Movie Review Monday

Will return next week. It was my oldest's birthday this weekend, so I spent time hanging out with him. We watched movies, so I will be doing reviews for Jumanji and Justice League, but I didn't have time to type them up this weekend.

Until next Monday, go out and do something fun!

The Author Life

I mentioned last week that there are some parts of marketing that are more enjoyable than others, and this includes author events. If you’re an author and you’ve never participated in an author event, I suggest you find a way to remedy that oversight.

I had the honor and privilege of being part of an event in Omaha, Nebraska, at a local bookstore. It was for children and young adult authors, and I got to go to a bookstore. I feel like this can’t be restated enough. As an author, I’m also a reader, so any excuse I can find to go to a bookstore, I’ll take.

The Bookworm is an amazing store. My boys went with me, and they couldn’t believe how big the store was. I was just thrilled to be surrounded by books. We arrived a little early so we could browse, and the boys immediately found the kids’ section and checked out the offerings.

I spent most of that time getting ready for my allotted meet and greet and meeting the other authors in the store. I had the pleasure of meeting E M McIntyre and Lydia Kang. They are both amazing authors and wonderful people to talk to. For my time slot, I had the honor of sitting with Tonya Kuper, who is also amazing.

Talking to other authors about writing and life in general is so much fun. I didn’t sell or sign any books while I was there, but the bookstore has my books on consignment. Do you know what that means? It means my books are available in a brick and mortar store! For an indie author from Wyoming, that’s pretty freaking cool. 

Before leaving, the boys and I each got a book. I mean, we were in a bookstore. I think it’s against the law to leave without buying something. I purchased a nonfiction book by Lydia Kang called Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything, and she was kind enough to sign it for me. I’m really enjoying it so far. So much information about stuff I didn’t know I needed to know! 

I may not have sold any books at this author event, but I was able to meet local authors and hang out at a bookstore. To me, that makes the event totally worth my time.

Movie Review Monday

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Is it weird that I’ve known about this movie for a while but only watched it recently? I have no reason for not watching it, except that maybe I put it off to see new releases. I don’t know.

Whatever the reason, it was available on Netflix, so my spouse queued it up. I had no expectations going into the movie. Like I said, I knew about it, but I didn’t know about it. I knew Norman Reedus was a main character (and boy, he looks so young!), but that was the extent.

The Boondock Saints is a bizarre movie. I enjoyed it, but it left me with my eyebrows furrowed and wondering what the hell was going on. The plot is simple enough: two Irish brothers are trying to clean up gangs in their neighborhood, particularly of the Russian variety. They take the law into their own hands to do so, but they only target people they believe really deserve to die.

They aren’t professional killers, and luck plays more on their side than skill does. But because they are fighting for a noble cause, they are victorious.

They hook up with a friend who has ties to the Russian mob as a low-level bag guy, and that’s when things go awry. The friend believes that he should have a say in who gets killed, and that’s leads to trouble.

Throughout the movie, an FBI agent played by Willem Dafoe is after them, but he has a crisis on conscience about whether or not he wants to arrest them because he sees that they are fighting the good fight. They are also decent human beings. They just want to have a safe, friendly neighborhood.

There are some incredibly memorable lines in the film, and there are some weird scenes with Dafoe’s character trying to recreate crimes. The characters are fleshed out and easy to sympathize with, so when the sh*t hits the fan, I felt sorry for them.

All in all, it was an enjoyable movie with some weird parts. I’m glad I finally watched the film, and there’s apparently a second movie, but I haven’t seen that one yet.

Anyone else have any thoughts on The Boondock Saints?

The Fun Side of Author Marketing

I’ve established in some past blog posts that marketing isn’t always fun, but it’s a necessary evil. It can be time consuming and frustrating. It can cost a lot of money. But there are some aspects of marketing as an author that are a lot of fun.

I’d forgotten about the fun side of marketing until recently. With the move to Nebraska and trying to get my feet under me, I’ve been neglecting some of my marketing. Things are changing now, however, and the future looks bright.

So what is this fun marketing I’m talking about? It’s getting myself out there. It’s talking about my books and giving presentations. It’s being involved with author events and conventions.

Sure, for some the thought of speaking to a crowd is the scariest thing in the world. I won’t lie: I get nervous before I stand up to do a workshop or presentation, but once I get into my groove, my nerves fade away. There’s something magical about getting an audience talking and involved with my presentation. It’s so much fun to hear how they would survive zombies or what their favorite horror movie is.

Every so often, I do online presentations for elementary students, and those are a lot of fun too. Kids get so excited to talk about books and what they are working on in school. I love asking them questions and hearing their answers. They can be so funny!

I’d forgotten how enjoyable it is to get out and mingle with people who are like-minded. My focus has been inward lately, so it’s nice to get out. Hanging out and doing presentations and workshops is inspiring and re-energizing—something I really needed!

Movie Review Monday

It (2017)

Since the moment I heard this movie was being remade, I knew I wanted to watch it. I kept up with the news and got butterflies in my stomach when they released the first images of Pennywise. I watched the trailers. I was ready.

The first time I watched the original It movie (1990), I was a freshman in college. The film had been out for 6 years, but it still scared the hell out of me. Tim Curry was amazing as Pennywise (but he’s amazing at whatever character he plays), and I jumped so many times throughout the film.

