Movie Review: Goosebumps

Title: Goosebumps - The Movie

Synopsis: Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach's comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange... he is a prisoner of his own imagination - the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it's suddenly up to Stine, Zach, Hannah, and Zach's friend Champ (Ryan Lee) to get all of them back in the books where they belong.

My Review:
Ever since I was a kid I have always steered clear of scary things.  I’m not one for haunted houses at Halloween, or scary movies. (In High School I went on a date to see the Jason/Freddy mashup – I think that was the movie – and almost broke my hand because I jumped so hard, and brought my hand up into the cup holder…that didn’t help my dislike any.)   In Jr High I was given two Steven King books for Christmas, and I read those because they were a gift (The Dark Half and It, and the fact that I can tell you the titles, and probably a good portion of the plot means they left quite a lasting impression on my 14 year old brain) but there are parts of me that wish I hadn’t…while there are parts of me who secretly enjoyed them.  It’s the same with movies; while I HATE being scared, that kind of fear doesn’t really appeal to me, once everything is said and done I’m actually happy to have had the experience.

I say all that to say this; I never was a huge fan of R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps series as a kid/young teen.  They were all the rage in my time, my friends couldn’t wait to get the next book, while I was sitting there reading and rereading Judy Blume.  That was okay though, even then I knew it was fine to not like things that other people liked, especially when it came to books.  But that means that as the Goosebumps show came out, I had no care to watch it.  While my husband made it a yearly tradition in October to watch it on Netflix with the kids, I usually could be found reading a book, taking a bath or doing some other ‘alone time’ thing.  That is not because I thought they would be scary (and I don’t like scary things) but because I was never in to it.  

So in comes last Friday evening where my husband, kids and I find ourselves with cancelled plans and free time.  The Goosebumps Movie has been out a week or two, and the kids and husband want to see it.  So I relent and we make it a family date!  (an EXPENSIVE family date…seriously, stupid expensive to take the family to see a newer movie!)

What I Loved:  It’s already established I was never “in” to the Goosebumps thing, so it shocks and amazes me just how good this movie was.  Jack Black was the perfect Stein, and the movie was excellent.  While the actors are suppose to be in High School – the movie was very appropriate for my 8, 10, and 11 year old kids.  It was funny with a little bit kind of scaryish stuff (but not really..not really at all).  This was the perfect outing for us, and I’m so happy to have spent the time and money to go see the movie that the kids continue to talk about, and recite lines from.

Not So Much:  Can we just talk about ticket prices again?  That ship has sailed?  Oh okay.  Well, I’m also not a huge fan of 3D…it’s kind of neat for the first 3-5 minutes, but then I forget I’m watching a 3D movie and nothing jumps out any more.  Anyone else experience this?

The Verdict:     
GO TAKE YOUR KIDS TO SEE THIS MOVIE!  It’s perfect, it’s appropriate, and while I like quality time to be more interactive, it’s still quality time.


Book Review: Instant Happy Journal - Karen Salmansohn

Title: The Instant Happy Journal
Author: Karen Salmansohn

Book Description:       
On the heels of Karen Salmansohn's wildly popular gift book Instant Happy comes this happiness journal, with daily prompts to help you think about and apply happiness wisdom to your own life. Each page features a specific intention, inspiring quote, surprising scientific fact, or thought-provoking question to ponder. When you approach your day with Salmansohn's "happiness prompters" in mind, you amp up your ability to notice (and create!) many more joyous moments in your day. But that's just half of what it takes to live a supremely happy life. This journal teaches the top two habits of happy people: to naturally set their intention to enjoy a happy day, then end the day reflecting on what made them happy. When you end your day writing about what went right, you further strengthen your happiness mindset. With fill-in dates so that you can write and reflect at your own pace, this little journal features a graphic design and fresh attitude perfect for today's modern happiness-seeker.

My Review:
Recently I've gotten back into doing daily journaling, and by "journaling" I mean I jot down a brief description of what went on through the day of the lives of my husband, my kids and I.  Sometimes it's a mundane description, sometimes there's a lot to say.  Sometimes it's just a really good outlet for the things that frusterated me in the day.  What makes this Journal different is that it forces you to focus on the good parts of your day.  It reminds us how even in the tiniest of moments, we are incredibly blessed.  By thinking on the good things on a daily basis I believe that we slowly start to have a mindset change where instead of finding outselfs feeling so beat down by the cares and stresses of our life, but we start to realize that while live is in no way perfect - there is something there (any small thing there) to be happy about!

What I Loved:  The format of this book is just wonderful.  It not only focuses on the positive, but each page is just a little different.  You have to look at your life from different angles.  It also stretches your creative muscles and sometimes work hard for the response.  Of course the journal is only going to be as good as you make it.  If it becomes an obligation or something that you just fill out because the blanks are there it's not going to be near as good as if you actually decide to spend some time thinking about the daily entry and investing the time to put down a thoughtful answer.  And imagine the wonderful memory book you'll have at the end of the 365 days.

