Monday, February 25, 2008

Book 13 or 2008: Red: A Seduction Tale by Maddie James


This "review" is a bit wimpy as I don't have a lot to go off of. This is an e-book that is to be released by Resplendence Publishing next month. I read an ARC of it since I'm involved in their beta reader program. I managed to find a small picture and a very brief description, so that's all I can give ya besides my opinion. LOL!!!

Book Description:

A grown-up version of Little Red Riding Hood in Resplendence's new Wicked line. (novella)

My Opinion:

This is my first reading of any of Maddie James works and since she's local to me I was very curious about her writing style. (I actually got to meet her several months back at an author signing in a nearby town) Red is a very enjoyable story, albeit too short. I think there could've been a lot more done with this story to make it a full length novel. I didn't feel that the novella allowed James enough time to fully develop the characters or let us really delve into the full background of what all was going on in the story. I thought the visuals were very good as was the storyline itself... I just wish it didn't have to be rushed due to the length of it. The sexual scenes in the book were written very well and I absolutely loved the scene where Garnet (Red) first realizes the wolf is also the man she had seen earlier in the story.

I will definitely be looking for more of Maddie James' stories... especially any full length novels she writes!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Movie 15 of 2008: Jaws

Movie Description:

Steven Spielberg's film is generally considered one of the scariest movies ever made. The frightfest is based on the book by Peter Benchley, son of author Nathaniel and grandson of author Robert Benchley. The plot is simple: The tourist season of a resort island is devoured by a great white shark. The ensuing "fishing trip" to catch the monstrous man-eater is filmed with power and suspense and plenty of scares that has had audiences jumping out of their seats for decades--and staying out of the water.

Movie Trailer:

My Opinion:

Okay, so I gave in and watched Jaws as I was getting tormented for having never seen it. Twenty minutes into the movie I was questioning why it was considered such a great movie, but I kept on watching. I can't say that I loved the movie by any means, but it did improve and the way they ended up killing the shark was pretty cool. When the shark had his "last meal", I thought the close-up of the shark made him quite fake looking. (though not nearly as bad as the homemade plant we had in Jr. High for our production of Little Shop of Horrors... LOL!!!) I doubt I'll go on to watch Jaws 2 or 3, but I'm glad that I at least gave this one a try. I guess I'm just not the movie fanatic like a lot of people are. Had I read Peter Benchley's book I probably would've enjoyed it better than I did the movie, but having seen the movie now... I'll probably never bother with the movie. (which reminds me, I should probably get rid of the Lord of the Rings books since I ended up watching those movies last year. ha ha!!!)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Movie 14 of 2008: The Girl Next Door

Movie Description:

In a quiet suburban town in the summer of 1958, two recently orphaned sisters are placed in the care of their mentally unstable Aunt Ruth (Emmy winner Blanche Baker of HOLOCAUST). But Ruth's depraved sense of discipline will soon lead to unspeakable acts of abuse and torture that involve her young sons, the neighborhood children, and one 12-year-old boy whose life will be changed forever. William Atherton (DIE HARD), Catherine Mary Stewart (NIGHT OF THE COMET) and Grant Show (MELROSE PLACE) co-star in this devastating drama adapted from the controversial best seller by Jack Ketchum that Rue Morgue Magazine called "one of te most disturbing reads in the history of horror literature."

Movie Trailer:

My Opinion:

While I was reading Jack Ketchum's THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, I was informed that their was a movie adaptation of the book just coming out on DVD. I was doubtful that the movie would be very good just because I usually hate move adaptions of books (with the exception of BIG FISH where the movie is sooooooo much better than the book!!!). After watching THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, I have to say, I was impressed. When it first started I was recognizing the dialogue straight from the book and was happy that it seemed the movie was going to follow along with the book well. When Meg first came on the screen, however, her voice just really grated on me for some reason. It just didn't seem like what I was expecting of her. Of course, this isn't too big a deal considering the majority of the movie she is gagged and can't be heard speaking anyway so it didn't really take away from the movie. My next complaint was how choppy the movie seemed. It was following along with the book quite well, but the scenes just didn't seem to transition. It was like they just jumped from one thing to the next with no tie-ins. There were also many scenes cut out, though not anything majorly important from what I recall, but that's to be expected in order to cut the story short enough to squeeze into the movie. The latter part of the movie, when the torture scenes took over, seemed to flow a lot smoother and the scenes blended together well. My one big complaint about the movie was the ending. I was very disappointed that they didn't follow closer to the book. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but the chain of events here did not flow the same as the book and the "final battle" seemed to be cut way too short. Also, when the story goes back to the adult version of David I was unhappy that they had cut out the part about what his mom had written on a newspaper article... and even the newspaper article for that matter. That scene seemed very powerful to me when I read it and even gave me the chills. With the movie being only 90 minutes long, I just think they could've taken the time with the ending to follow closer to the novel.

