Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Movie Reviews, New Book Releases, and December Movie Preview

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.

The awesome co-hosts for the December 6 posting of the IWSG are C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray!

Today’s question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review, do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

Probably a little of both. I won’t leave a review that is less than three stars because I know how much it hurts to get those super-bad reviews. (That and if I’m not enjoying it, I won’t finish the book, and I won’t review what I haven’t completely read.) I never critique the author though, only the story itself.

Rattlesnake and the Old West

The old west is chock full of stories about courageous and foolhardy people who followed the lure of gold to California and forever changed the history of our nation. Two documentaries capture the fascination, the intrigue, and the haunting truth about what are now remnants those people left behind—old mines and ghosts of former towns.

Trailers for these documentaries: Ghosts of the West and America the Story of Us: Gold Rush

In Rattlesnake I hope I’ve captured the same old west atmosphere as these movies did. My challenge was to do that in two different centuries—the 1850s and the late 1900s

For a moment, the sun balanced on the tip of the tallest peak, then slipped behind the mountains, turning them black against the sky. They were out of options all except for going back to Old Cemetery Road and dealing with the property. From somewhere far out in the desert came the loneliest sound Jonah had ever heard. That high-pitched yowl caught him at the center of his stomach. Suddenly, he felt eyes on him from every direction, and the shadows grew teeth.

Rattlesnake releases this month! Find it here: Goodreads, Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, book trailer on YouTube
Connect with C. Lee McKenzie on her site

Movie Reviews

Godzilla Minus One

Japan’s love letter to the original Godzilla film, now almost seventy years old.
Remakes usually fall short because they use the excuse of ‘upgrading the special effects’ and yet do nothing with the plot. With this film, they actually upgraded everything. And in turn, created a film that is similar to the original and yet unique on its own.
It opens in the final days of WWII with a Kamikaze pilot who has chickened out and lands at a base on a remote island. Godzilla appears and the carnage and drama unfolds from there.
Godzilla is in rare form here. He looks as good as the last three American Godzilla films. And he is badass. This Godzilla only wants to kill and destroy. You will be glued to every scene involving him, especially when he unleashes that mighty breath weapon.
This movie is similar to the original, and yet there are so many new elements, so much upgrade…it’s its own creation. And yet, it still gives tribute to its origins, even a nod to the Raymond Burr scenes that weren’t even in the original movie.
Its only downside is a few slow scenes and some melodrama. But I think the latter fits with the times. As usual, more Godzilla, less people, please. But the human story is very moving.
Highly recommended to fans of Godzilla and monster movies!

Journey to Bethlehem

First, a big thanks to Rosey - I won tickets to see this film from her site.
Had no idea what to expect (outside of The Greatest Story Ever Told, of course) and the fact it’s a musical caught me off guard. But it was really enjoyable! Unlike some Christian films, this boasted quality production, great effects, great acting, great singing, and a unique, funny, but mostly accurate take on the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of the King of Kings.
Biggest name actor is Antonio Banderas as King Herod. And boy, does he chew up the scenery!
Highly recommended. And it’s only ninety minutes long!!

New Releases!

Conduction by Tara Tyler

Sci Fi Detective Thriller or Techno Thriller
Book 4 in Pop Travel series
In 2085, cutting edge technology is the most valuable currency, and the black tech market offers high pay-offs for diamond-level code.
Find it on Amazon

Your Life with Jesus: How to Spark Memories and Write Your Spiritual Memoir
by JQ Rose
Your life with Jesus guides you in penning your sacred story and invites you to journey into a deeper faith experience.
Find Your Life with Jesus at Amazon and other retailers

Doom and Bloom
by Elizabeth Spann Craig
There's some shady business at the garden club event.
A Myrtle Clover Mystery, #23
Find Doom and Bloom’s purchase links here.

December Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for December. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

15 –

Director: Paul King
Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant
The story will focus specifically on a young Willy Wonka and how he met the Oompa-Loompas on one of his earliest adventures.
Oompa loompa doompety don’t!

22 –

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Director: James Wan
Stars: Jason Momoa, Ben Affleck, Patrick Wilson
Aquaman balances his duties as king and as a member of the Justice League, all while planning a wedding. Black Manta is on the hunt for Atlantean tech to help rebuild his armor. Orm plots to escape his Atlantean prison.'
Aquaman’s real quest – recover Amber Heard’s career.

How do you write book reviews? Seen either movie? Ready to read Rattlesnake or the other new releases? Any movies interest you this month?
I have a special interview with Doreen McGettigan - please check it out!
I will be taking a break for most of December, so I’m wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!