Category Archives: Movies/TV

Safe Haven, Part 1 [repost]

Couple holding hands at table romance

[Written in 2013.]

I bought a Nicholas Sparks book because I liked the cover, title, and premise. Yep, I am generally a sucker for the chick escapes crazy abusive man and starts over in bucolic small town (always as a waitress)… then meets hero With A Problem etc. I had a vague idea that Sparks was a bigshot writer dude, but didn’t realize he had written that horrible Nights in Rodanthe, the movie version of which I could not watch even though it starred Diane Lane and Richard Gere. That’s really saying something. The Notebook was okay (talking about the movie ~ didn’t read either novel).

Anyway…

This Safe Haven book ~ MY GOD COULD IT START ANY SLOWER!? Do we give Sparks a pass because he’s had major success? Were his other novels total yawners for the first 100 pages? These people are doing the most mundane things and having the most trivial conversations ~ gak. We get tiny hints of a Terrifying Past for our heroine until finally it all comes spilling out in backstory. And then we get Kevin the psycho’s POV (fun!). But Katie’s past is so much more interesting than her present, and her abuser (gotta say it) is scads more interesting than the hero, who is Mr. Bland. Kevin is a CHARACTER. Alex is a bowl of vanilla pudding. At least so far ~ I’m now on page 212.

But that’s not what I came here to rant about today (I’ll continue this review when I finish the book). I want to talk about grammar. What do you think of this:

[…] and while the four of them were off pointing at the fish, she’d laughed at something he’d said and he’d felt a spark of attraction, reminding him of what he had once had. [p21]

Is that awful, or is it just me? I never write past-past that way, with all those had-hads. Yucky.

K, that’s all. I’m sure you’ll be waiting with bated breath for the rest of this.

~*~

Image from Pexels.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Mine Until the End of Time…

fantasy couple kiss forest
… and now I’m praying for the end of time (“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” ~ Meatloaf).

“Mine” is a weird concept when applied to people (or cats), if you think about it, though it sounds romantic with the Be Mine candy hearts and all that jazz. But how can a person be “yours?” That sounds like slavery. Even children break away and have their own ideas, and then go off to live their own lives. Most moms and dads enjoy seeing their children form their own opinions and don’t wish for clones of themselves. (Some would rather have the clones, yes, I know.)

Pat Benatar sings “Love Is a Battlefield,” which always rang true to me. A minefield, in my case. I was always tiptoeing around so as not to offend or cause an argument. I constantly capitulated to another person’s opinions to smooth things over when disagreements occurred, and then ended up feeling bitter and resentful, just counting the minutes until I could walk out the door. Every time I got involved with someone, it was always about their wants and their needs, never mine. You may have noticed that I eliminated most “dating stories” from my blog refresh. This is because the whole thing is too depressing to think about, and it’s also why I hate the Wayback Machine and how they’ve screenshotted some of that shit forever. They told me how I can request deletion, but it’s a big PITA.

So anyway. For Jim’s prompt today, I wanted to use a song about an actual mine ~ “My Darling Clementine.” This is another song I used to play on my paint-by-number organ, and I have fond memories of belting out “IN A CAVERN, IN A CANYON, EXCAVATING FOR A MINE, lived a miner forty-niner and his daughter Clementine…” Off-key, natch. But every version on YouTube sucks so much I can’t bear to put it here.

What’s really strange is that it’s often listed as a children’s song. Wtf? It’s about a girl who drowns in a river! Granted, the lyrics are amusing, but in a macabre way, not for a happy singalong imo. But even the adult versions sucked, and yep I include Bobby Darin’s in this group. Sad. I guess we also find “Running Bear” funny, but it’s not. Rivers be dangerous, yo.

Side note: I discovered while poking around for this song that there was a 1946 movie called My Darling Clementine, starring Henry Fonda. The film includes the song, but the lyrics don’t track with the plot at all except for the girl’s name. It’s supposedly one of the best westerns of all time, so maybe I’ll watch it if I can find it.

By this point, you must be wondering if I’m actually going to post a song with “mine” in it or just jabber on about irrelevant stuff forever. Well, it’s my blog and I can be boring if I want to, so there! Pffft. Just kidding. I have a song, but it isn’t about romantic enslavement… it’s about a place.

