Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Wednesday Briefs: Rose and Thorne 6 #17 (4.3)

 Good morning and Happy Hump Day ! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts. 

Rose and Thorne 6 continues as Vinnie and Ethan listen to Ethan's Uncle Benny, making up for lost time. See what's going on in this week's chapter. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Rose and Thorne 6 #17 (4.3)

Benny’s suite contained two bedrooms, which was pretty standard for the Hamilton Arms, as we’d learned during our previous sojourn at the hotel. I was just glad we weren’t staying in the same suites as before—me with Troy and Ethan with she-who-shall-not-be-named. In fact, I was grateful we weren’t even on the same floor as that would have brought up rather unwelcome memories as well.

We ordered dinner from room service. I had to admit the steaks there were pretty good. Plus food seemed to just taste better on the government dime. Maybe that’s the cheapskate in me. I like to think of myself as frugal, but either description works.

I curled up against Ethan on the couch, after we’d eaten, and we listened to Benny. He had lots of stories to tell, some about his time in prison, and some of his adventures afterward. He even had funny stories about Ethan and Sarah as youngsters, and he loved to talk about his sister, Maureen, my future mother-in-law. And wasn’t that a strange concept? Marriage, in-laws, the whole nine yards. But when it came to Ethan’s mother, I really liked the idea. I wasn’t so sure about his father yet. And I definitely disliked his brother, although I was very fond of Sarah.

I think Benny skated over the bad parts, because most of his stories were either funny or touching. I could understand not wanting to dwell on the past, especially since his future was looking so bright.

“I hope I’ll be receiving an invitation to the wedding,” Benny said, winking at us.

“Of course!” Ethan and I both chimed in together.

“Naturally we want you to come,” Ethan added.

Benny finished up his slice of Mississippi mud pie and followed it with a coffee chaser. He gave a satisfied sigh. I had never even heard of this particular dessert until I met Ethan. The pie is made with a chocolate graham cracker crust and is filled with a fudgy cake and covered with chocolate ganache. Sometimes whipped cream on top. So good.

“When is the big event?” he asked.

 Ethan and I just looked at one another. We hadn’t gotten as far as setting the date yet. We hadn’t even been engaged all that long and were still getting used to the idea. Well, maybe I was more than Ethan. Even so, Ethan hadn’t pushed me to commit to any particular day, and I was content with the status quo. Not like we weren’t a couple in every conceivable way. A piece of paper wouldn’t make us any more committed than we were now. Not like I was dodging setting a date either. It just didn’t seem that important, and we’d had other things on our mind. Especially now that we had Benny to look out for, at least until he testified against his ex-lover. Uncle Benny, that is, not to be confused with our thieving little pup. And couldn’t that get confusing in future conversations?

“We don’t know,” Ethan said with a sheepish grin. “But we’ll let you know once we have everything figured out. Like where and when.”

“Sounds good to me,” Benny said.

A butterfly twirled in my stomach. For a quick second, I had a vision of a long white wedding gown, with me in it! I pushed the image out of my mind.

Oh hell no!

“By then, all of this will be over and life can return to some semblance of normalcy.”  I thought I detected a hint of wistfulness in Benny’s voice, and my heart went out to him. Normalcy was elusive at best, but especially when your life has been very chaotic for a long time.

“If you need a place to stay, you can always come live with us until you figure things out,” I said without thinking. Damn, too late it occurred to me I should have spoken to Ethan first. Why did I have a tendency to speak without thinking sometimes? I turned toward him, an apology spring to my lips, but I could see by the look in his eyes that my words weren’t necessary. He was looking at me the way he does when he thinks I’ve done something special.

“Absolutely!” he seconded. “You can stay with us for as long as you like.”

“Good to know,” Benny said. “You have no idea how much I appreciate the two of you. I thought about maybe settling down near Maureen, but I think maybe that’s a little premature. At least until I’ve seen which way the wind blows. But first things first. Put Connor away for a long time and then see where life takes me.”

“Fate can be both fickle and wonderful,” Ethan said. “It brought me and Vinny together. Gave us a wonderful career. And our little Benny. Now it’s brought you back to the people who love you. I bet there are more good things looming on the horizon for you.”

“I like the way you think, nephew.”

