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Monday, December 27, 2010

HOOD by Stephen R Lawhead ~ The good, the bad, the ugly, and the end.

Stephen Lawhead is known as an accomplished fiction author who "blends Christianity, mysticism, adventure, and history seamlessly to create a wonderfully compelling story" (Barnes & Noble).

Title: Hood (Book 1 of the King Raven trilogy)

Author: Stephen R. Lawhead




Synopsis (From Amazon.co.uk):


Stephen R. Lawhead's Hood brings to life the legend of Robin Hood as never before.


The Norman conquest of England is complete - but for one young man the battle has only just begun. When Bran ap Brychan's father is murdered by Norman soldiers, he flees to London, seeking justice. The journey is long and hard - and the suffering of those he meets along the way fuels his anger.


With his demands dismissed, Bran has no choice but to return home, but a worse fate still awaits him there. His lands have been confiscated and his people subjugated by a brutal and corrupt regime.


Should Bran flee for his life or protect his people by surrendering to his father's murderers? The answer, perhaps, is known only to the Raven King - a creature of myth and magic born of the darkest shadows in the forest.

THE GOOD:

I am a total fan of the myth: Robin Hood. Thus the reason a friend gave me HOOD as a gift. He knew my passion for the story.

1 So in reading HOOD, I found that Mr. Lawhead's theological ideas made this story worth reading. His mix of historical fact, biblical truths, peppered with superstition were fun to read. I wish I'd highlighted some passages. I'll keep the book just to peruse the dialogue over and over.

2 I am excited to discover more of Stephen Lawhead. He has some other books out there I am now chomping at the bit to get my hands on. I think he has a great mind and will open a new, entertaining door to sci-fi and fantasy.

In HOOD, on Page 473, after the epilogue, there is a short writing by Mr. Lawhead: Robin Hood in Wales? I wish I could have read this first. The information he gives here, the history of the story of Robin Hood, is most interesting. Especially to me, who adores the myth called Robin Hood.

THE BAD:

I think HOOD was told from what's called "alternating points of view". The author jumped from one character's head to another, sometimes even in the same paragraph. I don't enjoy this type of storytelling. The result leaves me without bond to any one character, confused at times whose head I am in, and dreading the end of each chapter, knowing that we will start again with another character on the next page.

I know this type of storytelling shows talent. Alternating points of view are hard to write, and many of the greatest of the greats write/wrote this way.

Still, not my fave.

THE UGLY:

I did not yearn to turn the page until page 350 of this 479 page book. HOOD is an obvious first-book-to-set-up-a-series book. A classic let's-hook-them-to-buy-another-book book. This is most likely not the author's fault but the publisher and the publishing business as a whole. Its about money.

Robin Hood is a familiar tale and much to well-known to drag out.

THE END:

I am a Robin Hood fan, I will probably pick up the next book in the series. {after some other books stacked on my shelf}

However, I will pick up the next book in this series because of what I read in HOOD's epilogue; and because of the summaries I've read of other Stephen Lawhead projects, not because of the first 465 pages of HOOD Book 1 of the King Raven trilogy.

Good news is, I will, after this experience, delve into other Stephen Lawhead books. I am excited to read the other writings Stephen Lawhead has out there. Stay tuned for those reviews!

Arthur F 1989 

Avalon F 1999-09 
The Black Rood F 2000-06 
Byzantium F 1996-08
Dream Thief F 1996-06 
The Endless Knot F 1993
Grail F 1997-07
In the Hall of the Dragon King F 1982
The Iron Lance F 1998-12
Merlin F 1988
The Mystic Rose  2001-10
The Paradise War F 1991
Patrick F 2003-02
Pendragon F 1994
The Search for Fierra F 1994
The Siege of Dome F 1994 
The Silver Hand F 1992
The Skin Map SF 2010-09
The Sword and the Flame F 1984
The Tale of Jeremy Vole GF
Taliesin F 1987
The Warlords of Nin F 1983

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, Lying in a manger. - St. Luke ii



Monday, December 13, 2010

MOVIE MONDAY ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

KM's long awaited review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1




Wiki summaries: Harry has finally come of age, and finally started on his final journey to defeat Voldemort for good. The Durselys are forced to go into hiding so that Voldemort’s Death Eaters will not torture them for information, and Harry sets off with Ron and Hermione on a difficult quest to find and destroy the last of Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Only once those have been destroyed, Harry knows, can Voldemort truly be killed.



Deathly Hallows is the final tie binding my heart to JK Rowling's characters; and locking me in as a fan of this world she created. It's phenomenal what she has done for this generation and I just wonder if the giganticness of the Harry Potter empire is larger than Tolkien or Lewis or Jane Austin. That remains to be seen. I guess it is up to the generations that come next.

It is in Deathly Hallows that the egocentric Harry [whom I adore even tho] is finally, truly, part of the family. He humbly and gladly accepts his place among them -- Ron, Hermione, The Weasleys, even Luna -- and Harry's 'family', in turn, realizes that war with Voldemort is not exclusively Harry's war.

Voldemort's Hitler-like hunger to weed out the undesirables and breed a perfect race of witches becomes unstoppable, and the lightning shaped scar on Harry's head fades to the background.

This is summed up in my favorite quote from this movie:
You may be the Chosen One, mate,’ Ron says to Harry
[as he catches up to him  swishing  through in a cornfield in the middle of the night.],
but this is a whole lot bigger than you.’

The action sequences and special effects in this movie are amazing. The visual interpretation of HP book 7 is more than I could have imagined. Brighter than the picture I conjured in my own head as I tore through the pages a year or two ago. Superior job.

The creators really made me feel like Harry and Hermione were on the road, moving from place to place for a long, long time. And their dance stole my heart. The true Eros love or Philia love -- friends that genuinely care for one another. My favorite moment in the movie.