“L.A.’s fine, but it ain’t home
New York’s home, but it ain’t mine
No more”

That’s right. We can always rely upon good old Neil to have a song with a word in it, lol. I present “I Am, I Said,” from 1971, by the ultimate gem himself, Mr. Diamond. Enjoy!

~*~

Written for Jim’s Thursday Inspiration.

Image source unknown.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Quickies 18

ship storm sea wreck

At first I didn’t remember why this image was in my media library when I searched for “ship,” but then I recalled the Roger Whittaker song “The Last Farewell,” which I featured in an SLS post. Yep, that’s where I used this pic. During my April 2021 blog refresh, I dumped tons of repetitive and/or unused images, and now I’m being much more careful to save space. Instead of grabbing a new pic every time I make a post, I try to reuse ones already in the library. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I have around 500 posts published and scheduled, yet I’ve used less than 10% of the media space allotted. At this rate, it will take decades to get close to the maximum and I’ll probably forget I even have a blog by then. Anyway, welcome to my quickie reviews of movies and/or books I’ve watched/read recently! I sometimes have spoilers, so read on at your own risk.

1. Life of Pi, 2012 adventure-drama based on the book by Yann Martel. I haven’t read the book, which may be a good thing, because I see on Wikipedia that it’s much more brutal and gross than the film. I saw the movie when it first came out, in 3D, which was an amazing experience. However, I think I was too focused on the beauty of the filmmaking itself and failed to pay close attention to the actual story. Recently, I watched it again at home with a couple friends, not in 3D, and it was more meaningful. Or maybe I’m just older and more philosophical, who knows. Well, I’m definitely older! Anyway, I highly recommend this film if you haven seen it yet. It’s about the art of telling a story, among other things, and how in the right hands an unreliable narrator can hold our attention like nothing else. My favorite stories are from unreliable narrators, but they have to be done well. This one is superb and I was left wondering wtf just happened, but in a good way. Oh, there’s a shipwreck in the story, which is why I used the pic.

2. Bayou Fire, 2017 romance novel by blogger Sharon E. Cathcart. This was different from the typical romance novel. Instead of the usual conflicts between hero and heroine, the romance between Amos and Diana proceeds smoothly with none of the clichéd misunderstandings and forced drama we so often find in these books. What the protags have to do however is figure out why they feel such an immediate and intense connection the first time they meet. Then the book dives into the supernatural, which isn’t always my cup of tea, but here it was “believable,” relatively speaking, and I was down with it. There was a chunk of narrative devoted to a flashback, but the story didn’t flip back in forth in time to an excessive degree. I really enjoyed all the local color of New Orleans and the tidbits of history Sharon included. She also gave us a taste of the dialect, which was interesting. Unfortunately, there were quite a few typos, which, as I’ve mentioned before, seem to be widely prevalent in self-published works. But overall, I enjoyed the story and gave it 4 stars.

3. The Guest List, 2020 suspense novel by Lucy Foley. This is one of those “British” books I keep picking up lately ~ KU is loaded with them, as I’ve said. They are generally written in first-person, present tense (annoying) and narrated from multiple POVs (more annoying). They also tend to leap back and forth in time to an insane degree. This story, for example, could have simply been told straight up chronologically. There was simply no need for the dizzying switches from the day before the wedding to the wedding and afterparty. That was just weird. But to their credit, in these British mysteries, the plots are generally solid and hang together with an earned ending, and the protags are interestingly flawed. TGL is in this group as well and hooked me right in. I couldn’t predict what would happen and who the victim or murderer would ultimately be. Lots of people were pissed off at lots of other people for a variety of reasons, which was great fun. Oh, and one more thing ~ there were no typos in this book. None. And guess what? It was published by a house (HarperCollins). Even so, I gave it only 3 stars because of the annoyances mentioned.

More reviews soon…

~*~

Image from Pixabay.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Crazy Rich Asians [repost]

crazy rich asians

[Written in 2018.]

