Monday, December 31, 2012

Independent Authors/Directors/Producers...

In the new year, I am looking to streamline my blog reviews with a focus more on independent books & films, so if you would like an honest review of your work, please feel free to e-mail me at, and I will promptly get back to you.

In the meantime, for you "readers" out there, here is a list of forthcoming reviews:

Crogian - by John Leahy
Homecoming - by Franklin E. Wales
Zom Alive: 2110 - by Billie Sue Mosiman
Dead Stop - by D. Nathan Hilliard
A Satan Carol - by Alan Kessler
Merciless - by Brandon Ford

Lucifer's Unholy Desire - directed by Cody Knotts
Breeding Farm - directed by Cody Knotts
Jenny Ringo and the Monkey's Paw - directed by Chris Regan
My Name is 'A' - directed by Shane Ryan

If any of the above catches your interest, check back, in the near future, to read my thoughts...


Friday, December 28, 2012

After Twilight: Walking with the Dead [Book Review]

Genre - Horror
Year Published - 2008 (Published by Permuted Press)
Length - 267 pages
Written by Travis Adkins
Rating: 5 Skulls

Plot Summary:
     At the start of the apocalypse, a small resort town on the coast of Rhode Island fortified itself to withstand the millions of flesh-eating zombies conquering the world.
With its high walls and self-contained power plant, Eastpointe was a safe haven for the lucky few who managed to arrive.
     Trained specifically to outmaneuver the undead, Black Berets performed scavenging missions in outlying towns in order to stock Eastpointe with materials vital for long-term survival. But the town leaders took the Black Berets for granted, on a whim sending them out into the cannibalistic wilderness. Most did not survive.
     Now the most cunning, most brutal, most efficient Black Beret will return to Eastpointe after narrowly surviving the doomed mission and unleash his anger upon the town in one bloody night of retribution.

After twilight, when the morning comes and the sun rises, will anyone be left alive?

This book is the sequel to Twilight of the Dead. It is not 100% necessary to read the first book (though I would recommend it) as Adkins does a superb job of telling you all you need to know in the first 10 pages.
Within the Prologue is a newspaper article titled 'The Dead Walk'. The article explains that the deceased are becoming re-animated, with little to no cognizance. Survivors of attacks fall ill within a matter of hours, then they die, and they too are re-animated.
The only way to kill the re-animated is to destroy the brain or separate it from the body...

About 5 years have passed since the zombie outbreak took place.
This entire book takes place in one single day (from the dawn to the twilight of July 4th)
Adkins' writing never slacks, and he keeps up a steady pace, which makes for a fast read.
He devotes entire portions of the book on each of the main characters and their backgrounds, giving them just enough depth where you will actually care about what happens to them.
Adkins' also includes maps, newspaper articles, military documents, files, diaries, etc, which really helps focus on the "reality" of the story.
He also brings to vivid life the undead - or "skin-eaters" as they are called in the book.

Adkins has great character development skills (both past & present) and he is very descriptive in his writing. He is one of those writers where you feel as if you are really there, in the story.
He is also great with the emotions, relationships, and struggles of the characters that he has created.

If you are a fan of zombies, then this is a must-read!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012: Year in Review

I hope that you had a very Merry Christmas...!

My Top 10 Favorite Novels that I read this year:
(in alphabetical order - *denotes that the book was published in 2012)

1. 'Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter' by Brian P. Easton
2. *'Dark Revelations' by Anthony Zuicker & Duane Swierczynski
3. *'Deadheads: Evolution' by Franklin E. Wales
4. *'The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus' by Terry Goodkind
5. 'Horns' by Joe Hill
6. 'Malachi's Moon' by Billie Sue Mosiman
7. 'The Passage' by Justin Cronin
8. *'Pavlov's Dogs' by D. L. Snell & Thom Brannan
9. 'A Princess of Mars' by Edgar Rice Burroughs
10. *'The Roswell Conspiracy' by Boyd Morrison

So, which novel receives the title of Best Novel of 2012?
My favorite read of the year goes to #4 - The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind

My Top 10 Favorite Films Released in 2012:
(in alphabetical order)

1. The Avengers
2. Breathless
3. The Cabin in the Woods
4. The Dark Knight Rises
5. The Grey
6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
7. John Carter
8. Looper
9. Prometheus
10. The Raid: Redemption

Best Film of 2012 goes to #10 on the list - The Raid: Redemption

My Top 10 Apps that I Downloaded this year:
(in alphabetical order)

1. Angry Birds: Star Wars
2. Crazy Hedgy
3. The Daily
4. Gesundheit
5. Judge Dredd vs Zombies
6. Lego Harry Potter
7. Pizza vs Skeletons
8. Smart Wi-Fi Toggler
9. Swordigo
10. Tread of the Dead

Best App of the Year goes to #3 - The Daily
(this is available on iOS only - it's a "daily" news app that just gives you quick snippets of what you are interested in - the app that I missed the most, when I switched to Android)
Best Game of the Year goes to #9 - Swordigo - great game! (unfortunately, it too is only available on iOS)

Well, there you have it, another year, come and gone...

