Wednesday, December 30

Movie Review: Winter in the Blood (2014)

Length: 1 hr & 45 mins
Released: 2014
Genre: Drama
Rating: N/A (I would say def a PG-13)
Where I Got It: On Netflix


Virgil First Raise wakes with a shiner and a hangover in a roadside ditch on the stark but beautiful plains of Montana. As he rises to face the day he sees a vision of his father lying dead at his feet. Impossible-- his father froze to death in a snowdrift years earlier. Virgil returns home to find that his wife, Agnes, has left him. Worse, she's taken his electric razor and his beloved rifle. Virgil sets out to find her-- beginning a hi-line odyssey of inebriated encounters, sexual skirmishes, and improbable cloak-and-dagger intrigues with the mysterious 'Airplane Man'.


I simply adored the book and I loved the cast they picked for this film, so yes...I have been itching to see this movie what seems like years (actually...I think it has been years since they first announced they were making the film)!! It’s been a long time coming and I couldn’t find any cinemas near me that were playing this film, so I had to wait until it went to Netflix or DVD. It finally arrived on Netflix a while back during big scary classes that I had limited free time. This movie has been eluding me for so long!! 

Was the wait worth the time? YES, YES, and more yes! I adored this film!! It certainly did right by the book for sure. 

There were a few slow spots, but the rest of the film made up for those tiny hiccup moments. 

The acting was fabulous, the screen-writing was on key, and the costumes fit the location/time period. Okay…I am biased, because I am a huge Chaske Spencer fan. Hahaha can’t help myself. ^_^

This is a movie that is quiet, but filled with such drama. Poor Virgil. Was he a great man? No, he is extremely flawed and sometimes plays the anti-hero in the film. That is why I like the story…he is no hero, just a man trying to live his life and get over his past. WHICH, in the book the character was unnamed, but I am glad they named him in the film. Virgil is a perfect name for this character. Pretty ironic and symbolic. Fantastic name choice. 
But it sure did make me feel feelings and made me want to reread the book really bad. I also want to re-watch it!! THE FEEEEEEEELLLLLLSSSSSS!

I can’t say much else without giving away major spoilers. 

I do recommend reading the book first and then watching, but it really doesn’t matter since the filmmakers did a lovely job with making it follow the book pretty well.

In the end, this was a good film…it meet all my expectations and I am happy! The wait was totally worth it. I highly recommend it to everyone who likes a book/movie that makes them think, but also watch a man find his way through the darkness of life. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 5 stars. 

Just one more pic and I will be content....

Re-watch?: YES, YES! I am actually itching to watch and reread!

Tuesday, December 29

Book Review: Full Exposure by Amy Jo Cousins

Author: Amy Jo Cousins
Title: Full Exposure
Genre: Romance, Drama, & M/M Romance
Pages: ebook
First Published: July 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon Freebie)

There’s more than one way to be a rock star...

Evan Pak is a card-carrying geek (he even has the job to prove it), but when his photographer brother invites him to tag along on a photo shoot with rock star Riley Flood, he figures it will be two days of ogling and eye-rolling and nothing more. But the reckless bad boy is nothing like he expected, and Evan is mesmerized by the mix of cocky and sweet he sees in Riley. When a spontaneous idea ends with Evan stripping down under the hot lights for an intimate portrait for Riley’s next album cover, Evan is absolutely sure their connection won’t end when the lights are turned off. Especially since Riley can’t seem to keep his hands off the tattoos Evan hides under his clothes.

What a fun short story!!  It was a cute romance with a hint of drama mixed in. Well duh…it involved a dramatic, bi-polar rockstar, so YES of course there shall be drama and moments where I wanted to punch that rockstar.

I loved Evan!!!!!!!! I wish they would’ve had more examples on WHY is he a “card-carrying geek”. It was mentioned, but there really was no examples. Was he a gamer? Anime lover? Lord of the Ring fanatic? I wanted to know more!! Yes, he was socially awkward and star-struck by Riley the rockstar, but I didn’t see how he was a nerd/geek. 

Riley…was a meh for me. I don’t see how Evan liked him…he was suck a drama king and I don’t feel he really deserved sweet Evan. 

Bummer this was a short-story, but I honestly think it worked well. However, I wish there had been an epilogue. Did they go the distance? Or would they eventually fall apart? I THINK they will fall apart, but that’s just me. 

The author certainly knocked it out of the part writing-wise. She took an a-typical story and made it fresh and new. I loved the writing style and I want more from the author. More please!!!!