Today’s prompt euphemism reminded me that I didn’t post about the last movie I saw, yikes. So many prompts. So many topics to jabber on about. You know how it is. Anyway, I saw Crazy Rich Asians several days ago and loved it. Fab romcom, just fab.

I guess there might be some slight spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

A few points. Generally, to get the full flavor of a romance, we need to be present at the couple’s first meeting. This isn’t a diehard rule, like the happy ending, but it’s nice to have. I grok that opening with the poker game foreshadowed a later game plus a lot of gamesmanship throughout the film, but still. We could have had a flashback to Rachel and Nick’s cute-meet at some point.

One of the critiques of this movie mentioned that we didn’t get treated to the way “regular” people live in Singapore, only these crazy rich ones. Well, true, but it’s not about sane, average-income Asians. And I wasn’t expecting that. Wasn’t expecting a documentary on Singapore. Why hold the film to this standard? I think that’s really unfair. No one complained that Sleepless in Seattle neglected to show homeless peeps living on the streets. No one said Notting Hill should have shown the poor people in London. These are fairy tales, for cryin’ out loud!

I bet you’re wondering when I’ll get to euphemism. Gotchu. As they’re flying extra mega deluxe first class to Singapore, Rachel suspects that Nick’s family may be kinda… wealthy. He cops to “comfortable,” which she declares is exactly what a wealthy person would say. Is it? Since I’m not wealthy, nor do I pal around with the super rich, I wouldn’t know. But I do know it’s a euphemism for loaded! And I also know that old-school wealthy, as opposed to the “nouveau riche,” try not to obnoxiously flaunt their bucks.

If I were a rich girl (cue music), I think I’d keep things on the down low too. No need for flashy cars or mansions that require lots of people around for upkeep. The more you own, the more you need. One of my blog buddies recently posted about taking the bus, which I remember doing in Chicago, and that had stresses, but mostly people did not interact with each other; traveling by car and dealing with auto maintenance is probably on the whole more stressful. Of course, having a silent chauffeur and unlimited funds for limos could be the way to go. Hmm.

Anyway, like nearly every romcom, so much of the “plot” of CRA is built upon layers of communication failures. Nick didn’t tell Rachel the full story of his family’s empire before whisking her off to a gala event. Rachel’s mother never explained her own circumstances. Side characters are involved in other deceptions ~ to be explored in sequels, I presume. But this is what we expect from romantic comedies. And unless it’s done well, watching the protags resolve their miscommunications can be boring and irritating to sit through, but this one was excellent, IMO.

~*~

Image from the movie.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Lockdown Lowdown

Cat upside down head

In today’s episode of Truthful Tuesday, PCGuyIV asks what impact, if any, has the pandemic, and specifically last year’s lockdown, had on my reading habits. Great question!

I’m reading more than ever and still on track to hit 100 books for 2021, woohoo! My taste has changed though ~ from mostly romances to preferring suspense novels. Now, I don’t know if that’s because of the lockdown or if my taste would have evolved regardless… but I do know that under the $10/month Kindle Unlimited program it’s easier to find a good (or reasonably good) detective story than a good romance novel. I have started many romances only to abandon them after a few pages because they make me cringe. I’m not talking about typos but rather sucky plots and annoying characters. People think that writing a romance novel is easy, but it’s not, and writing a GOOD one is tougher than it seems.

In general, I’ve been reading more and watching more movies at home now that there are fewer events I’m comfortable with in meatspace (aka “the real world”). I have not been writing more and I have no desire to reopen my old WIPs. I am getting a faint urge to paint again (which I did a lot of during the pandemic), so we’ll see if that happens.

Dr. Tanya has a related theme today: name 5 life lessons you learned during lockdown.

1. I learned that I’m less introverted than I thought I was. I’m still an introvert, but I do miss in-person game nights once a month and going to movies in the theater with friends. A couple weeks ago, I saw a movie out, and I wore a mask, but I doubt I’ll do it again anytime soon, which is sad.

2. I don’t like to bake anymore. It’s not fun to do alone and I don’t wanna eat an entire banana bread myself. Baking with my granddaughter is a different thing.

3. I hate Zoom. I play Codenames most Satudays over Zoom because it’s there and I stay in, but in-person games are so much more fun than staring at a screen.