I had to admit that I did too. Ethan… my eternal optimist. I wouldn’t have him any other way.

 to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are doing!

Cia Nordwell

J Ray Lamb



Saturday, March 26, 2022

Saturday is Horror Day #54 - Hell House LLC, Grave Encounters

 Hell House LLC

The grand opening of a Halloween haunted house in the Abaddon Hotel in 2009 leads to inexplicable tragedy. Fifteen people died, including both those on the tour and the staff. Five years later a documentary crew travels to the small town of Abaddon, seeking answers. However, these are not readily forthcoming.

A video taken by one of the guests on the tour ended up on You Tube. Plus the owners of the attraction have everything documented from the time they first arrived. The documentary crew locates a surviving member of the staff, Sara Havel (Ryan Jennifer) who reluctantly talks to them and tells what she knows of that night, and the time leading up to it.

From the moment of their arrival, the hotel is found to be in less than good shape and very creepy, but

that can only serve to heighten the atmosphere they want to create on Halloween night. The friends have definite ideas on how to achieve the effects they want in order to scare the wits out of their guests, including very eerie mannequins, a haunted bar and piano, and a basement that will provide the biggest scares and serve as the finale to the tour. Sara will be chained to the wall, her job being to scream her head off.

Even before opening night, things begin to get creepy in the haunted hotel. Mannequins are inexplicably moved, mysterious sounds can be heard. At one point, Paul (Gore Abrams) mysteriously disappears,, and when he reappears he has no explanation for what happened, or much of anything else. Tensions begin to run high. And then opening night arrives, and all hell breaks loose....

This found footage pseudo documentary was pretty well done, in my estimation. Between the film taken by the event staff and that of one of the guests, there is a pretty complete picture of that night, even if it's not always clear what happened or why. There is a definite creep factor which only grows as the events unfold. Have you ever wanted to scream at the screen to tell the people to get out of there. By the end of this movie, that is how I felt.

I think this was a pretty scary film and it was well done. I look forward to seeing more of the series. I'll give this one a strong 4 Stars.

Grave Encounters

Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson) leads a team of paranormal investigators in the reality TV show Grave Encounters. Every week they visit a different haunted site and lock themselves in to encounter and record the supernatural. The sixth episode of the series is being filmed in an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Lance and his cast have themselves locked in by the hospital caretaker Kenny (Bob Rathie) who promises to return to unlock them the following morning at 6 am. Lance and the others aren't particularly worried because they realize something the TV audiences don't - they are fakes, and they are not above paying someone to say he saw something he didn't. So what's a night locked up in an abandoned building?

They set up cameras on various floors in order capture whatever happens. Kenny the caretaker gave them a tour of the building before he made his departure, mentioning various points of interest. Such as the window which is sometimes found to be unlocked... from the inside. Or the bloody tub where a young girl killed herself.  The abandoned building is very dilapidated and neglected, but what's one night among friends?

Strange things begin to happen.  The high-strung Matt (Juan Riedinger) disappears. A feeling of foreboding pervades the air, and things are starting to get real. More real than they've ever been in the history of this fake TV show.

Grave Encounters consists of the found footage of the filming of the TV show, some 70 hours.  Filmed 

on a shoestring budget and at night, using flashlights, there is a distinctly creepy and unsettling atmosphere about this hospital. If I'd ever considered a paranormal type lock-in before, this film cured me of the idea.

A lot of the horror is subtle yet creepy, but don't worry. There are jump scares as well. At first the film crew goes into this hospital with the attitude of this being just another job, but that changes as they begin to realize that just maybe they've run across an actual haunted building. I thought the cinematographer did a good job giving Grave Encounters the appearance of found footage, and the actors are very believable in their descent into terror

I thought this film succeeded in being creepy and scary and was well worth watching. I give it a solid 4 Stars.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Wednesday Briefs: Rose and Thorne 6 #16 (4.2)

 Good morning and Happy Hump Day ! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts. 

Ethan and Vinnie are learning what led up to where they are now, in a hotel room with Ethan's Uncle Benny. See what's happening in this week's chapter of Rose and Thorne 6. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Rose and Thorne 6 #16 (4.2)

“Jewelry,” Benny replied. “He became obsessed with stealing some of the jewels he heard were on display. In particular, he was obsessed with something called the Blue Heart Diamond. Said it reminded him of the movie Titanic.” Benny shrugged while Ethan and I shared shocked glances. What kind of idiot was this guy?