*wink* I do adore the cover THUS why I grabbed this little Amazon freebie.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. I wanted more of a conclusion, but evil author wants me to use my own imagination! LOL this was a fun read to end the year. YAYY! Ending on a good note! I do recommend this to those needing a quick story with love and drama. Out of five stars, I will stamp this with….ummm…mmmmm….5 stars. More like a 4, but the cover gave it a star boost. ;D 

Monday, December 28

Blodeueed Reviews: How to Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake

'Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you've found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance's phone... 

Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve's boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen. 

But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve's best friend Daisy know that she isn't telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve's boat? 

My thoughts:
A sweet xmas story. 

A story about Evie, whose boyfriend cheated on her, xmas is coming up and she just wants to get away. I get that, everything in town reminds her of him, and xmas with family, no. And he was such an asshat with wanting the dog back too. Good riddance I say, good riddance.

Greg is the vet in the village she "escapes too". A nice guy, who reads fantasy! Oh, you got me there Greg, I love you, ahem, I mean he was a sweet guy ;) But he is hiding something...

Evie gets her passion back, and with that I mean, she starts to draw again and takes a pottery class. Oh and she obviously meets a cute guy.

Each chapter also starts with a recipe, yum, I always like that.

Friendship, romance and food. What is there not to love. 


Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 5th 2015 by Corvus
Romantic fiction
For review

~~Note From Carole: Happy Birthday to myself!! *throws confetti and cookies*  ~~

Sunday, December 27

Joint Review: Katrina The Beginning by Elizabeth Loraine

This month Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "Katrina, The Beginning" by Karen Kincy.

Author: Elizabeth Loraine
Title: Katrina, The Beginning
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, & Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: August 2009
Where I Got It: My shelf (ebook freebie)

As a Vampire being hunted was nothing new. Finding out that I had to save those that were hunting us was!

Katrina is thrust into something she never could have imagined growing up in the aristocracy of Europe. Once the fashion of the day, and girlish gossip filled Katrina and her new friends days, but their lives changed the instant their race was threatened and they were chosen as the Five, and the protectors of not only the vampire race, but all the peaceful races of the world!

C: Happy Day after Xmas!!! 

B: Yay happy Day after Xmas. May I first start with my tale of my reading of Katrina? The let me begin. I read 70 pages in 1,5 weeks. The over xmas I tried my best and read 30 more, then you said you had finished it and I tried again, but omg!!!! I had to skim cos I was all blerghhhhhhhhhhh.

C: Oh my.  took me a week to “finish” it. I literally forced myself to get through it last night. Lots, lots, and LOTS of skimming 

B: I think my breaking point was when she was meeting the other girls and they all went Hi my name is X, but my nick is V. Hi my name is X, but my nick is C. OMG. Srsly? Who wrote this? A 11 year old?

C: Ugh. I felt like it was written by an 11 year old. My breaking point was the dialogue….its suppose to be historical, but I felt like it modern day. What really killed me was Katrina’s sister was named Katherine….like really? 

B: Yes!!! They have the SAME NAME. What was the parents thinking?!

C: Right!? I really liked the concept of the story, but dang the delivery killed my soul a little bit. 

 B: I did skim a lot so I might have missed something. But the worldbuilding! Why are there vamps around? Why do they have human guards? What on earth is their world like? I got nothing. I only got that she is young, met new friends, and then at the end made some stupid jokes about their hair when people were dying. So crap world. But the writing was crap too, and the dialogue truly horrendous. 

C: It was explained why they have/need watchers….but it was lame. There were so many plot holes and things that didn’t make sense. 

B: Might have read that and filed it under too lame and forgotten it ;) But yes, I am so glad you did not like it too. I was all gods this suck so much, I sure hope Carole does not like it.

C: hahahaha I guess it was my turn to have a lammmmmmme book. >_< Luckily it was an amazon freebie. I’m so bummed. 

B: Lol. But yes, I have nothing good to say AT ALL. I certainly did not like Katrina, nick Kat, or her sister Katherine, nick Kate. Or anyone at all. Oh oh oh, not to mention the whole I LOVE my human guard, but wait, look at that sexy vamp. Sure, you wanted a triangle, and you made one.

C: Yeah…..I hated the triangle. It literally lasted like two pages and then both Katrina and Quinn realized, “ was blood we can be friends again.” WHAT? Really!? You can’t just be “in love” and get over it that quickly. Don’t care if it was “blood lust”....there should be more recovery from that! Bleh.

B: The only good thing about the book was that, I thought it had 490 pages, and then it suddenly ended! I was all YES!!!!!! I had them all in one. 

C: LOL LOL. By 95% done, I literally said, “OH MY GOD...WHEN WILL THIS END!!!!?????” Then it did and I was happy.