Be sure to tune back in during 2013!
Now that I once again have regular internet access, I plan on focusing my reviews more on the independent films/books, so if you are an independent film director/producer/author, and would like an honest review/critique of your work, shoot me an e-mail at - I'll be looking forward to checking out your work!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 2012 "Wrap-Up"

Well, here we are, the last month of the year!

Best Book of the Month:
I only read one book this month, which was 'The Passage' by Justin Cronin, and since I wouldn't be able to give the book justice, I'll just re-quote what Stephen King had to say about the book:
"Every so often a novel-reader's novel comes along: an enthralling, entertaining story wedded to simple, supple prose, both informed by tremendous imagination...
Read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated; read thirty and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night...
Read this book and the ordinary world disappears." 
- Stephen King (from the back of the book)
I have to agree with the above.

Best Movie of the Month:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
(I've seen mixed reviews on this one... I for one, loved it! See it in IMAX 3D, if you can)

The Hole 
(directed by Joe Dante - fantastic!)

Other movies that I watched this month:
(in the order that I viewed them)

The Apparition (the only worthwhile thing about this movie is Ashley Greene)
Removal (good movie!)
Strippers vs Werewolves
Dragon Wasps
Rock of Ages
Bikini Bloodbath
The Dog Who Saved Christmas
The Grace Card
12 Disasters of Christmas
Christmas with Holly
Flight of Fury
The Watch
Chernobyl Diaries
The Day
Dead Season
Bloodlust Zombies
The Good Doctor
Premium Rush

Best App of the Month:
Having had my Samsung Galaxy Note II for just over a month now, I would say that the most useful app that I've discovered thus far is 'Smart Wi-Fi Toggler' - this app automatically senses when I leave a wi-fi zone, shutting my wi-fi off for me, and automatically turns wi-fi back on whenever I enter an approved wi-fi zone.
The Note II already has an exceptional battery life - this helps make it even more so!

Well, that wraps-up the year, month-by-month.
Tune in, around this time next week, for my "Year-in-Review", summing everything up in one short, simple post.

I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas!


Monday, November 26, 2012

November 2012 "Wrap-Up"

I hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving this year - I sure did - my favorite time of the year!

Best Book of the Month:
'Bigfoot War' - by Eric S. Brown
A nice, fast read. No time for character bonding, as you are never sure who is going to survive the onslaught of death & destruction!

'I Am Number Four: The Rise of Nine' - by Pittacus Lore
This is the 3rd book in the actual series - not as good as the 1st two, but still good.

Other books that I read this month:
'Roses of Blood on Barbwire Vines' - by D. L. Snell
(Snell is one of the co-authors of one of my favorite books this year, 'Pavlov's Dog's', which I think may have set my expectations too high for 'Roses of Blood'... Still, it's not a bad read.)

Best Movie of the Month:

Enter Nowhere

Other movies that I watched this month:
(in the order that I viewed them)

The Girl
The Expendables 2
Safety Not Guaranteed
Sound of My Voice (I loved the end of this one!)
The Raven
The Pact
Iron Sky
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Part 1)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House
Naughty or Nice

Best App of the Month:
This month I officially made the switch from Apple to Android, and I do not regret it in the slightest! I bought the Samsung Galaxy Note II, and I absolutely love it!
Forget "Smart Phone", this is a "Genius Phone"!

As for Best App this month - that goes to Angry Birds: Star Wars 
(my favorite of all of the Angry Bird games, so far!)

Well, that wraps up this month's "wrap-up".
I figure that I will post next month's wrap-up, right before Christmas, and I will post the "Year-In-Review" after Christmas...

Until then,


Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 2012 "Wrap-Up"

Happy Halloween to everyone out there in Blogger-Land...!

Rather than give you a "Best-Book of the Month" this month, I am just going to mention two books that I read this month, where the purchase of the book goes to a good cause:

The first book is written by an older gentleman from my church.
Remembering Redbank by Jack Coleman
This is Jack's 1st novel, and the reason that I bought it (other than that it sounded good) was the fact that all purchases go directly to his upcoming mission trip to India.
So, for anyone wanting to take a nostalgic trip back to the 1940's, where times were much simpler, grab this book (available on Amazon) and help support Jack's mission trip.
It is a great, fast read with a 'Stand by Me' kind-of feel to it.

The other book that I want to mention is an anthology of 14 short-stories called 'Scare Package' (edited by Franklin E Wales
All proceeds of this book go directly to the Rockcastle Regional Hospital & Respiratory Care Center's "Miracle-Fund".
This is 100% charity (the authors of these stories don't get a dime)
So, for only $3 (available on Amazon's Kindle) you get some great stories by authors that I've mentioned on this blog before (such as Billie Sue Mosiman, Joseph M. Monks, Eric S. Brown, etc - a win/win situation!)

