Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ghosts & Gold

In today's blog post, I'd like to share some information about Ghosts & Gold by R.W. Lang http://www.amazon.com/Ghosts-Gold-R-W-Lang/dp/1499203322

The novel Ghosts & Gold is part tragedy, fantasy, and romance. Dr Jack Martin, a veterinarian, loses his wife and daughter in a vehicular accident. Distraught, Jack decides to sell his house and business in Bel Air, Maryland, and temporarily moves in with his sister, and lesbian lover in Palm Springs, California. He buys a pickup and camper, adopts a red and white Irish Setter named Domino, then travels throughout northern Nevada. Jack breaks his leg digging for gold in Rhyolite, Nevada, and Dr. Taylor Adams saves him. She convinces him to move in with her to ease his recovery, and they fall in love. You have to read the book to find out about the Ghosts!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hilarious Christmas Movie

I stumbled across one of the best Christmas movies I've seen in a long time on Lifetime the other night. Wishin' and Hopin' is based on the New York Times best-selling novel written by Wally Lamb http://www.amazon.com/Wishin-Hopin-CD-Wally-Lamb/dp/B0045EPDAO.

Besides being an outrageously funny comedy about a kid attending Catholic School back in the 1960s, this little ditty features a huge cast of stars: Molly Ringwald, Chevy Chase, Cheri Oteri just to name a few.

Wishin' and Hopin' chronicles the adventures of Felix Funicello (cousin of the infamous Annette Funicello). Young Felix himself in one pickle after another, unwisely re-telling dirty jokes that he doesn't get. His classmates are similarly wacky, from his best friend, Lonny (the dumbest kid in the class), to Zhenya, a quirky Russian transplant.

Anyone who grew up Catholic will appreciate the comedic illustration of the Catholic School Bureaucracy. Conchata Ferrell, known to many as the housekeeper on Two and a Half Men, stars as Sister Agrippina – a stern nun with a HUGE mole. Unlike in real life, the characters in this story find a hilarious way to level the formidable Sister Agrippina.

This holiday season, if you want to be “laughing all the way,” tune in to Wishin' and Hopin'.  There will be two more chances to see this show on Lifetime on Sunday, December 21 at 11 and Monday, December 22 at 8 http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/wishin-and-hopin.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Non-Profit Holiday Gift Idea

Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense have twenty-five 5* reviews on Amazon between them and make the perfect holiday gifts! These books will entertain, but they have a serious purpose as well. ALL author profits will be used to sponsor Wisdom Professionals, beginning with, but not exclusive to, Tibetan Monks, Nuns, and causes. Money from book sales will establish permanent funding sources (businesses/funds). These will make it financially viable for an increase in the number of Wisdom Professionals worldwide. A motel-type guesthouse can be built near a temple or meditation center. Money raised from the patronage of business travelers, vacationers, students coming to the center for teachings, and youth and tour groups can then be used to perpetually support and provide the basics (food, clothing, shelter, books, medical expenses) to an ever-increasing number of Wisdom Teachers. An ordinary contribution is spent and gone. The Fearless Puppy project's contributions last forever. When you buy a book, so does yours. For more project specifics, news articles and reviews, and much more please see http://www.fearlesspuppy.org

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Review of The First Phone Call from Heaven

I had high expectations for the audio book version of The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom http://www.amazon.com/The-First-Phone-Call-Heaven/dp/0062294377
I've been a fan of Albom's work ever since I stumbled upon The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Unfortunately, The First Phone Call from Heaven didn't intrigue me in the same way my previous introduction to Albom's work did.

The First Phone Call from Heaven is about what happens to the people living in a small town in Michigan who begin receiving phone calls from their departed loved ones. The plot was very intriguing – were the phone calls real or was someone pulling off an elaborate hoax? The downfall in this story for me was an inability to truly care about the characters in the story. I suppose I just didn't warm to the individual characters which may have led to my general malaise towards this audio book. This was a huge departure from the way I felt about the characters in The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

I've spent some time asking myself where the disconnect is. Was I just not in the right mood for this audio book when I listened to it? Albom is undoubtedly a very skilled story teller, so that wasn't the issue. Because of this, I may give this audio book a second listen.

The thing I did enjoy was that Albom himself narrated The Fist Phone Call from Heaven. Not all writers are skilled voice actors, but Albom is a definite exception. Because of this, I plan to continue buying and listening to Albom's works http://mitchalbom.com/d/

I gave The First Phone Call from Heaven a 3 on my Goodreads page, but if there was an opportunity to rate the narration, I would have give that a 5 https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4673038.Adele_Park

Thanks, Mitch Albom, for sharing your talents with the world!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever

I was happy to discover the movie, Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever, playing on Lifetime.  Aubrey Plaza (actress of Parks and Rec fame), does the voice of Grumpy Cat.  This little ditty really put me in the mood for Christmas, but apparently, I'm alone on this one.