Then, came the end. I won’t lie: I was disappointed. I had expected so much more, especially after the build up and tension throughout the rest of the film. I laughed at myself for getting so worked up. I rolled my eyes at the silliness that was the ending. (I’m purposely not telling you exactly what happened at the end because I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t seen it. I highly suggest you experience it for yourself).

Despite my disappointment with the original film, I was excited to see how the new film would be updated and how they would handle the end. I had hoped to see the new It in the theater, but it didn’t happen. Even when it was available for rent, I had to wait weeks to see it. I watch movies on the weekends, and the boys wouldn’t go to bed so I could watch the film. Finally, one night, they were distracted playing video games, so I rented the film.

I was not disappointed. There’s always a risk when doing a remake that it won’t live up to the original’s expectations and that the original fans will be upset. It’s quite possible fans were upset with the film, but I wasn’t. I thought the new It did the story justice and modernized it for a whole new audience.

Bill Skarsgård was absolutely amazing as Pennywise. He brought just the right amount of creep, full-blown scary, and not-so-scary to the role. My spouse really liked Pennywise, and I think the Bill Skarsgård’s version ranks as one of his favorite villains. He’s definitely in my top 10.

If there was a downside to the film, it would be that there is going to be another one. I’m fully aware that the goal is to make as much money as possible, and the best way to do that is to drag the story out as long as possible. I hope that it works and that the story doesn’t get stale.

The plus side to there being another film is that it can take its time to build more tension and scares and reconfigure the ending so it won’t be as disappointing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t roll my eyes at the end of the next film.

For me, there wasn’t a lot of jump scares in this film. As a horror connoisseur, I know to expect them, but there are times I’m still taken by surprise. That didn’t happen this time, but that doesn’t mean the film failed to create tension.

What I think the film did really well was focus on fears, especially the fears of kids. It had irrational ones, such as being afraid of the abandoned house at the end of the block, but then it added another layer of real fears that the kids had to face. There were bullies, parents dying tragically, abuse, younger siblings disappearing mysteriously, and racism.

The play between the real fears and the irrational fears was done with brilliance, and having kids as the main characters made them mesh together well. The film does an amazing job of capturing childhood fears and how kids react to them. It also does a great job of showing that at some point in time, the irrational fears have to be put to rest and the real fears have to be faced. If the characters can’t do that, they won’t make it.

Pennywise becomes the embodiment of both the irrational and the real fears. If the kids can defeat him, they can be free. But the question remains as to whether or not they are successful in conquering him.

It’s been a long time since I’ve watched the original It film, but I have plans to rewatch it. I just have to find some time when the boys are distracted. I really enjoyed the remake and felt it added to the story instead of taking away from it.

If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it.  If you have seen it, what did you think?

YA/NA Pure Paranormal Giveaway

Looking for some great YA/NA paranormal reads? Then enter the giveaway for your chance to win some great books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The book I've included in the giveaway is The Appeal of Evil. Check it out! And good luck to all of those who enter!

Katie wants to invest her heart and soul in love, but she may lose both to Hell.

Katie, a senior in high school, is torn between loving the "good" guy, her childhood friend Wes who makes promises he doesn't keep and abandons her when she needs him the most, and the "bad" guy, the new kid at school Josh who is also a real demon from Hell. Katie wants someone who pays attention to her and puts her first, but what is she willing to give up to find him?

Find out in book one of this thrilling young adult paranormal romance by Pembroke Sinclair.

Movie Review Monday

Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 2

Last Monday, I reviewed season 1 of Ash vs Evil Dead. If you read it, you’ll recall that I really enjoyed the first season. Of course, I’m a huge fan of the Evil Dead films, so I knew I was going to like this show.

Season 2 expands on the story and even takes us back in time—much like Army of Darkness did. This time, however, it was Ash’s choice to go back. If you’ve seen the movie, then you know that he was sucked into a portal against his will. I won’t give away why he goes back if you haven’t seen the series because I want you to experience it in all its glory.

Like season 1, season 2 is full of demons, humor, and horror. There’s tons of gore, and the characters get developed further. I really enjoyed season 2, and I was super sad when it ended. I’m going to have to wait a long time now to watch season 3.

If you have Netflix and some extra time on your hands, I recommend checking out Ash vs Evil Dead. It’s a lot of fun with traditional horror tropes and lots of gore. Ash vs Evil Dead is a great way to unwind after a long day.

Has anyone else watched this show? What are your thoughts?

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Pembroke Sinclair's books on Goodreads
Life After the Undead Life After the Undead
reviews: 55
ratings: 100 (avg rating 3.64)

The Appeal of Evil The Appeal of Evil (The Road to Salvation, #1)
reviews: 38
ratings: 63 (avg rating 3.54)

Wucaii Wucaii
reviews: 32
ratings: 35 (avg rating 4.11)

Death to the Undead Death to the Undead (Sequel to Life After the Undead)
reviews: 20
ratings: 39 (avg rating 4.23)

Dealing with Devils Dealing with Devils (The Road to Salvation, #2)
reviews: 22
ratings: 32 (avg rating 4.00)