B: My last line would be: Do not read this one. But if you do like cliché YA vamp stuff that is written  by a teenage girl who thinks she is the heroine then sure why not, read this. But I sure do not recommend it.

C: Same….there really was no redeeming thing….it was a high let down. :/ The end?

B: The end. I just want to leave this mess behind me.

C: I’m sorry I picked a hot mess of a novel. LOL

B: I am scared now. But I do want to read Moyes for January, but I am scared it will suck

C: I have hope.

B: Let there be hope.

-The End-

**Carole's Conclusion**
Oooooh I am so sad by this one. Yes, it was an Amazon freebie, so I shouldn't have had my expectations so high, but this failed. Utterly failed. The concept was intriguing and fun, but the writing was badly done. It's suppose to be set in the past during the times Europe discovered the new world, but the dialogue was so modern. There were so many plot-holes I felt so lost half of the time. Super, duper bummer. I do not recommend it. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 1 star. 

Saturday, December 26

Guest Post: Did The Force Awakens Meet Expectations?

Happy Recovery Day after Xmas!

I would all like you to give another warm welcome to my guest here at CRR's! 

Maria is a writer interested in comic books, cycling, and horror films. Her hobbies include cooking, doodling, and finding local shops around the city. She currently lives in Chicago with her two pet turtles, Franklin and Roy. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaRamos1889.

Did The Force Awakens Meet Expectations?

In a word - yes. As the Internet rushes to assure fans around the world that their favorite franchise is finally back without giving out spoilers, it's important to reflect on what makes this film actually work. While not flawless, The Force Awakens manages to tell a story that feels like it belongs in the Star Wars canon in a way that no visual property has managed to do since Return of the Jedi.

The Star Wars franchise is one of the largest in science fiction spanning comic miniseries spin offs, TV shows like Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: Droid Tales available through Disney XD and DTV, novels, toys and countless other outlets that have created a rich universe easy to get lost in. Even with the elimination of the Expanded Universe as canon in the runup to The Force Awakens, there is still a ton of material to help flesh out this galaxy far, far away. Of course, what truly works about this movie is that it adds to that universe in a way that seems natural and fitting.

A major failure with the prequel trilogy was that it had far too large a focus. It wanted to tell the story of the fall of the Old Republic and rise of the Galactic Empire, but it did so in very broad strokes losing focus along the way. The Force Awakens hearkens back to the original trilogy in that it tells an epic story, without shifting perspective away from the main characters. Sure, the fate of every person living in this galaxy was important in the original trilogy, but the journey we were concerned about was Luke's. Similarly, the stakes in The Force Awakens are incredibly high, but ultimately our concern is with Finn and Rey who are caught up in this adventure.

One way in which this film truly excels is with its dialogue. All six of the previous films were almost Shakespearean at times in their writing, however that could often come off as stilted. Here every interaction feels natural, adding to the instant chemistry between several of the characters, and it really doesn't take long at all to start to love these new characters just as much as the returning ones.

The film itself focuses primarily on three main characters: Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), and Rey (Daisy Ridley), with most of the screentime going to the latter two. After BB8, the R2D2-type droid of the new gang and trilogy, is given some important information by Dameron to prevent it from falling into the hands of the evil First Order, he closely escapes capture multiple times and meets up with Rey and Finn, starting them on an adventure that would soon change all of their lives.

Directing and cinematography really stand out in this film, not to mention successfully fulfilling JJ Abrams goal of returning to the less-CGI focused times of the original trilogy with a film full of practical and visually pleasing effects. The villains reflect the type of figures that we have gotten used to, but they also stand out with individual personalities and a sense of having inner lives that give them depth. And while Kylo Ren is arguably the most developed character in the film, the final scene before the credits is most notably beautiful and perfectly composed, leaving us with a sense of the grand scale of this event and the ones leading up to it.

While I don't want to go into detail or share any spoilers, it is valid to say that the structure of the film is very familiar, leading to a split reaction among fans regarding the plot and writing. Less discussed is the rather strange pacing at the beginning that moves in fits and doesn’t fully take off until Finn and Rey meet.

Other than the slow beginning though, the movie generally exceeds all expectations. Some fan theories were correct, others were way off thanks to very clever marketing, and there a quite a few surprises not many saw coming. If the pattern holds true, the next film will be far more narratively challenging, giving Rian Johnson (Director) some leeway by re-establishing the brand here.

Either way, Star Wars has regained the cache that it had spent decades building and nearly squandered with the much derided prequel trilogy. From here, we will hopefully see some daring new stories being told that will make us fall in love with this world all over again.