Other books that I read this month:
*A book that should be read by everyone, before voting, next month:
'The Greatest Threat to American Freedom' - by Dr. James B. Richards
(a short 40+ page book available to read, for free, on-line)

I then read 'Almost Home' and 'Life After Death' both by Damien Echols (of "West Memphis Three" fame)
Life after Death just came out this month, and I have owned Almost Home for a while, but had never gotten around to reading it, so I read that one 1st.
There is no need to bother with Almost Home, as the majority of it is re-hashed in Life After Death (pretty much only recommended if you had any interest or followed the case of the aforementioned "West Memphis Three)

In the Tall Grass - by Stephen King & Joe Hill
(another father & son novella - not as good as their prior collaboration 'Throttle' but still a great/gruesome read!)

Extraction - by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
(a short story about the Tooth Fairy)

Best Movie of the Month:
Silent Hill 2: Revelation 
(I am sure that I will get flak for this one, as every review I read on it, prior to seeing it, was horrendous!)
I don't care and I enjoyed it, even better than the 1st one!
Basically it was an hour-and-a-half long 3-D ride through a fantastic haunted house!
This is a movie that you watch specifically for the audio & visual effects.
(the story, which I will admit is somewhat muddled, is based on a video game after all...)

This month's runner-up is a toss-up between Excision (a movie definitely not for everyone!) and Brake (which had the potential to be great, but fell short due to the ending...)

Other movies that I watched this month:
(in the order that I viewed them)

Kill List
Lake Placid: The Final Chapter
Bait (a unique shark flick)
Get the Gringo
American Horror House
Resident Evil: Damnation
The Victim (I really liked this one, even though it had a somewhat predictable twist)
Dragon Eyes
Rise of the Zombies

Best iPhone App of the Month:
You will recall, last month, that I stated I am making the switch to Android...
The 24th was the announcement that Samsung made regarding their Galaxy Note II (which I so cannot wait to buy!) - it is already available on US Cellular, T-Mobile, and Sprint, however it's not hitting AT&T until Nov. 9th, so you will have to wait until next month to read my thoughts on it.

In the meantime, I did come across an addicting little game that I've been playing throughout the month, called Tread of the Dead

Until next month - everyone have a safe/happy Halloween!


Friday, September 28, 2012

September 2012 "Wrap-Up"

In the words of UFC Referee "Big John" McCarthy... 
"Let's Get It On"

Best Book of the Month:
(I may as well go ahead and call this one the Best Book of the Year)

'The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus' - by: Terry Goodkind

This one is only available as an e-book.
(last month, I mentioned author Boyd Morrison pretty much having to self-publish his newest novel, as an e-book, on his own, whereas Mr. Goodkind has chosen this route, on purpose, so as to give his fans exactly what he has envisioned, with no interference from a publisher...)
If you have not yet bought yourself an e-reader, or downloaded an e-reading app, now is the perfect time to do so, as you cannot beat a 1,000+ page book for only $8 bucks!
If you have never read Terry Goodkind, you are missing out on my all-time-favorite author!
No one transports you into another world the way that he can...!
For those of you who have already read 'The Sword of Truth' Series; this book takes you back, well before the time of Richard & Kahlan, to not only the creation of the First Confessor, but the creation of the Sword of Truth as well! (and if you are worried about reading a book without Richard & Kahlan, have no fear, Magda and Merritt completely hold their own!)

Other books that I read this month:
I only read two other books this month, and either one could vie for the Runner-Up position...

First was 'Lamplighters' by Frazier Lee (who just so happens to be a pal of Joseph D'Lacey - author of 'Meat' & 'GarbageMan' - an author who I enjoy reading)
Needless to say, I will be keeping my eye on Lee...

Second was 'Nephilim' by L. A. Marzulli
I enjoyed this one enough to definitely check out the other two books that follow this one!

Best Movie of the Month:
Breathless (reminded me of an old-school John Dahl flick!)

The Loved Ones

Other movies that I watched this month:
(in the order that I watched them)

Haunted High
Coma (the A&E mini-series)
Headhunters (this one could easily have been the runner-up as well)
Lovely Molly
The Vow
6 Bullets
Resident Evil 5: Retribution (this movie has the coolest opening credits sequence this year!)
The Tourist
The Lorax
Jack and Jill (this is, quite possibly, the worst movie that I have seen in quite some time!)
Katy Perry: Part of Me
African Cats
Apartment 143
Dredd (while good, it just made me want to watch 'The Raid: Redemption' again)
Camel Spiders
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (the West Memphis 3 are free!)
Starship Troopers: Invasion
Mirrors 2 (some great death scenes!)
Beyond the Black Rainbow