I don't watch the "extras" on DVDs all that often, but I was curious about the making of this movie so I watched the 20 or so minute segment in order to learn more about how things were done and hope that maybe it explained some of their reasonings on why they did some of the things I have complained about above, but instead it just made me realize something else that I think should've been done differently... for at least part of the movie anyway. The actress who played Aunt Ruth said that her and the director had the same idea about how Ruth should be played. They thought her character should be stern and talk normally rather than sounding like a lunatic, but in the book as things progressed, Ketchum described her character as having started to go crazy and such... I thought that should have been depicted in the movie myself. *shrugs*

Anyway, overall I thought this movie was done very well. My complaints above are more because I had just recently read the book and am picking it apart quite a bit, plus I'm very biased and prefer books over movies. I definitely recommend this movie to anyone that isn't feint of heart because it is a great story (as well as inspired by a true story), however, I also recommend that the book should be read first as to not spoil the wonderful book Ketchum has created. As my profile on here says...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Book 12 of 2008: Stud Finders Incorporated by Alexis Fleming

Book Description:

Wanted - An Orgasm... and the chance to fulfill all her sexual fantasies.

Madison believes she's frigid. Her ex told her so and maybe it's true, because there's one thing she's never experienced. An orgasm! Now she wants it all. So when her mother rings Stud Finders Incorporated and hires a stud for her to practice on, why look a gift hors in the mouth?

Jake's ex-lover said he was boring, both in bed and out. So when sexy Madison asks him to teach her to have an orgasm, he jumps at the chance to prove his manhood. Even if it means hiding the fact that the purose of Stud Finders Incorporated is to find the studs behind the wallboards of a building so the owner can safely hang his paintings.

WARNING: This book contains explicit sex explained in graphic detail with contemporary language.

My Opinion:

This book was an extremely fun read! Alexis Fleming created scenes that made me laugh, made me sympathize with the characters, made me think about my own life, etc... Fleming added in many scenes where the character's thoughts were told to the reader and it greatly influenced the character development of the story. I loved all of the characters in the book and was hoping all would end up well in the end (granted it's a romance book so I assumed the ending was basically spelled out anyway). I couldn't help but laugh at all the "almost busted" moments they both had with the books Jake bought and how they also both kept reading each other's actions wrongly. The story, overall, was a great "fluff" read and as well as a "feel-good" book. This is the first book I've read by Fleming, but I plan on checking out more in the future.

Thanks for the book loan Laura!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Book 11 of 2008: Pandora Drive by Tim Waggoner

Book Description:

Damara Ruschmann was a child when her ability to manifest dreams and fantasies as three-dimensional, living-breathing reality first made itself known — with tragic results. After that terrible night, Damara withdrew from the world, becoming a recluse so that her power could never hurt anyone ever again. For twelve years, she's managed to keep her power under control, but now it's beginning to leak out, affecting all those around her. Like a wildfire, Damara's power soon rages out of control, and the hidden fantasies of her friends and neighbors begin to take on a terrible — and deadly — life of their own . . . on Pandora Drive.

My Opinion:

*re-reads description again* Ya know... I would never in a million years have expected what I read in this book from that description nor the similar write up on the back of the book. This book would be one that my friends would put in the "sick shit" genre though the description above makes it sound very mild. The people in Damara's town have fantasies alright, but some of them are extremely sick and twisted... especially Kenneth, the neighborhood pervert. Some of the scenes he was in had me nauseous (which, of course, means that Tim Waggoner was doing his job!) while other scenes made me crack up laughing (which either means it was truly funny or I'm just a sick little bitch! ha ha!!!).

I thank Nick Cato of Novello Publishers yet again for recommending a book that turned me onto a new author and had me flying through the chapters. I was having trouble putting this one down and it kept me up into the wee hours the last couple of nights. I'm looking forward to digging into Waggoner's LIKE DEATH in the next couple of weeks!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Book 10 of 2008: Kink by Saskia Walker and Sasha White

Book Description:

Two men. Two women. Two stories. Too wild...

