Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book Review - Father Of Lies By S.E. England

Supernatural Horror

Blurb- Ruby is the most violently disturbed patient ever admitted to Drummersgate Asylum, high on the bleak moors of northern England. With no improvement after two years, Dr. Jack McGowan finally decides to take a risk and hypnotizes her. With terrifying consequences. 

A horrific dark force is now unleashed on the entire medical team, as each in turn attempts to unlock Ruby's shocking and sinister past. Who is this girl? And how did she manage to survive such unimaginable evil? Set in a desolate ex-mining village, where secrets are tightly kept and intruders hounded out, their questions soon lead to a haunted mill, the heart of darkness...and The Father of Lies. 

Let start with the good. Very authentic, the story was imaginative and researched. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the physical reactions and emotions of the victims of the spiritual attacks. Made me able to feel the terror of the victim. Love it.  The descriptions and overall feel of the story was spooky and engulfing.

That being said, I struggled to finish the book. There are several reason not all of which I will detail. A few weeks ago I went to see Batman versus Superman, not a great film but entertaining. While discussing the movie afterwards, my 11-year-old son and I decided the movie would have been 110% better if they would have just rearranged the flow of the story.  That is how I feel about Father of Lies.

I can be flexible with a nonlinear style of writing, that is until I start getting confused. Using flashback as a way to uncover the past, the truth, piece by piece is a tricky decision for a writer. If overused, in my opinion, it will strangle and kill the piece distracting from the central theme. Unfortunately, I think in this case the authors use of these plot vehicles were not beneficial.

I struggled in identifying the main character. I literally did not know whose story the author was telling. Once I would settle on a character, the author unfortunately would sweep the character away and then only refer to them. Telling me what happened instead of showing. This tactic rarely allowed me to connect to the characters at all.

Lastly, the overuse of exclamations and the constant recounting of events is distracting, insulting, and does not serve the story.

At 75% completion, I was frustrated and ready for the story to end. When I read the last page I was rather disappointed as nothing was resolved and there is a sequel.

In conclusion I didn’t hate the book, I just didn’t love it. Some editing and rearranging would have kept me longer and maybe even convinced me to read the sequel. (2.5 STARS out of 5)




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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Summer Television Forecast: Sunny with a Chance of…Netflix & Hulu

First, if you've been in media black-out let me get you up to speed.  Good, bad or even ugly, Netflix is hot, hot, hot and not cooling anytime soon. Sweaty summer days and sultry nights are meant for streaming.  With Daredevil Season 2 and House of Cards Season 4 already on deck, Sense8 Season 2 due any day and the premiere of Marvel’s Luke Cage just around the corner there is plenty to binge watch with the AC on full blast and that is just the beginning. Look for my official list of what you should be watching on Netflix later this week!

So many amazing shows on network TV this season you may need to catch up. Summer is your time to get in ‘the know’ before fall. Some winners this year are, The Catch, SuperGirl, Limitless, and my absolute favorite, Blindspot!

Summer Networks 2016 brings us the final seasons for Bones and Person of Interest, so don't miss out. To be honest the rest of the network offerings are reality based – I don’t do reality.

Cable, aka HBO and Showtime, summer programming has just begun with the premieres of the epic Games of Thrones and darkly thrilling Penny Dreadful already underway.  

It is slim pickens this summer my friends but here’s what looks good so far. I will put all of these to the three-episode test, so be on the lookout for my reviews!!

Preacher - After a supernatural event at his church a preacher enlists the help of a vampire to find God.



Guilt - Revolves around an American student in London whose roommate is murdered.

The Ranch - Set in the present day on a Colorado ranch, THE RANCH stars Ashton Kutcher as Colt, a failed semi-pro football player who returns home to run the family ranching business with his older brother Jameson “Rooster” (Danny Masterson) and father Beau (Sam Elliott), whom he hasn’t seen in 15 years. Debra Winger stars as Colt’s and Rooster’s mother, Maggie, who runs the local town bar.



The Path - A man who converts to a controversial following suffers from a crisis of faith.




These are the picks, peeps. We will see who comes out on top.
Have a suggestion for a show you'd like to put to the test? Drop me a line @ writesromine@gmail.com or leave a comment!