Best iPhone App of the Month:
Let me just say, first of all, that I have an iPhone 3GS (I am not one who has to upgrade to the latest/greatest technology every year - I prefer to wait until whatever I have pretty much starts becoming obsolete)
With that said, I was fully expecting to upgrade to the new iPhone5 this month, however, I was sadly disappointed in what Apple had to offer. (nothing really new... nothing "wowed" me!)
Last year, when Samsung released their Galaxy Note "phablet", it caught my eye (I use my phone more for entertainment purposes anyhow, so the size is perfect for me!) and in researching Android, it has quickly become apparent to me that Google's OS is far superior to Apple's iOS - basically the upcoming Note II is the Galaxy SIII on steroids, and the Galaxy S3 is far better than the iPhone 5, and it came out 4 months ago!
So, I am holding out until Oct. 24th when Samsung releases their new Note 2, and then I will be switching to Android! :-)

In the meantime, while I wait, I will be playing Rovio's sequel to Angry Birds - 'Bad Piggies' - which was just released yesterday.

Until next month,


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 2012 "Wrap-Up"

In late August, of 2007, my wife & I (with our kids in tow) begin traveling the U.S. looking for the ideal place to settle down to raise our family; and here we are, almost exactly 5 years to the day...
Come September 1st, we will no longer be traveling, but will be making our new home in Knoxville, TN! We are super excited, as we have been here, since March, and have already fallen in love with the area (only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Great Smoky Mountains!) It is absolutely beautiful here (can't wait to see it in the Fall!) and there is a ton of stuff to do with our children (primarily all of the nature/hiking trails!)

With that said, it has been a relatively busy month, and I am expecting next month to be even busier (as we move into a new place, start the kids in school, etc)

So, on with this month's wrap-up:

Best Book(s) of the Month:
We have another tie this month, as both of these books deserve the #1 spot!

1st up is 'The Roswell Conspiracy'  - by: Boyd Morrison
Crazy story behind this one... 
This is the 3rd book in the "Tyler Locke" series, of which I am a Huge Fan! 
I own the previous two books in  print format (the 1st 'The Ark' in an advance reader's copy and the 2nd 'The Vault' in hardcover) Part of my slight OCD calls for me to continue a series that I already own in print, in print. However, this book was only released, in the U.S., as an E-Book only (the book is in print, everywhere else!)
*If you are interested in the reasons behind why this is so, just Google Boyd Morrison's 'A Detour in the Publishing Journey' (a Huffpost Arts & Culture article)
Basically, he got shafted, here in the U.S., and in order for us fans to continue the journeys of Tyler Locke, he self-published the novel himself (thank you Boyd!!)
And the best part - it's only $4!!! (and I would have gladly paid the $30 hardcover price, as this book, as well as the others in the series, is worth every penny!)
If you haven't read these books yet, do yourself a favor, and pick them up - you will not be disappointed!

2nd up is 'Horns' - by: Joe Hill
Now, I've had this book, in hardcover, since it came out in 2010, as I enjoyed both Hill's 'Heart-Shaped Box' and his comic book series 'Locke & Key'.
Sometimes when I buy a book, it gets shuffled around when I find something new and unexpected, as was the case with 'Horns'. However, when I heard that Alexandre Aja ('High Tension') is going to be directing the adaptation (with Daniel Radcliffe) I immediately dusted it off and started reading, and the book blew Hill's other works out of the water!
All I have to say about this book is that Stephen King has got to be a proud father!
I can imagine King reading this book - it had to have been like he was reading something that he wrote, without having written it!
Now, he can have an understanding of exactly how his fans feel reading his books!

'I Am Number Four: The Lost Files (#3) The Fallen Legacies' - by: Pittacus Lore
For fans of this series, this is a great read, as it is written from the Mogodorian's perspective - very cool!
(the next book, in the actual series - 'The Rise of Nine' just came out yesterday, so look for my thoughts on that one, next month - I can't wait to start it!)

Best Movie of the Month:
I didn't really see a movie this month that "wowed me"
(our oldest son came for a visit, so I spent most of that time, showing him around town, etc)
I had planned on seeing 'Expendables 2' & 'ParaNorman' in the theater, however it was then that my wife was in talks of staying on permanently, and there is a pretty decent 2nd-run movie theater, here in town, so I'm thinking about just saving my money (the new iPhone is getting ready to come out after all!) and patiently waiting for 1st-run movies to hit the 2nd-run theater...

Movies that I watched this month:
(in the order that I watched them)

Bad Ass
Fred 3: Camp Fred (I hated the 1st movie, didn't mind the 2nd one, and hated this one, so I've told my kids, "no more "Fred"!)
Arthur Christmas (if I had to pick one, this one would be my favorite of the month! Definitely a must-see during the holidays!)
Total Recall (this year's re-make - just makes you miss Verhoeven!)
Malibu Shark Attack
Shark Week
Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932)
American Reunion
Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows
Snow White and the Huntsman (if you're going to watch one of this year's Snow White films, stick with 'Mirror, Mirror' as it was the better film)
Superman vs The Elite
Men in Black III
The Boogeyman
True Bloodthirst
Project X
Silent House (last year's re-make - on-par with the original)

Best iPhone App of the Month:
Again, I really didn't watch a whole lot of films or play a whole lot of games this month...

