Monday, February 13, 2017

Legion Series and John Wick 2 Review, IWSG a Top 100 Site, Hank Hogs Number One, New Releases, and Movie Trivia Answers

Legion Series Premier

Based on the Marvel Comics, it follows a troubled young man who may be the most powerful mutant ever. Airs Wednesday nights.
Talk about must-see television! This might be the best series opener I’ve ever seen. This could’ve been a major motion picture with all of the talent and skill they poured into it.
Written and created by Noah Hawley, the genius behind television’s Fargo, Legion delivers on every level. Everything about the show – cast, writing, cinematography, direction – is out of this world.
However, this is an X-Men show for adults only. It’s dark and mature.
Even if you’re not a superhero fan, you’ll be enthralled with this show.
Highly recommended!

Movie Review – John Wick: Chapter 2

John Wick is forced from retirement to repay a marker. A large body count ensues.
This one is for true action fans only. The plot is thread-bare at best. And when the action kicks in, it doesn’t let up. For almost two hours.
High marks for location and style. Reeves and cast do a fine job with what they’re given.
My main complaint is the excessive, non-stop violence. After about fifty people had been shot in the head at point-blank range, I lost track. I think it ended somewhere around two hundred. Maybe more.
If you like your action films brutal and violent, this film is right up your alley.

The IWSG Made a List!

The IWSG was listed under Writing Communities for The Write Life’s 100 Best Websites for Writers for 2017!

Thanks to all of you who are part of that community, either through the weekly posting, following the site, following us on Twitter, receiving the newsletter, or part of the Facebook group.

We have some big things planned this year and we’ll be announcing those plans as they come together.

Special Writer Feature

We have such a great community of bloggers and writers here that I’ve decided to start featuring some cool people you may not have met yet.

Today I’m featuring Hank Kaykuala who blogs at Rainbow.

Hank is a poet who lives in Kuala Lumper in Malaysia. He has two published books - Rainbow - Poetry and Prose and Pearls That Shine, published under pen name Hank P. Luz.

I met Hank a few years ago, and while I don’t always understand poetry, I can certainly recognize his incredible talent at taking a few random words and making something beautiful. He’s also fast on the draw, getting the top comment spot almost every time. (Kind of like a Ninja, he just slips in.) The dude rocks!

Why the passion for the genre you write?
1. It allows one to venture out further into realms of creative writing
2. Poetry allows openness without inhibitions in language usage better than the normal way of expression

What started the quest for the number one spot?
1. Enhancing the competitive spirit
2. Better peer group awareness

What is your favorite movie?
1. Ten Commandments
2. Ben Hur
Both are even and both beat them all

Well said, Hank! And I like your movie choices. Now, will you be number one to comment on your own special feature…?

Ninja News

SyFy’s show Faceoff is back!
This season, it’s the all-star version, with past contestants returning and competing in pairs.
Some great creations so far – don’t miss it!

New Releases

In A Not So Universal World by Pat Hatt
Book eight in the series.
Find it on Amazon

Deep Current (Totem #6) by Christine Rains
Find it on Amazon

Coming February 14 -
Abducted Life by Patricia Josephine
Savannah Janowitz’s perfect life was destroyed the night she and her boyfriend vanished without a trace.
Find it on Amazon

Movie Trivia Answers

1 – Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, John Ratzenberger 2008 – WALL-E
2 – Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko 2013 - Oblivion
3 – Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Conners 1973 – Soylent Green
4 – Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs 2002 - Equilibrium
5 – Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Ray Stevenson 2010 – The Book of Eli
6 – Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan 1976 – Logan’s Run
7 – Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis 2014 – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Anyone else see Legion last week? Go to see John Wick 2? Ready for all the great new things coming for the IWSG? Friend of rocking-cool Hank? Watching Faceoff? Picking up new books? And how many movies did you guess? (I think the most anyone got right was five.)

I’m taking a four day weekend for President’s Day weekend, so I’ll be scarce those days and I’m taking Monday off from posting. Next post - March 1, IWSG post day.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Remnant, Blood Father Review, Future Earth Movie Trivia, Awesome Fans, Monday's Music, and Ninja News

The Remnant – Book to Film Possibilities

Today I welcome fellow Dancing Lemur Press author, William Michael Davidson!

As an author, I obviously think it would be pretty awesome if The Remnant was made into a film. I've always seen it more as something that would make a good television series or an original show on Netflix. Having said that, I know there are some pretty sensitive issues that The Remnant deals with such as faith, belief in God, and where our culture is at with those issues. Because of this, a part of me would be surprised if someone ever did make this into an actual film. And if it was made into a film, I wonder how watered-down the whole book would be to make it "politically correct." To be honest, I don't see the book as just a Christian novel. Yes, I'm a Christian. Yes, I wrote the book. But I don't see this book as having an agenda. Still, however, I think there is a message beneath the surface and I wouldn't be surprised if a filmmaker would take some of those ideas out of a movie version to make it more mainstream.

