas bombs into the crowd and started shooting. The aftermath of this deadly massacre left 12 dead and over 50 wounded.

In the days that followed, stars of The Dark Knight Rises spoke and reached out to the victims in their own way. Christopher Nolan, director of the Batman Trilogy made a statement after canceling the French Premiere. He said, "The movie theater is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."

Christian Bale who plays the iconic role of Batman, actually visited the victims in Aurora, along with his wife. He was not representing the movie studio, but representing himself and asked officials not to alert the media as it was not intended as a publicity stunt.

Hans Zimmer, the award winning composer of all 3 Christopher Nolan Batman movies, was deeply moved by the tragedy as well. In the days after the shooting, Zimmer went into the recording studio and composed a song in memorium of the victims. Simply called "Aurora", the song is 8 and a half minutes long. Zimmer said, "100% of the proceeds will be donated to Aurora Victim Relief Organization. Donate what you can." Donations range from only .10 cents to $2,500.

To download the song and make a donation, go HERE.

Do you think other stars of The Dark Knight Rises should visit the Aurora victims, such as Tom Hardy, the actor who plays the villain Bane? Let me know what you think!

Sources:
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/entertainment/07/21/12/batman-director-laments-savage-theater-massacre
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/07/christian-bale-visits-aurora-colo-shooting-victims/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/hans-zimmer-aurora-dark-knight-rises_n_1711421.html
https://watertowermusic.moontoast.com/estore/embed/1336



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KSTEW (Kristen Stewart) VS. TWIHARDS

I really didn't want to waste blog space on the whole Kristen Stewart cheating scandal, but there is one aspect of the whole drama that sort of fascinates me. Before I get to it, let me do a quick recap for those of you who have been living under a rock.

Kristen Stewart, the 22 year old actress who shot to fame after taking on the beloved role as Bella Swan in the insanely popular Twilight Saga has been in a committed, 3 year relationship with 26 year old actor Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen, the dreamy, tortured vampire that has become every fangirl's wet dream (young and old). It seemed like a match made in heaven, Kristen and Rob, nicknamed "Robsten" by fans, took their onscreen love affair off screen, becoming one of the most popular and much talked about couples in the world.

Earlier this week came shocking rumors that Kristen had been caught cheating on Rob and US Weekly had the pictures to prove it. And boy did rumor become fact with a quickness. Not only were the photos clear as day, showing Kristin in a very intimate embrace by her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, but it didn't take her long to go public. In a public statement, she said, "I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry."

Not to place all the blame on Kristen as most people do when it is a woman that has cheated, let's not forget about Rupert Sanders who is not only 41 years old which makes him 19 years her senior, but the fact that he is a married man and a father of 2 children. Some people think Sanders took advantage of Kristen since he is much older. I will leave that debate up for you to decide.

What fascinates me are the fans of the Twilight Saga. Twihards are livid with Kristen Stewart. Many fans vented their anger and heartbreak by taking to their twitter and blogs. Hundreds of fans posted youtube videos of themselves, some crying, some screaming, absolutely heart broken over the news of KStew's infidelity. How could she cheat on Edward Cull---er...Robert Pattinson? 

And that is where the lines blur together. Most fans can't see the difference between the characters they have come to love and the actors that have taken on the roles. And because of this, I wonder if this is going to not only affect box office numbers when Breaking Dawn Part 2 hits theaters in November, but how long Twihards will hold their grudge. Afterall, majority of her fans are Twihards and I can't help but be curious to see how this affects her career as an actress.

What do you think? Do you think that her "moment of indiscretion" will affect Breaking Dawn's box office numbers in November? For the good or bad? How about her future as an actress?


Sources:
http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/kristen-stewart-robert-pattinson-rupert-sanders-2012247
http://www.eonline.com/news/333148/kristen-stewart-cheating-on-robert-pattinson-everything-we-know
http://www.twilightblog.net/

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 BEST-SELLING NOVEL, Cloud Atlas, COMES TO LIFE IN MIND BLOWING NEW MOVIE TRAILER

I'm going to keep this one short and sweet as I can't even begin to try summarizing this book-to-movie adaptation. Just know that this is probably the most ambitious project to date, since the book itself can't be put into just one category. Here is a quick synopsis of the Cloud Atlas, the novel by award winning author David Mitchell, courtesy of goodreads.com:

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation -- the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity’s dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

Who in their right mind would want to tackle such a premise and who would want to star in such a risky project? I guess it only makes sense that the creators of The Matrix, the Wachowskis, and the director of Run Lola Run, Tom Tykwer, would make it their own baby. 

The movie's storyline, courtesy of imdb.com: An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. 

Who's starring? A whole crap load of actors! Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, etc., etc.

A few days ago, apple itunes released an extended first look at Cloud Atlas. Almost 6 minutes long, the trailer helps us to understand the plot better than a normal 2 minute trailer would as well as showcasing beautiful images and special effects to wet our appetites.

Check it out for yourself below!


So what do you think? Have you read David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas? If not, would you still go see it? Cloud Atlas hits theaters this October 2012.