Monday, May 9, 2016

New Release - You Never Could Be Excerpt

A passion-fueled encounter in the corridor of a hotel convention room reveals two anguished hearts struggling to reconnect despite life’s difficulties. Will Carlisle, the eye candy of the office, is every woman’s dream, tall, handsome, and dashingly charming. Sara Rozek never guessed he has secretly wanted her for months now. When a bad day falls upon them and Will breaks the reins of his own restraint, she sees the burning passion in his eyes, and there is no denying the mutual attraction. Will and Sara’s start quickly runs awry, and Sara becomes convinced she was played for a fool. Will begs her to listen to him, but she turns away in fear. Can Will mend her broken heart, or will the passion they shared vanish forever?

Excerpt
She needed to cool down. The answer was a small bar a few miles from her apartment. She knew it to always be filled with locals, meaning they could relax and not worry about any peering office eyes. 

They walked inside the darkened tavern. She felt his hand on her back leading her to the corner of the bar. He called over the bartender and looked to her with a smile. “I’ll take a corona with a lime and the lady would like…” 

“The same, please.” She took the seat next to him against the wall. 

He laid some money on the bar before taking his seat. “So you needed a drink.” 
He leaned forward against the bar beside her, playfully nudging her shoulder. 

“Uh…yeah.” 

“So is it all my fault, or just the day in general?" 

“More the day than you, to be honest.” 

“So what happened wasn’t completely shocking?” 
“Oh, it was shocking.” She suppressed the uncomfortable laugh residing in the back of her throat and instead released a small giggle. “It just wasn’t unwanted.” 

“Interesting.” 

“The rest of the day pretty much sucked.” 

“No argument there.” The bartender arrived with their beers. Sara took a drink of it, allowing room for the lime she pushed within the bottleneck. She reached for the salt shaking it onto the mouth of her bottle. “What are you doing?” 

The beer began to react to the salt, and she took a quick sip before it overflowed. “What? You’ve never put salt in your beer?” 

“I can’t say that I have.” He smiled at her—he had the nicest smile—as she took another sip from her beer. Conscious to keep the air of confidence she had created around herself, she refused to break his gaze. 

“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.” 

“May I?” 

“Go for it.” Will twisted his body to face her, picked up her beer, and took a sip. She smiled in expectation of his reaction. He remained stoic, placing the beer back on the bar, and a giggle escaped from her chest. “So?” 

“Not bad.” 

“I told you.” 

“That you did.” 

“See, you should listen to me more often.” 

“I am now convinced.” 

“It’s about time.” She rose from her seat. “I’ll be back.” 

Sara walked through the bar past the set of pool tables and small dance floor. She pushed her way into the ladies' room. She drained her bladder, washed her hands, and looked at her reflection in the mirror. 

Why was it so shocking that he kissed her? Attracted to her? She wasn’t drop-dead gorgeous, but she wasn’t a leper. In fact, she looked damn good for thirty-four. She managed to keep her slim tight figure. It curved in the right places, and she had no complaints. She had no problems rocking a tight dress, or mini skirt. Her brown eyes were a little boring, but her defined features and glossy thick chestnut hair more than made up for it. She always got complimented on her hair. People said it shined like polished glass beneath the lowest of lights. 
The heat of his demanding kiss flashed in her mind. A blush rose in her cheeks, and she took a breath. The reaction was spawned not only from the event, but the guilt that came with it. 

What did she have to feel guilty about? They were both single, so it wasn’t like they were offending anyone. They worked together, but due to recent events, he was no longer her boss. Was that what prompted him to act so quickly in the parking lot? 

She was puzzled. A quick once-over and she stepped out of the bathroom to return to the bar. A warm hand caught her wrist. She turned, and he flashed that infamous grin. She couldn’t help but smile back, and he pulled her along to the dance floor. A few couples were scattered around them. Once she was within reach, he placed her hand on his shoulder, the other against his chest. His hands gently grasped her waist, and they began to sway to the music. Her skin tingled with his proximity. His hands kneaded the muscles of her back, and she tilted her head looking up at him. 

“I didn’t know you danced.” 

“What can I say, I’m full of surprises.” 

“Why today?” 

“What do you mean?” 

“What happened? Why are you dancing with me instead of on an airplane?” 
She laid the question out without accusation, just curiosity, and she watched him process it. She wondered what his reaction would be and patiently waited for his response. 

“If given the choice between a stuffy airplane, and dancing with you, the choice is obvious.” 

“You’re avoiding the question.” 

“Am I?” 

“Yes, and I’m wondering why.” 

“Maybe because the reason doesn’t matter.” 

“Then there should be no problem in answering the question.” 

“You would think that, wouldn’t you?” His hands moved up her back, and she continued to challenge him with her eyes. 

“I’m not a fling, Will.” His hand slid up and into her hair. A chill raced her spine, and his eyes searched her face. 