I have, however, come to the conclusion that my current iPhone (I have a 3GS) is going to pretty much become obsolete after the new one comes out.
The last few games that I have attempted to buy ('Horn', 'The Walking Dead', 'Justice League: Earth's Final Defense', and 'Pitfall' being the primary ones) will not work on my phone :(

Until next month,


Monday, July 30, 2012

July 2012 "Wrap-Up"

Wow, what a crazy month it's been!
Anyone who knows me, knows that when I'm not with my family, then I'm most likely at the movie theater; my home-away-from-home...
Needless to say, the Aurora/Colorado killings hit pretty close to home, especially since my wife has applied at the hospital, right there in Aurora, and I frequent many midnight showings.
It's hard not to think that I could end up in such a horrifying situation.
(chances are pretty slim, yet not only does someone now need to worry about other lunatics out there, they now need to worry about all of the other people carrying guns to protect themselves - I really don't want to be caught in a senseless cross-fire!)
I'm all for men protecting their families and all, but no one needs an automatic rifle to do so, nor do they need semi-automatic pistols! (a six-shooter is more than sufficient)

I'm not here to talk about gun laws however - if you want to know where I stand on that, you only need to watch the Piers Morgan interview with Michael Moore (on CNN) discussing the Colorado killings - I pretty much agree 100% with everything that Michael Moore says in that interview.

And what is this whole thing with Chick-Fil-A?!?
People are in such an uproar simply because the CEO stated his personal beliefs regarding traditional, heterosexual marriage. He has never once discriminated against homosexuals themselves, he simply stated what he, personally, believes.
We now have Mayors, Congressmen, Senate, etc arguing about this whole situation - don't you think the gun law situation is a little more important right now than homosexuals getting their feelings hurt?!?

Enough of all of that - I'm not here to preach a sermon - I'm here to simply state my favorite Books, Movies, and Games of the Month, so on with the show:

Best Book(s) of the Month:
If you've read my recent posts on G+ then this will come as no surprise...
This month I read 'The Vampire Nations' trilogy by Billie Sue Mosiman.

In paperback format (which is how I read them, since I I don't take my Nook or phone to the pool) they are titled:
Red Moon Rising, Malachi's Moon, and Craven Moon

In digital format, they are titled Legions of the Dark, Rise of the Legend, and Hunter of the Dead
(I'm not sure why the title changes, just giving you both options, so you know)

If you do plan on reading this trilogy digitally, you can purchase all 3 books under 'Scrolls of the Dead' and I highly recommend this trilogy!
(you can read my thoughts, on each individual book, either on my G+ profile, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks - with the exception of iBooks, all of the reviews are under their paperback titles)

'Pisswidget' - by Franklin E. Wales

If you haven't taken my advice and read anything by Wales yet, this is the perfect chance to do so! 
This is only a 12-page short story, and shows you exactly why you should be reading everything that he writes!
If you are a fan of Stephen King's 'Misery' then get this short story now - you will love it!

Other books that I read this month:
Odd Thomas - by: Dean Koontz

Best Movie of the Month:
The Dark Knight Rises
(aside from Heath Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight, this is just as good, if not better than The Dark Knight! Yeah, I said it!)

The Three Stooges
(over-the-top, slap-stick humor at its finest!)

Other Movies that I watched this month:
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Safe House
Machine Gun Preacher
Mirror Mirror
The Amazing Spiderman (a completely unnecessary "reboot"!)
Dark Shadows (I enjoyed this one much more than I expected!)
Savages (John Travolta himself called this one the 'Pulp Fiction' of now... so not!)
Man on a Ledge
This Means War
Seeking Justice
Battleship (watching this one made me wish that I had watched Asylum's mockbuster 'American Warships' - it couldn't have been any worse!)
American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars
Red Tails
Big Miracle
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Young Adult
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the 2011 re-make - just watch the original!)
Meeting Evil
Rogue River
Some Guy Who Kills People

Best iPhone App of the Month:
I was expecting that Orc: Vengeance was going to take this slot, yet I honestly can't say for sure - the game just came out this past Thursday (it's a Role-Playing, Dungeon-Crawler style game that I've been looking forward to) yet it came out with a glitch. I've only been able to play, literally, the 1st five minutes of the game, before being, unceremoniously, kicked out of the game! :(
Here's to hoping a fix/update comes out real soon, as it started off great and looks really cool!

Reckless Getaway
(hard to put this one down - a fun little addicting game!)

Other iPhone Games that I played this month:
Last month I mentioned that I play a lot of Zynga's "With Friends" Games - in my down time from those, I'll play 'Hooked on Words' which gives me some great solo practice time...

I'm looking forward to Phoshor Games' upcoming RPG title 'Horn' so while I've been waiting, I've checked out their 1st iPhone game called 'Dark Meadow' - pretty cool!

Also, I've been playing a fun, realistic shooter game called 'Gun-Zombie: Hell's Gate'
and, of course, Rovio's newest game 'Amazing Alex'

Well, that's all for this month folks, until next month...


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 2012 "Wrap-Up"

Half-way through 2012 - hard to believe...!
Before we get to this month's wrap-up, let's re-cap the year so far:

So far this year, my top 5 favorite books, (excluding short-stories/novellas) written this year, have been:

1. City of Lost Souls (a "Mortal Instruments" novel) written by Cassandra Clare
    (*this one is this month's "Runner-Up" - we'll get to that momentarily...)
2. Dark Revelations (a Level 26 novel) written by Anthony Zuiker & Duane Swierczynski
3. Deadheads: Evolution - written by Franklin E. Wales
4. Deadlocked (a "Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood" novel) by Charlaine Harris
5. Pavlov's Dogs - written by D. L. Snell & Thom Brannan

My top 5 favorite movies (released this year) have been:

1. The Avengers
2. The Grey
3. John Carter
4. Prometheus (this month's pick for best movie of the month!)
5. The Raid

As far as iPhone Apps go, I can't really recall which ones have been released this year, specifically, so instead, I'll give you my top 5 albums (released this year) so far:

I haven't been reviewing music, on a month-to-month basis, as it generally takes me several "listenings" before I feel that I can reasonably review an album...

1. A Different Kind of Truth (by Van Halen)
2. Apocalyptic Love (by Slash)
3. Dark Adrenaline (by Lacuna Coil)
4. The End is Where We Begin (by Thousand Foot Crutch)
5. True Defiance (by Demon Hunter)
    Let me also mention 'Living Things' (by Linkin Park) - just released yesterday - so far, so good - sounds a whole lot better than 'A Thousand Suns'!

Well, there you have my "year-in-review" thus far...
On to this month's wrap-up:

Best Book of the Month:
'Killing Carla' [aka 'Slice'] by: Billie Sue Mosiman
(to re-cap from my G+ post - "In this book, Mosiman has created a serial killer that you won't soon forget!")

'City of Lost Souls' - by: Cassandra Clare
(as stated above, this is part of the "Mortal Instruments" series - #5 to be exact.
I'm not sure what exactly it is, but I really dig these books, and I am hoping that the 1st book turns into a decent movie...)

Other books that I read this month:
Welcome to Hell: An Anthology of Western Weirdness (edited by Eric S. Brown)
As I'm typing this, I'm realizing that I never created a post about this one on G+...
Let me rectify that, by saying that this is an enjoyable anthology!
(specifically the stories written by Max Booth III, Franklin E. Wales, and Tonia Brown - out of the 14 stories included, their three were my favorite stories)
As for Eric S. Brown, I have been aware of his name for a while, yet I have not yet read anything by him. However, I enjoyed his Introduction to this anthology (as well as his selection of stories) enough that I went ahead and bought his 'Bigfoot Apocalypse' set (Books 1 - 3 of his 'Bigfoot War' series) on my Nook, so stay tuned for a review of those, down the road...

Alarums - by: Richard Laymon

Off-genre-topic; my two youngest have been asking for a pet, for quite some time now (not really conducive to traveling) however, we decided on a couple of Guinea Pigs...
Why am I telling you this?
Because I read a book on them - 'My Guinea Pig' - by Immanuel Birmelin
(I have never really been a fan of Guinea Pigs, but after having read this book, and having had them, since the beginning of the month, I must say that they do make great pets for young ones!)

Best Movie of the Month:
(I am a huge fan of the Alien series, and this one does not disappoint!)

(I have heard mixed reviews on this one...
I for one loved it! So what if it's not a "traditional Pixar story" - it is still an excellent film!)

Other movies that I watched this month:
(in the order that I watched them)

The Aggression Scale (think a violent 'Home Alone')
Piranha 3DD (unfortunately, due to an extremely limited theatrical release, I was unable to see this one in 3-D)
A Lonely Place to Die
She's Crushed
Super Shark
Jersey Shore Shark Attack (I am not sure if it matters or not - I have never even seen one second of Jersey Shore - either way, this movie is still lame!)
Mother's Day (the re-make)
Dark Tide
War Horse
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Piranhaconda (unfortunately this one did not live up to my expectations - it had such great potential - which leaves '2-Headed Shark Attack' as the reigning "B-movie" of this year!)
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Choppertown: The Sinners
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
The Innkeepers
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
21 Jump Street
The Artist
Bigfoot (I am going ahead and including this one, as it is this Saturday night's SyFy movie - here's hoping that it's as good as I'm hoping for...)

I haven't really played too many new iPhone games this month - mostly I've just been playing Zynga's "with Friends" line-up (Chess with Friends, Hanging with Friends, Scramble with Friends, and Words with Friends) with friends of mine ;-)
Great Games!
I'm sure that I will find some new (true) games by this time next month though, so until then...