HOWEVER, there is one moment that got mucked up. My favorite part of Deathly Hallows (book)  is when Ron helps Harry find the Sword of Godric Gryffindor. I will never forget that moment. It shook the ground beneath me when I read it from the pages. These friends that I have watch grow over the years in friendship, in stature, in bond.  And, in the movie, they skimmed over the 'finding of the sword' like a boring chapter of a book you find in a thrift store. I am still grinding my teeth over that one.

All in all, Deathly Hallows is a class act, a huge hit and I say, "Get to the theater already, would ya?"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CINEMA SOUND OFF with Lynn Rush and KM Wilsher



Welcome to Cinema Sound Off. We love movies!

My good friend and extraordinary writer, Lynn Rush

--and me, KM Wilsher-- visit the movies and we'll be sharing our reviews with you every

second Tuesday of the month.

FASTER

 



IMDB SYNOPSIS: An ex-con sets out to avenge his brother's death after they were double-crossed during a heist years ago. During his campaign, however, he's tracked by a veteran cop and an egocentric hit man.

__________________________________________________________________________________

KM’s Review:

Okay, "The Rock". WWF, Disney, The Scorpion King. Would you believe Dwayne Johnson as an actor after all of these roles? (don't worry I liked those movies too.) Do you think he could dig deep enough to do a serious role? I would have said 'no' . . . until FASTER. Yup, I'm a believer.

This is such a cool movie. A little on the violent side. A little on the dark, vengeful side, but cool -- fast cars (My favorite car ever: Chevelle), big guns (Dwayne looks more like a 'Rock' than he ever did!) and 3 dimensional characters you can see, touch, feel.

There are three main characters Driver, Cop, and Killer. Bad guys who are good inside. Good guys with a wicked side. Girls and guys who are one thing, and, at the same time, all together another. Cliche' relationships we can all relate to.

Despite the theme of 'vengence' throughout, there are some moments in FASTER where my heart was on the floor and my eyes were raining tears. Driver, (Dwayne Johnson) faces some demons we all have to face but in a bigger than life, head on crash, faster than a speeding train method that will bring you to your knees. The writers of Faster hit this one out of the park.

Fast cars, Fast guns that rip the wall to shreds, Fast cops higher than kites. . .this movie motors right down main street with fanfare galore! If you like the Action genre, FASTER is your kind of flick.

KM's rating:



4 tickets See it and share it with a few friends



Now, come with me and Catch the Rush. . .at http://www.lynnrush.com/
to see what Lynn Rush has to say.

 
What do you say? Have you seen it?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Facebook Cartoon Profile Pictures

I saw a post on the news feed from Christopher Miles, a "writer-net-friend" of mine from an ACFW critique group I belonged to.

It said:
Change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday December 6, there should be no human faces on facebook, but an invasion of memories! This is a campaign against violence on children.


Well, Chris is such a cool cat, I had to jump in LOL
 
But, unlike this Cartoon Network generation,it was difficult for me to think of a character from my childhood of the top of my head. I mean, sure there is there are the classics: Flinstones, Jetsons, Scooby, but, you know me, I wanted some butt-kicking, rockin female.
 
I guess there is the staple Wonder Woman, but this one post has sent me on a quest to find cool chick cartoon characters. Wanna help? Just post here. There are way more than I knew or could remember! Come on men, I know you know some chick superheroes!
 
Just a couple I found:

BLACK WIDOW
                                                                  

ISIS My favorite Saturday morning show as a girl!


SPIDERWOMAN (Did you even know about her? I am stoked!)

                                                                         AND MY FAVORITE DISNEY PRINCESS: JASMINE





What/who are your favs? Post here or better yet post a bunch on your blog!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Anthology Submissions

Thanks to you all, my story is in top shape, and I submitted it for consideration to an anthology Saturday night.
It's in God's hands now! :)

[I have written a wraith, half-orc, and two-headed dwarfs in. So much fun!]

The choices for title came down to SUICIDE REDEEMED and LATITUDES OF HOPE.

I really liked Latitudes of Hope, but I felt 'Latitudes' was a measurement term bound to earth not space. So I'll save that for another day and the title becomes: SUICIDE REDEEMED.

Synopsis:
The short story tells of the redemption of a Vampire, Vin, who "committed vamp suicide" a century ago by jumping into outerspace and floating, alone.
Dr. Shed, an evil scientist and paranormal medicine man, is gathering species with all types of abilities and abnormalities to build himself a paranormal army. One of his prized possessions is, Vin the vampire, a creature Shed found floating in space.

The River, a place where paranormal creatures find Jesus and redemption, have sent a team of their elite to rescue the paranormal creatures Shed has kidnapped, and claim them from his evil control. The River and Vin have a connection. Her name is, Sardonyx, Vin's mentor in Christ and life-long love.

They all meet in a massive war to free the captive creatures, including an attempt to free Vin from his self-made, suicidal tendencies.

I am sincerely indebted to those of you who, last minute, edited my story! Happy Writing!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TITLE WEEK

The search for a title for my short story continues!           

I have the following suggestions, which is your favorite? A combination?

Broken                           

Welcome Home             

Prison of Suicide



Suicide Redeemed             Alone No More


Redeemed                             Inside Suicide


Restored                                  Deadly Hope

Rescued                                    Latitudes of Hope

Free the captive creatures         Self-made Prison

Synopsis:
The short story tells of the redemption of a Vampire, Vin, who "committed vamp suicide" a century ago by jumping into outerspace and floating, alone.

At the same time Dr. Shed, an evil scientist and paranormal medicine man, is gathering creatures of all types of abilities and abnormalities to build himself a paranormal army. One of his prized possesions is, Vin the vampire, a creature Shed found floating in space.

The River, a place where paranormal creatures find Jesus and redemption, have sent a team of their elite to rescue the creatures Shed has kidnapped, and claim them from his evil control. The River and Vin have a connection. Her name is, Sardonyx, Vin's mentor in Christ and life-long love.