Sources:
http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/07/25/cloud-atlas-photos-tom-hanks-halle-berry-exclusive-first-look/
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49628.Cloud_Atlas
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1371111/
http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/wb/cloudatlas/


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book Review: This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Title: This Is Not a Test
Author: Courtney Summers
ISBN: 0312656742
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Horror, YA, Contemporary
Theme(s): Suicide, Zombies
Binding: Paperback (ARC)
Length: 336 pages
Published: 19 June 2012; St. Martin's Griffin

 Synopsis: It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago,
her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do
you hold on to?

My Rating:  

My Review: This Is Not a Test absolutely blew my mind. There is no other way to say it. I actually went into this book with low expectations. Come on, 6 students stuck in a high school while a zombie horde tries to find a way in? A protagonist who no longer wants to live? In the wrong hands, this story could have turned out a complete mess. But thanks to Courtney Summers, This Is Not a Test is a gripping, frighteningly realistic portrayal of not only human survival, but of finding the will to live.

There have been a few reviews floating around that have basically said that This Is Not a Test is not a zombie book, but a story that just so happens to have zombies in it. I would say that there is some truth to this statement. You could take the zombie aspect out and replace it with a natural disaster, an alien invasion, etc. HOWEVER, if you think this somehow makes the book less scary, think again. I had the pleasure (or displeasure depending on how you look at it) of reading the novel during a storm that knocked out my power for about 12 hours. I couldn't sleep since it was so unbearably hot, so I lit some candles and decided to give the book a shot. I finished it in less than 6 hours and it left me shaken. The title of the book combined with the eerie, blood splattered cover only intensified what lie between the pages. To put it bluntly, I was thoroughly creeped out and the feeling didn't leave me right away.

Every protagonist in a story has issues to face or overcome. And most of the time, these issues are revealed methodically and are carefully paced to keep the reader engaged. Courtney Summers does something quite different with her protagonist. Before jumping into the novel, I pretty much thought I had the story figured out. Zombies take over, Sloane's whole family is killed, therefore, she has no reason to stay alive. I couldn't have been more wrong because Summers drops a bomb on us within the first few pages of the story. Sloane's nightmare began way before zombies ever entered the picture. It started when her father began physically abusing both her and her sister Lily. What kept Sloane going was her sister's promise that they would one day run away together. However, she was never prepared for Lily to betray her by taking off and leaving her with their monster of a father.  We learn this within the first few pages of the book as well as the fact that because of this, Sloane has given up on life. She is ready to commit suicide, preferring to face death than be her father's punching bag. But before she can follow through with her plan, the world as she knows it comes to an end. The dead roam the streets looking for human flesh. If it wasn't for a small group of survivors, she would be zombie food or become one herself.  But did them saving her only prolong the inevitable? I guess this is why I find Sloane such an interesting, complex character. While the others have fond thoughts of their parents or a sibling or a significant other, all she has is the painful memories of her dead mother, abusive father, and selfish sister.

One of the most heartbreaking parts in the story is when Sloane is talking to Rhys after he discovers her desire to end her life. She says to him, "I wouldn't have left you like that. Not like [Lily] did to me...She always said I'd die without her and she left anyway."

"But you didn't die," [Rhys] says.

"I did," I say. "I'm just waiting for the rest of me to catch up.”

Here is another line that gives you a clear view of Sloane's despair. “Waiting around to be saved is like waiting to die and I have done more of both than anyone else in the room.”


This Is Not a Test is an extremely well written story that has a beautiful flow to the writing style. The chapters are short which compliments its somber tone. What absolutely amazed me about this book is the fact that not once did I wonder how the epidemic started nor was it ever mentioned or explored. 9 times out of 10, when I am reading an apocalyptic tale, I want to know why, when, and how. I think the reason it never crossed my mind with this book is because the story's main focus is not on the zombies scratching at the door. This is Not a Test is a character driven novel that focuses on the human psyche in extreme circumstances. It's about the decisions and sacrifices that have to be made, the trust that is formed and broken, etc.

That being said, I must warn you this book is not for the faint of heart. It will test you emotionally, ethically, and morally. It covers an array of controversial topics such as abuse, suicide, abandonment. But as the story progresses, and hidden truths come to surface, a whole new set of topics are introduced. If pushed to the extreme, would you sacrifice one life for another? Would the guilt of split second decision making be too much weight on your shoulders? Would you rather take your own life than try to survive in a world overrun by the dead?

If you are looking for a book that will give you a few hours of mindless entertainment, this one is not for you. However, if you want a story that will touch you emotionally, challenge you morally, and keep you on the edge of your seat, then I recommend This Is Not a Test. If you are a fan of The Walking Dead tv series or the Aftertime book series by Sophie Littlefield, then you are in for a treat. If you haven't, you definitely need to check them out, especially since Sloane reminds me of both Andrea (The Walking Dead) and Cass (Aftertime). I thank LibraryThing.com and St. Martin's Griffin for giving me the opportunity to read and review this riveting novel.