Monday, May 21, 2012

May 2012 "Wrap-Up"

Best Book of the Month:
'Pavlov's Dogs' - by: D. L. Snell & Thom Brannan
(Zombies, Werewolves, and Armageddon - what more needs to be said?)

'Throttle' - by: Joe Hill & Stephen King
(a short story written by father & son - inspired by Richard Matheson's 'Duel' - I was completely unaware that this story even existed! I came across it, by chance, browsing on my Nook...
I love 'Duel' - both the original story and the movie! - and 'Throttle' does both justice!)

Other books that I read this month:
'Deadlocked' - by: Charlaine Harris
(this is the 12th book in the "Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood" series)

'Tribesmen' - by: Adam Cesare
(this is one of the books published by e-book publisher Ravenous Shadows - of whom the editor-in-chief is none other than John Skipp - of splatterpunk horror fame!
You can read this book, easily, in a few short hours.
I will definitely be checking out more books published by Ravenous Shadows...)

'Not a Fan' - by: Kyle Idleman
(this is a book about becoming a completely committed follower of Jesus - not just a fan!)
I know it doesn't seem to belong in the list above, but anyone who really knows me, knows that I am a Christian - albeit one who struggles with his love of horror...

Best Movie of the Month:
no shocker here - The Avengers
(no better way to see it, than in IMAX 3-D!)

I'm not even going to try to give a 2nd place this month - everything paled in comparison to The Avengers...

Other movies that I watched this month:
Prophecy (all 5 movies - I came across all 5 movies, on 2 discs, in a $5 bin... I saw the 1st one, when it came out, and really enjoyed it - the 2nd one, not so much - so I never bothered with the other 3, until now. Having watched them all, I really only like the 1st & 3rd one - I can do without the others)
We Bought a Zoo
Sand Sharks
Nude Nuns with Big Guns
Let the Bullets Fly
Wristcutters: A Love Story
Hessians MC
One for the Money
The Devil Inside
The Witches of Oz
The Woman in Black

Best iPhone App of the Month:
(You may have noticed that both my reading list and movies watched seemed a little short this month - that is because of Swordigo... a great little game, in the tradition of Zelda, with aspects of Metroid thrown in for good measure)

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5 - 7

I also have to mention 'The Daily' - an excellent Newsstand app that is well worth the subscription cost!
Covers everything from world news to entertainment and technology, all in short, little, precise snippets - just how I like my news!

Until next month,


P.S. You can always look me up on Google+, if you don't want to wait until the end of the month. 
I sometimes post things a little early, as I read or watch them, on there...

Friday, April 27, 2012

April 2012 "Wrap-Up"

It is extremely rare for me to stop reading a book, once I've started it, however I could not even get past the prologue of 'John Dies at the End' (by David Wong)
This book is being turned into an upcoming movie, being directed by Don Coscarelli (of 'Phantasm' fame) hence my interest in the book. 
I may go back to it, if I enjoy the movie...

Since I started the month off, with a funky book that I couldn't get into, I decided to fall back on a guaranteed enjoyable read (generally reserved for Richard Laymon books)
I went back to Edgar Rice Burrough's 'Barsoom' Series [see last month's post]
I read both 'The Gods of Mars' and 'The Warlord of Mars' (#'s 2 & 3 in the series)
These books are fantastic! (though it makes me sad that we may never see them made into films)
I have mentioned these books 1st, as they are in a league of there own - above even my "Book of the Month" this month.

Those books put me back on track for an enjoyable month of reading.
Some days I read casually, others I read voraciously! Hence my list below:

Best Book of the Month:
'Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter' [aka 'When the Autumn Moon is Bright']
By: Brian P. Easton

If you caught my G+ post a month or so ago, I posted where Permuted Press was having a $1 e-book sale on quite a few of their books... 
(If you are unfamiliar with Permuted Press, they publish "apocalyptic fiction" and are one of my favorite independent book publishers - look them up! I have read close to a dozen of their books, and I can say that I have immensely enjoyed each one)

'Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter' was one of the books on sale (I bought 6 or 7 that day) and I can honestly say it was one of the best dollars that I've ever spent!
Brian P. Easton is my "new" favorite-author-of-the-year thus far!
This book is so good, I don't even know where to start - it is way more than just a horror/werewolf novel - so much more to it - such epic character development - an excellent read!

'3-Fingered Jake and the Traveling Side Show' - by: Franklin E. Wales
'Carnage Road' - by: Gregory Lamberson

These are two short-stories (though 'Carnage Road' probably falls more into "Novella" territory) by two excellent authors. 
I gave both of these the runner-up spot as both are great zombie stories.

Other books that I read this month:
'The Haunted Vagina' - by: Carlton Mellick III 
I thought this one may have been an April Fool's gimmick, when I came across it at the beginning of this month, however it's legit - part of the "Bizarro" sub-genre (which I had previously been unaware of)
If you read the description of the book, then you will know exactly what you'll be getting into.

