Monday, March 27, 2017

Movie Review-Life, CassaDawn, Time & Circumstance, #atozchallenge, and a Magic Love Crow

Movie Review – Life

Astronauts on the space station discover life in a dirt sample from Mars. Deep space scares ensue.
Hailed as an Alien rip off, this was a serviceable science fiction flick. (And I’ve seen some bad Alien rip off movies.) It’s rated R, but mostly for some language – it’s not very bloody or graphic.
The lifeform was cool and far more slippery than any Alien. It’s also insanely too smart for its own good. Plus it withstands extremes of heat and loss of oxygen – and yet it died out on its own planet.
The actors do very well in their roles. While better than some, none of the characters really become fully fleshed. And let’s just say one of the stars of the film isn’t in it as long as expected…or billed!
What seems smart and slick soon spiral into…plot holes. Not drive a bus through it plot holes, just a lot of small, gaping plot holes. By the end of the film, my eyes hurt from rolling.
Great special effects and good acting can’t save the plot holes. But in a long line of Alien rip offs, this is one of the better ones. If you like that sort of thing, it’s worth a rental.

Theresa Milstein Movie Review and Feature

Besides writing poetry, I also write for children and young adults, so I figured I should review a YA movie.

I read Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver shortly after it was published in 2010. I’ll confess, when I started the book, the main character, Samantha Kingston, was so unlikable, I didn’t think I’d be able to complete it. But as Samantha continued reliving the same day, she grew on me, and I raced through hundreds of pages; eager to know how the literary Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day would end. It’s still one of my favorite novels.

This month, Before I Fall the movie was released, and I wondered if it would hold up on the big screen. Samantha and clique of mean girls have a typical Friday, being sexy and narcissistic, bullying Juliet in the cafeteria and at a party, until a car crash kills Samantha. Until she wakes up the next day on the exact same Friday.

While there is some decent acting, I have a few issues with how some of characters were portrayed. The biggest problem is that Samantha in the book was more flawed and interesting to start, and so she had more room to grow as a character. In the movie version, Samantha is a follower. She’s too nice for the five stages of grief to end with a satisfying redemption. For a clever, well-done character arc, I’d suggest you read the book.

As a writer, it made me realize how important it to be true to your character. Create your character with all of his/her flaws, so they aren’t a Hollywood version of a real person.

Thank you for hosting me, Alex!

Time & Circumstance by Theresa Milstein
Published by Vine Leaves Press
Find it at Amazon US, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Chapters Indigo, Amazon UK, and Book Depository

CassaDawn Reviews Needed

My publisher is reducing the price of CassaDawn - to free.

In order for them to promote it, the review count needs to be higher on Amazon. So I am asking for your help.

You can download it for free from iTunes, Barnes and Nobel, Amazon and other retailers. Or I can send you a Mobi or ePub copy – just let me know in the comments.

Thanks – you guys rock!

Special Blogger Feature

This blogging community is full of some amazingly creative people. Today I am featuring Stacy who blogs at MagicLoveCrow. Hailing from Canada, she is a bundle of joy and energy – and a great attitude to boot. She’s also an artist with a thing for crows and incredibly talented. She answered a few questions for me…

What spurs your passion and creativity when it comes to painting crows?

"Crows" have always been with me, since a very young age. I guess you could say they are my spirit animal. I have always had a connection to them. In 2007, I almost passed away and when I came out of it, I said to my mom, "I'm going to paint my crows". Her exact words were, you don't know how to paint. I said, I am suppose to. So, I went and bought some paint and brushes and started to create. I can truly say, when I create, my paintings come from my soul. If I'm happy/sad/mad, looking at the moon, dancing, watching the squirrels play, something I dreamt, this all stirs something inside of me. Most of the times, I do not sketch anything before, I just put the paint on the canvas and let it flow. I hate rushing or forcing anything. That does not work for me!

Can we buy any of them?

All of my paintings are sold on Etsy.
Saying that, I have had many people e-mail me and I have sold my art off of Etsy too, because not everyone is on Etsy. I also love doing special orders. Knowing my art is being cherished, gives me such a warm feeling inside. I am so grateful!!

If you were a Ninja, what would be your special skill?

My special skill would be the technique of "silent moving". Breaking and entering, gaining access, while walking or running over floors, silently. "Staying in the shadows, while moving."

What is your favorite movie?

Ever After: A Cinderella Story
I really loved all the characters in this story and the setting and costumes. Drew Barrymore played a wonderful Cinderella (Danielle). She had a strong/helping soul. She was a believer and dreamer. She taught the Prince to look at life in a different way. I love this conversation between Danielle and Leonardo DaVinci.
Danielle- Signore, my name is Danielle de Barbarac, and I am but a servant.
Leonardo DaVinci- Yes, and I'm the bastard son of a peasant. What does that have to do with anything?
Exactly!!! It's how you love yourself."Don't" put a label on yourself! You can do anything!
As you can see Alex, I am very passionate about this movie! LOL!
There is so much in this film!! I can't even tell you how many times I have watched it!! I can go on and on about it!

Thanks, Stacy! Now, flock on over and check out her crows.

A to Z Challenge

The Challenge kicks off this Saturday, April 1.

This year’s change includes the lack of a formal list. Participants are to leave a comment at the A to Z Blog with a link to their post for that day. They can also leave one on Facebook or Tweet using #atozchallenge.

Maintaining the list was always a big time suck. Co-hosts and their Minions had to comb sections of the list and report changes and blogs to remove. I was the one who would spend an hour or more each day adjusting the list. Last year, I removed seven hundred non-participants and adjusted hundreds of links and listings. Draining, to say the least.

Last year I made a difficult decision – I would not participate this year. I owe a lot to the Challenge, having participated every year since the very first one. But there were numerous reasons why it just wasn’t feasible any more. The main one is the IWSG. It’s grown in so many directions and I owe its members my full attention.

Thanks to Lee for starting the Challenge and allowing me to be a co-host all these years.

So, I’m going to do something I’ve never done – I’m taking some time off during April! I’ll post on April 5 for the IWSG and again on April 17. But the second and fourth full weeks, I am taking time away from the Internet.