They all meet in a massive war to free the captive creatures, including an attempt to free Vin from his self-made, suicide prison.


Thanks guys! This is great!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Title Week

Okay, I need a title for my short story. The story is a continuation of my short story SUICIDAL INSTINCT published in the online magazine: THE CROSS AND THE COSMOS April 2010.

So, throw me some ideas. We've got a few days to talk about it. (If you want to read SUICIDAL INSTINCT click the picture of the planets over here on the right: ------------------------------------------------- >

I'll throw out some ideas later. Off the top of your head, got any Titles for a Vampire in Space tale with a Recovery analogy/theme?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

CONVICTION ~ CINEMA SOUND OFF with Lynn Rush and KM Wilsher


Welcome to Cinema Sound Off. We love movies!

My good friend and extraordinary writer, Lynn Rush

--and me, KM Wilsher-- visit the movies and we'll be sharing our reviews with you every

second Tuesday of the month.




CONVICTION






KM’s Review:

There aren't a lot of movies out there right now that catch my attention and make me want to head over to the theater. I didn't think I would enjoy CONVICTION either, its a dry movie season this year, few good movies.

That said, you must go see this movie. I am pleasantly surprised! I guess it only playing at a few theaters, so look it up and make the drive wherever you can to see this movie.

I believed Hillary Swank in this role, more than some of the roles she's received awards for. Minnie Driver gave an outstanding performance (when does she not? :) Sam Rockwell? I haven't seen him in any role better suited for him. . .the cast is amazing.

Sometimes movies based upon true stories can be slow. The editing and directing of CONVICTION weaves this tale in a way that always keeps you guessing and at the right moments makes you erupt in tears and goosebumps.

KM's rating:

I won't hesitate to give CONVICTION five tickets:

5 tickets. A must see. Buy a ticket for everyone.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Now, come with me and Catch the Rush. . .at http://www.lynnrush.com/ to see what Lynn Rush has to say.




What do you say? Have you seen it? Have you heard about this true story?

Monday, October 11, 2010

SHUTTER ISLAND ~ Cinema Sound Off with Lynn Rush and KM Wilsher

Welcome to Cinema Sound Off. We love movies!
My good friend and extraordinary writer, Lynn Rush
--and me, KM Wilsher-- visit the movies and we'll be sharing our reviews with you every
second Tuesday of the month.


SHUTTER ISLAND




Moviefone Synopsis:  Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up for a fourth time for this adaptation of Shutter Island, a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River). The film opens in 1954 as World War II veteran and current federal marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner, Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), ferry to Shutter Island, a water-bound mental hospital housing the criminally insane. They have been asked to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando (Emily Mortimer), a patient admitted to the asylum after she murdered her three children. As Teddy quizzes Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), the head of the institution, he begins to suspect that the authorities in charge might not be giving him the whole truth, and that a terrible fate may befall all the patients in the spooky Ward C -- a unit devoted to the most heinous of the hospital's inmates. Complicating matters further, Teddy has a secret of his own -- the arsonist who murdered his wife is incarcerated on Shutter Island. Driven to confront his wife's killer, and stranded on the island because of a hurricane, Teddy must unravel the secrets of the eerie place before succumbing to his own madness. Max von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, and Jackie Earle Haley round out the supporting cast. - Perry Seibert, Rovi
______________________________________________________________________________

KM's Review: This month Lynn and I are reviewing a DVD.

In Shutter Island, you have: DiCaprio, Ruffalo, Kingsley: a feast for the fan!

This movie is a smart thriller. I shied away from watching this on for a long time because I was afraid it would be spooky, but not so. This is mystery-crime drama, psycho thriller, all rolled into one. I am wishing now I'd rented it sooner!

My heart was tied to Teddy Daniels (The main character. A US Marshall played by the great Leonardo DiCaprio) heart as he searched for the missing patient. I breathed every breath with him as he combed through conspiracies and clues. As a writer, I'd love to capture/create a character like this. Teddy, was well rounded, deep, likable. His own past entered in and complicated things, but endeared me to him even more. You have to rent this movie. Leonardo is at his best! 

KM's Rating:

5 tickets A must see. Buy a ticket for everyone.


I think Shutter Island goes on my "favorite-movie-shelf" :)

Now, come with me and Catch the Rush. . .at http://www.lynnrush.com/
to see what Lynn Rush has to say.  

What do you say? Have you seen it?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

THE END OF BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER by KM Wilsher

Tomorrow, September 22, marks the first day of Fall 2010 or : the Autumnal Equinox. One of my favorite days of the year.

This year I am sad to see summer go. It seems it flashed by in the blink of an eye. I hate to say goodbye to BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER, but I know I must let go and turn my face toward the autumn winds.

I have had an emotional summer, with many successes and life changing moments, as well as deep disappointments and life lessons that will ache deep in my heart for months to come.

However, I think the best thing about this summer has been hiking. I really feel close to our Lord as I move through the dirt paths of South Mountain, Papago, and this past weekend Usary pass. Thank you for sharing each step with me!

I hope to share more insights later this fall from those inspiring hikes. More movie and book reviews. More fun games and stories. And a secret surprise I've been dying to share!!!

You will have to wait as I refresh my soul this month. I will share all of these in the upcoming HOLIDAY SERIES that starts October 31st. Stay tuned, see you Halloween!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

DiCaprio: Inception, Shutter Island ~ Blog Days of Summer ~ Friday Flix

Friday Flix
BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER
By KM Wilsher

Last summer, Blog Days of Summer was full of goodies. This summer I’ve had some distractions, so I feel like Blog days of Summer has been a flop. 

But we will wrap it up in the next 6 days and pray for the HOLIDAY SEASON.