Thursday, December 24

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, & So Forth

And a special holiday wish from Mamyia "Myia" (my new kitty) and the Boys - Rei and Toki. :3

"Chinchillas are so hard to please"....and get a good pic of both together LOL

Wednesday, December 23

Movie Reveiw: Krampus (2015)

Length: 1 hr & 38 mins
Released: 2015
Genre: Horror, Comedy, & Fantasy
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Seen at theaters


A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.


I have been DYING to see this movie since I first saw the trailer!!!!! I have always been a fan of the lovely tale of Krampus. This story, in my opinion, has always need to be used as a warning to kids. The story American children are taught is that if you are naughty then Santa will give you goal. OH SHUDDER IN MY HELLO KITTY BOOTS! So scary. >_> the only way to really scare a kid is to actually SCARE them. Now that asshole Krampus is a scary dude. Just looking at some of the art is scary as Hell. *legit shudders*

Now, the movie takes the story of Krampus and changes it a hair. Krampus is a demon who only punishes those who have lost hope and Christmas joy. ALSO much more scary things happen when he comes into your life. A hair different, but it is essentially the same.

This was certainly a dark and scarier way to get the point across: Don’t be a selfish asshole and love your family! Was it horrifying? No. It did get a few jump scares out of me, but generally just wide-eyed “OH MY GOD”s out of me. 

The acting was decent. I didn’t except the main guy to play a more “serious” role. He had a few funny lines, but I oddly liked how he portrayed the dad.

I also loved the little boy who is considered the main character – I felt so bad for him, especially at the end. All he wanted was for everyone to get along and love each other. 

Ooooooooh that ending! It was good. I expected something like that, but it was indeed clever. Will be never learn to be careful what they wish for?? Jeez…

Anyways, I really enjoyed this film. I thought it was good. A few creepy moments…especially that angel and bear (ew). Did I think it was over-the-top at points? I sure did, but it didn’t bug me that much. I thought it was an interesting take on the old folklore. 

In the end, I do highly recommend this movie. It was a nice scary film for the holidays. Krampus is a folklore that needs to be brought to life in America and teach those brats a lesson. I know the day I have a kid this will be a story I tell. MAYBE not this take on Krampus (since it seemed not PG at all), but the original tale. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 4. 

Re-watch?: Yesssssss

Tuesday, December 22

Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Author: Lauren Kate
Title: Fallen (Fallen #1)
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance, & Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: December 2009
Where I Got It: My shelf (Friend got me a copy)

What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. 

Get ready to fall . . .

First I must comment that the cover is LOVELY and I can’t peal my eyes away from it. Its dark, the dress is beautiful, and she looks like a weeping angel come to life. So, so, so lovely. It screams tragic love story come hither and you all know I love my tragic love stories. ;) 

Well, I read this for book club, which I’m happy it was chosen, because I have heard about this, but this was new for me. From all the reviews, it seems people either HATE it or LOVE it. I think I fall in the middle? 

The concept is intriguing and I wanted to learn more about these paranormal forces and why God wants to torture Daniel with making him meet up with Luce over and over again and having her die. It is SO tragic. It really is. People compare this with the Twilight books and I can see some similarities, but this feels different. Yes, Daniel is moody and tries to push Luce away – but for good reasons. Luce is kind of dumb and oddly attracted to him, BUT for good reason. I would be like Daniel too if I was him. He was jerky…but with a good reason for once I think it was romantic that he was trying to make her hate him/avoid her. Poor guy. While in the Twilight world Edward was just trying not to eat Bella (romantic????? I don’t really think so).

I liked Cam more than Daniel, honestly...even though I understand the moody jerky attitude working for him in this…I adored Cam. He was funny and romantic-ish (even tho he turned into a jerk at one point).

Anyways…I stray off of my main point.

Like I said…I liked the concept. However, the delivery and presentation was off for me. I was so bored at some points. Like really???? Where is the damn angels that were promised to me!? The paranormal world doesn’t open up and the story doesn’t really begin until damn well near the end. GAH. Then it was over in a heartbeat. All that build-up and bleh. I must admit…I am curious about the next book. I have heard and read that the second one is WAY better than the first one. *fingers crossed* because I do plan on reading it someday…my curiosity is killing me. 

It bothered me how Luce was placed in that boarding/prison school. JUST because her bf at the time magically caught on fire and so did she, doesn’t make her an arsonist. She did not have any priors, so I think it’s odd that they just where like, “OH YOU ARE GUILTY YOU CRIMINAL! STRAIGHT TO THE PRISON SCHOOL….THING!” WHAT? Really? No investigation…..okay.