Contemporary erotica filled with love, lust, and kink.

Sex, Lies, and Bondage Tape
Clayton's one hunk of a musician. A pinup hottie for squealing teens everywhere. And he's gay, Kelly Burton discovers when she sneaks into his dressing room for an autograph, but gets a peep show instead. But Kelly's soon distracted: a bouncer has found her. A bouncer with pecs of steel, a six-pack, and sinewy arms. After a scolding, the bounder decides to have his wicked way with the naughty-but-eager groupie. And what follows is a night of passion, hard-rock style...

Watch Me
Some people have coffee. Some have tea. But the only thing that wakes Bethany Mack up in the morning is sex. Too bad marriage to Grant has settled her into a sex-starved routine. That is, until she spies a hot, muscled roofer next door. Broad, sexy shoulders: check. A muscular chest you could nuzzle all day: check. And under those jeans, well, the thought ust makes her weak. So she puts on a little show for him through the window, letting her inhibitions loose, and discovers a naughty new addiction. But how will her husband react when he discovers just how far a desperate housewife will go for some loving from him?

My Opinion:

I must say... there is a LOT of great erotica out there on the bookshelves these days!!! I realized KINK had a story that tied in with Sasha White's other books that I had just read and had to pull the book off of Mt. TBR. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Saskia Walker writes some kick-ass erotica as well! Walker's story, SEX, LIES, AND BONDAGE TAPE (man I love that title... ha ha!), takes you into the look behind the scenes of a rock star's life and how the rock star is struggling with hiding "in the closet". But in the meantime, the main character of the story, Kelly, is learning a lot about her ownself while getting it on with the bouncer! The character growth in this story was fabulous (yes, erotica CAN have charactor development in it!!!) and I loved the way the story progressed... of course, the sex scenes were hot too! I will definitely be tracking down more of Walker's works! I'd love to hear more about what happens with the gay rock star couple as well as Kelly & "the bouncer"!

The second story in the book was WATCH ME, by Sasha White. This story fit very well along with her books BOUND, TROUBLE, and WICKED. Though I wish I had read this prior to reading the latter two as that's where it fell into place chronologically. Anywho... the story was focussed on 2 characters I hadn't learned much about yet, Bethany & Grant. (with some cameos of Ginger and Samair) Bethany was struggling with not getting the attention she needed from her husband and started running into "opportunities" to paly with her exhibitionist side. After a few charades, Grant busted her and got upset... only long enough to realize what she needed from him and then brought her to her knees as he decided to dominate her. The story took off from there as they played around with the D/s life style and got a fresh start on their love life. Yet another wild adventure from White and I can't wait for her to put out more books as she is quickly getting to the top of my favorite author's list!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Book 9 of 2008: Monstrosity by Edward Lee

Book Description:

Blue skies, palm trees, and flawless white sand beaches. Clare Prentiss thinks her new home is paradise, and her brand-new job as security chief at the clinic almost seems too good to be true.

It is.

Lurid dreams, erotic obsessions, and twisted sexual fantasies aren't the only things that abruptly invade Clare's life. Is someone really peeping into her windows at night?


Are those screams she hears just her imagination?


Is Clare being stalked?

Yes. But not by a man. By a monstrosity.

Will the last scream Clare hears be her own?

My Opinion:

Another great recommendation from my buddy Nick Cato!!! I absolutely loved this book! I was having trouble understanding what the prologue had to do with anything, even when those characters popped up throughout the book, but the epilogue tied it all together in the end. :) There were many memorable scenes in the book... the giant toad, the "voyeuristic" Clare, the scenes where Clare was having erotic dreams, but I think the funniest (well, for me anyway... maybe not for the guys... LOL!!!!) scene was where "Ranger Jingles" got a little shock.

I will definitely be reading more by this author in the near future as I thought his writing style was great and he kept me on the edge of my sit throughout most all of the book. But for now... I'm digging my way through another "smut" book.

Movie 13 of 2008: Ratatouille

Movie Description:

A rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. When fate places Remy in the sewers of Paris, he finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unlikely - and certainly unwanted - visitor in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant, Remy's passion for cooking soon sets into motion a hilarious and exciting rat race that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down.

