Thursday, May 6, 2021

THROWBACK THURSDAY: BOOK REVIEW

FIRST CONTACT (In Her Name, Book 1) By Michael R. Hicks
GENRE: Fantasy, Sci Fi
PUBLISHED: May 31, 2010
WORDS: 155,290
LANGUAGE: English
ISBN: 9780984492725

Young Midshipman Ichiro Sato joined the Terran Navy to escape a tyrannical father and find freedom among the stars. He had no idea when he boarded the survey starship Aurora for his first assignment that he and his crew would make humanity’s first contact with a sentient alien species. Little did he know that this fateful encounter would trigger a catastrophic galactic war.

A survey ship on a mission to discover habitable planets accidentally encounters a more technological advanced alien race. The result is a massacre that will set the tone for a battle that will not only determine the fate of the human race but also will determine the future of the alien race. A well written book with a vivid description of epic space battles.

RATING: 8/10

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

LOVE WEDNESDAY: MOVIE REVIEW

 HOLIDATE 
GENRE: Romance, Comedy 
STARRING: Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Jake Manley, Jessica Capshaw, Andrew Bachelor, Frances Fisher, Manish Dayal and Kristin Chenoweth. 
RUN TIME: 1hr 48min 
RELEASED: October 28, 2020

Fed up with being single on holidays, two strangers agree to be each other's platonic plus-ones all year long, only to catch real feelings along the way.


Two single individuals after an coincidental meeting agree to be each other dates for every holiday to escape all the problems associated with being in a relationship. The plan however backfires when they fall in love with each other and they must decide if it worth the effort and potential heartbreak. 

RATING: 7/10 

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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

INSPIRATION TUESDAY: MOVIE REVIEW

 THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES 
GENRE: Drama, Sport 
STARRING: Gerard Butler, Wes Bentley, Jay Rodan, Gavin Rossdale, Costas Mandylor, Louis Mandylor... 
RUN TIME: 1hr 41min 
RELEASED: April 22, 2005

The film is based on the true story of the 1950 U.S. soccer team which, against all odds, beat England 1–0 in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil during the 1950 FIFA World Cup. The story is about the family traditions and passions that shaped the players who made up this team of underdogs. One group of teammates were from The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. Another group came from the Corky Row district of Fall River, Massachusetts.


This is the inspiring story of a group of young men who through self believe, determination and sheer will were able to cause an upset of epic proportions and announce themselves to the world. A smooth flowing tale with decent acting and the customary happy ending. 

RATING: 6/10 

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Monday, May 3, 2021

NEW RELEASE MONDAY: MOVIE REVIEW

STOWAWAY 
GENRE: Thriller, Sci-Fi 
STARRING: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson, Toni Collette
RUN TIME: 1hr 56min
RELEASED: 22 April, 2021

On a mission headed to Mars, an unintended stowaway accidentally causes severe damage to the spaceship’s life support systems. Facing dwindling resources and a potentially fatal outcome, the crew is forced to make an impossible decision.



A three man crew to Mars run into unexpected problems after discovering a stowaway abroad the shuttle. Over the next few weeks the crews mettle will be fully tested as the try to solve one problem after the other resulting in an almost total catastrophe. 

RATING: 7/10 

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Friday, April 30, 2021

FUN FRIDAY: BOOK REVIEW

WARRIOR  MAGE, Book 1 By Lindsay Buroker
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Published: April 24, 2015
Words: 103,280
Language: English
ISBN: 9781311556998

His mother was one of the most powerful wizards in the Nurian Empire until she abandoned her people to become a notorious pirate. That choice doomed the family she left behind to a life of disgrace.

Yanko White Fox doesn’t remember his mother, but as the only gifted child in the family, he is expected to erase the mark she left on them all.

This is a coming of age story about a young mage from a once great but disgraced family, seeking to enter a magical school but failing bringing further shame on the family. He however redeems himself by taking up a quest alongside his friend to save the empire. A great page turner.

Rating: 8/10

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

THROWBACK THURSDAY: BOOK REVIEW

THIS GAME HAS NO LOYALTY by L.J. Miller
GENRE: Urban
PUBLISHED: March 22, 2011
WORDS: 102,500
LANGUAGE: English
ISBN: 9781310647574

Junior is on the come up running his drug operation out of Baptiste Projects until one of the most feared criminals in the hood gets wind. With things changing around him left and right it doesn't take long before he gets a taste of disloyalty. With things stacked against him Junior flees Baptiste to regroup turning over the reigns temporarily to a trusted soldier.

This is the story of a young man who is at the top of the food chain, but have become complacent. He has now become the prey in animal kingdom that is the street. This is a tale of love, money, jealousy, betrayal, revenge and loyalty (or lack thereof). He must maneuver himself out of a complicated situation, save himself and outsmart the cops using his wit and help from friends who may or may not be loyal. A thrilling read.

RATING: 8/10

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

LOVE WEDNESDAY: BOOK REVIEW

SECRET MANEUVERS By Jessie Lane
GENRE: Romance, Suspense 
PUBLISHED:May 15, 2013
WORDS: 90,680
LANGUAGE: English
ISBN: 9781301452095

Some mistakes from the past haunt us forever… unless fate steps in with a second chance.

One ‘Dear John’ letter haunted Bobby Baker’s every living moment. It was the letter he’d stupidly written to his high school sweetheart, Belle, right after he had left to join the Army. The letter in which he’d told her that he wasn’t so sure they were ready for forever yet. Before he could let her know that the letter, and his second thoughts, were nothing more than a mistake, she disappeared from the small Georgia town they had both been raised in.

Fifteen years after the letter, Belle unknowingly walked back into Bobby’s life when her job as an ATF Agent forced her to work with a group of men secretly headed by the CIA to help her track down whoever was involved in funneling black market weapons to a drug cartel in Mexico.