Not So Much:  NOTHING.  This is a cute journal, and I think each and every person young and old can enjoy this!

The Verdict:     
 This book review is appropriately timed because I just found the perfect Christmas present for nearly everyone on your list...especially those 'hard to buy for' people who have just about everything.  I think that I would love to have this journal yearly for a beautiful, positive, and encouraging history of my life.  And my kids would probably love it too!


SALE: Fate's Love Box Set - L. A. Cotton

Fate's Love Box Set SALE

3 full length Contemporary Romance novels for only $1.99.

Available only on Amazon



Join L.A.'s fan group for the latest giveaways and ARC's

#FatesLoveBoxSet #LACotton #ContemporaryRomance #WrittenWithFeeling #Sale


Cover Reveal: Unpretty - Victoria Esobar

By- Victoria Escobar
Genre- Young Adult Paranormal
Publication Date- 10/19/2015

Being plain and average would be a step up for Sidonie. The book nerd, gamer geek with larger than average jeans doesn’t really fit in anywhere. Add a drunk father and a dump in the projects and she’s pretty much guaranteed to be a social pariah. There would never be a happily ever after in her future, unless her books counted. Instead, she has accepted her lot and surrounded herself with friends who genuinely love and support her.

Music. Art. Creating. That’s what made Sidonie remarkable. As she began to find a chance of happiness in her gifts, dark forces start to impact her future. A magical world she had no idea even existed could alter the course of her life forever—if it didn’t cut it short entirely.


About the Author-
Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but with the ability to claim eight states as home; Victoria Escobar writes fiction from her current home in New York. She writes whatever comes to mind and because of such has a variety of genres written including Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, and Contemporary Fiction.

In spare time if not with family, and friends Victoria enjoys curling up with a book from a favorite author with music playing. If not reading or writing she spends time drawing, sketching, crocheting, or some other random art project. She enjoys staying busy, but most of all enjoys staying creative.

Social Media Links-


Book Review: Crane - The Legends Saga #1 - Stacey Rourke

Title: Crane (The Legends Saga #1)
Author: Stacey Rourke

The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?

My Review:
Crane (or this entire series really,) is one of those books that I picked up mainly because of the amazing cover.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that regardless of how I feel at the end of all of them, I’m going to want hard copies of all of these books.  The covers are dark, and beautiful.  I love them!  This series is one of those I really, really want to judge by its cover.
I have read a few books by Stacey Rourke and I really enjoy her work.  Her characters are fun and just make me want to continue reading, couple that with the fact that on her birthday she gave us all of her books for $.99 each….it was a steal, so I got the entire series.

***Please know - there is minor spoilery type content below...***

 What I Loved:  I am a huge fan of retellings.  I love it when authors take a famous story line and carve their own path into it.  There are many retellings that I actually like better than the originals.  This book is a great retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hallow, and it includes several ‘characters’ you will recognize.  I really liked this version of Ichabod;  instead of the scared wimp you get in some of the cartoon versions of this story – you have this handsome, socially inept hero.  There is something sweet about a strong man who is also shy.

 In Crane, Rourke took a fun method of taking us back and forth between timelines, blending the original story with a modern-day take.  I don’t always like it when books jump back and forth like that, however it really worked for this book.  It was never confusing, but I’m sure that had a lot to do with the fact that the “voices” of the two POV’s were very different – even if the stories were parallel(ish). 

 Not So Much:  I had a hard time connecting with our modern-day main character, Ireland.  I loved her voice, she was funny, sarcastic and all the things that I like in a character, but I don’t really feel like I got to know her all that well.  I also had a very difficult time with the Ireland/Noah relationship – probably for the same reasons.  Noah, quite honestly, wasn’t really IN the story as much as you would like him to be.  He seemed like a great guy, but again I couldn’t really tell.  Then the two of them together – well, they were just playing at the edges of ‘together’ in this book…I imagine that is rectified in the future installments,  however the fact that they were truly together by the end of the story (sorry minor spoiler) – I just wasn’t ready for it yet.

And if I’m going to pick on the relationships, I did kind of feel the rush of Icabod and Katrina’s relationship as well.  Perhaps my problem is I like to see people’s feelings unfold rather than having this insta-attraction turn into love.  Life rarely works that way – so I think I enjoy books where the characters have to work at it a bit, too.  Spend some quality time together, you know.
 Finally, there is the parallel of the legend; in the old version you have a reason the horseman showed up and the events transpired, but in modern-day it I believe the reason it was happening again was because all the right people in all the right place.  That felt flimsy as a story-line, in my opinion.  WHY did it happen again when all of the people were in the right place?  Just because it was foretold, and that’s it?  