Good luck to everyone who is participating in the Challenge this year!

I also won a ACEO of the character of my choosing from Heather R. Holden.

I selected Spencer the vampire.

Who looks none too thrilled with Mini-Alex’s guitar playing…

Thanks, Heather!

Anyone else see Life? Have you watched or read Before I Fall? Participating in the A to Z Challenge this year? Following Magic Love Crow? And can you help with a review of CassaDawn on Amazon? Let me know if you need a copy.
Don't forget - IWSG is April 5!
And if you want to know a little behind the story stuff of CassaDawn, visit Juneta at Writer’s Gambit!


nashvillecats2 said...

Thanks Alex for a wonderful post, loved the review on the film also looking forward to the A to Z Challenge, I hope I can complete it after the ill health I've been through. Would loved to down load your Cassa Book but as you know me I don't know how to do many things on a pc.

Have a great week.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Feel free to send me a MOBI copy of CassaDawn and a deadline, Alex. I have a couple books on the "must review" hopper, but I'll get to yours as soon as I can.

I've made the same difficult decision about the A to Z. It's been a wonderful experience, but I've found many of the new followers I make through the Challenge drop off after a couple months, and it tends to alienate one's subscribers to receive an email six days a week. Not to mention the hours and hours per day it takes to respond to and return comments.

I'll still be blogging as usual, but I'm giving the Challenge a miss this year.

Erika Beebe said...

Good Morning Alex, I haven't seen Live but I was seriously thinking about it. Now I will! Thank you for the review. I also purchased Cassa Dawn already. Theresa, great advice. We do need to spend lots of time working on our characters and really giving them life. Stacy, what a great source of creativity. I also love the movie Everafter. It's my favorite too when life gets too dark.

Theresa Milstein said...

Alex, thanks again for hosting me. Interesting take on Life. I always wonder how a movie gets to that stage without anyone noticing these problems. Stacy's art is amazing. I'm checking out her Etsy store now.

Yvonne, I'm sorry you've been ill. I hope you're feeling better soon.

J.H. Moncrieff, I can't believe it's A to Z season already. While I've made some good blogging friends through A to Z, I agree that some drop off. I know I'm way too busy this year, but I'll keep it in mind for next time. I enjoy seeing what other people come up with though.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Suspension of disbelief gets old, fast! Sounds like 'Life' pushed the boundaries of belief too often.

Beautiful artwork from Stacy!

Cathrina Constantine said...

Good Movie review, Alex. There are some great stars in the movie that probably could pull it off somewhat. I'll wait until it comes on Demand.

I just checked out CassaDawn it's rocking on Amazon!

I just love Heather and her comic blog of characters!!!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Theresa on her new book. And Stacy's art is beautiful.

Glad you realized your limits, Alex. Enjoy your time off on April. We all need breaks sometime. I need to give myself more too.

The Cynical Sailor said...

I decided not to participate in A to Z this year as well. I really enjoyed it, but I won't have the internet access this year to check out other people's blogs and comment like I would want to. I'll try to get a review of CassaDawn posted for you.

Nicola said...

Wishing you a more peaceful April, Alex. Balance is so important for a healthy life-style. Thanks for all that you do. It is greatly appreciated.

H. R. Sinclair said...

I haven't seen Life or Before I Fall. Stacy has beautiful artwork!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Can't download from Amazon due to regulations where I'm at, have to wait till I travel out in summer.

The A-Z is changing in many ways this year. Breaks are so very necessary to recharge, wish you a restful April. Much appreciate all that you do for the blogging community.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yvonne, I can send you one.

JH, thanks and will do! And the Challenge is a lot of work.

Erika, thanks!

Theresa, happy to host you.

Elizabeth, it pushed it too far.

Catherine, good to hear it's rocking.

Natalie, I'm going to enjoy.

Ellen, thank you!

Nila, I'll send you a copy.

Nick Wilford said...

Stacy's story is enough to inspire anyone to pursue their goal and her artwork is beautiful. Great interview!

Still writing my posts for A-Z but I'm trying not to stress. It'll be strange without you taking part, but I guess even a ninja can only do so much! Enjoy your time off.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

The grabber in this post is Canadian artist Stacy and her love of crows. I share her fondness for the mysterious birds and appreciate her renderings which clearly come from the soul. If I created artwork like Stacy's I don't think I would be able to part with it.

Have a great week, Alex!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Great interview with Magic Love Crow! I adore her art and have two of her paintings.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I really liked Ever After. Such a sweet retelling of Cinderella. Stacy's crow art is beautiful.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Loved BEFORE I FALL the book, but probably won't go see the movie.

That crow painting is awesome!

I'm skipping A-Z again this year. I'll be co-hosting IWSG, and I'll still be around the blogosphere, though. Enjoy your time away from the Internet, Alex!

Bish Denham said...

After reading Theresa's review I'm going to have to read Before I Fall!

Crows are amazing birds, so very smart, so very social, much more so than people realize. I'm glad Stacy thinks of them as her power animal!

I'm taking time off from the Challenge too, Alex. I may post for IWSG on the 5th, but I'm not even sure about that.

Christine Rains said...

I think I'll avoid Life in the theatre and wait until the DVD release. Gorgeous crows from Stacy! I'm taking a little break this April too. I'd rather spend any time I have online visiting some of the A to Z bloggers. Have a great break yourself! :)

Andrew Leon said...

Probably not a movie I will ever bother with.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nick, this Ninja needed a break.

Thanks, Karen. It is all about priorities.

Madeline, I appreciate you co-hosting.

Bish, hope you do, but won't kick you out if you don't.

Christine, we'll both enjoy our breaks.

Jo said...

Sounds like an enjoyable movie despite the plot holes. Matt would see them, I probably wouldn't.

Love the idea of painting crows and the book description too. Sounds like a film I would enjoy.

I reviewed Cassa Dawn on Amazon so hope it helps.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My daughter and I talked about the book, Before I Fall. She read it a while ago. I had already decided not to do A to Z this year either. Enjoy your time off.

