Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review of Mystery of the Witches' Bridge



I came across Mystery of the Witches' Bridge by accident. I had been searching for other books written by May Nickerson Wallace, author of The Ghost of Dibble Hollow. Anyone who uses Amazon is familiar with their “You might also like . . .” feature. In this case, I mistakenly thought Mystery of the Witches' Bridge had been penned by May Nickerson Wallace. As it turns out, the actual writer is Barbee Oliver Carleton http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Witches-Bridge-Barbee-Carleton/dp/0590413988/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412080124&sr=1-1&keywords=mystery+of+the+witches+bridge

I can see why Amazon linked these two books. Both are about young boys who go to an unfamiliar place for the summer only to encounter a mystery involving family rivalries from long ago. I'm a sucker for these types of novels. I love the idea of solving a mystery over a summer and the search for lost treasure which which exonerates those who have been wrongly accused of misdeeds.

In the case of Mystery of the Witches' Bridge, the protagonist, Dan Pride, is not only faced with clearing the family name, but also with resolving the superstitions involving Prides Point, the family property. The townsfolk in this story have long been haunted by a phantom fiddler who plays an eerie tune when the fog rolls in near Witches' Bridge.

As a fan of YA, especially in the mystery genre, I was happy to discover the work of Barbee Oliver Carleton https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/694807.Barbee_Oliver_Carleton. I gave Mystery of the Witches' Bridge 3 stars on my Goodreads Page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4673038.Adele_Park

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Freaks and Geeks



I'll be the first to admit I'm often late in coming to the party as far as social trends are concerned. In the case of the TV show, Freaks and Geeks, I'm about 14 years behind schedule. Thanks to my recent decision to get Netflix on my TV, I finally discovered the comedy gem others have been gushing about for more than a decade http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0193676/

Freaks and Geeks isn't just another funny show about teenage angst. There are some important life lessons imparted here, especially as it relates to bullying and social pressure. As a writer, I'm impressed with how these issues are handled within the contexts of a sitcom.

Besides the brilliant plots, Freaks and Geeks has a laundry list of fabulous actors: James Franko, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel just to name a few. Linda Cardellini, the star of the show, really shows off her acting chops in this show. Cardellini has such a wonderful way of expressing her befuddlement at the situations her character is placed in http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004802/

I'm puzzled as to why Freaks and Geeks had such a short run. My understanding is that there is only a total of 18 episodes – NBC evidently cancelled the program after airing only 12 of them. Later, a fan-led campaign prompted NBC to air three more shows, but it wasn't until Fox Family Channel put it into syndication that all of them were available to the public.

I've been a sporadic TV watcher at best. There have been times in my life when I didn't even own a TV, and other times when I had one but never turned it on. Historically, there are very few shows I have made a point to be available to watch. DVRs changed that for me, besides the added advantage of being able to skip all the commercials. Now, with Netflix, I have the joy of discovering programs that I have heard about, but never had the chance to see. I count Freaks and Geeks as one of the many joys I expect to receive as a customer of Netflix www.netflix.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review of The Racketeer by John Grisham



I'm always happy when I discover one of my favorite writers has come out with a book in paperback. It's not that I'm opposed to paying full price for a hardbound book, it's just that they're heavy and hard to read in bed! Needless to say, I was thrilled when I came across John Grisham's novel, The Racketeer, in paperback http://www.amazon.com/Racketeer-Novel-John-Grisham/dp/0345530578/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410873178&sr=1-1&keywords=the+racketeer+john+grisham
I've heard some literary types poo-pooing writers like Johh Grisham, though I often wonder why. For starters, anyone who can pump out as many best selling books as Grisham must be doing something right. More importantly, Grisham has a gift of sucking readers into the lives of his characters within the first pages of every book he's ever written http://www.jgrisham.com/

Writing is about communication, not flowery words. Grisham puts a fine point on this practice, creating novels that make readers yearn to find out what happens next. The Racketeer is no exception. From the get-go, this book draws readers into a plot involving a prisoner named Malcolm Bannister. Grisham expertly creates a plot which involves Bannister being released from prison in exchange for providing information about the murder of a federal judge.

Besides the interesting characters and intriguing plot line, what I liked about The Racketeer were all the unexpected twists and turns. By the end of the book, I had a completely different take on the action than when I started. And all this happened without a lot of confusion on my part. I gave The Racketeer 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4673038.Adele_Park

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Meet Steve Campbell



Steve Campbell (Old Doc Pinkerton) has been singing and acting all his life.  In the 60’s and 70’s he acted in plays and performed on radio and television and motion pictures. Commercials, voiceovers, modeling, traveling the country dong Industrial Shows.  He sang with a “Big Band” in Detroit Michigan for six years.  since moving to St George in 2002 he and his wife Cindy Have been working as Realtors at ERA.  His real love is still singing and acting.  He has done a few commercials and professional voice work since moving to St George but you may know him best from his stage performances with Dixie State University, St George Musical Theater, Space In Between, Broadway West, Hurricane Valley, or singing at various events or at the public library on Monday mornings doing “Story-time “for the kids.  It has been a real treat for him to work with talented Adele Park and her wonderful audio books.  He says “It’s a blast!”

A Note from Adele

I've had the pleasure of working with Steve for many years now. He has starred in the videos for all three of my audio books, doing a wonderfully funny job each time. Steve also served as the narrator for Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book. I'm sure fans of the Quirky Audio Book Series will be interested in hearing Steve's new role in Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book set to release this fall. On a personal note, Steve is as delightful to work with in person as the characters he portrays on screen and in my audio books.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

And So it Came to Pass



In my world, the phrase, “and so it came to pass,” usually doesn't refer to deadlines. As someone who spent nearly 20 years working as a reporter and news anchor, deadlines are sacred to me. That's why it was especially painful to miss a deadline that has been in place for nearly two years.

One of the challenges with the type of work that I do is that everything is a long term project. It takes at least a year for me to write an audio book and another one to produce it. Originally, I had set September 22, 2014 as the deadline to release Gadzooks! Another Quirky Audio Book. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be a reality.

While I'm in the final stages of finishing Gadzooks! I'm afraid to set another deadline, still stinging from missing the first one. I try not to be too hard on myself, remembering that I've put forth a major effort to meet my original deadline. I just didn't anticipate the final stages of this project would take so long to complete.

My husband, Michael, is the Executive Producer for all my projects. I was so grateful to Michael when he gently reminded me that when people get in a hurry, they loose money. That has become my mantra lately as I patiently iron out all the small problems which are causing me to miss my original September 22nd release date.

To all who have experienced this kind of missed deadline, I feel your pain. As a gentle reminder, there's no reason to have a bad ending just meet a deadline. Time may be fleeting, but there's still enough of it to go around. For now, then, let's celebrate the joy of a beautiful September day, trusting all is unfolding just as it should. 
  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Meet Kent Hayes



I was born and raised in Bountiful, Utah, and have spent the better part of my life performing and/or producing. I’ve had the pleasure of plying my performance wares on stage, screen, radio and as a voice actor, having recently been on stage in “2 Across” and “Spring Equinox! An Evening of Tunes & Tales.”

A Note from Adele

I have truly enjoyed working with Kent. He is funny, professional and very good at what he does. Kent first came to Straight to Audio Productions to perform the role of Randall Smoot in Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book. Kent's back and better than ever in his rendition of Scottie Sphincter in Gadzooks! Another Quirky Audio Book set to be released on September 22, 2014.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet Melissa Sandberg



I grew up in beautiful Park City, enamored with the ski-racers and sporty thrill seekers of my community, but I always sought out my adrenalin rush through performing.  I continued to chase that rush, studying musical theater at Webster Conservatory in St. Louis, and at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, England (founded by Sir Paul McCartney).  

Now having lived in New York City for over nine years, I've had the thrill of acting in film (notably 2012 Sundance rom-com Price Check with Parker Posey) and in television (Showtime's The Big C, ABC's Cupid; Kitty on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Amanda Stone in the upcoming season of Blue Bloods on CBS). My biggest highs are on stage, though, in roles like Roxie (Chicago), Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady), and Annie Oakley (Annie Get Your Gun).

Along the way, I've discovered a love for voice over work and have lent my voice to commercial spots for Audi, Disney, Snickers, Sealy, Vitamin Shoppe, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  It's all in the effort of telling a good story, and I'm excited to continue to tell this wonderfully wild story of Blue McKenna.  



A Note from Adele

It is an honor for me to work with someone of Melissa's calibre. In addition to being the consummate professional, Melissa is awesome in her performance of Blue McKenna in both Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book and Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. I feel fortunate to have Melissa on board, especially since she lives in New York City where she enjoys a busy career as an actress. I'm grateful that Melissa still finds time to come back to Utah to record for Straight to Audio Productions.