I do have to say that last summer, the summer movie list was outstanding. Fast And Furious, UP, Terminator Salvation, Star Trek, and Harry Potter. . .NOT so in 2010!

I looked through my cinema experience over this 2010 Reel to Reel season, and I am disappointed to say the least. I don’t even think I have a top, summer movie list this year.

However, if I did have a list, it would be dominated by Leonardo DiCaprio with:

Inception and Shutter Island

Leonardo Dicaprio Slam dunks the summer

INCEPTION


IMDB INCEPTION Synopsis: In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a highly skilled thief is given a final chance at redemption which involves executing his toughest job till date, Inception.

What to say about INCEPTION without giving anything away. A little Sci Fi and paranormal, in a futuristic type of way. Dream invasion? Many layers of invasion. Dreams within dreams.

The plot is clever and kept me glued to my seat. I wondered why my back started to ache . . .who knew I had sat there three hours? I didn’t! I was hanging on to every scene.

As in SALT the plot is fragile, I give one piece and the movie could be ruined. If you haven’t seen Inception, it is a must. If you have, you know that this is one you will watch over and over and always find something new.

Leonardo over acted a couple times, as he tends to do that from time to time, but outside of that, I enjoyed him immensely. It was a great surprise to see Ellen Page from Whip it, in Inception. I adored her in this. I’m not sure it was her acting, I think she was playing Ellen Page, but she’s cute nonetheless.


SHUTTER ISLAND



IMDB SHUTTER ISLAND Synopsis: Drama set in 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island.

I know this is on DVD, but I have to include it. DiCaprio, Ruffalo, Kingsley: a feast for the fan! This movie would get 5 stars from me if I gave stars.

Again, here is a smart thriller. I hadn’t watched it before last week because I was afraid it would be spooky, but not so. This is mystery-crime drama, psycho thriller, all rolled into one.

My heart was tied to Teddy Daniels heart as he searched for the missing patient. I breathed every breath with him as he combed through conspiracies and clues. I'd love to capture/create a character like this. Teddy, was well rounded, deep, likable. His own past entered in and complicated things, but endeared me to him even more. You have to rent this movie. Leonardo is at his best!



What were your favorite movies for 2010?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

GOING THE DISTANCE ~ CINEMA SOUND OF WITH LYNN RUSH and KM WILSHER


Welcome to Cinema Sound Off. We love movies!
My good friend and extraordinary writer, Lynn Rush
--and me, KM Wilsher-- visit the movies and we'll be sharing our reviews with you every
second Tuesday of the month.

 
GOING THE DISTANCE
 
 
 
FANDANGO SYOPSIS: Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star in this romantic comedy about a long-distance romance that may be worth fighting for. Garrett (Long) is still nursing the wounds from a recent breakup when he meets Erin (Barrymore), an unflinchingly honest girl with a big talent for bar trivia. Hitting it off immediately, the pair spend a romantic summer together in New York City. It was supposed to be a summer fling, but as fall approaches and Erin returns to San Francisco, the spark is still there. Subsequently dividing his days between working and hitting the bars with best friends Box (Jason Sudeikis) and Dan (Charliefling may just be the real thing. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Day), Garrett drops everything whenever Erin calls. The more Garrett's phone rings, the more his pals begin to suspect that their drinking buddy is taking the relationship a little too seriously. And they're not the only ones; Erin's sister, Corrine (Christina Applegate), is keen to ensure that her smitten sibling doesn't repeat the mistakes of her past, and she makes no attempts to sugarcoat the fact that she disapproves of the coast-to-coast romance. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and as the texting becomes more intense, both Garrett and Erin start to suspect that their summer





KM's Review:
 
Lynn and I intended to review MACHETE this week. 3 minutes in, we walked out. MACHETE was more bloody and raunchy in 3 minutes than I'd ever seen in an entire movie. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I wanted MACHETE to be something else. . .not a Quenion Tarantino-like, gory-trash-comic-book flop.
 
HARKINS was so nice to exchange our ticket for GOING THE DISTANCE. . . ugh - HOWEVER, We left gore and raunch island (MACHETE) for Planet Tasteless (Going the Distance)
 
I was surprised. I love Drew in so many movies and cute Justin Long as well. I own 50 First Dates. I guess if you can wade through the F word (said by every character 2 times per line), the pot smoking scene, the phone sex scene, and Charlie Day's annoying attempt at humor (I blame the writers!), then there is a nice love story. I even found myself teary at a couple of the love scenes.
 
I don't have much more to say about GOING THE DISTANCE.
 
KM's rating:
 

1 ticket –Don’t go see it. Give your ticket away

Now, come with me and Catch the Rush. . .at http://www.lynnrush.com/ to see what Lynn has to say.

What do you say? Have you seen it?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Longing for Forever

Blog Days of Summer
Longing for Forever
KM Wilsher


At my age, more than ever, I find myself yearning for security. Desperate for long term stability. I guess when I was young, I thought by the time I hit this age, I’d be living some of my dreams, coasting along enjoying a life I constructed . . . I would have arrived.

From the perspective of my 20’s, I saw these years full of a brilliant career, a family gathering around, and realized dreams – writing, teaching, inspiring, creating, entertaining.

Now, before I depress you, some of these things listed above are true. I have a career, it may not be the one I saw myself in, but nonetheless, in this economy and these times, I have a pretty good job. As for family? I have the most loving, supportive, loyal family for which one could ask. And my dreams? I am writing, teaching, creating and hoping that I inspire and entertain. I am just missing things, you know, things I want or saw myself doing. A life closer to the one I dreamed of years ago. . .