“Out of curiosity, how did he plan to get into the Smithsonian without being caught?” Ethan asked. “I mean, they must have extensive security systems in place.” I’d been wondering the same thing myself.

“You would think so, wouldn’t you?” Benny snorted in obvious derision. “He got the idea from an ex security guard he met and seduced in some bar in San Francisco. Probably the same one where he ran into me, I don’t know. But this guy, Jeff, was bragging to Connor about how he used to work at the Smithsonian and how important he’d been there. He described these beautiful collections of jewels they had on display and how valuable they were, and how it had been his job to personally keep them safe and sound. And how sorry they all were when he left. He was probably trying to make himself look like a big man, but all Connor saw were dollar signs. And doing what he loved to do best—steal. Except on a whole new level. I’m sure Jeff never knew what hit him. By the time Connor was through with him, the poor sap probably didn’t know up from down.”

A moment of silence passed. I couldn’t help but think Benny was referring to himself as well as the other guy. Despite his outwardly calm demeanor, I had to believe he was furious on the inside at what he’d allowed himself to get into all those years ago.

“Let me guess,” Ethan spoke up. “This Jeff guy still knew people who worked there and was sure he could get one of them to let them in after hours.”

Ethan’s hypothesis brought a smile to Benny’s lips. “That was pretty much his scheme, yes. I guess he never thought about the internal security measures that must be in place that would have to be bypassed as well.”

“So what did you do then?” Ethan asked. He seemed to be hanging on his uncle’s every word. I could tell how much he’d missed the man, and I couldn’t help but be glad they’d been reunited. Too bad it had to be under these circumstances.

“At first I wasn’t sure what exactly to do,” Benny admitted. He smoothed down his fuzzy red moustache, first one side then the other, before continuing. “I knew I wasn’t going to help Connor do anything much less anything so stupid and illegal, but I wanted to be sure I was turning him in to the right agency too. I finally ended up calling an eight hundred number and they put me through to some anonymous agent, who took down some basic information and told me someone would be in touch. So I just waited, hoping they didn’t take too long to get back to me.  Not long after that, I finally got a call from a different agent, and we arranged to meet. I told him Connor’s whole stupid plan. By that time, the date of the robbery was only a couple of weeks away. I had to admit, I was on pins and needles, wondering if I was about to get myself into another huge mess, an even bigger one than the first one. I knew I wasn’t going to get off so easy the second time, and I was quite frankly getting worried. But everything went surprisingly well. Connor and Jeff and I all flew to DC, and on the appointed night, we went to the Smithsonian and we were all apprehended in the act.”

“Wow,” Ethan exclaimed. “That is so… amazing. I’m glad everything worked out well, Benny, and you didn’t get in trouble, and I’m so happy to see you again.” It warmed my heart to hear the love in Ethan’s voice for his uncle. Ethan was more about family than I was, I had to admit. Although I did like his mother and sister, I still wasn’t used to the concept of family outside of my own mother. It was nice to see the bond that obviously existed between uncle and nephew.

“There’s still something I don’t understand, though,” Ethan said.  “How did you end up getting Vinnie and me as security? That can’t be a coincidence, surely? I mean, of all the agents in the country, how were we assigned to you?”

“You can thank your boss for that,” Benny said. “Apparently when I was in the process of being transferred here, he got a hold of my file and recognized my name and somehow made the connection between us. He met me at the airport and brought me here. That’s when I found out that you were one of his agents.  Your mom had mentioned you were in law enforcement. We just hadn’t had a chance to go into the details.  I am so proud of you, Ethan. I always knew you’d do well, and you certainly have.”

I knew Ethan was blushing even before I glanced his way. The next moment, Benny was hugging us again, before taking his seat once more.

“And I mean both professionally and personally.”

Now it was my turn to blush. “Ethan’s the best thing to ever happen to me,” I blurted out without thinking. Well, it was true, even if it took me a long time to realize it.

Ethan took my hand and squeezed it. “That goes for me too,” he said.