Gina said...

Hi Alex :D I am a blogland buddy of Magic Love Crow and am privileged to own several pieces of her crow each and everyone almost as much as I love her. Thank you for sharing her with your friends :D XXX

Arlee Bird said...

Thanks for your help and advisement with A to Z. Looks like it's still going strong without the list. I've discovered plenty of new blogs so far. Sad to see some bloggers stepping away during April--kind of understandable though, but still it's like they're be driven away by the April Challenge. Over these many years we've seen a lot of bloggers come and go, A to Z or not. Blogging takes a toll on some folks I guess.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Valerie-Jael said...

Nice to see our lovely Stacy featured here today, she's a great girl and very talented. Valerie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - enjoy the break you've done so much for us all and now you've got the IWSG too ... Stacy and her art looks amazing - crows do have a certain 'je ne sais pas' - love them in art work, not so keen seeing them nearby. I missed Hidden Figures, but bought the book and it's got some interesting prologue ... take care and enjoy yourselves .. cheers Hilary

Miss Val's Creations said...

Great reviews! I am a huge fan of Magic Love Crow. Stacy's work is meaningful and beautiful! I just watched the trailer to Life yesterday. It is not out in the U.S. yet but I am looking forward to it.

cleemckenzie said...

The AtoZ was something I always looked forward to. And I still do, but I just can't participate this year either. I don't like to start something I might not be able to finish. I haven't seen that film, and I probably won't. Good luck on those reviews. We all need them to get traction and they are not easily come by.

Theresa Milstein said...

Erika, thanks for your comment. I find that every book and movie teaches me something, even if it's what not to do.

Elizabeth, I agree. Plot holes really pull me out of a story.

Cathrina, that's a good idea to wait until you can watch the movie at home.

Natalie, thank you. I agree, Stacy's art is beautiful.

The Cynical Sailor, I like seeing how much support Alex gets here.

Michelle Wallace said...

Enjoy your time off during April, Alex!

Having been a minion for the A to Z Challenge in the past, I know that sign-up list demands a LOT of time. It will be interesting to see how the process unfolds this year, without the list.
I'll be participating in the A to Z Challenge again this year, with a promo campaign for the upcoming, We Are The World Blogfest, which begins 31st March.
My posts are super-short and I'll schedule them during this week.
We have a 17-days school break beginning April 01st, so that frees up more time for me.

I have Theresa's book on my Kindle.

Marcie said...

Nice interview with Stacy! I keep seeing your comments on other blogs so I am going to linger around and read a few more posts today!

Stephen Tremp said...

Good luck with the promo I'll do some Tweets and Retweets.

Joanne said...

Thanks for heads up on Life.
Stacy is talented. Good Q&A
You deserve an April rest- make the most of it.
Take care

Cherie Reich said...

Very true, Theresa, about creating a character with all his/her flaws! Congrats!

mail4rosey said...

Love that you featured an artist and an author. I haven't heard of the alien movie, but I bet my daughter would love it (plot holes and all). She's not a big chicken like me, and she likes to laugh at cheesy. LOL on the eyeball rolling thing you said. Have a great week! ;)

Liz A. said...

It always amazed me how you could do the A to Z with how busy you are. I'm glad you're taking time for yourself this year. And I won't go near Life. Not my kind of movie.

Jenni said...

I haven't read Before I Fall yet, but I really enjoyed Theresa's review. I really liked what she said about creating real characters. Enjoy your break in April, Alex! It sounds like you made a wise decision.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've decided to skip the A to Z Challenge again this year. I'm in the middle of one of my big "change your life" moods. Goodness knows what I might try next. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Jo!

Susan, we have to know when to say no.

Hilary, hope you get a chance to see the movie.

Michelle, you're lucky to have such a big stretch of free time.

Marcie, thanks and welcome!

Thanks, Stephen!

Joanne, I will!

Rosey, bet her eyes roll as well.

Liz, time off was needed.

Patricia, oh my!

Harry Hamid said...

I'm a big fan of Stacy's stuff over at MagicLoveCrow. Thanks for doing the interview: I learned some things about her!

Sandra Cox said...

I'm so happy to see Stacy featured. She is awesome and has such a beautiful spirit.
I was lucky enough to win a vampire crow, which I have in my 'cave'.
Good pick, Alex!

A Beer for the Shower said...

So if I want to spend an hour and a half rolling my eyes until my sockets are sore, you'd recommend it? Got it. Yeah, even from the trailer I thought that it looked rather riddled with plot holes. I shall pass.

But what I will not pass on is giving you a review for Cassadawn. I keep forgetting to do that. I'll post one for you soon.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! I'm happy to hear that you're going to give yourself a little break! You do so much for everyone! I'm home and good to go on April 5th. Your CassaDawn is on my Kindle. Thanks for that! Enjoy your break!

Stacy, I enjoyed your feature on Alex's post today. I've seen your "MagicLoveCrow" all over the place, and I will be by to visit! I love that you went ahead and started painting because you were supposed to! said...

I love those lines..."What does this have to do with anything?" Now to research the origin. That was an upbeat interview to get my week started with a positive attitude. Thanks, Alex and Stacy. said...

PS Silly me. It's from Ever After. I must see the movie now. =)

Truedessa said...

Hi Alex,

I have not seen Life and I am not sure I will. Thanks for putting up the review. It was so nice to see Magic Crow featured her artwork is amazing!

Enjoy your internet free time!

Travel light!

RaveAir said...

I'll intend to see the Life. An interesting theory about it's an prequel to Venom:

Thank you for the free CassaDawn. When will you reduce the price of Dragon of the Stars? :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'll help out with a review!
Have fun on your time off this year!

kaykuala said...

You deserve the break Alex! Time off to unwind is very necessary for the heavy load you've given us. Fascinated by Stacy's Crow series. It is a marvel to pick on such a bird without much color choice but rendered the beauty with her magic strokes. Congrats for Theresa's book and Hank will do the download for Cassa. Hank had already signed in and will be in again for the A to Z. Looking forward to it!