So, could I see something happening with a film? Yes. But I would worry about what the end product would be and how much it would capture the original "heart and soul" of the novel.

But don't get me wrong. If I received a call from Steven Spielberg and he wanted to make it into a movie, I would be last one complaining.

Author William Michael Davidson is on tour with MC Book Tours featuring his new novel, THE REMNANT, being released Feb. 7 by Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C. You can follow Davidson’s tour schedule HERE for reviews, excerpts, interviews, features, and a chance to win a copy of his book.

by William Michael Davidson
Release date: February 7, 2017
Science Fiction (FIC028000) / Christian Futuristic Fiction (FIC0402020)
Print ISBN 978-1-939844-29-3 $15.95
eBook ISBN 978-1-939844-30-9 $4.99

One nation, without God...

THE REMNANT is available to order in eBook form at the following sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes
The print format of the book is available at these sites: Amazon Barnes and Noble, Chapters-Indigo, Book Depository, Foyles, Mediander, and Fiction DB
Be sure to add THE REMNANT to your bookshelf on Goodreads.

Movie Review

Blood Father
An ex-con finds his lost daughter and has to protect her from drug lords who want her dead. Starring Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, and William H. Macy.
This film came out last year and I’d heard good things about it.
It’s a man search for redemption with his daughter. Gibson always plays the perfect hero, but here he is damaged, vulnerable, and looking to turn his life around. The interactions between father and daughter were great and some of the best moments of the film.
It’s not overly violent, but it is punctuated with extreme moments of violence.
While I did have problems with a couple small aspects, overall I really enjoyed the film.
Available on NetFlix – recommended.

Ninja News

The IWSG is honored to welcome an award winning screenwriter, Erik Bork!
Erik worked on projects such as From the Earth to the Moon and Band of Brothers – you don’t want to miss what he has to say.

Jeremy Hawkins works hard to produce the free online magazine, Six Strings.
And today, Six Strings Season 2 Issue 2 is available! In it you will find:
Interview with Composer... Tony Morales "DISNEY'S: ELENA OF AVALOR"
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by: Michael Giacchino (Review) by: Kaya Savas
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS (What if) STORY! by: Jason Lee Knight
Interview with Composer... Jasha Klebe “PLANET EARTH II” [2017]
Interview with Composer... Jacob Shea “PLANET EARTH II” [2017]
Where is #26? Mammoth’s Best New Horror Goes Hardback By KC Redding-Gonzalez
Listening for Romance in Horror By: Christina Persaud
Interview with Composer... Andre Matthias "On the film “The Drummer”
The Monkey King 2 [2016] [Review] Music by: Christopher Young By James Southall
Download your free copy HERE and please help spread the word.

February is kick-off month for WEP (Write…Edit…Publish) where a friendly group of like-minded bloggers astound each other and their readers every second month with their wit, wisdom, talent, sincerity and dexterity. The February WEP challenge is entitled 'Back of the Drawer'. Everyone's welcome to have a crack at it. Join the fun. We accept flash fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photo essays, artwork...1,000 word limit (but who's counting?)
WEP (Write…Edit…Publish) is hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee

Valentine Pets & Kisses 2 boxed set
Including a story by JL Campbell
Pick up your copy for just .99 cents.

Heather Holden is hosting a special anniversary giveaway:
Echo Effect premiered four years ago this month! It’s also been one year since I first launched my Patreon page. To celebrate, I'm offering free, personalized ACEOs of my characters! (ACEOs are art cards measuring 2.5x3.5 inches in size. Mine, specifically, are created with watercolor pencils and ink.)

Don’t forget we now have IWSG Swag!

Mini-Alex is showing off his awesome new IWSG pens.

He’s ready to challenge anyone to a duel with his IWSG pens!

Who can possibly challenge him…?

Monday’s Music Moves Me

Hosted by Xmas Dolly.

Since it’s a freebie, I’m posting my favorite Haken song, Pareidolia. This band is my current favorite. (I reviewed one of their albums in December.) It’s a prog rock blend of sheer awesomeness!

When Fans Make Your Day

I want to give a shout out to two special ladies who made my day last week!

Tess Julia had this to say:
I also wanted to give a shout out to Alex Cavanaugh for his book CassaFire, which I finished reading recently.
I think I have a bit of a crush on the main character Byron, and trust me, if they ever made a movie based on his series I'd be in line to see it! Really well written, definitely on par with Star Wars and Star Trek. I'm not even a sci-fi fan but I enjoyed both books so far and will be getting the rest of his books.

Lauren Bambrey, who blogs HERE, sent out this tweet and reply:
@LaurenBambrey - re read CassaStar a couple of weeks ago. Still reduced me to tears 6th time through!
@AlexJCavanaugh - Sixth time reading CassaStar??? Oh wow. Thank you! Laura, you just made my day. Still sorry I made you cry though...
@LaurenBambrey - One of my faves; will be read many more times too! Crying is good- sign of writing a beautiful friendship!