Of course our mutual declaration resulted in another round of Guinness. I promised myself it would be the last. Not that I expected anything bad might happen, but we did need to be on guard at all times. Ethan must have read my mind.

“Last call,” he said.

to be continued

Now go see what's up with the other Briefers!

Cia Nordwell

Virtual Book Tour: Thunder on the Moor by Andrea Matthews

 Good morning everyone! Please welcome author Andrea Matthews to Full Moon Dreaming. She is here today to talk about Thunder on the Moor.  Andrea will be awarding an Ebook copy of books 2 and 3 in the series to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!


Thunder on the Moor

by Andrea Matthews




GENRE:   historical time travel romance






Maggie Armstrong grew up enchanted by her father’s tales of blood feuds and border raids. In fact, she could have easily fallen for the man portrayed in one particular image in his portrait collection. Yet when her father reveals he was himself an infamous Border reiver, she finds it a bit far-fetched—to say the least—especially when he announces his plans to return to his sixteenth century Scottish home with her in tow.

Suspecting it’s just his way of getting her to accompany him on yet another archaeological dig, Maggie agrees to the expedition, only to find herself transported four hundred and fifty years into the past. Though a bit disoriented at first, she discovers her father’s world to be every bit as exciting as his stories, particularly when she’s introduced to Ian Rutherford, the charming son of a neighboring laird. However, when her uncle announces her betrothal to Ian, Maggie’s twentieth-century sensibilities are outraged. She hardly even knows the man. But a refusal of his affections could ignite a blood feud.

Maggie’s worlds are colliding. Though she’s found the family she always wanted, the sixteenth century is a dangerous place. Betrayal, treachery, and a tragic murder have her questioning whether she should remain or try to make her way back to her own time.

To make matters worse, tensions escalate when she stumbles across Bonnie Will Foster, the dashing young man in her father’s portrait collection, only to learn he is a dreaded Englishman. But could he be the hero she’s always dreamed him to be? Or will his need for revenge against Ian shatter more than her heart?







Will Foster crouched behind the crumbling stone wall, watching the Armstrongs approach over the opposite hilltop. They pulled up before what he could only assume was a small foraging party, for the strangers traveled on foot. But where had they come from? Moments before, nothing but harebells and thistle had filled that field. He scratched his head. Perhaps they’d walked from a nearby village. Not too clever with the Armstrongs on the prowl. Then again, maybe they were of the same clan, though he certainly didn’t recognize any of them. The Armstrongs, however, he knew all too well, and he thought it best to stay out of their way.


As he peered around the broken wall, one of the strangers turned. An angel amongst a pack of wolves, no doubt. But one of the men tugged her back to his side before Will could determine if she was their hostage. Though he was certain she’d seen him, she didn’t cry out, so perhaps she

hoped he’d rescue her.


 He inched a bit closer, staying low to avoid detection. Though he still couldn’t make out much of their conversation, the breeze did manage to catch a few words that caused his ears to perk up. “So, he’s a cousin to Archie, is he.”


Will scurried amongst the trees, coming to rest behind an ancient pine. He caught sight of the bonnie wee lass once more, standing off to the side this time. Instinct caused him to grasp the hilt of his sword. If he moved quickly, he could run out and rescue her before the Armstrongs realized he was there. Then one of the men spoke again, his words taking Will by surprise.


 “’Tis me daughter, Maggie,” the stranger said.






AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen-hundred-year-old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Long Island Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.


Buy Link: Amazon -


Andrea Matthews Historical and Paranormal Romance - Website -

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The Questions – please choose at least 5

1) You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?

     Real person: Henry Cavill. Story person: Geralt of Rivia, so basically the same person. And I’d want an ax or a hatchet – you can chop wood with it, and dig a hole, and cut open coconuts . . . A handy gadget.

3) Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scene using them: hammer, saucer, traffic lights

David put his foot to the pedal, running every traffic light he passed. What was he thinking, taking one of her good cups, and without the saucer, no less? If he could make it home before her, he’d be fine. She never counted the pieces as long as there was a cup for every saucer. Pulling into the driveway, he reached for the hammer on the seat beside him and ran into the kitchen. He yanked the saucer from the shelf and smashed it, spreading the pieces in the crushed glass that filled her terrarium. Made it! Or did he?  

