Thursday, June 16, 2016

NEW RELEASE FROM The God's Behaving Badly Series!

Today I welcome Guest Blogger the FABULOUS Sheri Velarde with the newest and next release in her ongoing series, GODS BEHAVING BADLY. Don't miss this fun and sexy new story!




Blurb:
Sophia had fled New York and the feelings that a certain detective had stirred within her. Now she found herself alone in LA on New Year’s Eve, the former goddess of love reduced to having to look for a date. Hitting the Sunset Strip she finds the last thing she was looking for, but exactly who she was yearning for, Detective Bruce Stoker in the flesh. A night of passion leaves her with high hopes for the future, until an art heist threatens everything.

Bruce had followed Sophia across the country in order to rekindle the passion he felt during their one night together and to get some much needed answers from her about who he really was, what her really was. Just when he thought he would get his answers, Bruce begins to wonder if he can truly trust Sophia at all. Only time and a mystery will tell.
Buy Links:
Lost Souls: smarturl.it/puu78m
Stealing Hearts: smarturl.it/tl3f7k

Guest Post:
Why Greek gods in modern times?
When I decided to try my hand at an actual book series, the first idea that popped into my mind was that it should be about Greek gods. That is where the idea for the Gods Behaving Badly series started. People since then have asked me why Greek gods? Why not? Not only are there plenty of gods to choose from, which means lots of potential characters for a book series, but they are fascinating to me. I believe that you should write what you know and love, so ancient gods from mythology just made me want to write them. Plus let’s face it, all those overgrown personalities make for some pretty good fiction! Talk about drama! For my own personal deities of lore stories I chose to place them in modern times with diminished powers. Same egos, but more challenges. So far I am liking the results. Looted, the first in the series was pretty well received and I am hoping Stealing Hearts does just as well. I am loving writing this series and in the latest book have already brought in more gods and that means more stories to tell. Here is a little sneak peak from Stealing Hearts.



Author Bio:
Sheri Velarde lives in New Mexico with her husband and their two dogs.
Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.
She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website www.sherivelarde.weebly.com.
In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.
Links:



Excerpt:
The next morning Bruce awoke feeling happier than he could ever recall feeling. Suddenly he snapped open his eyes to make sure that Sophia still lay beside him. Sure enough, she slept peacefully next to him, a slight smile played on her beautiful features, her long auburn hair mussed, making her even sexier. Thank god, or goddess in this case. He had been afraid she’d disappear despite her promise the night before. Now that his need for her had been abated ever so slightly, maybe he could get her to answer some questions that had been eating him alive since their first meeting. His stomach growled; he forgot when his last meal had been and he had certainly worked up an appetite the previous evening. Quietly, he slipped out of bed, praying that goddesses kept a fully stocked kitchen. Maybe a little breakfast in bed would make her more talkative about the magic she seemed to have awakened within him. He still needed to know what an empath truly was, what he truly was, and what he was capable of doing. It seemed too farfetched to believe he was anything but human. However, he certainly felt different when with Sophia.
Making it to the kitchen, he was thrilled to see Sophia had all the makings for a fine breakfast. He turned on the small television on the counter as he began to get the eggs and bacon ready to cook. Mostly, he just wanted a little noise as he got to work, but something suddenly caught his attention.
“This is the highest profile art heist to hit Los Angeles in history. What is even more puzzling, there is no evidence as to who could have stolen the painting. All cameras and security systems are working properly, and the guards on duty didn’t see or hear anything. No alarms sounded, and the Getty’s systems show that no one entered or exited the premises last night. Van Gogh’s Irises is valued at over fifty-five million dollars, but many consider it priceless. If you have any information please contact the police. This is certainly not how we wanted to start off the New Year…”

Bruce’s heart sank. As he lay asleep last night, exhausted by lovemaking, it appeared Sophia may have been up to her old tricks. How could he ever learn to truly trust a creature such as her? She seemed to be getting bolder too, now she wasn’t just stealing from nefarious rich men, but from the Getty Center, and a high profile piece as well. He must not have provided her with enough excitement last night after all.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review: Justice for Abby



Justice For Abby (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #6)

Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead. 
The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client. 
As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn. Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.