Okay, the point: I’ve been thinking today that what is missing from my life right now may not be security or stability, but rather: Forever. Heaven. I think the dreams I had when younger, may have been of heaven not of earth. Eternal career, eternal family, Forever with the Father. Somehow, I long for Forever so deeply, I transfer that need to earthly ideas and goals, thinking that if I just find Mr. Right or publish my novel, learn the guitar or have more children in my life that I will be fulfilled somehow. . .maybe. Maybe not. Maybe I’m just longing for Forever.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

So today, as you ache over unrealized dreams -- the fact that you are not published, or haven’t exercised enough to get that killer body, or found your soul mate, or maybe just found happiness with your current mate – give some thought to forever. This life is fleeting, and He has set eternity in our hearts. Enjoy your life as it is, for forever is coming. He promised. I know that's what I will try to do.

James 4:14 Your life is like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Raise your hands ~ REFLECTIONS FROM HIKING

. .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SALT ~ Cinema Sound Off with Lynn Rush and KM Wilsher


Welcome to Cinema Sound Off. We love movies!
My good friend and extraordinary writer, Lynn Rush
--and me, KM Wilsher-- visit the movies and we'll be sharing our reviews with you every
second Tuesday of the month.


SALT


This plot is fragile. I don't want to give it away. So here is the trailer, rather than a synopsis:




KM's Review:

This film packed action, romance, love, super-spy, and unmatchable twists and turns into a two hour extravaganza. I loved this movie.

The vulnerbility of Evelynn Salt contrasted with her super-human spy training reminded me of a female Jason Bourne. Bravo!

I hate to give too much away, because you are never quite sure who is who in this movie (except if you are Lynn Rush, she guessed it in the 3rd scene!) But if you are an thriller-spy-action movie fan ---
--- don't "pass on the SALT."!

I don't think I've ever seen Angelina Jolie more believable. She was born to play this part. Bring on the sequel. Move over GI Jane, Natasha Romanoff, and Storm - Finally, a true female action hero.



KM's rating:



5 tickets A must see. Buy a ticket for everyone.



__________


Now come with me. Catch the Rush. . . Let's see what Lynn Rush had to say! Click here.
Stay tuned for the second Tuesday in September. Another hot movie to review!

Do you have a must see movie for the summer?
Have you seen SALT? Got any thoughts?

Friday, August 6, 2010

AMERICAN MIDNIGHT by BRANDON BARR and MIKE LYNCH

AMERICAN MIDNIGHT
by Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch

The Review
BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER





It's a week of American Midnight! The latest release from the brilliant Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE AMERICAN MIDNIGHT

CLICK HERE FOR MIND WRITERS THE MIKE LYNCH AND BRANDON BARR AUTHOR BLOG

CLICK HERE FOR BRANDON BARR'S WEBSITE

CLICK HERE FOR MIKE LYNCH'S WEBSITE


My Synopsis:

Pastor's daughter, Tania Peters, struggles through her last year at high school after the loss of her mom. Tension between her father and brothers runs hot as they all try to cope with the absence of their mother after her death. Feeling alone, and abandoned by God, Tania separates herself from those who love her.
Swept up in the fast track to the top of a new political party it looks as if she is doing fine by herself. Making her own decisions, shining in the limelight. But this political movement, the Unity Party, isn't all it seems on the surface. In fact, her father is imprisoned by them for his Faith in Jesus Christ, along with other Christians. Tania is forced to choose between those her love her and those who shower her with responsibility and praise. She has to choose what and who she believes in, and her choice just may cost Tania her life.


The Review:
American Midnight is a rapid read, zipping along in a crafty way. At first I wondered if American Midnight was too young adult for me, but truly, that didn't last long. Quickly the authors spun a web of complicated tales of manipulation, betrayal, and conflict that kept the pages turning.

This book is full of golden nuggets: History. Religion. Politics. Faith. Teenage conflicts. Suspense.

I was interested in the fact that each character, even the "bad guys", truly believed what they were doing was right and right for everyone. Some with a more humble spirit then others.

I really enjoyed the varying personalities belonging to those characters who believed in Jesus Christ. Some believed, but had lost hope. Some had turned their back on Him. Some believed to the point of fanaticism and terrorism. Some believed but had no idea how to act out their faith in love toward their families and friends. Though they could preach it, life's pain and suffering had left them closed, and isolated.

I haven't read a suspense novel in a while. American Midnight refreshed my appetite for them.

In the world of fiction, modern-day, Church persecution can come across cheesy and sometimes insulting to those who have really been there. American Midnight is far from it. The story was believable. It reverberated truth provoking thoughts of how real and close we could already be to the attempts to render the Christian Faith extinct, the persecution that can go with that, and having to fight to keep Christianity free -- in a free society where most every idea is accepted but that of the Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

I say, pick up this book! Especially if you are a suspense fan!
Click here to order AMERICAN MIDNIGHT

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

AMERICAN MIDNIGHT by Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch

AMERICAN MIDNIGHT

by Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch
BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER

It's a week of American Midnight! The latest release from the brilliant Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch.





CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE AMERICAN MIDNIGHT
CLICK HERE FOR MIND WRITERS THE MIKE LYNCH AND BRANDON BARR AUTHOR BLOG
CLICK HERE FOR BRANDON BARR'S WEBSITE
CLICK HERE FOR MIKE LYNCH'S WEBSITE


Friday you will see my review of this action-packed, suspense novel. But first up, I asked some questions of the two authors. I tried to make the questions unique and the two authors gave outstanding, inspiring answers. . .see what you think: Here is my with Mike Lynch:
---

Mike Lynch




KM: Hello, Mike, and thank you for coming by!
What books have most influenced your life most?





ML: First and foremost, I would say it would have to be the Bible. You have everything there--love, betrayal, redemption, and the triumph of God's love over mankind's rejection of Him and how He wooed us back through His Son, Jesus. In terms of your more traditional fare, the book that I have probably thought about more than any other after reading it would be Stephen King's, The Stand. I am especially drawn to those parts of the story where the followers of Randall Flagg know exactly who he is, and yet they still choose to follow him.