In doing some research for my blog, I was surprised to learn so many critics panned this movie.  I'm not sure where there are coming from.  Clearly, the makers of the film were laughing at themselves, even poking fun at Grumpy Cat memes and the over-commercialization of this feline icon.  There were even a few jabs at the Lifetime Network.

In addition to some genuine belly laughs, Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever also had some poignant moments.  I thought the lead human in the show, a 12 year old girl played by Megan Charpentier, was super cute and a good actress to boot.  

Despite the majority of nay-sayers, I'm putting Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever on my list of great shows to watch during the holidays.  Happy/Grumpy Christmas to one and all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Law of Attraction = Action

I read a lot of books on the Law of Attraction – some are better than others. I agree with the principal: what you think about is what you attract into your life. What I don't believe is the idea that all we have to do is wish for things and then sit back and wait for them to come to us. In my mind, The Law of Attraction = Action.

Mike Dooley, one of my favorite authors, talks about starting with an end goal in mind and then working backwards. The operative word here is work. Dooley encourages people to take steps in the general direction of their goals, leaving the “cursed hows” to the universe. All of this requires action, not thought.

I'm not a religious person, but the phrase, “Faith without Works is Dead,” certainly rings true for me. How can I expect good things to happen in life if I'm not doing my part to bring about those desires? And even if I could just make things materialize simply by wishing them to be so, how much joy could I really expect to receive from that?

It's not enough to create a vision board filled with beautiful images of what I'd like my life to look like. I've noticed that the times I feel the most satisfied is when I've done the footwork on a project and then see positive results from my sustained effort. This kind of action is truly empowering.

It is my hope that everyone dreams big and follows their dreams in a big way. Yes, the Universe is Conspiring in Everyone's Favor, but only to the extent that we work with the Universe to make it happen!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Odyssey of a Slave

I'm pleased to welcome Carlyn Craig as a guest writer for the Quirky Audio Books Blog.  Carlyn shares some interesting information about the Odyssey of a Slave Trilogy.  

Patrick Bowman’s Odyssey of a Slave Trilogy is a bold re-imagining of Homer’s Odyssey and the Mediterranean world that inspired it some three thousand years ago. The young adult reader already familiar with the landscape of Greek myth and legend and the reader looking for an entertaining introduction can both enjoy this trilogy, which begins in the smoking ruins of Troy, in the wake of the Greek sacking of the city, (courtesy of the “Trojan Horse”). 

Fifteen year old Alexi tries to escape, but caught and is taken as a slave by Odysseus himself, to serve on his ship for the return trip to Ithaca. This is the Odyssey of Homer, but the adventures are Alexi’s own. He negotiates between his status as a slave and the demands on a hero, as one adventure succeeds another. Alexi is forthright and brave, and ready for anything. He be-devils his Greek slave-masters with his acerbic wit, and usually outshines them in tough situations with his ingenuity and adaptability. As their relationships develop, they slowly begin to find the humanity in each other. In Bowman’s hands, Alexi never comes across as a modern boy in ancient dress. He’s a fascinating young character who is of his age - an age very, very different from our own.

Alexi and his captors encounter the lotus-eaters and the Cyclops, enjoy Circe’s dubious hospitality, and endure the wrath of Aeolus and Poseidon, driven along by Patrick Bowman’s lively and erudite prose. Bowman spices his tale liberally with ancient Greek phrases and concepts, creating a three dimensional experience of ‘the age of heroes’. The adventures of young Alex bring the world of Odysseus to life from a new angle, and possess their own unique lessons and delights. Bowman has succeeded in weaving a world in which natural forces, humans, gods, and demi-gods contend for mastery in every situation, and he has given us a fine young hero to root for.

Gerard Doyle, Trilogy Narrator

This trilogy is narrated by the much-acclaimed Gerard Doyle, who earned an Earphone and Best Voice in Youth (2013) for his recording of the first book in this series, Torn from Troy. “His facility for accents and characterizations and his ability to set time and place by just the slightest vocal nuance make it almost impossible not to listen to him. … A delightfully original introduction to Homer’s ODYSSEY, read by a master craftsman.” (AudioFile Magazine, 2013)

Patrick Bowman, Trilogy Author