4. Many/most people demand things of others they can’t or won’t do themselves, such as total isolation when they have a family or at least a partner to lock down with. Hypocrisy is nothing new, of course, but it has soared to new heights during the pandemic. Celebs and politicians are some of the biggest offenders, as usual.

5. No matter how much extra time I have, it’s not likely I’ll spend much or any of it exercising. I wish this wasn’t true, but it is, and it became obvious this past year. And it’s unfortunate, since I avoid exercise because of pain, yet exercise would probably lessen my pain, at least somewhat. Oh well…

~*~

Pic of Gatsby is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

IDOJ, Part 1 [repost]

IDOJ

[Written in 2015.]

So a while back I bought the entire pile of I Dream of Jeannie episodes in one swell foop, and I began watching them this weekend. It’s really interesting to me that my memory of the show differs quite a bit from the reality. Then again, I first discovered IDOJ at age 10 and saw most of the eps in my teens.

First, the color. Ow, my eyes! When I started watching the show, it was in B&W, or our TV was, don’t remember. I had no idea the colors in the early eps were so damn garish. The opening cartoon background is bright red. Tony’s house is lime green and orange. Gak!

Second, though I read later that Jeannie was pregnant during Season One, I didn’t remember her looking pregnant, but she totally does. In one ep, she pops out of a cake with a bunch of veils draped over her, but the minute she turns she looks full-out preggers. Doesn’t take away from her gorgeousness at all, but I simply didn’t recall that.

Third, the show is stupid. I mean, really really stupid. I knew it was silly, but I thought it was at least full of witty jokes, and it just isn’t. The acting is OK ~ it’s the writing that sucks. Sorry Sidney Sheldon (RIP), but it does.

I did not recall that in these early eps Jeannie was so obsessed with marriage. It makes me cringe how she keeps flinging herself at Tony while he rejects her. The constant sexist housewifery put-downs make me cringe as well, but I fight the impulse to get pissed off because this was a half-century ago.

Fourth, I always disagreed with the idea that Bewitched was the better show, but I see I was wrong, at least from a writing standpoint. Bewitched did have better writing, at least compared to these early IDOJ eps. Not only that, but Bewitched had a cast of awesome supporting characters, like Sam’s mother and uncle, while Jeannie’s relatives are totally bland. (I’m not talking about the later eps where Barbara Eden plays her own mom and sister.) Two actresses have appeared as her mother so far, and they both are unfunny and add nothing to the show.

But!

Fifth, Tony and Jeannie have undeniable chemistry, which is something I never felt between Sam and Derwood, or whatever his name was. The chemistry is always there ~ T&J are clearly super-attracted to each other and often can’t stop touching each other. Maybe that’s why I always liked this show while B left me cold (except for the witty scenes with Paul Lynde, etc.). The chemistry between the main characters is something that transcends the juvenile writing and lame jokes.

Sixth, in these early eps, Dr. Bellows has the best supporting role, not Roger, who is simply an idiot at best, and a greedy creeper at worst. I think he morphs into an inept, cute, puppy-dog type guy later on. We shall see if that memory is accurate! In any case, Bellows gets to have nicely sarcastic lines and I am enjoying his part a lot more than I remembered.

Side note: I finally discovered why Roger wears a green uniform while Tony’s is blue. Roger is in the army and Tony is in the air force ~ the two branches come together for space stuffs. I’ve been reading all sorts of IDOJ trivia online while I watch.

Seventh, bloopers! In the first season, the shows opened with a little recap, in case you might be confused by the complexity, lol. In the recap, Tony preps for his launch and Roger helps him put on his helmet… and Roger is wearing a wedding ring! (Or the hand they show that is supposed to be his is wearing one.) A theme of the show is that Roger is a bachelor on the prowl throughout all seasons, so this is totes stupid.

There are tons of other bloops. Forex, in one ep, Tony gives Jeannie a letter-sized white envelope to mail questions to him while he’s on a business trip. She turns into smoke and mails herself to him. But when he receives the envelope in his hotel room, it’s a large manila one!