Thanks, ladies! You rock.

Movie Trivia

In honor of William’s book, today’s trivia is all about films set in Earth's future. Guess the film from the actors.

1 – Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, John Ratzenberger 2008
2 – Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko 2013
3 – Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Conners 1973
4 – Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs 2002
5 – Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Ray Stevenson 2010
6 – Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan 1976
7 – Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis 2014

Answers next week!

Can you see your book as a movie? Or a world where belief in God is persecuted? Have you seen Blood Father? Going to download Six Strings or participate in WEP? Have you picked up your IWSG swag? (Mini-Alex is ready!) Has a fan made your day recently? And do you know any of the movie trivia?
Don’t forget to visit Erik Bork at the IWSG site!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Hidden Figures Movie Review, February Movie Preview,a dn IWSG Swag!

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts today are Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christy and Joylene Buter!
The IWSG is proud to announce we have two new admins joining the ranks!

Heather Gardner will be running the conferences page at the IWSG site.

C. Lee McKenzie will be our media relations expert, expanding our reach into the world and bringing in experts.

Please stop by their sites and welcome them today!

Today’s optional question - How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

I notice things now. While I can forgive some typos, I do notice mistakes and poor writing more now. What really bugs me is pacing. Slow or uneven pacing, especially if watered down with too much description, just takes me right out of a story.

How has your reading experience changed?

If you haven’t seen the cover for the upcoming IWSG anthology, Hero Lost, stop by the IWSG and check it out.

Also, on Monday we are having an amazing guest at the IWSG - Emmy and Golden Globe winning screenwriter, Erik Bork. You don’t want to miss it!

We’ve also developed something new - IWSG Swag!

Jeremy Hawkins developed a t-shirt for us a couple years ago, but now we also have pens and magnets.

Sales of these items will benefit the IWSG directly and help us to expand to bigger and better things for you, the members.

Time to be insecure and proud!
Visit the IWSG site for yours.

Finally, the IWSG anthology authors of Hero Lost have started a really cool website. Check it out!

Movie Review

Hidden Figures
This film follows three real life NASA employees and their struggles.
An excellent film, it’s important on so many levels.
All three women struggle to achieve their goals at a time crucial to America’s history. Set in the early sixties, civil rights play a big role, but more on a personal level for each woman. They fight not only for the rights of blacks, but of women in general.
Taraji P. Henson is stunning in the starring role. (And a big shame she was not nominated for an Oscar.) She is mathematically gifted but meek, and yet when she needs to assert herself, she does. (Her tirade to Kevin Costner as to why she has to trek halfway across the NASA facility to use the bathroom is very moving.) Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae are also fighting a barrier with everything they’ve got.
This film hits on many issues. The women aren’t just fighting for their civil rights. They have to deal with prejudice as women and jealousy. (Jim Parsons takes a big leap in playing a very unlikeable character, as does Kirsten Dunst.)
While predictable in the path it will take, Hidden Figures hits all the key notes perfectly. Highly recommended!

February Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for February! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

10 –

John Wick: Chapter 2
The continuing adventures of former hitman, John Wick.
Director: Chad Stahelski v Stars: Ruby Rose, Keanu Reeves, Bridget Moynahan, Ian McShane
Considering the body count in the first John Wick film, by the time we get to chapter ten, everyone in the world will be dead.

17 –

A Cure For Wellness
An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious "wellness center" at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa's miraculous treatments are not what they seem.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Jason Isaacs, Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth, Adrian Schiller
Hopefully more like The Ring and less Wacky Adventures of Jack Sparrow.

The Great Wall
European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.
Director: Yimou Zhang
Stars: Matt Damon, Tian Jing, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe
Matt Damon fights Donald Trump over who’s going to pay for the damn thing. (It will be huuuuuuuuuge….)

21 –

DVD release – Hacksaw Ridge
Based on a true story about a conscientious objector who joins the army and without ever carrying a weapon, saved seventy-five people on Hacksaw Ridge. Excellent film and my pick for Best Motion Picture. Lead Andrew Garcia is also nominated for Best Actor. Don’t miss this one.

28 – 

DVD release – Doctor Strange
An egotistical plastic surgeon goes in search of a cure for his crippled hands and finds a mystical world and talents he never knew he possessed. A lot of fun and the 3D and special effects are mind-bending. Benedict Cumberbatch is great as the doctor. A must for you superhero collection – and watch for the doctor in the next Thor film.

What are your insecurities today? How has being a writer changed the way you read? Anyone else see Hidden Figures? What movies or DVD releases interest you this month?

Don’t forget to welcome Heather Gardner and C. Lee McKenzie to the IWSG fold.