Before I Wake – spooky first images!

Hooray for horror movies!  Sure, I’d rather watch ‘em in October (as is just and right), but I’ll take ‘em whenever I can get ‘em.

So hello, Before I Wake!  Sounds like a new entry in the “nighttime is scary, but dreaming is worse” sub-genre.  Here’s the IMDb:

A young couple adopt an orphaned child whose dreams – and nightmares – manifest physically as he sleeps.

Directed by Towson grad Mike Flanagan (Oculus), Before I Wake stars  Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Annabeth Gish, and is scheduled to hit theaters May 8th, 2015.

Peep these first images, and get ready to be even more frightened of what’s under your bed.  What?  I’m just sayin’.  You should probably not look.

(Clicky for the high-res images!)

Wiig Wilson and Sudeikis go heist-y in new Masterinds images

Like heist films?  Like funny?  Well, Masterminds is hoping you like a mix of the two, and with Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis in the lead roles, that just may be the case.  Based on the Loomis Fargo robbery in 1997 — “largest cash robbery on U.S. soil at the time” — I’m sure they’ll be taking liberties to make it funnier. I’m guessing.

Take it away, IMDb!

A night guard at an armored car company in the Southern U.S. organizes one of the biggest bank heists in American history.

Peep these first images — there isn’t even an official poster yet — and see if you’d take the bait.

Masterminds opens August 7, 2015.

(Clicky for the full high-res images!)

Romance Review: Ava Miles, Nora Roberts Land

Nora Roberts LandStory: Meredith Hale is a journalist still smarting from her divorce from “Rick-the-Dick”.  Tanner McBride is a war correspondent looking for a job.  When Tanner hits the small town of Dare, Colorado, sparks fly between the two.  But Tanner is really on an assignment.  One that could leave Meredith with another broken heart.  Unless those sparks are real?  Of course they are, honey.

Sexytimes: Oh yes ma’am.  As with other Miles stories, there’s just enough 411 to get folks steamed up, but not so much that you feel like a gynocologist.  Bonus points for pointing out how uncomfortable bustier undergarments can be!

Add-ons: None here, unless you count the numerous Nora Roberts book, character and storyline shout-outs.

Thoughts: Diving into this book after reading Country Heaven is a bit of a shock.  Yes, Miles has great characters here too, and a very interesting storyline.  But Nora Roberts Land spends a lot of time introducing the town folks — a few are sure to be future couples for future books — and I wanted more Mere and Tanner.  (And Tanner’s dog. Because c’mon, puppeh!)

Then there are the countless shout-outs to Nora Roberts stories and characters.  Great if you’re well-versed in Roberts’ mythos, but as I’ve never read her (I know. I KNOW), I got pulled out of the story every single time Miles sent out a virtual air-kiss to her favorite author.  I’ll give Miles a bit of slack, as this was the intro to what is now two series — and because things really took off after the halfway point. It wasn’t quite the addiction Country Heaven was for me, but when the storyline kicked into high gear, I was flipping pages as if my life depended on it. Still, I’m hoping for more from the other books in the series. 

Yes, I’ll still read ‘em thanks to Miles’ sense of humor, killer storylines, and way with character development. But I have a touch of cautiousness in my heart now.  Just like a romance heroine starting her own story, no?

Hey, wait a minute…

Grade: B+

Hotel Transylvania 2: first official poster revealed!

Love me some Hotel Transylvania.  Been excited ever since they shared some images & a trailer for Hotel Transylvania 2. So without further ado, the first teaser poster!

Hotel Transylvania 2 onesheet 1

Here’s the official synopsis, from the studio’s EPK:

Drac’s pack is back for an all-new monster comedy adventure in Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2!  Everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania…  Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny – and in for a major cultural shock of her own – “Vampa” Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp.  But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and very old, old, old school dad Vlad is about to pay a family visit to the hotel.  And when Vlad finds out that his great-grandson is not a pure blood – and humans are now welcome at Hotel Transylvania – things are going to get batty!

Hotel Transylvania 2 hits theaters September 25th, 2015.  Fingers crossed for more werewolf Winnie!

007’s SPECTRE: teaser trailer and first images!

1$_V?_Job Name“You’ve got a secret. Something you can’t tell anyone…because you can’t trust anyone.”

Ooh!  I’ll bet he does.  He’s James Bond, after all.  But why should I blather on when there’s a brand-spankin’ new teaser trailer and pics from the set?  Take it away, PR folks!