REVIEW:

This story handled some very deep and troubling problems. Human traffic, the slave market, and PTSD were a few of the social problems discussed and handled with great attention to detail and care. It's difficult to accept our country still has  troubling difficulties with trafficing and using humans as slaves, particularly young girls and women. Yet this problem is on the rise and a very real threat not just in our major cities, but in our smaller towns as well. In addition, PTSD is not just suffered by those who served in the military but anyone who suffered a horrific trauma, as this heroine did.

The characters were well written and part of an ever growing cast of players in this series. While I didn't get the same sense of 'I have to read the first book to know what is going on' that I have reading previous books, it was a bit difficult to keep up with 'who is who' and how they all fit into the big picture. That's always a problem with a huge cast and this author tackled that problem fairly well. I did still need to re- read a few paragraphs and try to sort everyone, but that was more my problem than the author's.

While the plot is somewhat predictable, and I felt the action lacked that 'omg stay up until 2AM to read' feeling, it was an enjoyable read and would be perfect for a 'beach time' or a much needed lunch break from daily life. Abby is a heroine who is trying to put her life back together after a life changing abduction and forced slave life. There were times I felt I 'missed something' because I hadn't read her sister's book which apparently details more of Abby's story. Also, because Abby is often described as having, 'the perfect body', or 'tiny' or 'model thin' it may be difficult for readers to identity with so perfect a heroine who often skips meals and doesn't work out yet is perfectly shaped.

Jerrod is a wonderful stick-in-the-mud hero, and I saw shades of Harrison Ford from the movie  Sabrina in the way he was portrayed. I would have liked a bit more clearer picture of him; I never really fully connected with him and deeply missed that. Also described often as 'perfect', I kept hoping for some sort of flaw that might make him more human and less like the fictional Superman.

I would most definitely recommend reading these books in order. While they do 'stand alone' events and person from previous stories intertwined and make it hard, sometimes, to follow the current story.

All in all, a nice, light read.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5



International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

REVIEW: Falling for Sarah






Falling For Sarah (The Bodyguards Of L.A. County #2)

Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart. After two years of grieving, she’s found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood’s A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee... until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss. 

Sarah’s world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband’s memory. But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won’t stop until he has what he prizes most. 



REVIEW:


This is book two in a continuing series featuring sexy bodyguards and the ladies they love. While it is a 'stand alone', there were several events and people mentioned I could tell were from others books and it did throw me a bit. This didn't take away from the overall story.

Sarah is a single mom whose husband was killed in military service the day after their baby was born. His best friend Ethan has always been there for Sarah and her daughter. Now, two years later, they begin to have romantic feelings for each other right as a serial rapist begins a deadly attack on Sarah's neighborhood.

The characters are very true to life and well written. Sarah is portrayed as a harried, busy, devoted mom who realizes she also can begin to live a life as a woman and not just a parent after her husband's death. Ethan is a strong man who loves kids and big dogs. Supporting characters are, for the most part, also well written, although I found one or two a bit typical and a 'throw away'.

A pet peeve of mine is the 'kid speak'. While a two year definitely has a pattern of speech different from others, the constant 'dood' for 'good' wore on my nerves a bit. I found knowing who the rapist/murderer was both adding to the story and taking some of the suspense away. There were some twists and turns, but many were predictable and not much of a surprise.

Overall, this is a lovely story of finding love with someone who is already your best friend.

Review rating: 3.5 stars out of 5




International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series.

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

I'm a Reviewer AND a YEAR LONG CONTEST for You!

 HAPPY NEW YEAR! LET'S START 2016 WITH A YEAR LONG CONTEST AND LOADS OF GREAT BOOKS!

