Book Review: Magic City: Recent Spells (various Authors)

Magic City: Recent Spells - A Review

Title: Magic City: Recent Spells
Publication Date: May 7th 2014
Publisher: Diamond Book Distributors
Author: Various Authors, edited by Paula Guran
If you enjoy stories that contain magic, wizardry, in an Urban setting, this book is for you. A short story collection that does not disappoint, containing stories by Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Holly Black and a few more celebrated Authors who are all delivering well crafted, short tales, that make you want for more. Readers of Fantasy will find this book charming, the different tones of the individual authors complementary, but refreshing in their differences. Read it in sections, if you can, or like I did, devour the entire collection in one setting.

The Woods – A Flash Fiction

A Flash Fiction Story: "The Woods"

“It’s a true story.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Well, it really happened.”
“No, it didn’t you are just making stuff up again, I am going to tell Grandma.”
“Don’t Steve, please don’t she won’t understand!”
“That you made up another one of those crazy stories about the woods behind the field? Come on, I knew you where lying.”
“I am not lying. She, she, just..”
“She, what? Man, spit it out already!”
“She told me not too go close to woods.”
“Of course not, you’ll just get lost in there. It’s dark, that’s all.”
“That’s not all.”
He laughed, as he turned away from a his little brother and toward the dark, thick rows of ominous trees, the thick shrubs between them, making it impossible to see further then a foot, two, at most.
“I’ll show you, that its only dark.”
“No!”
Stepping further into the thickness, Steve’s eyes widening with surprise, and fear.
“I’ll be damn.”, he whispered, just before cold, and dark hands wrapped themselves around his neck.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2014

 

Alexander (The Movie) – A Review

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Movie: Alexander

Release Year: 2004

Director: Oliver Stone

Rating: 5/5 Stars

I have always been fascinated by Ancient History. It was my favorite subject in school, and is my favorite subject to teach. Out of this reason, and many others, I decided to watch Alexander, directed by Oliver Stone, in its extended cut version, today.

While of course this is a movie rather then a documentary, produced by an epic, and larger then life director, it is essentially the story of a great man. There are sure ways the execution of it could have been done better – rather then switching back and forth within the time line, it could have been done linear, but the care it showed for each individual character was superb. As a fan of Jared Leto, I was drawn to his performance, which was as I expected exceptional, as the best friend, and essentially true love of Alexander. Colin Farrell gave an charismatic, emotional and convincing performance, even if it was considered controversial, and I have a feeling not well received because of that. Glad, that I had only heard of a hint of the controversy about the movie and its main characters relationship with two males, to whom he was closer then any woman, I saw only the depth of their relationship, rather then the dissatisfaction that others have expressed about the film, because of it.
The fight scenes where epic and grant, nothing less is to be expected by an Oliver Stone project. Sometimes the gore was much, but war is not pretty, and should not be described as such, and back then it was even more personal and therefore more explicit. Maybe it also hinted on stereotypes when it expanded to include the people of Asia, but it is after all a movie from the view of a limited worldview, of the times of the beginning of exploration, rather then after it.

In all I really enjoyed the movie, I enjoyed the care of portrayal of each characters, the emotion, the visual execution, and its depth. Having one of my favorite actors, and musicians in its cast (Jared Leto), was the icing on the cake.

Alexander-99

An Unexpected Guest

cake

“I almost forgot how much I loved cake.”
“Aunt Lilly is a genius in the kitchen. You are the last person, I expected to see today.”
“Why? You had a lot of visitors lately, specially since your Mother passed.”
Sienna sighted.
“That is true. There have not been very many moments to just be alone.”
The older gentlemen nodded.
“Everyone wants to make sure you are okay.”
“Not a conventional way of making sure I am okay, though.”
“Since when has anyone in our family, ever done anything conventional?”
She chuckled.
“You are right, Grandpa. We are not exactly one of those cookie cutter families”.
His smile deepened.
“Absolutely not”.
“Thank you.”
“Has she stopped by, yet?”
“No. I miss her.”
“She will be here, soon. She is still going to be close by. We all are.”
“I know, Papa, thanks.”
“Of course, my Darling. I am going to go now, it takes a lot of energy to talk to you, hon. But if you need me, just call my name.”
“Thanks, Papa.”
He smiled one more time, before disappearing into the Nothing he had arrived from.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2014

“Jennifer” – A Surreal, But Interesting Short Film

If you are not familiar with the online television creator “Wigs”, then you have been missing out. Not only does the site produce great series, it also contains a variety of documentaries and short films, one of which I want to share with you today.

“Jennifer” is a surreal, but funny, dark but comedic short film, in which special attention is given to felons, whom have all one thing in common: they have committed violent crimes.

See for yourself:

I urge you to take a look at the other, originally done, and unique content that Wigs provides!

Enjoy!

5 Things I loved About The Agents Of Shield Season Finale

Season Finale Review: Agents of Shield

Alright, I am a Marvel fan AND a Joss Whedon fan, so I like Agents of Shield, by default. But I really enjoyed the season finale, no matter how many people and critiques have torn it into pieces. In order to make this not the longest blog post ever, I contained myself to five reasons why I enjoyed the season finale.

Spoiler alert!

1. Grand Ward got his rear end kicked by May. It would have been fine, if Skye would have had the chance to beat him to a pulp, but that is not her character. May on the other hand did a fine job.

2. John Garett is dead. Thank you Coulson. He wont be missed, specially considering that he went completely mental – compared to being only half-way mental before, if there is such a thing.

3. Nick Fury! Always happy to see Samuel L. Jackson! Now we need a Robert Downey Jr. cameo next season. And maybe we could get a glimpse of Thor. Anyone? Please?

4. There is another secret base. Well, that is no surprise. How many of these secret, secret bases are there? Can anyone keep track of them all?

5. Agent Coulson is the new director. Deservedly. But now he is drawing weird stuff, on walls, carving is actually more accurate. And the weird stuff looks like alien language. Not good. Not exactly how you want the new director to act. Sounds like Season 2 will be interesting!

Did I mention that I absolutely loath the season breaks?

Happy watching!

 

 

Book Review: Vegan On The Cheap by Robin Robertson

Book Review: Vegan On The Cheap

Title: Vegan On The Cheap

Author: Robin Robertson

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons

ISBN: 978-0-47–47224-8

Eating healthy is a priority in our home. Not wasting our resources is another. Consuming healthy meals while on a budget, without the use of imported and exotic additives is important to stay within our environmentally conscious mindset. “Vegan On The Cheap” is a book that can assist you in achieving just that. That is healthy eating without the guilt! 

Well written, easy to follow and pleasant recipes, in addition to time saving tips, make this book a treasure for those who eat an exclusively vegan diet, or who would like to reduce their meat intake, by adding some more healthy, non-meat meals to their families repertoire. Recipe ideas range from breakfast to dinner, snacks to salads, marked extensively to allow the reader to choose from budget friendly meals the entire family can enjoy. Added “cheap tricks” allow flexibility, while the recipes never make you feel like you are eating budget food. Consuming healthy foods does not always have to be expensive, and Robin Robertson proves this with this volume.

I highly recommend this book for anyone, vegan, vegetarian and health-conscious meat eaters alike!