Also, this was a school/prison thing and they are supposed to be under surveillance. How in the world were these kids running around, having picnics, swimming, and having parties without the adults catching them? A piss poor school/prison thing. SMH.

In the end, this was an okay read. I wanted more out of it and I was highly let down. The concept is fun, but the delivery was a meh for me. The ending, though, made me curious and have an actual desire to read the second book. Mainly, because they dive into the past more and it’s full of more paranormal stuff. ^_^ the first book IS important…but I suggest maybe trying to skip this one and start with the second book. I shall stamp this with 3 stars. Honestly, it would be 2, but damn…I am in love with the cover. ;D

Monday, December 21

B's Monday Review: Seaside Christmas by Stacy Claflin

He can’t stand her. She thinks he’s crazy. Will their feelings stay etched in permanent ink? 

Cruz Hunter has always stuck out in his small hometown. Now that he’s covered in tattoos, the residents peg him as even more of an outcast. It seems like the whole world is against his dream of opening a local tattoo parlor. 

When he finally finds the perfect place for his new business, Cruz discovers a pastor and his daughter have already bought it. The only thing more irritating than the change in his plan is Talia, a beautiful and feisty argument in a dress. Cruz would like nothing more than to have her out of his life and his mind, but for some reason, she’s the only thing he can think about. 

If Cruz and Talia can stop arguing long enough, opposites may do much more than attract. 

Seaside Christmas is the fifth standalone novel in the Seaside Hunters collection, a series of sweet contemporary romances centered on the Hunter brothers. Author Stacy Claflin's beautiful seaside town of Kittle Falls will make you want to visit… and stay! If you like chemistry, budding romance, and love in a quaint small town, then you'll fall for the latest tale in the series. 

My thoughts:
This was a very clean romance, so for you all who want that then read this one. Just kissing.

Cruz has tattoos in a town where that is a bad thing. He also wants to open up a tattoo parlor but the town is giving him grief.

Talia is a preacher's daughter, all sweet and xmas loving.

They meet. They dislike each other. I want to hit her over the head cos she is a silly cow, srsl, you think ying and yang is the devil's work. Omg, idiot. But, but she starts to see that there are other points' of views. Also her father gets it, he is cool.

There is this idiot guy who likes her, I want to knee him. But there we get to see that she does have brain ;)

They fall for each other and live happily ever after. All in one sweet book.

Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published November 6th 2015
Seaside Hunters #5
Contemporary romance

Sunday, December 20

Book Review: The Last Wife of Attila the Hun by Joan Schweighardt

Author: Joan Schweighardt
Title: The Last Wife of Attila the Hun
Genre: Historical Fiction & Fantasy
Pages: ebook
First Published: September 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to my by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Two threads are flawlessly woven together in this sweeping historical novel. In one, Gudrun, a Burgundian noblewoman, dares to enter the City of Attila to give its ruler what she hopes is a cursed sword; the second reveals the unimaginable events that have driven her to this mission. 

Based in part on the true history of the times and in part on the same Nordic legends that inspired Wagner’s Ring Cycle and other great works of art, The Last Wife of Attila the Hun offers readers a thrilling story of love, betrayal, passion and revenge, all set against an ancient backdrop itself gushing with intrigue. 

I have always been interested in the story of Attila. He's always been controversial. People either love him or hate all depends on what side of history you sympathize with. Personally....I'm not sure what side I am. All I know is that he and his story is intriguing.

Even more intriguing is the story of his last wife, which this book is about. It's no spoiler, since its common knowledge - but he married this girl and then she killed him on their wedding night. It is assumed out of revenge for what he did. No one can say for certainty why she did it - was it revenge for something he did to her, her family, her people, or just for being him. I still wonder why he needed 12 wives....seems like too much work personally. I totally see 2....3....or maybe 4. But 12? Really? Too much. 

Sorry, I digress....

But yes - I loved how this was in her POV, because I've always wanted to learn more about her. It's a theory, but I would side with this theory that she killed him out of revenge for the wrongs he did to her family and people. Also, it was nice twist that she had help.

There is also a touch of fantasy mixed in. I wasn't a huge fan of the fantasy aspect of the book. For me, it didn't seem to mix well. I'm glad there was only a small dosage of it, so that was a consolation. 

Overall, this was a fun read. It was quick and a nice way to look at the fall of Attila...through the eyes of the women who ended it all. She did what no man could do - she killed a legend and thus became remembered herself. There was a touch of fantasy mixed in, which I was meh about. However, I still enjoyed the story. I recommend it for those that are interested in the time period and Attila himself. It was a nice change of POV. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 3.