Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I was born and raised in Kentucky and my love of history goes deep - way back to the 18th-century when my family first came into the Bluegrass State. It will always be home to me, even though I now live with my husband, Randy, and my sons, Wyatt and Paul, in the misty woods of northwest Washington. I go back as often as I can to visit family and all the old haunts that I love.
I grew up playing on the original site of Fort Boonesborough and swimming in the Kentucky River and climbing the Pinnacle near Berea and watching the great outdoor dramas of the early settlers. Often my cousins and brother and I would play in my Granny's attic and dress up in the pioneer costumes she made us and pretend to be Daniel Boone, Rebecca, Jemima, or the Shawnee.
As I grew up I began to write stories and they were always historical, filled with the lore I had heard or read about. It's no accident that my first book (which is actually my fifth book - the others were practice!) is about those first Kentucky pioneers.
I feel blessed beyond measure to write books. My prayer is that you are doubly blessed reading them.
Note: Laura Frantz credits her 100-year-old grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Frantz's family followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in 1792 and settled in Madison County where her family still resides. Frantz is a former schoolteacher and social worker who currently lives in the misty woods of Washington state with her husband and two sons, whom she homeschools.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Lovely but tough as nails, Lael Click is the daughter of a celebrated frontiersman. Haunted by her father's former captivity with the Shawnee Indians, as well as the secret sins of her family's past, Lael comes of age in the fragile Kentucky settlement her father founded.
Though she faces the loss of a childhood love, a dangerous family feud, and the affection of a Shawnee warrior, Lael draws strength from the rugged land she calls home, and from Ma Horn, a distant relative who shows her the healing ways of herbs and roots found in the hills.
But the arrival of an outlander doctor threatens her view of the world, God, and herself--and the power of grace and redemption. This epic novel gives readers a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians, all through the courageous eyes of a determined young woman.
Laura Frantz's debut novel offers a feast for readers of historical fiction and romance lovers alike.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Frontiersman’s Daughter, go HERE
By: Agatha Christie
Publisher: St. Martin’s Minotaur
About the book:
Was it a misstep that sent a handsome stranger plummeting to his death from a cliff? Or something more sinister? Fun-loving adventurers Bobby Jones and Frances Derwent’s suspicions are certainly aroused – especially since the man’s dying words are so peculiar: Why didn’t they ask Evans? Bobby and Frances would love to know. Unfortunately, asking the wrong people has sent the amateur sleuths running for their lives – on a wild and deadly pursuit to discover who Evans is, what it was he wasn’t asked, and why the mysterious inquiry has put their own lives in mortal danger…
While Agatha Christie is best-known for her sleuths like Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, I’ve discovered that some hidden gems among her “standalone” novels. Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? Is a thoroughly enjoyable read, anchored by the terrific chemistry between the protagonists, lifelong friends Bobby Jones, son of the local vicar, and Lady Frances Derwent. Their relationship, particularly the way they constantly spar and view their case, reminds me of another pair of Christie sleuths – Tommy and Tuppence. I could Christie turning Frances & Bobby’s adventures into a series – but perhaps that never happened because it would have been a little too similar to Tommy & Tuppence’s adventures.
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? is a thoroughly enjoyable read. It’s fast-paced and quite humorous, thanks in large part to Frankie’s character. She operates in a constant, dizzying state of activity that tends to leave everyone she encounters in a wake of confusion – so generally speaking, she can get away with pretty much anything. Witnessing the quieter, more deliberate Bobby keep up with her is a lot of fun. Christie packs the novel with her trademark twists and turns, and keeping up with how the large cast of characters is related can be a bit confusing if you’re not focused on the story. By the end of the novel, the guilty parties have become apparent, but that doesn’t detract from one’s enjoyment of the tale in the least – watching Bobby and Frankie survive their excursion into the detective world is far too entertaining. I rank this as one of my favorite Christie novels.
Book vs. Film:
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? was the final film to air in Marple series 4 on Masterpiece Mystery a few weeks ago. Despite how the resolution of the episode jumped the proverbial shark and veered into the realms of improbable craziness, the film ranked as one of my favorites of the series. You can read my full review of the film here. This was primarily due to the fact that Sean Biggerstaff played the role of Bobby Jones. But let’s start at the beginning to point out a few key changes:
Since the novel doesn’t feature the character of Miss Marple, she’s inserted into the story as an old friend of Bobby’s mother. She doesn’t disturb the flow of the story too much, probably due to the fact that she’s given rather little to do except to facilitate Frances & Bobby’s investigation. Speaking of Bobby & Frances (a.k.a. Frankie), Biggerstaff and Georgia Moffett absolutely nail their respective portrayals of the amateur detectives and lifelong friends. Their chemistry, and the way they banter back and forth, perfectly mirrors the way their relationship develops in the novel.