 The Verdict:  I really, really wanted to love Crane.  I was looking forward to reading it, and felt this was (is) the perfect season to read it in; however while I liked it, I didn’t love it.  I have been told by mega-fans to keep reading.  I do have Raven and Steam on my iPad, and I will likely continue with the series.  Perhaps by the end this will be one of those series I re-read over and over again and discover all the things I missed in this first book and how they relate to the following – who knows.
 I do think it’s worth your time, especially if you’re like me and enjoy a good retelling.  Give it a chance, because you know – my opinions are my own, and there are many who loved this book!

Rated: 3 Stars
Rating: PG-13 – some sexual content, mild cussing


Book Blitz: The Case of the Washed-Up Warlock - Patrice Lyie


When thirteen-year-old Tulip Bonnaire’s super-cute crush, Dexter, is threatened with expulsion from Poison Ivy Charm School, she can’t help but take the case. Someone has put a spell on Garrett’s Levitation skills and all the evidence, which includes the testimony of a sea hag stone, is pointing to Dex. Tulip can’t imagine Poison Ivy without Dex, so she’s intent on proving his innocence. But that means delving into an old secret to find out who turned Garrett into a washed-up warlock.


“Any news yet?” He sat down on his bed and wedged himself against a mountain of pillows.
I was about to answer when a glint of gray caught my eye. A stone the size of a cookie, with an uneven hole in the middle of it, sat on his bedside table. “Is that your enchanted sea hag stone?” The one that had started all the trouble?
“Yeah. Glad she finally woke up and told me ’bout Dexter busting into my closet.”
I ignored him and approached the troublemaking pebble. Its smooth exterior was cool against my skin when I rolled it between my fingers. Not a sign of life existed until I dropped it – kindaaccidentally – onto his table. Thud.
Dark, creepy eyes appeared, lined with spiky, green eyelashes. A tiny mouth with slimy black lips emerged around the hole. And a long, carrot-shaped nose covered in warts jutted out. “Hey, you. Don’t drop me like a bag of dirt.” Her voice screeched like a spider monkey on a rampage.
I laughed. “You talking about Garrett’s Lev performance?”
Garrett cleared his throat. “That’s not my fault. It’s a spell.”
“Don’t you drop me again, you idiotic hooligan.” The sea hag had a ’tude stronger than Alexandria’s.
I wanted to fling the stupid stone out the window, but that wasn’t the best way to get information. If the dumb hag had seen Dexter, maybe she’d seen something else that could help me solve the case.
“Sorry,” I said. “I didn’t mean to.” 
“Yeah, right. I know a rock dropper when I see one.”
I stifled a smirk and a smart comment about a rolling stone. “You see anything else suspicious in Garrett’s room?”
She batted her needle-like eyelashes. “Nothing but that nerd ’lock who slipped in here like some moron ghost who hasn’t mastered being dead yet. He fumbled with the door forever before crashing in like a nitwit.”
Anger shot through my veins like an ink pen explosion. First Garrett had insulted Dex. And now some stone with a hideous, old hag face? Who do they think they are? I grabbed the dumb rock with both hands and pinched the sea hag’s ugly warty nose, intent on breaking it off.
But she bit me!
Her moldy teeth chomped down on my fingers, drawing blood.
“Ouch! You stupid sea hag!” I tried to hurl her against the wall, but her grip was like a pit bull’s.
If pit bulls had carrot-shaped noses, spider monkey voices, and moldy teeth.
“Get this thing off me,” I yelled at Garrett. “Or I’ll drop your case.”

Book Links:

Author Bio:
Patrice Lyle has never met a ghost story she didn’t like. She’s been fascinated with the paranormal since childhood. She attributes this fascination to having heard old family stories of ghostly wreaths, ESP, and money hidden in the lining of antique purses. She grew up on the Oregon Coast and has a Master’s Degree in Writing Popular Fiction. Now she lives with her husband and two cats on Florida’s Space Coast, where she’s working on her next novel under an umbrella on the beach. For more information, please visit her website at www.patricebooks.com


Promo Tour: Write to Rescue Anthology

Write to Rescue Anthology
Published By- SideStreet Cookie Publishing
Publication Date- November 1st, 2014

Rescue animals need love too. That’s why these nine authors got together to write stories that will warm your heart and entertain. All proceeds will go to animal shelters to help take care of and save the lives of the animals that may become your next family member. There’s a little something for everyone.

The Authors-
Taisheena Rayne - Win, Place, or Show
Shauna Wilhelm - Fostering Hope
Allana Kephart and Melissa Simmons - The Disturbance
Karli Rush - Nine Lives
Carolyn Wolfe - Miracle Paws
Emily Walker - Cats
Miranda Stork and Trish Marie Dawson - A Tale of Two Kitties
Laura DeLuca - Nine Lives 
Michael Williams - The Pride