Botanist said...

I took part in the A to Z a couple of times, but haven't for the last few years. One important thing the list did IMO was ensure all blogs got a fair share of visits no matter how far down they were. Folks were encouraged to comment on blogs from their position onwards so people in the higher numbers weren't disadvantaged. It will be interesting to see how the list-free approach works this year.

Unknown said...

I havne't heard anything good about LIFE yet. Oh well. Hope you get lots of great reviews!

Juneta key said...

Hey Alex, if you want to send me a guest post promoting your new freebie I would be happy to put you in my Spotlight.

I just saw Beauty and the Beast and cried at the end. Yeah, big ole gal like me still gets teary at that story.
' Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Juneta key said...

PS I will put you in my first available slot in Spotlight unless you have a specific in mind. I can check and see if open.

Juneta key said...

lol NO pressure-- just saying if you want to-- not expecting unless its something you think will help you.

SpacerGuy said...

There's so much to do with AtoZ around the corner. A great reason to seek out new blog forms during the #atozchallenge I'll have to look into Amazon and check out all the finest reads in the galaxy.

Pat Hatt said...

So if I want to watch plot holes suck my time away, give it a go?

Flaws sure make a character all the better indeed.

I had the a to z done for a while, or my version at least, but posting anywhere extra, you think the cat will do that? I think I see him taking a nap lol Can only imagine how much of a time suck the list was though.

Suzanne Furness said...

Good idea to step away from the blog and enjoy a rest. I might well do the same during April although some may say I've been doing that through March too! Just don't like to post when I know my time is limited for returning visits etc.

Love mini-Alex with Heather's picture.

Carrie-Anne said...

Enjoy your Internet break! It's okay to step back from blogging once in awhile, just as it's good to take breaks from writing, painting, or other artistic pursuits. It helps to clear the head, and can build creative momentum and inspiration for when you return.

Chrys Fey said...

Movies about astronauts and aliens creep me out, so I'll skip that movie.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sandra, lucky you!

Brandon and Bryan, appreciate it!

Fundy, thanks for downloading.

Robyn, it's a good movie.

Zoltan, that I didn't know. And I think my publisher has already reduced it to 2.99, which is as low as they go for full novels.

Thanks, Tyrean!

Ian, it will be interesting.

Juneta, yes! Will email you.

Pat, a huge time suck...

Stacy McKitrick said...

I was interested in watching Life, but when Hubby learned it was similar to Alien he poo-poo'd it (doesn't do the scary). Probably just as well, huh? Enjoy your mini internet break. I need to do that some day.

Birgit said...

I think I will wait for video on this film...Life. If you can email me a copy of your book, I would be honoured. Love that one painting shown here about the raven and I think that is her spirit animal. I love that film as well and consider it one of the best versions of Cinderella...under-rated film for sure. Oh, glad that red/orange haired guy is off Face Off...never warmed to him.

Lisabella Russo said...

I'm hopping over from Stacy's blog, I enjoyed reading your post!

J E Oneil said...

I thought Life looked like a good movie (although I didn't realize the cast was so snow white).

It was hard for me to decide not to do the challenge this year, although for different reasons. I think it's a shame that people can be so heartless with the things they post.

stephen Hayes said...

I hope you enjoy your weeks away from the Internet, but I look forward to your return.

Out on the prairie said...

A fun post, I just started reading Stacy at Crows

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Enjoy your time off, Alex, and thanks for all the hard work you put into the A-Z Challenge over the years!

RaveAir said...

@Alex Due to the international regulations I have to pay plus 27% VAT for every transaction. So my price is $3.80.
But! I just checked the (2.99 EUR) and (2.41 prices) which are a little better. So I bought it. :)

Elephant's Child said...

Enjoy your break. You do a LOT for the blogging community and it is noticed and appreciated.

Jemi Fraser said...

700???? I can't get over that many people needing to be culled! ... well, off the list, not real culling! :)

I can't cope with the time demands of the Challenge either - although I agree that it's a Fantastic event! Hope everyone has fun!

Yay for Theresa!!! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Birgit, I will do that! And I didn't like Adam either. He was a complainer with not much to offer.

Welcome, Lisa!

Thanks, Sandra.

Zoltan, glad you were able to get it! Sorry the fee is so high.

Elephant's Child, thanks.

Lydia Kang said...

Hey Alex! Great to see Theresa's book here. It's wonderful!

Lowcarb team member said...

I've come across from Stacy's blog - nice interview.

Enjoy your blogging break.

All the best Jan

Stephanie Faris said...

I must be out of it because I've never even heard of Life until now! I read Before I Fall when it first came out. I suspect I could see the movie now as if I'd never heard the story before, since it's been so long!

Dean K Miller said...

Wow! on Stacy's art work. Always so amazed by drawers/painters/etc. A talent I've never allowed myself the freedom and confidence to develop. Someone I know gave me a great (late) idea for A-Z. Now to decide if I can pull it off.

Tonja Drecker said...

Love the crows - amazing! I tried to read Before I Fall but just couldn't get into it. I'm going to head over and see if I left a review for the Cassa one or not (should have...hmmmm...)

Helena said...

Good, insightful movie reviews from you and Theresa.

I'm more than happy to download CassaDawn, and I'll try to read it very soon, and no doubt give it a glowing review since I enjoyed your other Cassa books so much.

L.G. Keltner said...

I've always admired people who can create wonderful paintings. I am not one of those people, but I do appreciate good art when I see it. Wonderful!

We all understand you being too busy to do A to Z. Frankly, I'm impressed that you can do even half the things you do, let alone all of them. And it's a good thing that IWSG is growing the way it is. I'm happy to be a part of it!

Sean McLachlan said...

Belated congratulations for the Turkish edition. I've been translated into Swedish and Italian, but I don't think I'll ever get a Turkish edition!
Sadly I won't have time to do the A to Z this year.
Excited about the new MST3K?

Rhonda Albom said...

Two weeks off the internet, wow. Impressive. I am taking a break from the challenge as well, after five years of doing it. I had made the decision a while ago due to travel plans. Those plans were cancelled when my daughter needed her knee reconstructed.