Bobby planned to use this mission to try to soothe Belle’s hurt feelings while proving to her that their love was meant to be forever. He would use every dirty trick he’d learned since he had joined the Army to maneuver her back into his life for the long haul. Belle was not making it easy, though, as she continued to keep him at arm’s length in the hopes that mistakes of her own would never come to light.

This novel is all about second chances, a chance to get back what you lost. It is funny, romantic, fast paced with some mature content. The book is mostly predictable but that is well neutralized by the writer's approach to the book.

RATING: 8/10

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

INSPIRATION TUESDAY: MOVIE REVIEW

INVINCIBLE 
GENRE: Drama, Biography, Inspirational 
STARRING: Mark Wahlberg, Greg Kinnear, Elizabeth Banks, Michael Rispoli
RUN TIME: 1hr 45min
RELEASED: August 25th, 2006

 In the sumer of 1976, 30-year old Vince Papale is having a tough run of luck. He's been working as a supply teacher for two days a week but has just found out that his job has been eliminated because of budget cuts. His wife gives up on him saying he'll never amount to anything and asks for a divorce. He works as a bartender and plays football with his friends. When the the new coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dick Vermeil, announces that he will hold open tryouts for the team, Vince reluctantly decides to give a try.

This is the inspiring story of a man who is at a low point of his life, losing virtually everything he has, condemned to a life of mediocrity and the almost miraculous turnaround in fortune through the one thing that he has not lost (football). A classic fairy tale that promotes the importance of hardwork as a pathway to better things. 

RATING: 7.5/10

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Friday, April 23, 2021

FUN FRIDAY: TV SERIES REVIEW

COLONY 
GENRE: Drama, Action, Adventure
STARRING: Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies, Peter Jacobson, Amanda Righetti, Tory Kittles...
RUN TIME: 42min
SEASONS: 3 (2016 - 2018)

Set in the near future, Colony centers on a family headed up by Holloway and Callies who must make difficult decisions as they balance staying together while trying to survive. They live in L.A., which has been occupied by a force of outside intruders. While some people have chosen to collaborate with the authorities and benefit from the new order, others have rebelled and suffer the consequences.

This series is a nice blend of action, drama and sci fi thriller. It tells the story of a family's response to a bad situation. A fast paced series with a strong albeit unoriginal plot and well crafted characters. This series has all the markings of a great production. A definite must watch over the weekend.

Rating: 9/10

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

THROWBACK THURSDAY: BOOK REVIEW

THE TRILISK RUINS by Michael McCloskey
GENRE: Sci Fi, Adventure
PUBLISHED: Oct. 1, 2011
WORDS: 69,950
LANGUAGE: English
ISBN: 9780983843009

When a group of artifact smugglers recruits her, Telisa can't pass up the chance at getting her hands on objects that could advance her life's work. But she soon learns her expectations of excitement and riches come with serious drawbacks as she ends up fighting for her life on a mysterious alien planet.

This book explores the adventures of a scientist, who after refusing to work for the government joins a group of smugglers who deal in alien artifact. She will face many challenges while evading the government forces trying to get to it first. A fast paced novel

RATING: 7/10

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

LOVE WEDNESDAY: MOVIE REVIEW

 THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU 
GENRE: Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller 
STARRING: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, and Terence Stamp
RUN TIME: 1hr 46min 
RELEASED: March 4, 2011

The film tells the story of a United States congressman who discovers that what appear to be chance events in his life are controlled by a mysterious, powerful group. After an event not planned by these controllers occurs – a romantic encounter with a dancer – he struggles against their manipulation despite their promise of a great future for him.



This is the story of a man whose chance meeting with a woman, brings up all sorts of problems. He will have to rely on determination as well as an insider's help to reconnect with the love of his life against all odds. A nice movie, with a decent plot and good acting. A good departure from the usual. 

RATING: 7/10 

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

INSPIRATION TUESDAY: MOVIE REVIEW

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS
GENRE: Drama, Biography, Inspirational
STARRING: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, 
Jaden Smith...
RUN TIME: 1hr 57min
RELEASED: December 25th, 2006

Based on a true story about a man named Christopher Gardner. Gardner has invested heavily in a device known as a "Bone Density scanner". He feels like he has made these devices. However, they do not sell as they are marginally better than the current technology at a much higher price. As Gardner tries to figure out how to sell them, his wife leaves him, he loses his house, his bank account, and credit cards. Forced to live out in the streets with his son, Gardner is now desperate to find a steady job; he takes on a job as a stockbroker, but before he can receive pay, he needs to go through 6 months of training, and to sell his device's.

A raw, real look at poverty in America. The story follows the life of a man, down on his luck as he struggles to get out of the dump and into the big leagues with his wit and his son for company. The movie is a tale of hope, love, pain and humor. The lead actor expertly interprets the role giving this movie a more believable and complete look. A heart-warming compelling story.

RATING: 9/10

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Monday, April 19, 2021

NEW RELEASE MONDAY: MOVIE REVIEW

THUNDER FORCE 
GENRE: Comedy, Family 
STARRING: Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale, Pom Klementieff, Taylor Mosby, and Melissa Leo
RUN TIME: 1hr 47min
RELEASED: April 9,  2021

In a world terrorized by supervillains, one woman has developed the process to give superpowers to regular people. But when scientist Emily Stanton accidentally imbues her estranged best-friend Lydia  with incredible abilities, the two women must become the first superhero team. Now, it is up to Thunder Force to battle the super-powered Miscreants and save Chicago from the clutches of The King. 


A tale of two women who are reluctantly tasked with saving their city from criminal elements using powers accidentally gotten. A simple generic superhero with no surprises. A good movie to while away the time. 

RATING: 6/10 

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