Having read the novel, it only confirms how ridiculously over-the-top and contrived the whole China connection was to the resolution of the film. It completely changed the motives of the villains. While I still like this very “loose” film adaptation, the way the mystery plays out in the book makes a hundred times more sense than the way the story was rewritten for the screen.
Friday, August 28, 2009
August 30, 2009 at 9pm
September 6, 2009 at 9pm
September 13, 2009 at 9pm
September 20, 2009 at 9pm
October 18, 2009 at 9pm
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
First up tonight is this fabulous new poster for one of my favorite films, North by Northwest, starring Cary Grant and James Mason - and prominently featuring the latter, since this poster was designed to celebrate his film marathon earlier this month. I blogged rather extensively about this movie a couple of weeks ago, you can read my thoughts here. I just have to say that I love how they abbreviated the title to NXNW, it cracks me up because that would so happen today. I also love the map overlay, it's a nice touch given the territory this movie covers.
I absolutely love and adore Elvis, yes, even a good number of his movies in all of their cheesy glory. Considering my love affair with the "King" started when I was six or seven, I don't understand how I've lived my life to this point without seeing perhaps his most famous film, Jailhouse Rock. This was only his third movie, but I've got to rate it as one of his better flicks. Sure, he's a bit wooden, but the movie hints at some acting potential that was sadly generally not developed later on (the follow up to this film, King Creole, is a notable exception). Anyways, I love how this poster just focues on the very iconic, black and white images of Elvis's jailhouse performance. After all - that image pretty much tells you all you need to know, doesn't it? ;-)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
First up is a new poster for Gilda, from 1946, featuring star Glenn Ford. I love the way Ford's face is half illuminated by the red neon glow from Gilda's name. The image perfectly captures the dark, smoldering ambience of the film - it's a classic definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen it!
Next up is High Society from 1956, featuring Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly. I absolutely love this image, it's a very classy "romantic comedy" look. Very, very classy! High Society is one of my favorite musicals - it's based on the play/film The Philadelphia Story, so it's hilarious, it's got great Cole Porter songs, and Frank Sinatra's in his prime. *swoon* :)
This poster for The Letter from 1940, starring Bette Davis, quite simply rocks. It's quite arresting, no? The opening sequence of this movie is absolutely unforgettable, and Bette Davis is at her manipulative best throughout. The quote on the poster reads "With all my heart I still love the man I killed."
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Over the past 35 years, Terry Brennan has accumulated a broad range of experience in both the profit and non-profit business sectors.
His 22-year, award winning journalism career included:
• Seven years as a sportswriter and editor with The Philadelphia Bulletin, at the time the largest-circulation afternoon newspaper in the nation;
• Leading The Mercury of Pottstown (PA), as its editor, to a Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing;
• Serving as Executive Editor of a multi-national newspaper firm – Ingersoll Publications – with papers in the USA, England and Ireland.
In 1996 Brennan transferred his successful management career to the non-profit sector and served for 12 years as Vice President of Operations for the Christian Herald Association, Inc., the parent organization of four New York City ministries, including The Bowery Mission.
Now Chief Operating Officer of the National Organization on Disability, Brennan also won the Valley Forge Award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation. His two adult sons and their families live in Pennsylvania. Terry, his wife Andrea and their two adult children live in New York City. The Sacred Cipher is his first novel.
ABOUT THE BOOK
History's greatest secret could be tomorrow's greatest threat More historically and biblically accurate than The DaVinci Code and just as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, The Sacred Cipher combines action and mystery to draw readers into a world of ancient secrets and international escapades.
When an ancient scroll appears in a secret room of the Bowery Mission in New York City, Tom Bohannon is both stunned and intrigued. The enigma of the scroll's contents will send Bohannon and his team ricocheting around the world, drawing the heat of both Jewish and Muslim militaries, and bringing the Middle East to the brink of nuclear war in this heart-pounding adventure of historical proportions. The Sacred Cipher is a riveting, fact-based tale of mystery and suspense.
If you want to read the Prologue of The Sacred Cipher, go HERE
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Kevin Whately returns as Inspector Lewis teamed with his cool, cerebral partner Detective Sergeant Hathaway (Laurence Fox, A Room with a View). Lewis, the former working-class foil to the erudite Detective Inspector Morse, tackles murder and mayhem with the help of Hathaway in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford.
August 16, 2009
Assigned to chaperone a celebrity criminal on his controversial visit to Oxford, Lewis thinks the assignment is a waste of time. Soon, though, two people are dead, and Lewis and Hathaway have their hands full.
August 23, 2009
Inspector Lewis: Series II premieres August 30th, 2009, showcasing seven new cases: