Monday, June 15, 2015

Review of The Girl on the Train

I'll start my rating of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins with my GoodReads Points: Five Stars!

I don't mean to gush, but The Girl on the Train was one of the best audiobooks I've had the pleasure of listening to lately

What was so great about it? For starters, the author, Paula Hawkins, really knows how to spin an intriguing “Who done it”

The Girl on the Train tells the story of Rachel, a woman who has been abandoned by her husband for another woman.  Rachel's life is such a mess that she turns to alcohol for comfort.  Each day as Rachel commutes to London, she imagines the life of a couple she sees from the train.  Later, Rachel discovers the woman she has been watching has been murdered.  The plot thickens as Rachel learns she was on the street the night of the murder, but doesn't remember much because she was blackout drunk at the time.       

The style in which Hawkins presented the plot of The Girl on the Train reminded me of the movie, Gone Girl starring Ben Affleck Rosamund Pike

All of the characters in The Girl on the Train are somewhat despicable, but Hawkins gives them context by showing the sources of the pain which cause the characters to behave so badly. The reader is able to empathize with the characters without condoning their behavior.

I don't give five stars for audiobooks unless the narration is as good as the story. And The Girl on the Train really delivers with Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey and India Fisher. I'm not just applauding these actresses because I fancy British accents. These narrators pull off a stellar performance, luring the listener into the story with the believability in which they tell their stories.

June is Audio Book month. I recommend The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins for a great way to celebrate!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Go From Zero Love to Big Love . . .

Guerilla Film Festival Winner

Several of my actors and camera crew members recently submitted a film called "I Need a Vacation" in the St. George Summer Guerilla Festival.  To no one's surprise, the project took home the Audience Selection honors.  Congratulations to all who participated, especially Kent Harrison Hayes and Garry Morris who wrote the film.  

"I Need a Vacation" was filmed by Ned Cordery, Photographer Extraordinaire.  Ned's wife, Mary, was tapped for one of the choice roles in the video, which will be a good warm up for all the scenes I've scheduled her to appear in for my upcoming shoot.

If you need a vacation, or just a good laugh, check out this Guerilla Festival Winner:

Sunday, June 7, 2015

We're Ready to Roll!

Dorothy Engelman, Adele Park and Ned Cordery

The only thing I like better than editing audio is editing audio and video together. Friends and Facebook companions are familiar with my kooky ads to promote the Quirky Audio Book Series.  The videos may look simple, but there is actually a lot of time and coordination that goes into making them.  

I'm currently in the planning stages for a whole new slew of videos set to launch in July.  I'm very fortunate in that I haven't yet managed to scare off Ned Cordery, my ACE PHOTOGRAPHER.  I surely drive Ned bonkers with my plans that seem to get bigger and more elaborate with every shoot.  

Dorothy Engelman is new to Straight to Audio Productions, stepping in to serve as the Director for our upcoming shoot.  Dorothy is one of those multi-talented sorts who gets along well with everyone.  In the spirit craziness, Dorothy even recruited her husband, Gary, to work in a couple of scenes.  

Top Row:  Jessica, Treyson, Michael and Jim Park
Bottom Row:  Steve Campbell, Becky Williams, Kristin Hunt, Tori Park and Mary Cordery

I gathered the gang together on Saturday to go over the plans for our upcoming shoot.  As you can see from the photo, the cast has increased in size, right along with my wacky ideas.  One of the most magical things about these shoots is watching how much fun the cast members have with each other.  

June is National Audiobook Month so it was only fitting that we celebrated June Birthdays for the cast members during our recent meeting.  Personally, I'm up for any event that involves cake and ice cream!

 Happy Birthday Austin, Treyson, Jim, Cindy and Steve

The shoot is still a month away but that doesn't mean I'll be relaxing by the pool. Well, maybe I'll sneak out for a dip or two, but rest assured, oddball ideas will continue to rattle around in my noggin -- with no brain, there's plenty of space to maneuver!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Short Story from Monical Brinkman

A Note from Adele:  I'm honored to share this very touching short story from Monica Brinkman with the readers of my blog.  Monica is a hostess on It Matters Radio as well as the author of three books.  Monica's latest work, The Wheel's Final Turn, is available for sale on

Monica M Brinkman

"Wait for me Sissy”!

Sissy Jones looked back to see her little brother stumbling through the tall rock laden grass. She ceased her walk and hollered back, 

“Hurry up Timothy or we’ll miss finding them.” The young boy smiled and huffed his way to his sisters’ side.

The sight of his blonde locks, now wet from the humid heat of the summer softened her reserve. 

“It’s okay Timmy, you catch your breath. We still have time. Here drink this.”

Without hesitation, Timmy grabbed the thermos from her hand and gulped down the entire contents before wiping the cool drips of water drizzling down his mouth.

“Thanks Sissy, I sure needed that.”

“I guess you did cause now we don’t have any water left for later. I don’t want to hear any complaining about how hot and thirsty you are. Geez Timmy, you didn’t have to hog it all.”

Sissy felt bad as soon as the words left her mouth. She kept forgetting how young Timmy was and that he hadn’t yet learned to think about the next person in line. She patted the top of his head 

“Come on, we better get going if we want to find any arrow heads.”

She took Timmy’s hand and led him into the woods, noticing the temperature dropped considerably from the shade of the multitude of trees surrounding them. It was a natural gift from nature; one she appreciated on such hot humid days. Soon, she heard the sound of water traveling over rock-covered ground. Her excitement grew as they neared and she blurted, “We’re almost there.”

Hearing his sisters’ words, Timmy let go of her hand and raced ahead to the river’s bed. He waited, knowing better than to enter the water until Sissy joined him. It only took a moment and there she was, at his side.

“Look at the little frogs. Aren’t they cute? Sissy squealed and circled the water with her fingertips, watching as the frogs swam for perceived safety.

Sissy adored frogs and was delighted to see the tadpoles swishing their tiny forms and swimming among the small frogs. Surely many would not make it, but there would be enough to keep the species populated. She noticed Timmy was bent over the edge scooping up mud and grassy soil, seeking those arrowheads and artifacts from the Neshaminy Indians who had lived in these woods for decades before them.

The woods were always magical. Silent yet boasting the rustle of birds, reptiles and insects for those who hesitate long enough to listen. Ah, it was the time of her life, and Sissy revealed in it, taking in the richness of life, the simplicity of moment, never anticipating what would come next; experiencing what was happening now.

His white lab coat rustled as he approached the silver-haired woman and spoke to his assistant. “You know, Fleckner, it never ceases to amaze me how peaceful and happy she appears. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen her without a smile on that wrinkled face. Whatever could it be that holds her in such a state?”

Adam Fleckner nodded. “Alzheimer’s is sadly still quite a mystery to us. I suppose it is merely her reflexes and nothing more. I doubt Sissy can speak or hear us, or if she can do so, she surely has not given us a sign. It is sad, this disease.”

The two doctors walked pass Sissy Jones who continued to laugh, smile and find joy as she experienced the past, or perhaps to her, it was the present.

Monica Brinkman writes stories of life, the paranormal, horror and suspense.
It Matters Radio web-site:
Into the Woods was first published in www.thewriteroomblog