Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

June 27, 2006 at 4:57 pm (Books I've Enjoyed)

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Chamber of Secrets is my least favorite HP book, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great. It simply means it’s not as fabulous as the others.

In chamber of Secrets, Harry finally learns why he can talk to snakes, but it’s also the first book where death becomes vitally important to the entire series. For those who don’t know, death is, indeed, a main theme to Harry Potter … how we deal with it, fear of it, what we’re wiling to do to escape it etc. It’s the first book where life or death becomes a reality for a character other than Harry – namely, the person opening the Chamber of Secrets.

One of the reasons I do like COS is because it’s also the introduction to Moaning Myrtle, who is so annoyingly cute and nerdy, you can’t help but like her, and also, it’s the introduction to Dobby, the house elf. Thankfully, the movie included both of these elements (though the following movies left out Dobby, which I think was a huge mistake on their part.)

So, final thought: if you read Sorcerer’s Stone, chances are you read Chamber of Secrets quickly after and so on anyway. They’re like Lays potato chips. Betcha can’t eat just one.

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Dreamwork Monday

June 26, 2006 at 4:43 pm (Cover Art That Kicks A$$)

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Another winner for Teresa Medeiros.
This is the sequel to After Midnight.

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WHEN A STRANGER CALLS

June 22, 2006 at 5:23 pm (Movie/Media Reviews)

strag.jpgHorror (supposedly)

Starring: Never-Seen-Her-Before and Some-Guy-In-Shadows

Anyone who knows me knows I love slasher flicks. I don’t, however, go for slasher flick wannabes. I don’t care for one-actor movies, where the sole actress spends 80 minutes pacing an enormous house, gabbing on the phone. And most of all, I don’t care for movies where you’re left with so many “huh” questions that you never had time to enjoy anything.

When a Stranger Calls is full of all of the above.

For example, the movie starts with a crime where police hint at the absolute gore left behind by a maniac murderer…pieces of body are then carried out to the ambulance (a bit late for that me thinks lol). So, with that set up, I’m thinking, oooo Halloween, Nightmare on Elmstreet gore! I love gore movies. Granted sometimes I miss most of it because my eyes are closed tight, but I still love gore in movies as well as in appropriate fiction (give me a gory serial killer over a terrorist any day). So, obviously the guy in WASC is a hacker. Then why, pray tell, does he keep trying to kill this freaking girl in wuss ways? He tries to strangle her. Tries to drown her. He doesn’t have a weapon. Nothing about this guy follows through on brutal killer.

Now for the few plusses about this movie. #1, once the girl knows the killer’s in the house, things picked up. Good action sequence there. (They should have stopped while they were ahead, though, and left out the final, cheesy soap opera ending). #2, the house/setting was WAY cool! #3 the heroine was smart enough to call everyone she could think of when the calls started. Police, her parents, the kids’ parents. She wasn’t completely stupid (though she had her moments….). However, the biggest plus about WASC was that during the long, run through the woods at night scene, THE HEROINE NEVER FELL DOWN! That’s progress people!

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I’ve lost my whistle

June 22, 2006 at 4:42 pm (Gab)

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So, I lost my whistle. Huh? My son, 8, came to me the other day, trying desperately to whistle (something he taught himself several months ago). All he was getting this time, however, was air. Not loud, shrilly air, either. Dead, gust of wind air. Poor kid. He tells me, “Mommy, I lost my whistle.” (can you tell why I love him so much?)

After I chuckled my expanding booty off, I quietly tucked those words into my Mommy Memory Bank and went about my day.

What does this have to do with anything? Well…. I’VE lost my whistle. I haven’t done any new work on my second, contracted story in a couple of weeks. I was on a roll, loving rereading the story I’d written two years ago, adding fresh elements to it. I don’t dread going back to it. I actually look forward to “getting time in” each night. But then night comes, I sit on my patio with the best of intentions, and…. lose the whistle.

I’m quite certain that, to get it back, I’ll only need to work on another chapter. But how do you get to that chapter when you can’t find the willpower to stop doing what you’re enjoying (time-killers) and get to work. I know, I know. Just do it. I have a pretty long deadline before this book is due at the publisher, and I think that has a lot to do with it. I like a deadline. I like KNOWING if I don’t sit down and write, I’m in trouble. Having so much time between now and my deadline of 12-1-06 means I get to kill a lot of time. It’s a wrapped reason for procrastination I suppose.