I'm decided to share reviews as part of a project I'm working on. Here's one of the sites where you can find me. As always, check this page first, since I plan to post loads of reviews here.

Professional Reader

I also plan to have a YEAR LONG CONTEST. Here's how it works:




1. Read a book, either hard copy or e book. Buy it, borrow it from a friend, get it from the library, win it from the author, but please don't buy and return it.  This must be a NEW book to you, read in 2016.

While I love to read just about anything, the focus of this contest is ROMANCE. Any romance novel, from extreme erotica to sweet to Christian to historical to contemporary to all in between is eligible.

2. Post a review on Amazon, Good Reads or Smashwords. You can either leave a star rating or give a written review (most authors and readers LOVE written comments to tell why you loved/hated the book).

3. As River Song (my absolute fav heroine) says: NO SPOILERS in your review. Don't ruin it for others :)

4. Post the link to your review here on this blog or on my Face Book Page (https://www.facebook.com/MiaEwrites/).

5. After you post the links to 10 reviews, you win an e book of your choice that's .99 or under.

6. After you post the links to 20 reviews, you win an e book of your choice that's between $1.00-1.99.

7. After you post the links to 50 reviews (WOW you are almost as big a reader as me -w-) you win an e book of your choice $5 or under.

Ready to start 2016 with a Reading Bang? Ready, Set, GO!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas is Coming....

In my series, Weddings by C & C, there are couples and weddings...but there's also a strong sense of family. Family plays a huge part in our lives. Never is family more important and the sense of family stronger than at the Holidays.

And by family...I mean the ones we're born with and the ones we create. Family isn't by Blood. Family is made by the Heart.

May you and your family have the most magical, joyous Holidays.

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

My strongest and earliest memories are of baking, people, and birthdays. I also recall a certain doll I pinned for and received in a doll bed when I was seven. And the first and only White Christmas I've ever known.

My birthday is 11 days before Christmas and my sole cousin on my paternal side is Christmas Eve. When our Grandfather lived, he made certain we December babies had our own gifts, our own birthday cake, and our own celebration with nothing to do with Christmas at all. I miss him and never more than at Christmas, when he would come to dinner, play with our toys, and tease my Northern born mother about her 'failure' to cook 'traditional' Southern style cornbread dressing. The year before he died, in fact what was only 3 weeks before we lost him, he told my mother, after twenty three years, she'd finally got the dressing 'right'. My mom beamed for days.

In our house, baking was king. The entire month of December was devoted to schedules of baking. My mom planned it better than any general in a military campaign. One Saturday was for cookies, another for candy, a third for pies, cakes, etc. We helped (or hindered) from my earliest recollections with the recipes passed down through several geberations of our family.

 
Christmas is for kids...of all ages and stages. My granddaughter and I read a Christmas book.

Like the Sugar Cookie recipe, where the cookies are colored and taste so light and like heaven (the green ones, for some reason, always tasted best). My great grandmother made this recipe and then stuffed the cookies with dates and figs. My mother divided the dough and made 4 colors.

And the Gingerbread...the Mexican Wedding cakes....the Candy Canes. Cookie factory USA (as we called Mom's house) made cookies by the dozens. 30, 40 or more... dozen. The kitchen would be filled with scents of butter and vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon, baked cookies cooling and the sounds of my Mom telling my Dad for the upteenth time to leave the cookies alone or there'd be none.

 

My childhood home was open to everyone and anyone from Christmas Eve to New year's day. As the founding family of the local volunteer EMT and fire station, my parents gave an open invitation to every firefighter, solider (we lived near a huge military base), policemen, hosp. workers, EMTs, any and all who had to work the holiday to enjoy the Christmas buffet dinner. It officially began at 1 and ended at midnight, but since schedules and emergencies happen, anyone who dropped in anytime left full of hot food. Anyone with no where else to go was invited to stay the day, and even the night, at my childhood home. My parents never turned anyone away.

