Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book to Movies coming in 2015

There have been some amazing movies this last year, and credit goes to the brilliant authors who penned the stories first.  My world has shifted a little at a time as I watch pages come to life on the big screen.  Some stories have left me a different person.  A better person.

Here today to introduce some of 2015 highlights is guest writer Spencer Blohm.  These are his words...

Film Adaptations of Books 2015
For years, books have been one of the main inspirations in the world of film making. With 2014 leading the way for movies such as The Maze Runner, Gone Girl and The Hobbit it is no surprise that this tradition will continue into 2015 with some highly anticipated titles.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – part 2: November 20, 2015

The finale of the Hollywood hit series The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth lead the way to Katniss Everdeen's final fight as “The Mockingjay.” Actors such as Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci and recently deceased Philip Seymour Hoffman also return in this final film. Author  Suzanne Collins worked closely with the director as well as actors in order to make the movie true to her original vision. The last three films have proven to stay true to the original story, so it will be no surprise that the final film will follow in their footsteps.

Insurgent: March 20, 2015

While the first movie in the series, Divergent, paled in success next to The Hunger Games series, fans are still anticipating the next installation. With names such as Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet and Octavia Spencer in supporting roles, and actors Shailene Woodley and Theo James taking the lead to fight against the powerful alliance that threatens their society, as well as their own inner demons, the film is sure to be exciting. The author, Veronica Roth, is involved very little with any decision making in the films, though she does visit the set in order to watch it all unfold. Fans were disappointed by some of the changes made in the first film, however the main storyline has so far stayed true to the novels.

Pan: July 24, 2015

Fans will see Hugh Jackman as they have never seen him before as he plays the fearsome pirate Blackbeard in this new adaptation of Peter Pan. The film explores a side of the story that was never told of young Peter and his first arrival into Neverland. As the film unfolds viewers will see the classic story by J.M. Barrie in a whole new light. While several characters from the original story will return, this version will not follow the same storyline. In fact, other than the characters, the trailer reveals very little in common with the original story...

The Jungle Book: October 5, 2015

The beloved story, written by Rudyard Kipling, hits the big screen once again. While the Disney version of The Jungle Book proved to be a true classic (it’s still a popular streaming choice sites like Direct TV and Amazon), several film adaptations have come forth since. The trailer for this adaptation has not yet been released, but reviews prove that the original story will be the main focus for the film. Live action and CGI technology are sure to give characters Kaa, Shere Khan, Bagheera, Baloo and King Louie a whole new visual appearance on screen. Also, incredible actors such as Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray and Christopher Walken will all join the team for this classic story.

Paper Towns: June 5, 2015

After the book The Fault in Our Stars by author John Green hit the big screen in 2014, Hollywood was quick to snap up the rights to another of his novels, this time Paper Towns. Fans of the book cannot wait to join teenage Quentin on an adventurous road trip to find the mysterious Margo. With several fresh faces in the cast, including Cara Delevingne (who also makes an appearance in Pan) it is anybody's guess as to whether the movie will be a success. While John Green has plenty of faith that the film will remain true to his original work, he has stated that he will have little involvement with the filmmaking process. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Maze Runner Movie Review

I have known James Dashner for six years now.  He blurbed my first book "Alvor" and it has been a thrill to watch his career take off over the last several years.  In honor of his newest film based on his book "Maze Runner" I give you a special guest post.  Please welcome Spencer Blohm with his movie review.

It today's film industry, dystopian settings that pit a teenager against seemingly unconquerable odds are as commonplace as cozy New England towns and awkward 20 somethings in rom-coms. Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy (out of theaters, but still available on demand and streaming online) started a fire that still burns brightly, though no film since then has been able to generate as much buzz, or manage to be as interesting as Katniss and her struggles in the arena. Except The Maze Runner. James Dashner's New York Times bestseller movie adaption hit theaters this past September, and it’s tackled the familiar subject of survival in an impossible society with flair.

The Maze Runner follows the story of Thomas, a boy who awakens in an elevator shaft with absolutely no memories of his identity or life until that point. He finds himself in a community of boys, all of whom also have no memories, and soon discovers that they are all in a maze, and must team up together for a chance to escape.

Like every book to film adaptation, there are some differences that the plot undergoes in the transition from page to screen. Often times, events from the novel are omitted in order to create more fluid story that incorporates the full plot in the average hour and a half run time. The Maze Runner was no exception to this, with Thomas remembering events from his past much earlier on in the film than in the novel. This was clearly done for the purpose of saving time. When we're able to read the thoughts going through his mind and experience the journey of remembering with him, it’s interesting, but watching Dylan O'Brien and other characters ponder about on screen while bits and pieces of their past return to them, accompanied by attacks from the movie's baddies, called grievers, wouldn't be as entertaining. Some character dynamics were also changed in the film, with Thomas falling under the mentor of another boy, Alby, with whom he had a tense relationship in the novel. This change enabled Thomas to ask questions and learn things that expedited the progression of the plot, and also took away some of the original terror of The Glade.

Although fans oftentimes lash out at an author when a film adaptation doesn't turn out as they envisioned, the truth of the matter is that while author may be consulted by screenwriters and directors, as well as pay some visits to set and give interviews with cast members, the writer doesn't control the logistics of film making. They can, however, give their approval and James Dashner seems quite pleased with how first book of The Maze Runner series has translated to the screen. He did have a conference call at the beginning of the filming process with the producers, and made several visits to watch the movie be shot. Overall, he says he's happy with all the changes that were made as he feels they were pivotal to the plot, and he "agrees and supports everything about this film."