The “ocean” behind Tony’s patio is the fakest looking thing imaginable. Looks like it was painted by a five year old. Not sure if that’s a blooper or just a dumb.

Eighth, it was so fun to encounter the scene that first hooked me into the show, which is when Tony and Jeannie broke into the First National Bank of Baghdad so Tony could chant in the exact right spot to save Jeannie from disappearing. I like how the go-to line for all the “Persians” (which is what they call peeps in the Baghdad area on the show) is to chop off someone’s head, whether the scene was in the past or present. Just sayin’.

I’m in Season Two and am determined to watch all of these eps, five seasons worth, and torture you with my insights. Stay tuned! 

~*~

Image from Amazon.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Quickies 17

rory dog

Welcome to my quick reviews of books and/or movies, now accompanied by a random picture from my image library. Actually, my granddog Rory is relevant here because I’m reviewing another Rochester story, who is a golden retriever detective doggo. Please note that my reviews sometimes contain spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.

1. The Kingdom of Dog by Neil S. Plakcy. Last sesh, I reviewed the first Rochester novel In God We Trust, which I enjoyed immensely, so I immediately grabbed more stories from Kindle Unlimited about this doggo. TKOD is the second book in the series and I didn’t like it as much. First, I disliked the way the romance was handled. I don’t mind “fade to black” sometimes, but here it was simply too abrupt. In his Archy McNally books, Lawrence Sanders (RIP) does the fade too, but it’s funny and fine. In TKOD it was meh. Neil is funny and does wordplay ~ I wonder if he actually was inspired by Sanders because there are a lot of similarities, especially with the goofy names of side chars such as “Ike Arumba” – ay caramba! But this became distracting as I’d stop at each new one to see if their name translated into some phrase when said aloud. (Sanders’ names were weird too, but they didn’t translate into phrases.) Moving on. I felt the plot was farfetched with the motivation for murder too much of a stretch. There was also too much repetition of stuff from the first book. I did enjoy the growth of the protag Steve however. In book one, he mostly was angry and bitter toward his ex-wife, but in this book he’s learning to be at peace with the past. This book wasn’t as well-edited as the first doggo mystery though and had several annoying errors, the worst being the usage of “flaunt” when he meant “flout.” I gave TKOD three stars and will probably try the third one to see if things improve. Not saying this book was bad or anything, just not as good as the first one.

2. You, Me and Dupree, 2006 comedy starring Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon, Seth Rogen, and Michael Douglas. This movie is HILARIOUS and I totally recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor. I have loved every movie I’ve seen with Kate Hudson; either she only chooses great movies, or I’m in love with her, or something, idk what. But this film is no exception. The ending absolutely rocks (mocking all the self-help crap books out there). I watched it on Prime.

3. The Engagement Ring, 2005 romcom starring Patricia Heaton. This was a cute movie, better than I expected. Lainie Kazan, the mom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, plays pretty much the same mom here as an Italian Catholic, and I’ve also seen her play the same role as a Jewish mom. Funny how that works ~ moms gotta mom. There was a lot of food and wine in this movie, which was fun. If you’re in the mood for a romantic comedy, check it out.

4. Vows of Deception, 1996 drama starring Cheryl Ladd. This was a solidly engaging film, with Cheryl playing a psycho who seems sweet as pie at first and gets darker as the movie progresses. Kept my attention.

5. Inconceivable, 2017 drama starring Nicolas Cage and Gina Gershon. What a weird film! Well, Nic Cage, amirite? Is he ever in anything not weird? I meant to have this on in the background while I did other stuff, but I found myself glued to the screen. It was really good and had shocking twists.

Ya know… sometimes it’s a big chore to find a decent movie on Prime (I don’t tell you about the ones I abandon before the halfway point). Their categories are not helpful, and neither are their suggestions of things I might like. I propose new categories: Movies We Think You’ll Hate, Movies You’ll Dump in the First Five Minutes, Unfunny Comedies, Stupid Christmas Romances in Small Towns or Fake Kingdoms, Movies About Annoying Teenagers, Murder Mysteries Where You Hope Everyone Dies, Musicals You’ve Never Heard Of, Foreign Films that Make No Sense, etc.