KM: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

ML: The writer that I most identify with is Rod Serling. He was an amazing story teller who wasn't afraid to tackle some tough issues in the early years of television when he produced his landmark series, The Twilight Zone. He often took a close look at the human condition to see how it would play itself out as the story unfolded. His characters were usually ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. When it seemed that everything was going to work itself out, he would often turn the story on its head and shock the audience with a twist ending, the most famous of which was at the end of the movie he wrote the screenplay for, Planet of the Apes. Whether conscious or unconscious, I find that many of my stories follow a similar pattern of a person of common means who is forced into a situation that affects the lives of other people. There are often no clear cut answers, and so the hero must rely on his inner resolve and belief in himself to arrive at the correct solution.



KM: What book are you reading now?

ML: I'm currently reading two books. The first one is a non-fiction book entitled, The Brendan Voyage. It is a story about a man who recreates the voyage of Saint Brendan, who is said to have sailed from Ireland to North America in the 7th century. The other book I am reading is Maximal Reserve. It is an adventure story about a group of scientists who find the largest oil reserve ever recorded at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, and the race is on to see who be the first to lay claim to it.


KM: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

ML: I spend most of my time writing, working, or being with my family. I just don't have much of an opportunity to see what other writers are doing these days.



KM: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

ML: Having Brandon as a co-author goes beyond working with a writing partner. He and I have become good friends. Also, knowing that there is someone in my corner who is just as passionate about a story I am writing inspires me to do the best job possible. Even though it is not very pleasant hearing about areas of my writing that fall short, his comments and criticisms have brought me further along as a writer far more quickly than I would have on my own. It's always the story that matters, and his commitment to excellence has really helped me be the writer I am today. I owe him a lot.


KM: What inspired American Midnight?

ML: American Midnight is a cautionary tale about a fictional political party that claims to have the people's best interests in mind, but the leadership of this party has a wholly other agenda: power and control over people. Unfortunately, Brandon and I see things like that happening in society today, much of it aimed at the church. In time, he and I believe society's annoyance and dislike for the church will turn more hostile as it continues to pull away from God and His teachings. Jesus said those who follow Him become an enemy of the world. For the last 30-40 years, there has been a Cold War of sorts between the church and society, but we are beginning to see signs that this is changing, and not for the better. The persecution faced by the characters in American Midnight because of their faith is something that is a very real possibility for all of us in the not so distant future. Should that ever happen, wouldn't you want to be ready for it? It is our hope that the book will get people to start thinking about this.



KM: What was the hardest part of writing American Midnight?

ML:There is a difficult scene in the story when Tania Peters, the main character, is sent to a prison camp filled with a lot of despicable people. If she does not recant her faith in God, she could be killed. The person who holds her life in his hands takes great delight in her suffering. We considered toning down that particular scene, but Brandon and I agreed that if we wanted to convey to the reader there are very real consequences for believers facing persecution, then we couldn’t hold back. With that said, we do not portray anything graphic in the story, but the psychological weapons used by the antagonist could be considered unsettling by some. It wasn't fun writing that scene in the book, but it is needed to give the story credibility and weight.



KM: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

ML: I would like to thank those who have offered their words of support and encouragement to Brandon and me. Writing is often a lonely endeavor, and you try to create the best story possible. When someone tells you how much they like your work, it makes it all worthwhile. I especially appreciate the comments made by those who have already read American Midnight. It seems that they have really enjoyed what we wrote, which could not please me more.



KM: What is up next for Mike Lynch and Brandon Barr?

ML: Brandon and I have taken something of a break in terms of working on our collaborative effort. For some time he's been tinkering with a story entitled Mind Riders, but did not feel comfortable enough as a writer to do it on his own. Now that we've written three novels together, he feels like he can finally tackle that story. I was recently contacted by an author I know in the Lost Genre Guild who has written a book. He feels it is a good story, but it needed work, and he offered a co-authorship deal for anyone who agreed to edit the manuscript. After several phone conversations and some follow-up e-mails, I agreed to come on board, and have been doing what I can to get The Crystal Portal into publishable shape. The good news is that when Brandon and I are finished with our personal writing projects we plan on reforming our writing partnership and finishing the sequel to When the Sky Fell.


And I can't wait for these projects, Mike! Thanks for your beautiful answers! I am a big fan of you and Brandon.


Stay tuned. Friday I will post the review of AMERICAN MIDNIGHT by Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch!

Monday, August 2, 2010

AMERICAN MIDNIGHT by Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch

AMERICAN MIDNIGHT
by Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch
BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER

It's a week of American Midnight! The latest release from the brilliant Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch.


Friday you will see my review of this action-packed, suspense novel. But first up, I asked some questions of the two authors. I tried to make the questions unique and the two authors gave outstanding, inspiring answers. . .see what you think: Here is my with Brandon Barr:
---

              Brandon Barr
KM: Hello Brandon and thank you for coming by!
So, first of all, what books have most influenced your life?


BB: Books that influenced my life are certainly different than books that have influenced my writing. Besides the Bible (which my entire life rests upon) here are some books that have had a exhorting effect on my life: God Smuggler by Brother Andrew, In God's Underground by Richard Wurmbrand, Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, The Cross and The Switchblade by David Wilkerson.


KM: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

BB: Above all, I'd have to say C.S. Lewis and Ray Bradbury, their fiction has influenced the way I write profoundly. But I also must add Bruce McAllister (who has worked face to face with me) and Lars Walker.


KM: What book are you reading now?

BB: Knowing God by J.I. Packer. And I'm currently leafing through my horde of unread books to find a good fiction to read.


KM: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

BB: There are some authors who are new to me, though they've been around for a while. The most incredible one being Lars Walker. I now own everything he's ever written. I read The Year of the Warrior and it blew me away. He's a master storyteller, and really an undiscovered gem. Every Christian who enjoys fantasy or historical fiction needs to read that book.