Fans and critics seem to agree as well. Since its US release on September 19th, The Maze Runner has raked in over $192 million worldwide, and received rave reviews. So far it's been praised for its strong acting, solid plot, and dark take on the dystopian universe.

Fans who are waiting with bated breath need not worry - the film rights to The Maze Runner trilogy have been obtained by Fox. and the sequel, The Scorch Trials hits theaters September, 2015.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Follow me and win some cool stuff

Alright, I know you probably haven't read my newest book and you're kind of curious...

Here's your chance to win a free book.  I need some more followers on my blog.  So get out there and drag some random people over here.  For every 30 new followers I get I will be giving away a copy of "Dancing with Black".  So, you might want to leave a note telling me you are a new follower or that you brought all your BFFs over here to follow me to enter for the prize.

I will be doing some book reviews in the very near future.  I have been reading some incredible books and I would love to share them with you.

If this is your first time here, welcome.  Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

This is happening!

I feel like I have to jump into the book thing with both feet!  So, I updated my website, finally made an author page on facebook, and look.... I even posted.  Okay.  I need to get back to the old swing of things.  For the record, and just in case you were wondering, here's what I have been up to:

*I am smack dab in the middle of earning my Master's degree.  Which means I have been knee-deep in homework.  It will be worth it when it's done.

*I have a brand new book that is out on ebook and nearly out in paperback.  This book has been such a shift from the middle grade series that I hope you will be willing to take the ride with me.

*Yes, I am still finishing up that third book I keep promising.  It is the final installment of the Alvor series.

*I have written several other books that you don't know about yet.  Even though it might seem like I've been dormant for a while, I have been busy!

*I teach school full time.  I just got a job as a high school Biology and Ecology teacher and I am really excited about it.  Last year I taught Life Science and Physical Science.  I promised myself that this is my last summer teaching summer school- but I have another month of Physical Science class to teach this summer.

*I have five kids... I just thought I'd throw that one in there.  My oldest is going to be a senior and my youngest is going to be a 2nd grader.  I love being a mom.  And my rockin husband makes all of the above possible.

So, here is the big cover reveal!  I waited until now to show the world, but I am pretty excited about this book.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dragons of Lore Book Blast

I'm back!  I couldn't stay away from writing forever.  So, new news... I have a book coming out this summer.  You're going to love it.  It's my dark chocolate dancing book (dark chocolate because that's my favorite) called Dancing with Black.  But before all that, there was Alvor, then Wings of Light, and let's not forget the long awaited final installment that I will be wrapping up this summer.  I so totally will.  It's almost there, I am so close.

Come meet my friends and their awesome books.  I love dragons.  You must like them at least sometimes.  These authors are genius at word crafting.  Take a big bite out of the amazing selection.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Confessions of a Cereal Mother
A tale of real life.   This down-to-earth book will give you a sense of validity to go along with your smile.  Rachel McClellan takes parenting back to your living room and reminds mothers everywhere that it's okay to be normal, whatever that means.  Parenting is a process, not a destination.  Come take a look at this light-hearted book!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Where Are the Christians? by Eric Shuster

Ponder if you will the state of our world; and in particular the condition of America. Although one can easily argue the United States is still the greatest nation in the world and a country so many desire to come to—even risk their lives to enter into—there is no denying America’s social, moral and spiritual fabric continues to deteriorate at an accelerated pace. For many this is an alarming and discouraging trend.

Now consider the fact that 76% of Americans claim to be Christian, making the United States one of the highest per-capita Christian nations in the world. A nation full of Christians in a deteriorating society? If this indeed be the case then WHERE ARE THE CHRISTIANS? To solve this conundrum author Eric Shuster gives us a book that bears this question as its title with the promise of answers and a unique journey for readers.

Where are the Christians? uses the classic format of who, what, where and how to explore Christianity and the dynamics that unite and divide the religion into the unrealized potential it suffers from today (thus the subtitle of the book—the Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion). The book enlightens readers as to who the Christians are from a historical perspective; what a Christian is from a spiritual perspective; where the Christians are from a behavioral perspective; and how Christianity can be strengthened and more united from a societal perspective. Where are the Christians? examines hundreds of Biblical and scholarly sources, analyzing data from a multitude of studies leading to unique perspectives and solutions to the challenges facing Christianity in the modern era.

Where are the Christians? contains 17 chapters arranged into four sections:

·         SECTION 1:  WHO ARE THE CHRISTIANS?—a history:  4 chapters providing a concise history of Christianity spread across four distinct periods:  Evangelization and Formation, Legitimacy and Codification, Corruption and Division, and Reform and Denominational Proliferation.

·         SECTION 2:  WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?—a definition:  4 chapters examining the definition of a Christian from the perspectives of the world, the Bible, landmark religious studies, and what Shuster refers to as Modern Day Pharisees.  

·         SECTION 3:  WHERE ARE THE CHRISTIANS?—a categorization:  5 chapters profiling the five types of modern Christians including a unique and enlightening exercise to help readers understand what type of Christian they are among the five. 

·         SECTION 4 – HOW IS CHRISTIANITY TO UNITE?—a vision:  4 chapters describing the ways Christians in America can unite into a force for good by focusing on individuals, families, churches and communities. 

To watch the book trailer, take a survey to find out what type of Christian you are, and to pre-order the book go to