Movie Trailer:

My Opinion:

This was a really cute movie. I can't say I liked it as well as Pixar's other works, but it was rather cute. Hmmm... that's the second time I said cute, huh? LOL!!! Well... that's the best word for it. I thought Pixar did a good job with the animation and the storyline was creative. I mean... c'mon... would you expect a kitchen full of mice to cook YOU dinner? HA HA!!! Anyway, I recommend it as a good family movie or one to keep the kids occupied. :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Book 8 of 2008: Wicked by Sasha White

Book Description:

Bad-boy divorce attorney Karl Dawson has seen all the ways love can go wrong. That's why he's given up on it. Jaded and feeling restless, he has playmates, not girlfriends. A leather-clad Dominant, he comes and goes in the city's after-dark playgrounds as he pleases. That's how he likes it.

Lara Fox is an independent jack-of-all-trades who can do anything she sets her mind to - except that falling-in-love thing. She's got a need for control too strong for most men, and an inability to walk away from a challenge. Including a challenge like Karl. He's cocky, arrogant, and demanding. That's how she needs it.

They're perfect for each other. But what begins as a sensual battle of wills turns into a journey neither is prepared for when Lara is threatened and emotional walls start to crumble.

My Opinion:

I can not get enough of Sasha's books! I tore into this book as soon as I got home from work on Wednesday and found the Amazon box sitting on my front porch. I actually was frustrated at first because I thought the book was taking a turn on me from what I expected. I knew Karl was a bad boy Dom and he was always "playing" in an underground club called The Dungeon and I thought she was going to stray completely away from that scene. I was pleasantly surprised when I was wrong and the book started picking up very quickly. I couldn't put it down as I wanted to know how everything was going to pan out in the end!

After completing this I picked up a horror book to start on to take a break from the erotica again for a bit, but I just read on Sasha's website that KINK also includes a story based on the characters/location from this book and I didn't know that. So... as soon as I finish my current read, I'm switching over to reading KINK! I just hope I didn't read something out of order because I hate that!!! Ugh!!! Oh well, too late now!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Book 7 of 2008: The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

Book Description

Suburbia in the 1950's. A nice quiet simpler time to grow up -unless you count the McCarthy trials and red-scares and the shadow of the Bomb and the Cold War, unless you could see the dark side emerging. And on a quiet tree-lined dead-end street, in the dark damp basement of the Chandler house, it's emerging big-time for teenage Meg and her crippled sister Susan -whose parents are dead now, who are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant Aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons -and finally an entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruel, torturous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make. Between love and compassion, and lust and evil.

My Opinion

This is my first peek into the writings of Jack Ketchum. I was recommended this book highly by Nick Cato of Novello Publishers and the LAIR of the YAK. I must admit, the book made me VERY mad!!! I remember hearing others talk about getting mad at a book and tossing it at the wall on the other side of the room and I never understood, but now I do. I, of course, didn't throw the book because I'm too careful with my books, but I did feel the urge to do so. The narrarator (and main character) of the book, David, frustrated me to no end by just standing by and watching all the torture take place in the Chandler's household. I knew he considered himself a friend to Meg and even seemed to have a crush on her so I just couldn't fathom that he'd stand by idly and watch her be tortured in the many ways that she was. Not to spoil the end, but even though he "came around" somewhat, I was still disappointed in the fact that he didn't "buck up" sooner. Granted... I know he was only a 12-year-old boy and probably didn't know WHAT to do... but you'd think he would've done something!!!

So... I hated the book in the sense that I was mad at David the entire time, but I honestly loved the book! It kept my interest peeked the entire time because I wanted to know what was going to happen next and kept hoping David would redeem himself. I'm still tossing around the ending in my head though and debating whether things worked out for the best or whatnot. I think they did end how I would've expected them to end, but I'm just not sure I'm happy with it all. It's just a lot to absorb and take in because it's a very powerful book. Ketchum did an awesome job with his descriptions of the events of the book making me feel I was watching the goings-on (granted, that wasn't always pleasant!). This book is definitely not for those of the feint of heart (though I recommend it to all my "sick shit sisters") I do applaud Ketchum also for NOT detailing the scene with the tire iron! As soon as I knew what was to come I was honestly thinking "what sick person can detail something enough in their minds to put it into words!?!?!". So... I was extremely happy the way he handled that situation & just left it to the imagination.

As an added bonus at the end of the novel, there is a look into the reasoning behind the story and also 2 bonus short stories (DO YOU LOVE YOUR WIFE? and RETURNS). I enjoyed all of the added bonuses, but not nearly as much as the novel itself.