“You never could be, Sara.”  

The statement stopped her breath and her eyes began to lower. She felt his warmth against her cheek just before his lips brushed hers. The act was timid and a wordless request for permission. Her eyes closed, and instinctively drawn to his mouth, she raised her chin to meet the call of his embrace. His lips were warm and soft, coaxing in their ability to ignite her body. They continued to sway to the sultry sounds around them, his strong arms holding her tightly against him.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Game of Silence – Dark and Hopeless

A rising attorney finds his perfectly crafted life threatened when his long-lost childhood friends threaten to expose a dark secret from their past.

Game of Silence is a NBC mid-season release in the  Law and Order SVU time slot. This new dramatic suspense series comes from Writer / Producer David Hudgins. This is his second series, he is also known for Friday Night Lights and Parenthood. This is his first try at dramatic suspense.

Game of Silence stars, David Lyons as Jackson, a successful Houston Criminal Lawyer. Lyons, well known as Vincent Faraday aka The Cape from The Cape. Most recent from NBC’s Revolution, as the angst ridden Sebastian 'Bass' Monroe.

Also starring, Michael Raymond-James, as Gil, a temper driven construction worker, is recently known for his portrayal on Once Upon a Time as Neil Cassidy aka Rumplestiskin’s son Belfire. Also as the original Big Bad on True Blood, Rene Lenier

Larenz Tate, plays Shawn, best friend of Gil and a seemingly well-adjusted man with some commitment issues. Tate is known for his role as Malcolm Kaan on HBO’s House of Lies.

Last night I took the time to put Game of Silence to the three-episode test


**Spoiler Alert**

Jackson is a big time criminal lawyer in Houston, TX. Engaged to a beautiful lawyer, who happens to be his boss, and is up for partner at the law firm where they both work.  He’s worked hard to build his life. Jackson is focused on the future, not the past.

The past, however, always come back to haunt you. Specifically, Jackson’s past and one particular summer where he and his friends got themselves into some trouble. This trouble sent the four boys to a juvenile correctional facility call Quitman.

Now we meet Jackson’s childhood friends, present day. Then there is Boots, who is a blue collar worker, married with a baby on the way. Gil and Shawn, best friends and owners of a construction business that maybe a little shady. Shawn is well-adjusted with serious commitment issues while Gil is a hot-head with a very short fuse.

In the pilot, the story begins with Boots kissing his pregnant wife’s belly before leaving for work and bidding her good-bye until that evening. He is a mover and has a job in Houston for the day. When Boots arrives at the site, a man is standing outside smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone. Boots apparently recognizes him from flashbacks Quitman and snaps. Grabbing a golf club he beats the man to a pulp and is arrested.

Gil and Shawn arrive on Jackson’s law firm, pleading Boots case and asking for assistance. It is obvious none of them have seen each other in a while Jackson is hesitant, Gil convinces him by telling him the man Boots beat was Daryl, torturer from Quitman.

There the story rolls along pretty seamlessly. The men start to dig up old memories and experiences from Quitman. Jackson tries to play it off as the past, while Gil and Shawn are still both very raw. They want revenge for Quitman and Jackson wants no part of their plans.

Everything changes when Boots dies from being stabbed in prison, and Jackson discovers the warden who ran Quitman when they were young is running for Congress.

Jackson decides that yes, they should get justice the right way. They collect evidence, build a case and bring them offenders to justice. This plan quickly goes awry when Gil goes off the rails. It goes from bad to worse when Gil kills an ex-guard just after the group gets him to confess on video.
We also have the Warden/Congressman’s men thinking there is a group forging an attack against them.

As a reviewer, Games of Silence has all the elements of a hit. The formula is there. the show is well written, well cast and has several very lean subplots to keep things interesting.

As a viewer, I found Game of Silence to be very dark and heavy due to the content, and numerous violent flashbacks. As this can be a good thing in a television show, if there is nothing to offset the darkness it does become too much to handle. There is no lightness to the show, no hope. The characters, while well written and very complex, are not very likable. I want to root for them to succeed, however I don’t like any of them enough to care either way.
If Game of Silence were a two-hour movie I would say bravo, great, a riveting and thoughtful piece. But, it’s not a movie it is a serial drama, and I don’t believe anyone will be able to stomach the raw emotional turmoil the show projects for very long.

Nice try, NBC, but I can’t do it, sorry.

Disagree? Please let me know your thoughts on Game of Silence or any of my other posts. Love to hear from you!!