I have downloaded and will read your book. I also want to read the book by Lauren Oliver as I love the description of "the literary Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day."

Theresa Milstein said...

Nicola, nice to meet you.

Southpaw, I don't get out to movies much. Before I Fall is the first one I've seen in ages.

Nilanjana, I can't believe how huge A to Z has become. But it is a big commitment.

Nick, I agree about Stacy.

Shady, I feel the same way about that picture.

Karen, I agree with your entire comment. Yes, it's better to make choices than say yes to more than we can handle.

Debra, I'm seriously considering buying a picture!

L Diane, I've heard good things about Ever After.

Theresa Milstein said...

Madeline, yes, I'd probably pass on Before I Fall.

Bish, if you read Before I Fall, I'd love to know what you think.

Christine, skipping the movie is wise.

Andrew, both movies we posted seemed to have fallen flat.

Jo, how nice of you to review Cassa Dawn!

Susan, what did your daughter think of the book? Does she want to see the movie?

Gina, it's great seeing how much support there is for Magic Love Crow.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Welcome, Jan!

Dean, you still have a couple days to make it happen.

Tonja, thanks!

Helena, appreciate that!

LG, thanks, and glad you are one of the reasons we are growing!

Thanks, Sean! And yes, hopeful the new MST3K will be funny.

Rhonda, thanks! And wow, sorry your daughter needs surgery on her knee.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I couldn't come up with a good theme for A to Z. Then, I thought of doing photos, but hadn't prepared, so I'm also going to take a break from it this year. I'll miss it. Let's come back stronger next year.

John Wiswell said...

I'm just a sucker for infectious first contact stories. Life looks like it may falter, but it's something I will at least watch as soon as it hits HBOGo. Thanks for the review, Alex!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm interested in seeing Life. The Alien connect is really played up but that's OK for me.

Barbara said...

Hi Alex, interesting to get your take on ‘Life’, and you did manage to make it sound interesting, but it doesn't really appeal to me so I will probably give it a miss. Before I Fall sounds like something I would enjoy although I think I will stick with the book (thanks for the review Theresa)
Thank you for thinking of Terry, he appreciated it as did I.
Have a brilliant week. Barbara

Murees Dupè said...

Good for you for taking some time off. I stoppex participating in A-Z years ago because it stressed me out too much. Enjoy your time away.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I just downloaded Cassa Dawn. Not doing the A to Z. Need to catch up on my work. Enjoy your time off.

Sandra Cox said...

Thanks for the breakdown of why Life is rated R. A lot of Rs just don't work for me.
It sounds intriguing.
Have a good one, Alex.

Jennifer Lane said...

I enjoyed the movie reviews, thanks! Good luck with Cassa Dawn.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'd be happy to read your book and review it, but... I already did. (Why is it so darned hard to get people to write reviews???)

Enjoy your time off in April. You've certainly earned it. I haven't, but I'm taking the month off, anyway. Except for IWSG. I'll probably do a post for that.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I had a feeling that movie would be a lot like Alien. I think I know who won't be in it long. :(

Went to the Redbox and we finally got to see Deepwater Horizon. It was pretty good. And, Dr. Strange. That was a little weird, but also pretty good. Looking forward to the next Thor. :)

I'll miss you for the Challenge, but I hope you have a most excellent time away from the keyboard!


Toi Thomas said...

Not sure if I'll check out Life, but good to know it's worth a rental.
I've heard of Before I Fall, not sure it's for me.
I think I rated CassaDawn but have yet to post my review. I'm on it.
Stacy is a great artist. I like her crows. I too like Ever After.
While I like the changes to the A-Z, I don't think this is my year to jump on board. Good luck to all the others.

Wanda said...

Wow....combing through that large of a list is quite the task. And you certainly deserve a break Alex. I remember when I stumbled across the A-Z challenge when I first started out. It's amazing to see just how much the challenge as grown.

Yolanda Renée said...

Wow, that's so Cool! I love crows, I'll definitely check out Magic Love Crow!

I'll get a copy, although I think I already have one. Good luck - free books get lots of reviews! The best ones are those that say I couldn't finish it. :)

An Alien rip off, no thanks!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I haven't seen Life. Since first meeting you, I decided to wait for your reviews before watching a flick. You save me so much time and trouble. Congrats Magic Love Crow. I love crows too. They're on one of my covers.

Melissa Sugar said...

You deserve a break. I don't think many people realized how much time you put into the challenge. It had to be impossible for you to enjoy yoursellf. You and all of the co-hosts deserve so much gratitude, but you truly deserve a plaque or some kind of award for all you do for the blogging community. I've always wondered how you find time to do everything you do. And you never complain. You were the first person I met when I started blogging. You were just starting the IWSG and you, Matthew MacNish and some other bloggers were also hosting another blog fest around that time, I can't remember the name of the blogfest, but it was designed to help new bloggers (like me) meet other bloggers and not feel so lonely and alone with our 1 or 2 or 10 friends on our google friend connect on the side bar. You asked all the experienced bloggers to look for "Bloggers flying under the radar with less than 100 followers," and spotlight them on their blog so others would follow them as well. I don't know if you remember that or not, but I sure do. My following went from like 25 to over 100 that week and you've been my hero ever since.
Thanks for the intro to Stacy. Her artwork is stunning. And it would be my pleasure to review your book. It's next up on my to do list. I've waivered back and forth between participating in the challenge this year. I don't have much time on my hands, but it's a good way to get back into blogging and if you remember i mentioned on my blog I was considering a different theme this year. The reason is because my children's dad is terminal and the doctors have not given him very long. His cancer has metastasized. I was thinking of foregoing my crime fiction and writing short memoir essays about their dad and me about how we met and our life together. They would encompass humorous snippets of our life and some stories of stupid, dangerous things we did ( hopefully with a lesson or a moral). I would like to give the kids some kind of legacy or something permanent they can look back on in a few years and read to remember their dad. I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not. I'm still debating it. I've written most of them and I've cried during each one. It's a hard decision.
Melissa @
Sugar Crime Scene - A to Z Challenge

G. B. Miller said...

I can definitely understand the need for a break in not doing something. When your Internet time is limited to the absolutes that must be taken care of first, something those which are good/fun to do must often be temporarily put to the side.