As I grew up, married, and had my own children, we began our own traditions. Such as using those ancient recipes to bake cookies for the charity Christmas Eve and Christmas day dinner at the local church, open to everyone in the public who needed a meal. My kids learned Christmas is GIVING, not Getting, by making and delivering these treats for the dinner, by choosing an 'angel' from the angel tree and buying gifts, and by picking names of a sibling and buying a gift they'd really like. We have grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade tomato soup on Christmas Eve and always end the night reading The Nativity. And my daughter now continues these traditions with her daughter, who can't wait for Cookie Day.

Learning early, my granddaughter and daughter create the perfect chocolate creame pie filling.

In Dec. of 2010, a RARE event occurred. Around 2AM, snow began to fall. Now I live in the Blue Ridge and while snow (the southern version that is...which anyone from the south can tell you, our snow is NOT the fluffy fun stuff of Christmas cards and movies, it's white ice with a dull hue) is common in Jan-March, Christmas snow is a once in a lifetime event. It started to snow...and snow...and snow. All through the night, morning, afternoon, and next night until 2.5 feet lay piled on the ground. My first ever White Christmas.

A WHITE Christmas!!!!!


However you and yours celebrate the holiday season, I  wish you all the best. Please never forget Christmas is a celebration of a birth, of giving, of praying for peace, and even, in some cases, recalling those we love even as they drive us half out of our minds.

May you and your family have the Merriest and Most Wonderful Holiday season.

Friday, October 16, 2015

COVER REVEAL!!!!!





Book Blurb:
Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It's her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste based politics. Her path is crossed by the two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are forever going to change her life. If it is Aman who can challenge her ideals and defy her resolves, and makes her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay's sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It's also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.





Author bio:
Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world. 
Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.

When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.


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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Movie Review

With the long holiday (Labor Day) weekend, I allow myself utter frivolous time to just veg out and watch movies on Netflix. I love movies and Netflix allows me to indulge in them at home, in my pjs, and while I fold laundry, sort email, etc. I admit I sometimes binge watch Doctor Who instead, but long weekends have long been the time my family and I set aside for movie viewing.
Below are some movies I watched (or tried to watch) this past holiday weekend. One of these I had seen in theater before; most I have just discovered because either Netflix recommended based on my previous viewing or the description caught my eye. Always, this is MY opinion only. I do not endorse anything except my own personal preferences and opinions. And I welcome comments, good, bad, indifferent, or the contrary.

MOVIE REVIEWS

1. TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD: 1962, NR, Black and White version, 2hr. 9 mins, starring Gregory Peck as Atticus, Mary Badham as Scout, Robert Duvall, William Windom & Alice Ghostley
First off, I adore black and white movies. The old age Hollywood glam time of 1930-1960 when movies were made for entertainment, fun, history and loads of other reasons is a magical time for me. Special effects weren't needed and character development was key to a movie success or failure.
Few movies actually do justice to the book. This is an exception and well earned the awards it received. Told entirely from the children's points of view, it shows 1930's life in a small southern town (which could be any southern town in the US). The children call their widowed father by his first name, something unique since everyone else is 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.", again exactly like small town southern life in the US even to this day. Atticus is a lawyer and receives a case to defend a black man against a charge of raping a white woman. (No I didn't use the political correct terms. This is how the movie description is, how it was advertized, and is called in the book. It IS true life and I refuse to bow to some misbegotten version of 'better terms'. Sorry.) Atticus is an upright man hiding some secrets but proves (at least to me) his case in court only to meet with small town southern prejudice. It could be said justice wins in the end; I certainly thought it did. He also deeply loves his children.
This is a hard movie to watch with its unapologetic use of the 'n' word (which was entirely approp to the time period and setting), how disabled people are called 'lunatics', and the large division between the races. The actors are some of the best in the business, especially the children. The way the movie is shot, showing things from a child's eye view, or shadows only adds to the dramatic effect.
Not rated, there's no violence shown, or curse words, or nudity, but the subject matter, even from a child's POV, is definitely for mature audiences. I'd rate it PG-13, and it could be a good way to discuss justice and diversity with older kids.
My rating: 5 stars for the excellent actors, scenes and descriptions

2. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: 2008, PG-13, 1 hr. 32 mins, starring Amy Adams, Frances McDormand, Lee Pace, Tom Payne, Mark Strong
Another movie based on a book, this was supposed to be my 'total fluff' movie. It's largely fun and a little ridiculous, but I got caught up in the story and characters and rooted for the true love to win over all. It also shows a world innocent before another 'great war' sets in.
Set in London just before WW2, Miss Pettigrew is a straight laced woman who accidently falls into the job as 'social secretary' to flighty, wild partying, singer/actress Delysia. Told in the space of one day, some scenes are absolutely hysterical (Delysia's insistence on being seen as a 'dumb blonde' when she obviously is anything but) and Miss P's shock at some wild living. There's shopping, fashion shows, make over and a love triangle, um, square, as Delysia tries to decide on a romance between three men.
Much like the old black and white 1930's Hollywood glam screwball comedies, the pace is fast, furious, and a bit like trying to catch your breath after downing an entire glass of wine in a single gulp. There's even a secondary romance for Miss P. While I can't give spoilers to the end, I will say it's logical and follows the plot and character development to perfection.
This movie didn't win awards, but it's a cute romp for a rainy day when you want a few laughs and to watch true love win over all. And to see screwball romantic comedy.
My rating: 4 stars for pure throw away fun and laughs

3. The Patriot: 2000, R, 2 hrs. 44 mins, starring Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Jason Issacs, Joely Richardson, Chris Cooper, Rene Auberjonois
Filmed entirely in Charlestown, SC and told mainly from the American point of view during the Revolutionary War, this movie was critizised for its 'inaccurate' scenes and use of historic characters. I consider it 'fiction based on fact' and take it as such. Some scenes and characters are based on real life persons: there WAS a 'swamp fox' who terrorized the Brit soldiers and made their lives utter chaos and hell; the war is well documented with cruelty on BOTH sides, and no true historical fact (such as the great losses on both sides, the outcomes of battles, the methods of fighting, costumes, etc.) were changed. This is 'it could have happened this way'. I absolutely love the harbor and the way the huge ships are anchored right at the sidewalks. It's gorgeous.
Ben Martin is a widowed father of 7 who refuses to join the fight for independence, citing "I'm a parent; I don't have the luxury of principals". Yet after his son is unjustly killed, Ben leads a rag tag group of fighters who make it their job to drive the Brits out not through open fighting but misery. They largely succeed at extreme great personal cost. It's stressed the Brit 'made their own plague' in the way the swamp fox (although Ben is never called that in the film) is made.
There are vivid scenes of war and can be hard to watch, especially the injustices (again, on both sides). While not as descriptive as the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan, it's still not for the faint hearted. One particular scene in the village church…well, that was especially difficult. I love the development of the characters, especially Ben and his eldest son. Their actions are entirely appropriately and not contrived, even the way-over-the-top sociopath Brit Colonel. The French Major is wonderfully portrayed, and even grudging admiration is given to General Cornwallis, the Brit leader.
The best line and one I wish the world could learn: "This war will not be fought in faraway lands or seas. It will be fought in our fields, in our homes, in our towns. Our children will learn of it first hand with their own eyes and will not be innocent any longer. There are none who will escape the ravages."
My rating: 4 stars for character development, scenes, costumes, and emotion

