Saturday, November 29, 2014

A book that took a lot of courage to write - "It's Like Here Only Better" by Robin Landry

Amazon Link
Sometimes you come across a book and you can feel the emotion that the author poured into it.  When it is fiction, that quality really makes the characters seem to leap from the page.  When it is non-fiction - the effect is to pull the reader into to pages instead.  When it is non-fiction that deals with a tragic event involving a mother's loss - it really makes the reader wonder how Landry was able to put into words what she went through.

Landry recounts the tragic accident that took her son too quickly from the world and some of the events that have occurred afterwards to give her signs that  her son, Tim, was trying to communicate with her and his friends.  

I know some people might dismiss this as "seeing what you want to see" and making connections that aren't there.  Having lost a younger brother much too early, I can say that I went through a period where I thought I was going crazy with some of the "signs" that I was coming across.  At first, I tried to rationalize that I was looking for things and making connections.  But after things kept happening, I have opened myself up to other possibilities.  

Landry has given tribute to not only her son's memory in this book, but has given a gift to all of Tim's family and friends by documenting ways and signs that her son has given them to let them know that "It's Like Here Only Better" where he is at.  It is obvious from the pages that this book was a labor of love, and I feel that it delivers a message and story that hopefully the readers can just read about and never have to experience.

For those of us who have experienced a sudden loss of a significant person in our lives, this book will have you walking through all of the different stages of the experience again.  In some ways, it was difficult - but in many more ways, this book let me know that what I went through and some of the experiences I have had afterwards might be more of the rule instead of the exception.

I would like to personally thank Robin Landry for sharing her experiences with others so that they may know that they aren't alone in what they are going through.

(This book was given to Movies and Manuscripts as a gift to review.  This does not affect the review that was provided in any manner.)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Pixel Hall Press Release! The Winter Boy by Sally Wiener Grotta!

Amazon Link
Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, Mary Doria Russell and Ursula K. LeGuin, "The Winter Boy" explores important political and social issues within a dynamic, character-driven otherworld, wrapped up in masterful storytelling.

A cloistered society of widows, the Alleshi, has forged peace by mentoring young men who will one day become leaders of the land, using time-honored methods that include dialog, reason, and sexual intimacy. However, unknown to all but a hidden few, the peace is fracturing from pressures within and beyond, hacking at the very essence of their civilization.
         Amidst this gathering political maelstrom, Rishana, a young new idealistic Allesha, takes her First Boy, Ryl, for a winter season of training. But Ryl fights Rishana every step of the way. At the same time, Rishana uncovers a web of conspiracies that could not only destroy Ryl, but threatens to tear their entire society apart. And a winter that should have been a gentle, quiet season becomes one of conflict, anger and danger.


The website link for the book is A “The Winter Boy” study guide for book clubs, classrooms and other discussion groups is available as a free download at

Movies and Manuscripts is proud to feature authors and books being published by Pixel Hall Press - a new small publishing company based out of Pennsylvania who looks for authors that other publishers might have missed.  This isn't a "vanity publishing company" that charges authors for their services - they are one of the good guys!  

Please check out their website and support them as they support new authors!!

(not a review - non-paid ad donated by this blog)

Be in a sequel to a movie with a cult following, get eaten by a dinosaur on film, impress your friends! Iron Sky 2 is coming and you could be in it!

Nothing more needs to be said!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

When the world is about to end - it gets really hard to tell who the good guys are!

Amazon Link
You would think that vanishing for a year in a fugue state would make a person the talk of the cocktail party.  The fact that Hector can't remember what he did during that year doesn't mean that he wasn't busy though.  While in he amnesiastic state, all Hector was doing was becoming the Blessed Man and getting ready for his part in Armageddon.

So when Hector is outed as the "Blessed Man," (which is news to his wife as well as himself) he winds up on a team whose side includes a "witch" who can perform astral travel with some serious angelic connections, a YooTV channel superstud who has a religious conversion that would make Jim Bakker jealous, a leader of a drug gang with stigmata, and an owner of a security firm.  Then all hell breaks loose.
No, seriously - all hell does break loose.