As you well know, I'm not participating, and I'm glad to hear that the monthly post is still on amongst all the wonderful mayhem that is the A-Z Challenge. I will definitely have my pen sharpened (so to speak) for that.

I Are Writer!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Barbara, hope he's doing better.

Murees, I will!

Beverly, thank you!

Sandra, this was barely an R film even.

Susan, thank you! And I bet you've earned it.

Heather, you're probably right. And both those movies were good - glad you watched them.

Toi, thanks!

Wanda, it's amazing, isn't it?

Yolanda, I'm hoping so!

Joylene, glad to help.

Melissa, thank you! That just made my morning. And you will know in your heart which theme is best.

GB, nothing stops the IWSG!

Sandra Cox said...

Love your cover, Theresa.
Thanks for the review. I'm not familiar with Fall. I'll have to check it out.

'Lo, Alex.

Sherry Ellis said...

That crow painting is pretty cool. Looks perfect for Halloween. I'll have to stop by and check out her other artwork.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I've been out of it as far a keeping an eye out for films. I hadn't even heard of LIFE.

Unknown said...

Enjoy some time away Alex! I also shared your freebie on my Facebook. Hope it helps!

Magic Love Crow said...

Hi Alex!! I want to thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for the interview! I am so grateful and I am so grateful for all of you who have taken the time to comment about my me and my crow art! Thank you!!!!
Alex, as I have learned, you do so much for the blogging community! Have a great time off in April! You deserve it! I love the aceo you won!!! I will wait to see Life on t.v! I trust your reviews!
Nice to meet you Theresa! Good review! Love your book cover!
Take Care Alex!

Lynda Dietz said...

I miss participating in the A to Z but simply don't have the time right now. I'm hoping to still encourage other bloggers by visiting and commenting where I can, though. I'm sure the decision to take this year off was not an easy one to reach, but I'm glad for you that you'll get a small break and focus on other things for a bit.

Thank you for the free CassaDawn! I will try my best to read it and review it in a timely fashion.

Blue Grumpster said...

My eyes hurt from rolling, too, the score was incredibly overbearing in act 2 and I could see the ending coming a mile away. Still, I thought it was a good rip-off. The end.

Pat Tillett said...

Thanks for the review of Life. I'll have to see it anyway, because I love space horror movies. I just won't expect a whole lot.

Melancholy and Menace said...

A wonderful post, and great to see an interview with the lovely Stacy of MagicLoveCrow. I enjoy her artwork, she's a talented lady. ♥

Theresa Milstein said...

Arlee, it's truly how impressive A to Z has become.

Valerie, I agree about Stacy. Glad she was featured here, so I could see her wonderful art.

Hilary, I haven't seen Hidden Figures yet. Somehow. Can't what to see what you do for A to Z.

Miss Val, seems that everyone is a fan of Stacy's work!

Cleemkenzie, you're just like me. I don't like starting a project I can't see through either.

Michelle, thank you for downloading my book on your Kindle. It means a lot. Sounds like you have a manageable plan for A to Z. I can't wait to see.

Marcie, nice to meet you.

Stephen, that's great support.

Joanne, I agree that Alex needs a rest. He's always out there promoting others.

Theresa Milstein said...

Cherie, thank you very much!

mail4rosey, I am such a chicken too!

LizA, Life isnt my kind of movie either.

Jenni, thanks for your comment feedback. I appreciate it.

Patricia, good luck with changing your life mood.

Harry, I still keep thinking about that featured picture. Might buy it ...

Theresa Milstein said...

Sandra, you are lucky to win a crow!

A Beer for the Shower, eye rolling isn't the way I want to spend my time while watching a movie.

Fundy Blue, nice to meet you here., nice to meet you here as well.

Truedessa, I can't believe I haven't known about Stacy's art until this post.

Zoltán Gecse, that's great you read Alex's books.

Tyrean Martinson, it's awesome how much support Alex receives.

kaykuala, thanks for the congrats!

Theresa Milstein said...

Botanist, I thought the lists made it much more manageable, but I haven't done A to Z in a few years either.

Libby, I hope Alex gets lots of great reviews too.

Juneta, that's great you'll host Alex. I'll look for the post in the future.

Spacer Guy, I enjoyed reading A to Z Challenge posts too.

Pat Hatt, I'm not a fan of plot holes.

Suzanne, I just finished a blog tour, and I've barely been able to keep up with anything else!

Carrie-Anne, I couldn't agree more. We need mental breaks for sanity and creativity.

Chrys, I don't see many alien movies for the same reason.

Stacy, I'm feeling the same way. Maybe in June I'll take a little break.

LD Masterson said...

Thank you, Alex, for giving us the perfect description for so many movies,"By the end of the film, my eyes hurt from rolling."

I think the "no list" plan for the A-Z makes a lot of sense. It has just grown too big to monitor everyone that way.

Enjoy your down time in April.

Anonymous said...

No Challenge for me this year. Way too busy at work. I do miss it though. Good luck to all who participate. I haven't seen Life but a friend of mine did and she said it was really good. It seems I missed my chance to see Get Out before it got out of the movies. Drats!

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I plan to participate all I can, but it may be pretty sketchy, especially at the first of the month. :(

Unknown said...

How disappointing about Life. I thought that one looked like it might be really good, but there are few things I dislike more than plot holes.

How did you hear Amazon promotes more with more reviews? I thought some newsletters needed a certain amount, but I've been told Amazon only cares about sales not reviews. Regardless, wishing you luck!

Good luck to you and all your blog hoppers in the A-Z 2017!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, Sandra!

Kane, thank you!!!

Stacy, you are so welcome! And thank you - I will enjoy my first ever April break.

Lynda, thank you for downloading it!

Blue, and that's all it was - a ripoff.

