Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Heart of the Rebellion by Sian Ann Bessey

The Heart of the Rebellion by Sian Ann Bessey
is an enjoyable medieval romance filled with a mix of historical people as well as fictional characters. Rhys ap Tudor and his brothers are drawn by honor into the Welsh rebellion after Henry IV imposes heavy and unfair taxes upon the Welsh people. Meanwhile, Lady Catrin Buckley feels compassion for the people from whom her mother comes. Despite being the daughter of an English Lord, she is also the daughter of a Welsh woman. And though her mother has died, she still feels a pull toward the land and people. When she meets Rhys ap Tudor, she feels both a kinship with him because of the duty he feels toward liberating the Welsh people, as well as a strong attraction toward Rhys himself. But her father has recently betrothed her to a man she doesn't love. What are Catrin and Rhys to do? This story is an enjoyable, clean romance which I really liked, and which I recommend to readers of historical fiction. The Heart of the Rebellion was published in 2019.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Beyond the Mask- Movie Review

Beyond the Mask produced by the Burns Family Studios is an interesting action movie set during the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. William Reynolds has been a mercenary for the East India Company. But when he is betrayed and double crossed by his boss, he sets out to make a new life for himself. Trying to stay one step ahead of his former boss, he finds his way to America, and in his efforts to clear his name, and win back the trust of his sweetheart Charlotte, he bungles things up. But in his efforts to make his mistake right, he finds the support of Charlotte as well as Benjamin Franklin. Will he be able to undo a plot to blow up Independence Hall? I liked the movie, though it was a bit choppy in places, and some things weren't explained as well as they could have been. Still, it was a clean, uplifting movie with exciting action and a very obvious religious theme of redemption and grace. John Rhys-Davies did a wonderful job as the antagonist, and Andrew Cheney and Kara Killmer did great as the hero and heroine. Beyond the Mask is copyrighted 2015.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Tiny Tim in Dickens' A Christmas Carol

The character Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (which was published in 1843) is one of the minor characters in the story whom Scrooge sees when he and the Ghost of Christmas Present make an invisible visit to the Cratchet family on Christmas Day. Suffering from what was likely renal tubular acidosis, or possibly rickets, Tim is doomed to die unless Scrooge changes his ways, and pays Tim's father better. Both diseases were treatable in Dickens' time, but fatal if they were not treated, which follows the announcement toward the end of the story that because of Scrooge's increasing Bob Cratchet's salary, Tim is able to live. Even though Tim Cratchet is a static character, and doesn't have a character arc, his inclusion in the story is important, and was a smart move on Dickens' part. One big thing Tim's presence does, is to show that Scrooge's change of heart comes not because of fear for his own salvation alone, but also because his changing will save Tiny Tim. This shows Scrooge's change of heart to be more altruistic than readers might think without Tim's inclusion. Also, Tim's predicament, and his family's, illuminated the plight of poor people in Dickens' day, which was a topic that Dickens was mindful of in his stories, educating the readers of his books about the needs of others, which is something I appreciate in A Christmas Carol.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens performed by Patrick Stewart

I love the story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I am especially fond of the audiobook version of A Christmas Carol performed by Sir Patrick Stewart. It is abridged, but I don't mind that. The important stuff is there. Mr. Stewart's voice is, in my opinion, perfect for the performance. I like how he does the voices of the different characters, especially of Scrooge himself.
At the beginning of A Christmas Carol, we meet Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge, who is not a terribly nice man. He doesn't do anything illegal, but he isn't very kind either. To his surprise the night of Christmas Eve, he is visted by his old business partner, Jacob Marley. One small problem is that Jacob Marley has been dead for seven years! And he's got a message for Scrooge: If Scrooge doesn't change his ways, he'll end up like Marley for the rest of eternity. (Bound in chains!) He says that three different spirits will be coming to lead Scrooge on a journey to learn what he needs to learn. What happens next? Read the book, or listen to the audio version and find out! This audiobook version of A Christmas Carol was produced by Simon and Schuster in 2006.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Freaky Friday performed by Duchesne High School

Freaky Friday is the story of a mom and daughter who don't really understand each other very well. But one day, they get the chance to walk in each other's shoes...literally! During an argument, their souls switch bodies, and they have to go through the day experiencing each other's lives! Will they be able to figure each other out? And will they be able to switch back? Watch this fun play, and find out for yourself! The first night was tonight, and the play will be performed tomorrow, December 12, at 7pm (pre-show 6:30 pm) as well as the 14th and 15th, Monday and Tuesday, starting at 7 pm both those nights. Tickets are available for 7 dollars at the door, or 6 dollars online at www.duchesneartscouncil.com! Remember that because of Covid, masks are required!

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Children of the Lamp #1: The Akhenaten Adventure by P.B. Kerr

The delightful first book in the Children of the Lamp series, The Akhenaten Adventure by P.B. Kerr, tells the exciting story of twin brother and sister John and Phillipa who shortly after getting their wisdom teeth out, discover that they are descended from a long line of Djinn! Their mother has given up the life of a Djinn to lead a normal human life, and so her brother, their Uncle Nimrod steps in to teach them what they need to know about their powers. But a band of evil Djinn start causing trouble for the kids and their uncle! Will John, Phillipa and Uncle Nimrod be able to escape the evil Djinn, and tip the balance of power in favor of the good Djinn of the world? Read the book to find out! This book is aimed at middle grade ages, though I believe that anyone young or old who enjoys a good adventure will like this book. Children of the Lamp is copyrighted 2004.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Jesse Sings by Victor Hess

Jesse Sings by Victor Hess is about the struggles a young boy named Jesse goes through in the mid twentieth century. Jesse and his mom escape an abusive father, but encounter new problems as they try to settle into a new life. His mom, a seamstress, struggles to get by and support herself, and Jesse all while being pregnant and suffering from what I suspect is PTSD because of her abusive spouse who gambled and drank. There is also a judgmental pastor who won’t let Jesse and a friend into a Bible camp because the friend doesn’t know who her dad is, and Jesse’s dad is in jail. But there are good people too, and Jesse meets friends and other supportive people. Overall, The story is enjoyable, and I think it would be good for kids and adults alike to get to know Jesse and watch how he faces life and his struggles. Jesse Sings is followed by a companion novel called The Clock Tower Treasure as Jesse goes on another adventure! Jesse Sings was published in 2017.