'Heart of Scars' [Autobiography of a Werewolf Hunter - Book 2] by: Brian P. Easton
Not as good as the first one (a more dark/depressing read) though still good.

'Deeper' - by: Jeff Long
(this is a sequel to 'The Descent' - while good, 'The Descent' was far superior)

'Tinsel' - by Frazier Lee
This is an extremely short short-story 
(It was free on my Nook and I wanted to read it before purchasing another book of Lee's called 'Lamplighters' - which I'll most likely read next month...)

Best Movie of the Month:
The Raid: Redemption 
(this movie's violence will literally blow you away!)

The Cabin in the Woods 
(destined to be a horror classic!)

Other movies that I watched this month:
(in the order that I watched them)

2-Headed Shark Attack (may very well be this year's "Mega-Piranha" - unless of course, "Piranhaconda" lives up to expectations)
Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!
Scooby Doo and the Music of the Vampire
Ocean Heaven
Dream House
The Darkest Hour
The Descendants
Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred (I hated - with a passion - the 1st Fred movie, but this one isn't too terrible)
Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol
The Divide
Student Bodies
Ninja Vengeance
Sticks of Death
Justice League: Doom
Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: Chip-Wrecked
The Sitter

My Favorite iPhone App this month:


Two excellent "puzzler" apps that will make your brain think!

That's a wrap for this month - look for next month's wrap-up a little earlier than usual, as I'll be heading back to Florida for our oldest's graduation from High school...

Until then,


Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 2012 "Wrap-Up"

Greetings from Knoxville, Tennessee.
(We just arrived in town and plan on being here, at least, through the end of May)
Unlike Danville, VA, there are plenty of bookstores and movie theaters to choose from here! :-)

On with this month's reviews...

Best Book of the Month:
'A Princess of Mars' - by: Edgar Rice Burroughs

This is the book that the film 'John Carter' is based upon. Originally published in 1912 - yes, 100 years ago! - it is still a fantastic read today! (they had such an eloquent way of writing/speaking back then)
While I have read Burroughs in the past, I never did read "The Barsoom Series" (of which this is the 1st book) and I am currently rectifying that error (I have already purchased the 2nd and 3rd books in the series, of which, if I'm not mistaken, there are 11 books total)

'The Ice Gorilla' - by: Michael Esola & Wesley Jones
(this one is a super-fast read and plays out like a movie in your head)

Other books that I read this month:
'Return to Eden' - by: G. P. Ching
(the 3rd book in the 'Soulkeeper' Series, which I praised last month)
As you can see, this one wasn't good enough to break into the top two this month.
While not as good as the 1st two, it is still a good read.

'Damaged' [aka 'Widow'] - by: Billie Sue Mosimon
This book, literally, has one of the most gripping/intense prologues that I have ever read!
I dare you to read the prologue and then not to continue reading the book!

'I Am Number Four - The Lost Files #2: Nine's Legacy' - by: Pittacus Lore
(yes, I am a fan of the "Legacy" Series!)

Best Movie of the Month:
John Carter

(Apparently, I am the only person on the planet who enjoyed this movie!)
I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I am currently calling this one my favorite film of the year so far!
While the credits were rolling, I was buying the book (see above) that the movie is based upon.
I keep hearing how bad it is, and that it's lost a ton of money. Well, that's a shame, because I for one loved it, and I would love to see more made!


Other movies that I watched this month:
(in the order that I watched them)

The Thing (the 2011 "prequel")
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken
Saint Nick [aka 'Saint']
The Skin I Live In
Footloose (the 2011 re-make)
I Am Bruce Lee
Julia's Eyes
Princess of Mars (yes, there was an earlier attempt at making a "John Carter" type-film, based on the book by Burroughs) This one is not recommended!
Merantau (I so cannot wait to see the film 'The Raid: Redemption'! This is the director's 1st film, starring the same star that is in The Raid - this is a great martial arts flick!)
The Adventures of Tin Tin
My Week with Marilyn
My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen: Part 3
In Time
Little Deaths
Leprechaun's Revenge
Martha Marcy Mae Marlene
Tower Heist
Kisses and Caroms
The Hunger Games (while good, I'm not sure what all the hype is with this one. Unlike John Carter, I have no desire to rush out and read the book that this one is based upon. Though I will watch the sequels)
Take Shelter
Wrath of the Titans

and for you iDevice users out there...

My Favorite iPhone App this month:
Pizza vs. Skeletons


And I, of course, have to mention Angry Birds: Space - great game, though I'm disappointed with the "in-app" level purchases.

Also, if you come across 'Samurai vs Zombies: Defense', while a good game, 'Army of Darkness: Defense' is way better!
The same goes for 'Dead on Arrival' - I was hoping for a similar experience as 'Judge Dredd vs. Zombies - stick with Judge Dredd!

Well, that's a wrap for this month. As always, if you have any questions about anything listed above, feel free to leave a comment.

Until next month...