Pat, keep those expectations low...

M and M, thanks for visiting!

Lexa, I've heard it's part of their algorithms.

H.R. Bennett said...

Oh man...Life. I've been debating heavily if I want to see that one or not. It's honestly kind of a boring concept at this point and I fully expected it to be an Alien ripoff...but I haven't heard anything terrible about it.

Julie Flanders said...

I love crows so it's great to learn about Stacy and her blog. Heading over there just as soon as I hit publish on the comment.
How fun that you won Heather's contest. I bet Mini-Alex and Spencer will end up friends in the end.

Tamara Narayan said...

I did read Before I Fall and will probably Redbox the movie. The book was a page turner. I am doing the A to Z and totally understand why you would want to skip the master list duties. There's only so many hours in a day, so you want to make sure you spend them well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being such a huge A-Z Challenge supporter/promoter all these years. Your time away from the Internet is well-deserved. It's amazing how refreshed an Internet time-out makes you feel. :) Enjoy.

Loni Townsend said...

I picked up my copy of CassaDawn. Hopefully I can get to it soon. :) I won't be participating in the A to Z challenge either. I've decided it's too stressful for me. I hope you have some wonderful time away from the Internet! said...

I've never tried the A to Z Challenge. I generally watch and admire those who do from the virtual sidelines.

It was nice to meet Stacy. :)

SpacerGuy said...

I think we're all going to need some saurian brandy after all this atoz fun festivity is over, although maybe just an earl grey hot would make it so.

Elizabeth said...

I hope you enjoy your time off in April! It seems there are a number of us who decided to take this year off. I am interested to watch how the new A to Z format works out.

mshatch said...

Not doing a-z this year due to probably moving. First year in a while I haven't done it so it feels...weird. Enjoy your time off. Oh, and thanks for the review of Life!

Gossip_Grl said...

Stopping by from the A-Z Page to visit the moderators. I am halfway through the comment links and visiting some really great pages. I haven't participated in the challenge for a few years but I'm blogging in the challenge this year with a special theme to hopefully bring more awareness to addiction. Your post is a great start to the month.

Blue Grumpster said...

I was waiting for a computer voice so say, "You have T-minus 1 minute."

DMS said...

What a wonderful cast of characters here today! Loved hearing from Theresa. I haven't read Before I Fall- but I was thinking about seeing the movie. I think I will read the book first- since it sounds like the characters are better developed. I simply love Theresa's cover- every time I see it I am amazed. :)

So awesome to see Stacy here too! I adore her blog and her painting are just beautiful. Wishing her all the best!

Good luck with the reviews of CassaDawn! I do not have an ereader- but Stephanie (co-author) downloaded it on her Kindle. :)

Have a great weekend!

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thank you for doing A to Z all these years. You have earned a break!

XmasDolly said...

I for one can say you shall be missed, but personally I think everyone should take a break from the internet, but I don't have much of a following (evidently I'm doing something wrong. I've been a blogger almost 7 yrs. & my following is heartbreaking). If I took off my blog would be in the dust. It's my second year with the A to Z & I hope I can make it and maybe pickup a few followers. With my disability/illness time being on the computer is limited for me because my back cannot take sitting too long so I do it in intervals throughout the day! I started late today, but I did get it up. No list to follow this year huh? Well, I'm sure I can find people who are doing the challenge... fingers crossed. They sure don't find me. :( HUGS TO YA SIR & I'll check out your book on Amazon, but not being an avid reader I need to go see if it's the subject that will keep me awake. ~snicker~ I'll try though.... just for you my friend!!!

Kalpana said...

Entertaining post - specially the movie review. I loved reading it. What a pity you can't do the A to Z Challenge this year but its important to prioritise. Seeing how dedicated you are to IWSG I just decided I must do a short post even if we are in the middle of the A to Z.

Anger #Lexicon of Leaving

Theresa Milstein said...

Birgit, it's great to see how much support Alex receives here.

Lisa, nice to meet you.

JE Oneil, you have me curious about the heartlessness of the posts. I haven't seen that before. That's too bad.

Stephen, I think Alex needs a nice break too.

Out of the prairie, nice to see you here.

Sandra, Alex really has been amazing with A to Z these years.

Zoltán Gecse , I had no idea it worked that way. 27%???

Elephant's Child, I agree, Alex is appreciated.

Jemi, 700 boggles me too!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robert, boring is the best word to sum it up.

Julie, they just might.

Loni, thanks!

Spacer Guy, I'll take the brandy.

Gossip Girl, glad you jumped on board.

Blue, if only the movie had exploded after that...

Jess, tell her thanks!

Marie, I bet you find some cool new followers this year.

Theresa Milstein said...

Lydia, that's so nice of you to say. I greatly appreciate your support.

Lowcarb team member, nice to meet you here.

Stephanie, if you wind up seeing the movie, I'd love to hear what you think.

Dean, I'll have to visit your blog to see if you decided to do A to Z.

T Drecker, I'm a fan of Stacy's crows too.

Helena, thank you for your comment.

LG Keltner, I'd love to be able to create art like that too.

Theresa Milstein said...

Sean, I think it's so cool when an author gets to see their work translated into other languages.

Rhonda, I hope you wind up like Before I Fall. I highly recommend it.

Mary, sounds like a lot of regulars are taking a break this year.

John, sounds like you'll be able to put up with some eye rolling because you like those kinds of movies.

Charles, I wonder how the film Life is doing compared with others like it.

Barbara, you're welcome for the review.

Murees, that's the same reason I stopped doing it. I felt like I had to devote too much time, and I didn't want to let anyone down by not commenting like I was supposed to.

Beverly, Alex is getting a lot of downloaders, which is awesome!

Theresa Milstein said...

Sandra, it is nice to know why a movie gets a certain rating.

Jennifer, glad you enjoyed the movie reviews.

Susan, I hope you enjoy your month off from blogging.

Heather, are you doing A to Z? I'll have to visit your blog to find out.

Toinette, as you know, I think the book is better. But if YA isn't your thing or mean girls is too much, you might not want to read Before I Fall.