The Bleeders have been tracking down artifacts while trying to find the Blessed Man.  Using some pretty intense "readjustment" techniques on some people within the Occupy movement, the bad guys also have a job opening for someone who can lead their Legion.  The main qualification include wearing a couple thousand year old pig head that has some biblical history of its own.

But who is fighting for what?  The "bad" guys are trying to stop Armegeddon from happening (which really makes one wonder - are things really THAT bad on earth that the people on the side of Hell want to keep it that way!).  The good guys are trying to set about the end of the world.

Maybe humanity can hope for a draw and we can revisit this whole Armageddon thing in a few thousand years down the road......


"The Blessed Man and the Witch" by David Dubrow is a story unlike any that I have come across before.  Plenty of action, lots of neat characters, plot infused with biblical relics, and an climax that will really leaving you wondering who you want to root for.  Bad guys win - world keeps going.  Good guys win - beginning of the end.

The characters were strong, and easy to connect to.  The plot was very ambitious and there was enough action to keep you turning the pages.

A couple things that I did find confusing - lots of mention of Angels names and no real background of who they were or why they were important.  Also, as ambitious as the plot was, the ending was a cliffhanger.  I almost had the feeling that the ending may have been written by a different author.  The beginning and middle of the novel seemed to move at a good pace, the ending seemed frantic.  But, we are talking about the end of the world here - and I am sure I am not going to be sitting around in a leisure suit with a glass of fine cognac in reflection of great literature at that moment.

I am hopeful that Dubrow is planning a second novel to "The Blessed Man and the Witch" - the suspense has been built up.  There is more story to tell with this novel, and the characters are too well developed not to hear from again.

(Movies and Manuscripts were provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Everyone's a Genius - so get to ideating now!

"Everyone's a Genius:  Simple Tips to Boost Your Brilliance Now" by Jen Fraser is a gem of a book.  Although the book is short, the results and effects of the book can have rewards long into the future.  Lot's of tips thrown at you in an organized way, but at machine gun rate - are mixed in with quotes and challenges from the author.  I did try one of her techniques, because I just "knew" that I had another book in me.  I woke up in the morning with the entire outline of the book plotted out in my head and wrote it down as quickly as I could.

There is a saying that if reading motivational books were effective, then why are there so many.  Shouldn't people be able to read just one and then be good?  They point to that as if it were a failure of self help books.  Well, I guarantee those people take showers every day.  Why?  because the benefits of the last shower they took eventually wear off. 

Everyone needs to have some words of wisdom occasionally to help guide them, or better yet expand their horizons.  "Everyone's a Genius" does just that.

This book should be in everyone's library who has run into obstacles from time to time.  In other words - it needs to be in everyone's library!

Thank you Jen Fraser for putting together this wonderful resource!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Abracadabra! A brand new world!!! Check out "The Four Kings" by Scott Spotson

Amazon Link
The world is a wreck.  The economy is tanking, everyone has nuclear weapons, and there is no end in sight.  That is until a surprise visit by a group of wizards that take over everything - and I do mean everything.

Imagine if the whole world could be "reset" by all powerful beings who agree to watch over the government, can build buildings in minutes, switch to one world currency that measures exactly what you use in all ares of your life, and still has enough free time to take part in "Wizard Game Day's" that are broadcast all over the North and Central America.  This is all done with the "mortals" best interest in mind, and the wizards promise to turn everything back over to mortal control in three years.  Some people love it, and to no surprise the people that lost quite a bit of power are not happy at all.

To get the mortal point of view, a supreme liason has been chosen from a pile of applications and a few interviews that were televised live.  Enter Amanda, a college student who suddenly finds quite a bit on her plate.  Sure, she gets to hang out with wizards who can zap her into some pretty incredible places - but a nagging feeling that something may not be quite right with the wizards starts to grow.  After an incident that shakes Amanda to the core - she is forced to either resign the most powerful job a mortal could hold or stay to try to gather whatever information she can glean from the four wizard "kings" that she serves.


Spotson's book is a huge undertaking with many different ideas and possibilities that are explored.  This almost falls into the realm of alternative historical fiction because it makes a great case for "what if" thinking.  Not that I am saying wizards are going to descend from the sky and take everything over - but what if they did and what would they do?  These questions are explored and answered in a great entertaining book that delves deep into the world and scenario that Spotson created. 

Amazon Link                              Goodreads Link