Anyway, if anyone has seen a shiny blue whistle laying around, give me a yell. Will let you all know when and where I find it again.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

June 20, 2006 at 4:58 pm (Books I've Enjoyed)

sorc.jpgI’m still reviewing books I read a long time ago… no time for much fresh reading. So I thought I’d start on my favorite series ever! Harry Potter.The first book in the series, The Sorcerer’s Stone, was one I was pressured into reading. I had purchased Goblet of Fire (book 4) through my daughter’s Scholastic catalog, and had started reading it to make sure it was appropriate for her age (she was about 6 or 7). Then, my sister’s friend Amy called to answer a few research questions for me and we got on the subject of the books. I’d told her I couldn’t quite get into the intro of Goblet. She told me I HAD TO READ THEM IN ORDER. She was so enthusiastic, that I went out and bought Sorcerer’s the next day. I read it in one sitting, feeling completely enthralled and excited about reading for the first time in years. The writing was stellar, but JK is a master storyteller. I found the intricate details of the world so exciting and fresh that I was turning pages even while stirring that night’s supper. That first trip to Diagon Alley, arrival at Hogwarts, seeing it all for the first time through Harry’s eyes. It was the definition of magical reading.I won’t insult anyone by giving a synopsis. Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 10 years, you know what Sorcerer’s Stone is about. But I will say that the afternoon I finished SS, I went out and bought Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. I read them all within a week and still wanted more.

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OVER THE HEDGE

June 15, 2006 at 5:24 pm (Movie/Media Reviews)

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My daughter turned 10 this month, which resulted in the annual, “It’s your day, your call” weekend afternoon. Her choice: Bowling. Bad news kiddo. They have leagues going on. Next choice, go see the movie Cars at the theater. We go, get our snacks, hit the theater and find…. the only available seats are in the front row. She’s a trooper. She didn’t pout. Instead, she said we could ask for an exchange of tickets and go see Over the Hedge instead. We went, and I honestly can’t imagine liking a bunch of talking autos better than talking critters. Bruce Willis plays RJ the racoon, who, fearing the wrath of a bear named Vincent, must steal enough food to keep Vincent happy upon waking from hibernation. How better to steal so much food than to con a family of forest foragers into helping him stow it?

Over the Hedge is funny and sweet, with lessons about family ties, honesty, and gives an eerie view at the gluttonous nature of human kind. It’s not pretty folks. That alone is worth taking the kids to see this one!

Other voices: Avril Lavigne, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, William Shatner

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UNLEASH THE NIGHT – Sherrilyn Kenyon

June 6, 2006 at 4:59 pm (Books I've Enjoyed)

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I adore Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series. Unleash the Night was no disappointment. I fell in love with Wren and his monkey (read the book, it’s not perverted).

Wren is a shape-shifting tigard who’s spent his entire life being hunted by greedy family members. In order to remain safe, he’s been living at The Sanctuary, where the law of their kind prohibits violence. He’s been fine with his antisocial existance…until he meets Maggie. Now he just wants to be normal. But in order for him to be with Maggie, he risks revealing his kind to society. He must choose between love and the laws of the Were.

I only had a couple of problem areas with this story, but they were nothing that pulled me so far away from the characters that I stopped loving them. Unleashed will definitely go on my keeper shelf.

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Dreamwork Monday

June 5, 2006 at 4:48 pm (Cover Art That Kicks A$$)

after.jpgI love the monochromatic color scheme. All blues but varied shades. I’d be proud to call this cover mine. Beautiful.

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Book 2 Announcement

June 2, 2006 at 4:50 pm (Gab)

fairy015.gifI just found out that my second book will be Destiny’s Warrior (working title), a medieval fantasy romance taking place in the world of fae. I love love love this story, and even named the heroine Nakkole, after my lovely niece Tiffany Nakkole.

MUAH! This one’s for you kiddo! Happy graduation.

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RUMOR HAS IT

June 1, 2006 at 5:24 pm (Movie/Media Reviews)

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Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MaclainRumor Has It is a romantic dromedy about a woman named Sarah (Aniston) who never quite felt like she fit in with her family. So when she discovers that the movie/book The Graduate was written about her family – the affair her grandmother had with a younger man, the same man who seduced Sarah’s mother – Sarah leaves a fiance’ in search of the man in question (Costner). Suspecting he’s her true father, she hopes to finally figure out why she’s so different from her family, only to discover (Costner) is not her father after all.

Now, keep in mind this guy has already slept with Sarah’s mother and grandmother. So, naturally, Sarah sleeps with him too. Granted, he’s not her Daddy, but come on. It’s a little bit icky that she’s sleeping with a man who’s been intimate with Mom and Grandma, huh? Ok, little bit icky might not be strong enough, but whatever.

Overall, I really did enjoy the movie. I was pleased with the ending, and so long as I could block out the eww issues, I was caught up in the story. Aniston, as always, intrigues me. Not sure why. Maybe because she reminds me a bit of my daughter in appearance, maybe it’s because she was married to Brad Pitt… whatever. Actually, yeah, she does remind me of my daughter, but now that I’m thinking about it, I realize my fascination was more with her body — more specifically the way she wears clothes. It’s nauseating, really, how great they look on her.

So, Rumor Has It. Rent it, watch it, and let me know what you think. Were you able to push past the ick factor to enjoy it?

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