Wanda, I wonder how many did the first one when Arlee started it.

Yolanda, it's hard to top Alien!

Joylene, I'll have to look for your crow cover!

Theresa Milstein said...

Melissa, I'm sorry about your kids' dad. It sounds like a tough time for you and your family.

GB Miller, I hope to go around and see what others have done for A to Z this year.

Sandra, thank you so much!

Sherry, that crow is perfect for Halloween!

Donna, I hadn't heard of it either. Made me think they're not pushing it much.

Decadent Kane, that's nice of you to share Alex's info on Facebook.

Magic Love Crow, nice to meet you too! I'm joining your many fans here. Glad you like my cover!

Lynda Dietz, sounds like a lot of people are taking a break this year.

Ishieta said...

Hi, I am new to AtoZChallenge - so sorry to read that you are not participating this year! I have picked up your book - it sounds interesting - I will read and post my review soonest (once i get a hang of the challenge-craziness :)).
"*Ishieta @ Isheeria's*

My Happiness List"

Theresa Milstein said...

Blue Grumpster, so far that seems to be the consensus about Life.

Pat, seems like everyone who likes the genre will see it anyway.

Melancholy Menace, she is talented!

LD Masterson, I can't imagine being in charge of monitoring the lists either.

Elsie, I've missed a lot of movies in theaters recently too.

Barbara, I hope you get a chance to do A to Z.

Lexa, I can't stand plot holes too. I avoided the second and third books in a highly-rated trilogy for the same reason.

Theresa Milstein said...

Robert, Alex's blog is the only place I've heard of the movie.

Julie, I think it's great that Alex won Heather's contest too.

Tamara, waiting for Redbox is probably a good idea.

Liz, I don't blog as often as I used to, and it really helps me find balance. Doing a daily blog for a month isn't something I could handle right now.

Loni, enjoy your time off from A to Z.

Kim, I did it once or twice, but I prefer A to Z from the sidelines too.

Spacer Guy, it does seem that those who go through A to Z need some sort of drink!

Theresa Milstein said...

Elizabeth, I wonder what the numbers are compared with last year. A lot of people are taking breaks, but I'm sure many new people are joining too.

mshatch, congrats on moving! I'll have to check in with you about it!

Gossip_Grl, addiction is an important subject to tackle. I wish you the best.

DMS, I appreciate the cover love. If you read Before I Fall, I'd love to know what you think.

Mary, nice to meet you.

Marie, I'm glad you get something positive out of the A to Z Challenge.

Kalpanaa M, I agree--sometimes we need to prioritize.

Mason T. Matchak said...

I would say that "Before I Fall" sounds like another instance of the book being better, but really, isn't the book always better? :P And I hadn't heard much of anything about "Life", but it sounds like I'm not missing too much.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, I completely forgot about the A to Z Challenge this year, I have no idea how April crept up on us :(

Glad that you moving away from the internet for a few days, I'm doing the same.

Huntress said...

When I took my leave from blogging, the one thing I missed was your movie reviews. Looking forward to your comments about Ghost in the Machine *G*.

I am giving the newest Alien movie a skeptical eye. Alien and Aliens were excellent. But they went too far with Alien 3, Who Cares and Alien 4, Search for a Good Script.

A to Z is wonderful, exhausting, informative, overwhelming, and a whole bunch of other adjectives. and sometimes expletives.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I think that Ryan Reynolds's death in "Life" traumatized me more than I thought it was going to. I knew before going that his character's fate wasn't a good one, but I clearly thought it was more graphic than you indicated here. I enjoyed the film, Just imagining that thing using all of its constrictive muscle power to hollow Reynolds out from the inside, breaking bones, etc. even now gives me chills. One of the things that I didn't like about the film was how invincible Calvin was. I mean...nothing could kill this thing. At most, you could induce conditions that would somehow allow it to go dormant. I don't know if they could even do a sequel to the show because it's so unkillable. It's almost like...what's the point?

Congratulations to Theresa on her book. The lady drawing the crows is quite talented.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Life sounds like a mid-level movie and those can still be interesting. Book adaptations are sadly not always able to live up to the book. Enjoy your mini vacay Alex and mini Alex can play all he wants. Ignore the haters. Cool prize from Heather.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Hi, Alex!
Sounds like LIFE is a halfway decent Netflix watch when there's nothing better on ... I'll keep that in mind!

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Sometimes taking time off is the best choice! I'm glad there's a new way to manage the list.

Intangible Hearts said...

So much to like on this post! It's like taking off for April is a good thing but from the looks of all the comments you'll be missed. I put your book in my queue.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Isheeria, thank you!

Rachna, sometimes a break is good.

Huntress, unfortunately I skipped that movie. And dig your descriptions of the other Alien movies.

Michael, ironic it was so invincible when it didn't even make it on its own planet.

Eve, thanks!

JJ said...

Alex: Your posts are always the best. The bloggers you host are usually interesting as well. Your blog opens new doors. Thank you.

Deniz Bevan said...

Hope you have a great time off! So well-deserved!

Karen Peterson said...

Life is to Alien as Jurassic World is to Jurassic Park. Both borrow heavily from their predecessors, but don't have the same heart.

Heather R. Holden said...

Glad the ACEO arrived safely! I'm sure Spencer will warm up to Mini-Alex eventually, haha...

Theresa Milstein said...

Mason, I have to agree that the book is nearly always better.

Rachna, nice to meet you.

Huntress, I agree with you about A to Z. That was my experience when I did it years ago.

Michael, thanks. Wow, that movie sounds graphic!

Sheena-kay, I always think it will be great to see characters brought to life, but without their thoughts, it's hard to pull off, I guess.

Dianne, I haven't visited your blog in a while. I'll have to stop by!

Yvonne, yes, we all need breaks.

Intangible Hearts, I don't know how Alex keeps up with everything.

JJ, I agree. Great blog!

Deniz, I hope he had a nice time off too.

Karen, perfect analogy!

Heather, nice to meet you.

Theresa Milstein said...

Alex, thank you again for hosting me.