As I said above, this is my first look into Ketchum's works, but definitely not my last. He had me with tears in my eyes at one point as well as chills going through me in another. My emotions were very into this book, which makes me think highly of an author. I will be bumping up another book on Mt. TBR by Ketchum in the very near future!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Movie 12 of 2008: Ju-on: The Grudge

Movie Description:

Directed by Takashi Shimizu, The Grudge follows volunteer homecare worker Rika Nishida (Megumi Okina), whose altruism leads her to Chiharu (Yui Ichikawa), a catatonic old woman slowly dying in a home filled with years worth of accumulated filth. Rika's suspicion is aroused when, during the course of her volunteer duties, she can't help but sense an overwhelming feeling of dread. Eventually, Rika opens an old wardrobe only to discover a malevolent boy who introduces himself as Toshio (Yuya Ozeki). It seems as though the house was formerly occupied by a young couple -- Katsuya (Kanji Tsuda), Chiharu's son, and his wife, Kazumi (Risa Matsuda). Sadly, Kazumi was killed thanks to Toshio shortly after moving in, and it wasn't long before Katsuya met a similar fate. When one of Rika's colleagues alerts the local authorities, an investigation turns the house inside out and exposes an ancient and deadly history.


My opinion:

I typically enjoy Asian horror movies, but honestly... this one didn't do much for me. There were some moments of the movie I enjoyed and due to watching it with a friend who hated it even more and made bad jokes throughout, I was laughing a lot. I just didn't think it was very creepy. Granted, the kid and other ghosts in the movie were freaky looking, but there weren't really any "jump" moments as I'd call 'em and it just wasn't good. LOL! A lot of the Asian movies (whether horror or not) are VERY hard to comprehend and this one did follow somewhat with that pattern as you had to try really hard to keep track of what all was going on in the movie and who was connected/related to whom. Maybe J-Horror movies just aren't meant to scare me. I mean, everyone told me how THE RING was the SCARIEST movie. I thought it was poorly done. I had read THE RING by Koji Suzuki and I then wathched the American movie. And for those that HAVE seen THE RING... there are NO horsese in the book... not a one!!! I have NO idea where that came from. I then went on to watch the Japanese version of the movie, RINGU... it was better and followed closer to the book, but at the end when they told about how the girl got in the well, well... let's just say, it was a different person in the book that put her there. I'm not sure why they switched it for the movie. *shrugs* Anyway, I recommend the books by Suzuki... just skip the movies! LOL!!! Anyway, back to Ju-on... I definitely won't be renting the sequels to this one and I don't really recommend watching it. I also don't plan on watching THE GRUDGE (the American version of this movie) because after THE RING fiasco, I won't bother with American re-makes.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Book 6 of 2008: Trouble by Sasha White

Book Description:

Samair Jones is fed up with being a pushover for her boss and for her two-timing boyfriend. All she wants is to live by her own rules. Then she meets hot nightclub owner Valentine Ward and the decadent possibilities of answering only to herself become daringly clear. Especially when Valentine is willing to indulge every one of Samair's fantasies- no strings attached. At least none that Samair can see. Then she meets Valentine's powerful, jealous, and dangerously manipulative ex-wife Vera. Vera's about to throw a new kink into Samair and Valentine's games. But this one could be trouble.

My Opinion:

Well, what can I say... Sasha has me hooked! She's definitely one of my new favorite authors! I am having a hard time putting her books down once I start them. I finished this one in just a couple of days and I'm distraught because has yet to ship my copy of WICKED!!! (thank god I had a gift certificate!!!) This book didn't start off as BOUND immediately, but it only took a few chapters to get me hooked. I ended up loving Samair's character a LOT! I was having trouble for a while there because Samair sounded more like the guy's name than Val did, but after a while I got used to it. Samair's character grew so much in this book and learned so much about herself... as well as helping her friend, Joey, learn more about herself as well. TROUBLE seemed to have more story to it than BOUND did, though I think that was because the main focus of BOUND was for the character to learn about being a submissive. This book, on the other hand, focuses on the relationship that is spurring between Samair and Val and there is just hot sex thrown in throughout. It was just an all-around good story. Now... I just want to know what is going to happen to Karl!!! He's the main focus of WICKED and I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK SOON AMAZON!!!!

(note: I realized I probably should've been putting the book description above my opinion on all of these, but I'm not going back to fix the others so just expect them this way in the future! )