~*~

Image is mine (or my kids’).

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Quickies 16

blurry sunset

Welcome to my quick reviews of books and/or movies! These posts are now accompanied by a random image from my media library that has nothing to do with the subject matter. I’m fond of this blurry sunset pic I took from my car ages ago with an inferior camera phone. It just speaks to me… the colors, the composition, even the blur. I’m trying to avoid uploading new images to WP whenever possible so I won’t have to purchase a more expensive plan. Anyway, I’m not too careful with spoilers, so be warned if you read on.

1. The Stepfather, a 2009 thriller on Prime with Penn Badgley, Dylan Walsh, Amber Heard, et al. I didn’t even realize this was the infamous Amber Heard until I read the credits. She’s very pretty and did a good job here. The plot was a bit predictable, but I mostly enjoyed it except for the ridiculously farfetched ending. The rest was solid though and kept me on the edge of my seat, to use a silly cliché. Actually, I was stretched out on the sofa because my back hurt, but I got a little jittery being alone in the house while watching a scary movie. The killer’s motivation remained a mystery throughout, which was a mistake, in my opinion. We don’t discover anything about his background or what started him down this murderous path of needing to create and then destroy a “perfect” family. Including this nugget of info would have made the film more interesting.

2. Sugar Daddies, 2014, another thriller on Prime, starring Taylor Black and Peter Strauss. I thought I might have to turn this one off when it began with preachy narration by the protagonist Kara, but that stopped soon enough and resumed only at the end. It was unnecessary altogether, as the movie speaks for itself regarding how we can get seduced down a bad path, thinking that the end justifies the means, only to discover that it does not. Not everyone feels this innately; some have to learn it in the real world. Others simply don’t. Once the plot took off, the movie was interesting.

Kara’s moral struggle is clearly portrayed. She’s conflicted the entire time she entertains her sugar daddy, unlike a couple of her friends who have no issues with prostitution, but Kara keeps judging them while behaving similarly. I guess it’s more acceptable if you angst over your actions. The writing isn’t that deep or complex though, and we know it won’t take long for Kara to come to her senses. Unfortunately, before that happens, someone is murdered. I didn’t see that coming and it was fun to be surprised.

3. In Dog We Trust, a 2010 mystery by Neil S. Plakcy. This is a fun read! There’s so much great doggie detective stuff, and Steve, the flawed hero/hacker is extremely likeable. Well, I thought so anyway. I enjoyed his snarky narrative voice and the side characters too. It was adorable how he morphed from being annoyed with Rochester, the golden retriever, to bonding with him and becoming a responsible pet owner.

Unfortunately, I did not think the killer was given enough motivation and one of his/her actions near the end of the story made no sense at all. That was disappointing and knocked a star off my rating. But other than that, I enjoyed this book immensely and have downloaded the next several in the series. There seem to be 12 books starring Rochester and I can’t wait to start the next one.

Note: it’s weird to remember a time before everyone was on Facebook and someone has to explain what it is. In the early 2000s, we were bopping around on Usenet, MySpace, Friendster (lol), blogs, and some other sites I’ve probably forgotten. Facebook though? That didn’t gobble up everyone until after 2010ish. Now of course it would be bizarre if someone hadn’t heard of it!

~*~

Image is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Quickies 15

ghosted

Hello, have you read my book Ghosted? I worked hard on it and think it’s pretty good, so I hope you will give it a shot and also leave a review on Amazon. The first book I’m reviewing here is a bit like mine, with a possible ghost along with a hot love story as well as solving a mystery. Be warned though: my reviews sometimes contain spoilers. OK, here we go…

1. Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost by Lindsay Marcott is a 2021 “contemporary gothic” novel, and I loved it. The protagonist is likeable and relatable, and the hero moody and compelling. The side characters were all interesting in their own right, especially the “ghost” and her brother. Vivid description abounds ~ of characters and scenery ~ and the narration keeps the reader off-balance at all times. I particularly loved the passages about Mrs. Rochester’s insanity told in first person and weirdly believable. Is she dead or alive? What is going on here? Maybe our protag is cracking up. She does get migraines… Read it! I bet you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