In SPECTRE, a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. Sam Mendes returns to direct SPECTRE, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as 007 for the fourth time. SPECTRE is produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, from a script by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade.

Directed by:
Sam Mendes

Written by:
John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade

Produced by:
Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli

Cast:
Daniel Craig
Ralph Fiennes
Naomie Harris
Ben Whishaw
Rory Kinnear
Christoph Waltz
Léa Seydoux
Dave Bautista
Monica Bellucci
Andrew Scott

SPECTRE hits theaters November 6th,2015.  Happy Birthday Month to me…
Enjoy the trailer, and scroll down for the official first images!

Read more of this post

Short Story/Short Review – Gwenda Bond, Lois Lane: A Real Work of Art

Lois Lane work of art coverWho wants a review longer than the story itself? Nobody! So here’s the bottom line for a brief tale…

Nutshell:  A fine first taste of Bond’s upcoming novel that will introduce readers to a teenaged Lois Lane, Real Work of Art is a fun Nancy Drew-ish mystery with one or two fannish shout-outs that will have readers dying for more. The narrative is entertaining for all ages, but I wouldn’t be surprised if grownup Super-fans join in too.  Grade: A-

Story: Bond introduces us to Lois Lane in this teaser short story.  No, not the woman you think you know, but the Army brat teen that’s trying to pick up a new hobby.  But let’s just say that art isn’t her strong suit.

Thoughts: This story felt like it was over before it began.  And that’s no wonder, as it’s meant to be just a taste of what’s to come with Bond’s Fallout.  I like the way Bond takes a teenaged Lane and brings her into the 21st Century, complete with apps that help with…studies, and long-distance IM’ing with “SmallvilleGuy”.  I squee’d when I saw that handle, and I bet everyone else did too.

Bond obviously knows how to dole out the goods, and when to hold stuff back, and I look forward to more of the same when Fallout hits.  Real Work of Art is easy to read, with a quick but not rushed pace, which is another thing I hope carries over into the novel.  In Real Work of Art, there are hints at future possibilities, and seeing Lois as an Army brat who keeps herself at a distance from those around her (why invest in friendships if only to lose them?) is a breath of fresh air.  Lois Lane is a character everyone thinks they know, or at least have a basic knowledge of.   So getting a peek inside her head as she’s becoming the woman we all know?  Very cool.  In fact, the first person narrative here has just the right blend of travel weary teen and grownup-in-training. And Bond doesn’t dumb down the dialogue here, yet there’s still a hint of Nancy Drew innocence to keep the story firmly in YA land.  And if the plot is wrapped up a little too quickly?  Well, it’s a short story.  Bound to happen.

YA fans and Superman aficionados will enjoy this quick read. If Fallout – the novel that this short story introduces – is just as good, this “new” Lois Lane will be worth getting to know.

 

[Note: I received an electronic ARC from the publisher in return for an honest review.  I received nothing else, not even art lessons.  And lemme tell you; looking at anything I draw, you can definitely tell.]

Romance Review: Ava Miles, Country Heaven

I’m more than just horror and comic books.  I love me a good love story too.  Here’s the quick-n-sometimes-dirty on my latest l’amour!

Country HeavenStory: Tory Simmons works in a diner.  Rye Crenshaw is a famous country singer who needs a new tour cook (and an image makeover).  Can the wholesome but no-nonsense Tory and the bad-boy-with-a-brain Rye make it work?  Um, do you read romance novels honey?

Sexytimes: There’s plenty of nekkid, condoms, and moaning. But nothing particularly blue.  Miles has a steamy way with the smutty side, but keeps things from going into tacky.

Add-ons: recipes!  And ones that look really good, too.  In fact, Miles published a cookbook full of these homey but yummy sounding recipes.

Thoughts: I picked this up as a freebie, and decided to give it a whirl as an after-horror palate cleanser.  I’m not disappointed.  Country Heaven is the start of the Dare River series by Miles, and though you don’t need to know what happened in the prior series, Dare Valley, you’ll probably want to grab those books thanks to Miles’ easygoing, eminently readable style.  Tory and Rye have believable back-stories, and the sub-plots are just as interesting as the will-they-won’t-they of the main duo.  (Probably because a few of these characters are slated for books of their own.)  I had my usual “can’t turn the page fast enough, want this book to last forever” feeling that I get with stories I truly invest in.  I can’t wait to sink into more stories, be it Valley or River.  First one’s always free, huh?  Well played, Miles. I’m hooked.

Grade: A

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