4) What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?

    A nice dinner and then coming home to watch a good movie, cuddled up on the couch. Just being together for a quiet moment is all I ever really needed.

5) When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?

     I begin with the basic plot, then add and develop the characters and build the rest of the story around      them. I try to let the characters drive the plot from that point on.

8) Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?

    I wouldn’t call it a crush exactly, but there are a few characters in history that I do feel an affinity for.

    John Adams would be one. I think he was a truly principled man, who was madly in love with his wife and sacrificed a lot for what he believed in. Their letters to one another are just so sweet.

     Richard III because I just think he got a bad rap. I don’t believe he had anything to do with the deaths of the princes in the tower. From what I’ve read, he was just a guy, trying to do what was right among a bunch of connivers. Of course, it could be that my ancestors head was hung on the gates of York along with Richard’s father’s, so I’m not a big fan of the Tudors.

     And I can’t go without mentioning Teddy Roosevelt. He may have had his faults, like everyone does, but he had a lot of strength and he did give us our National Park system.

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Monday, March 21, 2022

Virtual Book Tour: She's the One Who Can't Keep Quiet by S. R. Cronin

 Good morning everyone! Please welcome author S. R. Cronin to Full Moon Dreaming. She is here today to tell us about her new release, She's the One Who Can't Keep Quiet, which is Book Five of the War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. S.R. will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour. The more you comment the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!


She's the One Who Can't Keep Quiet

(Book Five of the War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters)

by S. R. Cronin




GENRE: Historical Fantasy






Do you know what your problem is?


Celestine, the fifth of seven sisters, is tired of hearing about hers. Father thinks she’s frivolous because she likes pretty clothes and caters to the crowds in the taverns who adore her music. Mother thinks that because she’s the most social daughter in the family, she can’t keep quiet about anything.


They’re both wrong. Celestine hides a secret she has kept for most of her life.


As the family beauty and a talented musician with a lyrical voice, she has the best prospects for marriage to a prince. When such a liaison never happens, people assume Celestine is too choosy. But even in somewhat tolerant Ilari, a daughter hates to disappoint her family. How can she tell them she’s in love with a princess instead?


Lucky for Celestine, all her sisters are obsessed with an invading army headed to their realm. Celestine would rather ignore the threat and enjoy the freedom their lack of attention gives her. But, her voice can unlock a power that may help save Ilari. And the woman she loves is determined to fight these invaders. And her family, for all their talents, seems clueless about how to motivate the masses.


Celestine knows she can inspire the citizens of Ilari to do what needs to be done. Is it time to put her inhibitions aside and use her voice to save those she cares about?






The instructor, the beautiful and entertaining Firuza, held much of the class spellbound with her gifted teaching, but none was as smitten as me. By the time the first of the crocus began to bloom, I recognized that my fascination went beyond admiration for her knowledge and her style. I felt a physical desire I’d never experienced, not for any man or woman.


Yes, I knew girls sometimes wanted other girls, and some acted upon this. If they were unwed tidzys then no one cared. A girl needed to learn about her body. But everyone expected girls to outgrow such inclinations and marry a boy. Most did marry, but whether they outgrew the inclinations or not I did not know.


Me, I’d rarely been attracted to anyone, though now I wondered if I’d tried so hard to like boys that I’d ignored my real interest. Whatever the cause, I’d barely acted upon any desires, turning my rather astonishing lack of experience into my greatest secret.


That spring, Firuza made me feel the heat of real desire. No wonder it occupied so much of people’s attention. As the last of the crocus bloomed, I decided she found me interesting as well. She gave me little signs, the kind people do. Eye contact. Smiles. Even an occasional careful touch on the arm or shoulder that made me tremble inside. I could have sworn every time she touched me, she trembled too.


But we kept our distance. Firuza seemed cautious by nature, and even if we weren’t two women, a romantic dalliance with the child of a fellow instructor would garner rebuke. So although we saw each other often, it was always in public and always above reproach.


We never spoke of our attraction although at times I wanted her so badly my insides quivered. I poured my newfound longing into the songs I wrote. At least my music took a turn for the better.









AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Sherrie Cronin writes stories about people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had. She’s made a lot of stops along the way to telling these tells — living in seven cities, visiting forty-six countries, and working as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. She’s lost too many beloved cats to mention, but has acquired a husband and three children who are all doing fine, despite how odd she is.


Today she lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina where she writes, answers a hotline, and occasionally checks her phone for a message from Captain Picard. She still hopes to get the chance to pursue her remaining dream in life and become Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise.


Author Social Media Links:







Author Blog:





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Book Review: Skip Beat, Vol 8 by Yoshiki Nakamura


Skip Beat! Vol 8        

Author: Yoshiki Nakamura

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: September 4, 2007

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Shojo Manga//216 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★


After winning a part in Sho’s new music promo, Kyoko is finally recognized by Sho, to his surprise and horror. Sho’s agent and the other co-star, Mimori, whom he has been flirting with, are shocked when they realize Kyoko and Sho have past history, especially Mimori. Kyoko assures Mimori there is nothing between her and Sho, and Sho assures his agent that he always thought of Kyoko as a housemaid (which is true). But he also goes on to say he still thinks of her as his. Seriously?

In the promo, Kyoko and Mimori play angels, one good and one bad, while Sho is the devil who falls in love with the good angel (Mimori). Kyoko’s bad angel is infuriated that he has done this to her friend and kills him. But whenever they shoot the scene where the bad angel chokes the devil before he falls to his death, Kyoko gets into the role a little bit too much and almost kills Sho for real. She wants to do her best, not for revenge, but for her acting career, which she has begun to take very seriously, but she’s afraid her hatred for Sho is overcoming her acting abilities.

Who can she turn to for advice? She calls Moko, but the call goes to voicemail. She considers Ren, but she doesn’t even have his number. She manages to obtain that and calls, leaving a panicked garbled message. Moko calls back, and gives Kyoko some advice that really makes sense and helps her decide how to play the scene. Meanwhile, Ren is on set with his agent, Mr. Yashiro, between takes. Yashiro is surprised to see Ren look at his messages and actually listen to one, something he never does. And then he is shocked to see Ren return someone’s call! He knows the call can’t be work-related, as they would have gone through him first. So who can this special person be?

After the scene, Kyoko and Sho get into an argument, and while they are fighting, Kyoko’s phone rings. Sho grabs it and answers, not speaking. He is shocked to hear a voice he recognizes as Ren Tsuruga’s! Why is he calling Kyoko? What’s going on between them? Sho turns immediately jealous and barks something into the phone before clicking off. Unfortunately, Ren recognizes the other voice as well and jumps to all the wrong conclusions. When Kyoko runs into Ren and Maria back at the agency, she is horrified to find him angry with her, although he disguises it well. But she can tell by his gentlemanly smile that he is mad. And now she’s also in the middle of a mystery with Moko that her friend refuses to explain, so Kyoko and Maria follow her to learn what is going on with her.

Kyoko is growing as an actress and as a person, as she realizes that her need for revenge on the deceitful Sho is being overshadowed by her love of acting and her desire to be the best actress she can be. Sho is such a brat, and he has the nerve to think he owns Kyoko! He’s only interested because he’s seeing her as a person for the first time, and has never truly appreciated her. He’s still just a shallow vain punk, and I hope and pray Kyoko never falls for his tricks and insincerity ever again. On the other hand, I was tickled to see how jealous Ren is and how he is becoming more and more transparent to his agent, who is already beginning to guess at Ren’s feelings for Kyoko. Just imagine if he knew the whole truth! Sometimes I forget that Ren is just four years older than Kyoko, at the age of 20, because he acts far more mature and worldly. I wonder how much he will reveal to Mr. Yashiro, and what exactly did Moko do that has threatened her career?

Great volume, looking forward to the next one!


Saturday, March 19, 2022

Saturday is Horror Day #53 - Planet Terror, The Craft: Legacy

 Planet Terror

Cherry (Rose McGowan) is tired of stripping and decides to make a new life for herself. She gives her scumbag employer her notice and walks out the door. Dr. Dakota Block (Marley Shelton) is planning to leave her doctor husband William (Josh Brolin), but she has to be careful about it. She can't let him see the texts between her and her accomplice/lover.