KM: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

BB: I like the word "entity". It reminds me of the Michael Crichton novel, Sphere. Well, I can name a few supporters outside family. In the beginning it was the Online Writing Workshop (http://sff.onlinewritingworkshop.com/). The OWW is a critique group that gave me incredible feedback early on in my writing efforts. I learned so much, and I can't say enough good things about that forum. Where else can you have your manuscript critiqued by top authors? Also a huge support was a local Critique group in my hometown headed by Bruce McAllister. And lastly, I certainly feel that the blogging community has been a big encouragement for me. Friends like you, KM, help to keep me going.


KM: Wow! I agree with you, the blogosphere has been a great encouragement to me also - including those like you and Mike!
So what inspired American Midnight?

This is a two part answer. First, American Midnight sprang from my own experiences as a teenager growing up in our morally confused culture. As young Christians, we grow up surrounded by poison ideals fed to us through TV, movies, Internet, and every other media source. Morals are just your own personal tastes, and fame, popularity, image, money, and ones own immediate satisfaction are the goals of the world around us. In typical polar-opposite fashion, Jesus said to first love God, and then to love others as your own self. In American Midnight, our main character, Tania, is immersed in this self-absorbed culture, she's given up on God because she feels He's left her. Even still, she feels the emptiness of life without God.

Second, the novel explores the growing polarization between Christians who believe in absolute truth and unmovable standards set by God, and a world who wants nothing to do with "old fashioned systems of belief". And if you've read the novel, the story plays this out to its extreme ends. The Jewish people had their world turned upside down in Nazi Germany, one day, that could play out again in new ways, and with new sophistication.


KM: What was the hardest part of writing American Midnight?

It takes a lot of effort to create real, fleshed out characters who come alive. We went through dozens of drafts, refining dialogue and some of the more deep character POV moments.


KM: Do you have any words of wisdom that you want to say to your readers?

I hope we don't take for granted our own freedoms we currently have. Our world, our country, and our culture are changing quickly. Honestly I see a future where many young Christians are swallowed up by the world's view of life and reject their Christian faith (and they reject it for good reason, because they were set up to have shallow faith to begin with). I fear too often parents are teaching their children to have only an emotional, feelings based faith. Christians are more and more abandoning the intellectual side of Christianity. I see Christians scared of science, scared of philosophy, abandoning reason, and simply having faith in faith instead of having faith in Jesus who is Truth, who created science, and who the chief end of philosophy leads to. Jesus claimed to be the way, the TRUTH, and the life.


KM; What is up next for Mike Lynch and Brandon Barr?

There's an archaeological adventure story on the horizon. We're hoping it will be out sometime next year!

---

And we are all hoping to see that next year! Thanks for your beautiful answers! I am a big fan of you and Mike.


Stay tuned. Wednesday I will post my interview with Mike Lynch!

Monday, July 26, 2010

CROW AND BUTTERFLY ~ SUMMER SONGS - BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER

SUMMER SONGS
BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER
CROW AND THE BUTTERFLY by SHINEDOWN

Okay, this is my new favorite band for the summer. Listen to this:



What are you listening to this summer?

Friday, July 23, 2010

THE ROAD

BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER
by KM Wilsher
FRIDAY FLIX
The Road


I didn't expect to like this movie. The previews looked awesome. . .but then trailers are made to look awesome, right?  I didn't hear anything about THE ROAD after it hit the big screen, and I figured that was bad news. I mean, no one even liked it enough to hate it.

Well, my mom liked it. She said, "Someone needs to redo this. This is a good movie." Does that mean she liked it?

The entire movie is about a father and son traveling in a lawless, post-apocolyptic world. That is it. In the beginning I truly warmed to their relationship, but as time, and paranoia, increased, it wasn't so enjoyable.

There were, however, some great lines!
---
"He lay listening to the water drip in the woods. Bedrock, this. The cold and the silence. The ashes of the late world carried on the bleak and temporal winds to and fro in the void. Carried forth and scattered and carried forth again. Everything uncoupled from its shoring. Unsupported in the ashen air. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief. If only my heart were stone."
---
"Can I ask you something? he said.


Yes. Of course.

Are we going to die?

Sometime. Not now."
---
I feel like Viggo Mortensen could really identify with this character that he played. I don't know Viggo, but it seems to me he is much like the role he portrayed here. I think I watched the entire movie, just to see Viggo act. If you see The Road, see it for the great lines/quotes and Viggo's performance.

So, have you seen it? What did you think?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

THIRDS ~ BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER

THIRDS
BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER
WORD WEDNESDAY





The first third of a hike is difficult for me. I'm usually a little slow, but, more than that, the flame of motivation is barely lit.

I roll through the waves of emotions

Monday, July 19, 2010

STARLIGHTER by Bryan Davis ~ Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog tour

I had a great weekend, did you? I know Bryan Davis must be having a great weekend. Excited about the publication of his newest book Starlighter.

Dragons are enslaving humankind and a black egg signals the end of the world. Jason Masters must journey to another realm and join forces with a slave girl named Koren to rescue the captives and save two worlds from destruction. What if the Legends Are True? Jason Masters doubted the myths: people taken through a portal to another realm and enslaved by dragons. But when his brother is taken, he must uncover the truth and find the portal before it's too late. Once he's through the portal, he meets Koren, a slave in the dragons’ realm, who struggles to destroy a black egg prophesied to doom all mankind. Jason and Koren must work together to save their two worlds before the dragons learn that their secrets have been discovered.

A tale by the great story teller: Bryan Davis

 Love this cover!
Visit these links:


Starlighter


Author blog

Author Web site
 
I haven't read the book yet. Way behind in reading. Please visit the tour, see what the others have to say!
 