4. Anywhere but Here: 1999, PG 13, 1 hr. 53 mins., starring Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon, Shawn Hatosy, Bonnie Bedelia
If you are the mother of a teenage daughter, this film will make you say, "OMG! YES! That's just how I feel!" If you are a teenager, you will say, "OMG! YES! This mother is impossible!" A mother-daughter movie, it's at times funny, touching, and a bit slow paced.
Adele is a free spirit smothered in her small southern hometown and packs up unwilling teen age daughter Ann to drive to Beverly Hills. Adele is irresponsible, a bit nuts, and always seeks the best for her daughter with good intensions if not quite 'traditional' practices. The everyday struggle to pay bills and wish for 'better' is one every parent shares. The daughter's wishes her mom was actually 'normal' is also very true to life. The dynamics of family are also well played and while not 'hit you over the head' scenes, lesbian issues, love, sex, drugs and romance are all portrayed. POV is often through Ann's voice over observations.
There's no nudity or violence in this film, so it's 'safe' for 10 and up. It's not so much the plot that grabs your interest; it’s the characters, who are well acted and touch a note in you, whether you are mom or daughter. Watch it with your daughter, regardless how old she is.
My Rating: 3 stars for well acted, mom-dau relationships

5. Muffin Top: A Love Story: 2014, 1 hr. 36 mins, R, starring Cathryn Michon, David Arquette, Melissa Peterman
This is my 'fluff movie'. It drags in places with old jokes and slow pacing, but overall is good. I won't watch it again, because it's not something I want to watch over and over, but good for a rainy afternoon if nothing else is on.
Suzanne is a professor of women's studies whose class I'd love to take. Her personal life is a wreck: after a series of hormone shots designed to help the 40-something conceive and encouraged by her husband, on her 40th birthday he serves her with divorce papers and the fact his 20-something secretary is expecting his child. Suzanne sets out to lose her 'muffin top' of weight, although to be honest, she looks darn good to me, so I fear the stereotypical 'you can never be too thin'. There had to be some special effects to show her 3 rolls of waist fat because it's sure not visible anywhere else.
The 'diet guru' she consults is, unfortunately a true real representative of what fad diets are like, as are his recommendations and serves to show how 'body' obsessed our culture truly is. Her efforts to 'get rid of this awful fat' are funny except by those actually trying to lose actual weight. While poking fun at 'muffin tops', this does little to help the self esteem of women actually having to fight the 'battle of the fat' and does seem to point out only thin people are 'beautiful'.
My rating: 2 stars for some funny scenes and a happy ending

6. Survivor: 2015, 96 mins, R, starring Milla Jovovich, Pierce Bronsnan, Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett
Need an action thriller? This is it. There's loads of twists and turns and the story seems largely without huge plot holes. Based on 'fact', including the 9/11 New York City attacks and subsequent 'terrorist' foiled attempts since, this movie is vivid in descriptions of violence, greed and the over whelming need to 'do the right thing' as according to personal beliefs.
There's no 'bashing' here of any religion or person, at least I didn't think so. The characters are shown to be acting according to their own conscious (or lack of one) and their own motives without dragging religion or country into it (one character does state a need to 'make the Americans pay', but there's dozens of other things he reveals as the reason for his actions). Seeing my 'Remington Steele' crush as an ultra bad guy was hard to swallow, but wow, he rocks that role. I truly couldn't keep up with all the plot angles, which make this movie one you have to sit, watch, and do nothing else. Miss even a second and you are behind the plot.
The London shot scenes are breathtaking, the bombing scenes heartbreaking, and the deaths of characters while furthering the plot and not for 'show' make your breath catch. It's supposed to be the security and threats of a post 9/11 world. It's not that clear cut, but anymore would be too unbelievable. This film provokes the thought: Who can we truly trust?
My rating: 3 stars for action and plot twists, would have liked to see a bit more character development

Now three I couldn't finish:
1. Area 51: Filmed like someone took out their smart phone and started the video, it's full of foul language and predictable characters. I lasted 15 mins and counted over 100 uses of the 'f' word before I hit 'browse' and turn it off.
2. Time Lapse: I fast forward through the middle of this and didn't lose a bit of the plot. Great premise, but the plot is slow, contrived and filled with predictable, one dimensional characters. Even the surprise twist at the end can't save it.
3. Red Lights: More fast forwarding, very slow plot and predictable characters. I wanted to like it, but I just couldn't get past the predictability.