Something strange is going on at the army base. A group of men arrive, led by Abby (Naveen Andrews). He's brought something, but quickly discovers that something is amiss. The cage is empty and the subjects not to be found. Things quickly go wrong when a noxious gas is released into the air. Before things get too ugly, Lt. Muldoon (Bruce Willis arrives) and he wants answers.

When Tammy's (Fergie) car overheats, she stops to use water from a pump near a bbq restaurant. The owner, JT (Jeff Fahey) offers her some bottled water and a meal. She takes the water and thanks him but declines the meal, even if it is the best bbq in Texas.  JT calls his brother, Sheriff Hague (Michael Biehn) and tells him a couple of people are hanging outside his place and he's convinced they've been sent to steal his secret recipe. But the truth is far worse than that.

Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) drives a tow truck but his reputation as a troublemaker apparently precedes 

him. He ends up at the same restaurant as Cherry and tries to renew their relationship.

Meanwhile it seems there is an outbreak of pustule-laden zombies, created by the gas at the military base, one that is threatening to destroy the town. What can be done to fend them off?

This is not your usual horror movie. It's campy, schlocky, and very violent. Kind of like an old B horror movie but better. Look for Rose McGowan and her machine-gun leg, as well as Quentin Tarantino in a small role. You might remember Freddy Rodriguez from Six Feet Under, where he played Rico. This is something different for him. And of course my favorite, Naveen Andrews. So damn sexy it's criminal. He plays a biochemist who knows just what is going on.

This movie was fun to watch, but it isn't for the faint of heart, let me warn you now. There is a lot of humor, something I appreciate in a good film. This film was originally released along with Grindhouse, but that didn't do well, so the films were separated. Guess I need to find Grindhouse now. I'll give this film a solid 4 Stars.

The Craft: Legacy

Lily (Cailee Spaeny) has her life upended when her mother Helen (Michelle Monaghan) moves them into the home of her new love Adam (David Duchovny) and his three sons. Feeling like a fish out of water, Lily starts her new school the next day and meets three girls, Lourdes (Zoey Luna), Frankie (Gideon Adlon) and Tabby (Lovie Simome). During one of her classes, Lily unexpectedly begins her period, and her predicament is called out by Timmy (Nicholas Galitzine), to her horror and shame. She goes to the girls' room, and while she is pondering what to do, the three girls show up with a pair of shorts and words of encouragement. Lily begins to hang out with them and they make her the fourth in their group of witches.

The girls decide to test their powers, and sneak into Timmy's home, placing a spell. They almost get caught and barely escape without being seen. The next day, Timmy is like a new man. He's sensitive and attention and more in tune with his better self. The girls are delighted with this new Timmy and find themselves attracted to him, especially Lily.

While delighted to have made such good friends, Lily finds life at home difficult. Adam is very 

tyrannical. He's a motivational speaker who thinks he knows everything and tries to control everyone around him. Disturbing things begin to happen. Timmy is a friend of one of Adam's sons, Jacob. One night, Lily casts a love spell that brings him to her room, but they are interrupted before they go too far. Adam texts her to be continued. But the next day brings tragic news.

The girls blame Lily for what happened, disrupting their friendship. But things continue to go downhill. Lily witnesses one of Adam's group meetings with his sons, and she realizes there is more to them than she realized. She wants to leave there, but how to convince her mother, who is so besotted with Adam? Lily's accidental discovery of some very shocking news makes her even more vulnerable. Will Adam capitalize on this vulnerability? What is it he actually wants from her, and to what lengths will he go to to obtain it?

The Craft: Legacy is a sequel to the original Craft movie of some twenty years before. Again, we have three girls seeking and finding a fourth to complete their coven of witches, and then playing around with their powers. The problem with this movie is we have a different writer and director (Zoe Lister-Jones) and a different cast. But it's primarily the bad writing and the terrible direction and story that make this film both boring and just plain bad. There isn't much to it, and it lacks any of the charm of the original. I found myself wishing it would end soon. Luckily, it isn't very long, just seemed that way.

I love David Duchovny, and even he is terrible in this, so that will give you some idea what this film is like.  I'm going to give it 1 Star and a serious recommendation not to watch it.