2. The Hive by Gregg Olsen, 2021. This is one of those “unputdownable” mystery novels and kudos to Mr. Olsen for writing it properly in third-person alternating POVs instead of conforming to the ridiculous trend of multiple POVs in first person including DEAD PEOPLE’S. God, that’s annoying. Anyway, this is a wonderfully complex mystery, with one of the big clues right in front of us all along (actually more than one), and the reveal is so very satisfying. It’s one of the most perfect reveals I’ve read for a long time. A good writer will not have to fling in new info to make the plot work out ~ it should all be there for us to ponder along with the detective. What I’m saying is that if “the butler did it,” there needs to BE a butler present in the story, not shoveled in later to create a surprise ending. I read a book from Gregg last December and gave it 4 stars same as this one (great that I have a list otherwise I would have never remembered) and I’ll probably read more. Why am I not giving him 5 stars? Well… I find the narration a little dizzying. I wish there were fewer flipflops back and forth in time.

3. Invisible Child, 1999 made-for-TV movie. This film kept my interest for some strange reason, even though it was kind of dumb. The premise is that a mom goes nuts and believes she has a new baby when she doesn’t. Her older daughter and husband play along with the charade ~ the hubby fears his wife would be institutionalized if he sought treatment for her. She has a real new baby and the little boy grows up believing he has an invisible sister. The movie begins when the mom hires a nanny to help with her “three” children. The nanny tries to play along too but is concerned this life of pretend might harm the kids, so she goes to social services to ask about it. Naturally they show up at the door looking like ogres. The family ends up escaping any “penalty” for what they’ve done because the father, older daughter, and nanny conspire to tell the panel of experts that this isn’t really happening the way it seems… just an invisible friend like we all have. Then Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, etc. are brought up. Why are they OK, but not an invisible sister? Etc. It was oddly interesting. Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks’ wife) starred as the nutty mom, and she did a good job.

4. Wandering Eye, 2001 “thriller” movie on Prime. I was having a hard time finding a good movie to watch the other day. I kept starting them and stopping them because they were so dumb, and I didn’t have high hopes for this one, but it was good! I figured out who the killer was as soon as the character was introduced, not from clues, just a hunch, but that didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment of the film. The premise is that this Wandering Eye website will connect married peeps who desire a discreet romance, while preserving what they have at home. You know, like Ashley Madison ~ I assume everyone has heard of that site and their massive hack, though this movie was made prior to all that publicity. Anyway, SOMEONE doesn’t approve of cheating and begins murdering the couples. A cop figures out the connection to the website, and off we go. Really enjoyed both Amanda Righetti’s performance as a neglected wife of a doctor, and also Krista Bridges as the detective.

~*~

Image is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

SLS: Fate

mamma mia movie

OK, so… “Waterloo” by ABBA might not have been the first song YOU thought of when you saw Jim’s prompt of fate/fortune/luck, but I’ve been waiting to use it ~ and more importantly this hilarious clip from the Mamma Mia! sequel (actually a prequel) Here We Go Again. I loved both Mamma Mia movies and while some say this one with Lily James isn’t as fabulous because it lacks Meryl Streep, I say pffft. Meryl is wonderful, of course, but the whole cast of MM2 is spectacular and she does have a sweet cameo at the end anyway. I love musicals, and the MMs are at the top of my list. But of course I’ve always loved ABBA songs to begin with, so it’s easy for me to enjoy the movies.

Waterloo is ABBA’s second studio album, released in 1974, with its title track winning the Eurovision Song Contest and launching their career, which was one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music (1974-1983). If you don’t know (and how could you not?), ABBA is a Swedish pop group composed of two guys and two gals: Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group’s name is an acronym of the first letters of their first names. Agnetha & Björn were married to each other at the start of the whole thing, as were Benny and Anni-Frid, but both marriages disintegrated as the group became wildly popular. [All info from Wikipedia.]

Waterloo, I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo, promise to love you forevermore
Waterloo, couldn’t escape if I wanted to
Waterloo, knowing my fate is to be with you
Wa-Wa-Wa-Wa-Waterloo
Finally facing my Waterloo

~*~

Image from Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.