Brandon Barr


Beckie Burnham

Jeff Chapman

R. L. Copple

CSFF Blog Tour

Stacey Dale

D. G. D. Davidson

Jeff Draper

April Erwin

Andrea Graham

Tori Greene

Nikole Hahn

Ryan Heart

Becky Jesse

Cris Jesse

Jason Joyner

Julie

Carol Keen

Krystine Kercher

Dawn King

Leighton

Jane Maritz

Rebecca LuElla Miller

John W. Otte

Donita K. Paul

Crista Richey

SarahFlan

Chawna Schroeder

Rachel Starr Thomson

Steve Trower

Fred Warren

Dona Watson

Phyllis Wheeler

Jill Williamson

KM Wilsher

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ECLIPSE - CINEMA SOUND OFF with Lynn Rush and KM Wilsher




Welcome to Cinema Sound Off. We love movies!

My good friend and extraordinary writer, Lynn Rush

--and me, KM Wilsher-- visit the movies and we'll be sharing our reviews with you every
second Tuesday of the month.


THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE


KM's Review:
I have not read the Twilight series. I read most of the first two books and gave up. I didn't enjoy them.

I liked the Twilight the movie. I did. I really liked New Moon. That trailer for New Moon had me salivating and the movie did deliver. But, Eclipse? Another story. I fear they threw this together last minute, and I know they tried WAY too hard. The weak flashbacks that were the heart of the story, the cheesy newbie vamps coming to a battle that never satisified me. . .Had me asking: that's it? Really? And, you'd think after two other movies they'd have done something with Jasper's hair. He's Civil War soldier for heaven's sake.

Okay, I'm sure you could care less what I didn't like about Eclipse. Here is what I did like:
I adore Charlie. I enjoyed him in print, but full screen Charlie is the sweetest father ever! The scene where he and Bella discuss her virginity is PRICELESS. . . way to go.

I finally warmed to Edward. I know, I know, he's the vampire who chose Bella over all the women in space and time -- past, present, future -- but the 'I-love-you-so-much-I-have-to-leave-you' banner he's carried always made me cringe, clench my teeth. Really? This is the guy of guys? And when he sabatoges the truck so Bella can't go and see Jacob -- Again, I think "controlling macho man'. . . However, when Bella asks Jake to kiss her -- (Something I found believable and relateable. What else would have kept Jacob from leaving?) -- Edward's reaction was, well, marvelous and endearing. Okay, I'll give him a chance now.

And finally, Bella said:
“This wasn’t a choice between you and Jacob—it was a choice between who I should be and who I am. I’ve always felt out of step—like, literally stumbling through my life—I’ve never felt normal, because I’m not normal. . ."
After Bella said this: all her whining, her going on and on, her unbelievability suddenly softened to a dull whisper.

This "Twilight Saga" experience has been such a great bonding experience with the females in my life. Everyone from my best friends to my coworkers. . . I will continue this conversation.


KM's rating:
2 tickets See it, but by yourself on DVD or Blue Ray

(I know I'm going to hear about  his one LOL)


Now come with me. Catch the Rush. . . Let's see what Lynn Rush had to say! Click here.
Stay tuned for the second Tuesday in August. Another hot movie to review!
Do you have a must see movie for the summer?
Have you seen Eclipse? Got any thoughts?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

HIKING REFLECTIONS ~ BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER by KM Wilsher

WORD WEDNESDAY

BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER
by KM Wilsher


Monday, July 5, 2010

CITIZEN SOLDIER - SUMMER SONGS - BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER by KM Wilsher

BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER

SUMMER SONGS
by KM Wilsher

SUMMER SONGS: Memories of bare feet and the ice cream man. Hope for future, long days of summer. Songs for summer, from summer and about summer.

The ultimate day of summer: 4th of July. Last year I was in a parade in Durango, Colorado!
The ultimate song for the 4th of July?: Citizen Soldier

Thank you to those who have sacrificed family, sanity, and their lives for our freedom. May God be with you.


Don't go away. Up next Word Wednesday, Friday Flix, and next week: AMERICAN MIDNIGHT!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Prince of Persia - BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER by KM Wilsher

Friday Flix
Summer Movies 2010
BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER by KM Wilsher




Okay, I take it back. . .most of it.

I said I did not want to see Jake Gyllenhaal, the kissing cowboy, in the role of an ancient Persian prince. I thought I might die before watching this movie. I did not die. A sweet friend took me, and I actually liked this movie.

The chemistry between Dastan and Tamina is on the hotter side of warm. Disney has kept the language clean and sexy free. The action scenes are quite pleasing. The myths are creative and believable. And the story, I was surprised: Prince of Persia was born out of the video game, was it not? I have not played the video game, but can you imagine a movie taken from Everquest? Or based on World of Warcraft? Seems kind of campy. Prince of Persia was not, it was instead inventive and entertaining.

Let me not forget: Sir Ben Kingsley. Need I say more on that subject?

So, if you've seen Twilight 4 times already, and are looking for something to watch this weekend, try Prince of Persia. Let me know what you think.

Happy 4th of July weekend. Tune in next week for AMERICAN MIDNIGHT by Mike Lynch and Brandon Barr. Celebrate America with fiction.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER ~ Word Wednesday

BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER
WORD WEDNESDAY
by KM Wilsher



Revelation. Lots of encouragement in Revelation. Lots of encouragement to "overcome" and I need that right now, for sure. . .

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.   Revelation 2:7

However, a friend of mine posted this verse on her Facebook a while back:

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. Ps.18:19

Something clicked inside of me when I read it. He delights in me? Me the sinner, the one who makes all these mistakes? The selfish girl, whose mind wanders all day?

Sure I try hard and most of the time, and every moment is lived for Him. I know he forgives me, but it goes further. He delights in me?

Of course, He does.

Suddenly I found myself in a "spacious place". My heart swelled and peace overtook my emotions. . .

What are you reading this week?

Stay tuned to BLOG DAYS OF SUMMER! Lots to do this summer 2010 :0)