Thursday, December 18, 2014

Moriarty - Anthony Horowitz

Well, mystery buffs, fiction fans and television lovers will all recognize this name - Professor Moriarty - the arch nemesis of Sherlock Holmes.

Anthony Horowitz's new book, Moriarty, takes place mere days after the final confrontation of Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls that resulted in both men's deaths.

Pinkerton Detective Frederick Chase arrives from the US. He is tracking an American criminal kingpin who was to join forces with Moriarty. Could there be a clue left on the body pulled from the bottom of the falls? Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones (who appeared in Doyle's story The Sign of Four) is also at the falls to view the body pulled from the bottom. Jones is a devoted fan of Holmes' methods and escapades. The two join forces to hunt down the kingpin. Chase is the narrator of Moriarty

I had read Horowitz's book The House of Silk (a Sherlock Holmes mystery - my review) and knew I would love this novel as well. The tone, the language and the settings all capture the feel of Doyle's writing style. But Horowitz does not try to mimic or copy the originals. He does put his own stamp on the book. Doyle's estate has approved Horowitz to write these novels.

I felt a delicious frisson of anticipation as the phrase "The game is afoot" was uttered. The clues are there, the deductions are made and twining together of the threads begins as the mystery is slowly pieced together, then the action starts to ramp up as the pair get closer and closer to their quarry and....

....and the final few chapters were fantastic. I had a small little voice saying...'maybe' I read, but Horowitz still caught me unawares. And then I had to go back and read the beginning again! Absolutely loved it! Moriarty is definitely recommended. (And I'm really hoping there's another book in the works.)  Read an excerpt of Moriarty.

"Anthony Horowitz is the author of the international bestseller The House of Silk and the New York Times number one bestselling Alex Rider series for Young Adults. As a television screenwriter he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle’s War, both of which were featured on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery. He regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, and in January 2014 was awarded an OBE for his services to literature. He lives in London." You can keep up with Anthony Horowitz on Twitter.

See what others on the TLC book tour thought. Full schedule can be found here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Giveaway - Deep Secret - Diana Wynne Jones

Tor Books has just released a new edition of the  classic adult fantasy novel, Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones. Wynne Jones was a winner of many awards, including the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.

"From the publisher:

"The Magids, powerful magicians, are at work to maintain the balance between positive and negative magic, for the good of all in the multiverse. Rupert Venables is the Magid assigned to Earth and to the troublesome planets of the Koyrfonic Empire. While helping with the transition after the death of the Koyrfonic Emperor, Rupert is also in desperate search of a junior Magid. Rupert attends a SF convention in England to meet the prospective Magids, but he discovers that other forces, some of them completely out of control, are there too...." 

"A clever, funny fantasy with appeal for both adult and YA audiences, this is the perfect gift for life-long fans or fantasy readers who have yet to discover the enchanting Diana Wynne Jones." Read an excerpt of Deep Secret.

Sound like a book you'd enjoy? Simply leave a comment to be entered. One randomly chosen winner will receive a copy of the newly released paperback edition of A Deep Secret. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please. Ends Jan 3/15. One entry per person please. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Giveaway - The Good Lie Blu-ray DVD starring Reese Witherspoon!

I've got an amazing giveaway for you today! The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon, releases on DVD/Blu-ray on December 23/14. This is an absolutely perfect film for this time of the year -  heartwarming and uplifting. And one lucky, randomly chosen reader will receive a copy of this amazing, inspiring, TRUE story, courtesy of Warner Brothers Home Entertainment.

"They were known simply as “The Lost Boys.”

Orphaned by the brutal civil war in Sudan, which began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3,600 lost boys, as well as girls, to America.

Mamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan. When an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents, eldest son Theo is forced to assume the role of Chief and lead a group of young survivors, including his sister Abital, away from harm. But the hostile, treacherous terrain has other dangers in store for them. As the tattered group makes the difficult trek to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, they meet other fleeing children, forging a bond with Jeremiah, who, at 13, is already a man of faith, and Paul, whose skills become essential to their survival.

Thirteen years later, the now young adults are given the opportunity to leave the camp and resettle in America. Upon arriving in Kansas, they are met by Carrie Davis (Reese Witherspoon), an employment agency counselor who has been enlisted to help find them jobs—no easy task, when things like light switches and telephones are brand new to them.

Although Carrie has successfully kept herself from any emotional entanglements, these refugees, who desperately require help navigating the 21st century and rebuilding their shattered lives, need just that. So Carrie embarks on her own uncharted territory, enlisting the help of her boss, Jack (Corey Stoll). " See what others are saying on the Good Lie Facebook page.

I can't wait to watch this movie - watch for my review! And if you too would like to own and watch The Good Lie, simply leave a comment. One lucky reader will be randomly chosen on Dec. 28/14. This is an international story - and so is the giveaway! One entry per person please. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Giveaway - Angels Sing - DVD AND Book!

Do I have the perfect holiday giveaway for you today!!

I adore Christmas movies. (Feel good movies at this time of the year are the best!) I'm really looking forward to sitting by my tree to watch Angels Sing!

"Harry Connick, Jr. stars as Michael Walker, who, as a child, wished every day was Christmas. That is, until a tragic accident crushed his holiday spirit. Thirty years later, Michael still can’t muster any joy for Christmas, despite encouragement from his playful wife (Connie Britton) and well intentioned parents (Kris Kristofferson and Fionnula Flanagan). But when his young son (Chandler Canterbury) faces a tragedy, Michael needs to make amends with his past. A mysterious man named Nick (Willie Nelson) gives Michael a gift that instills in him the courage to find the Christmas joy that he lost." Perfect holiday viewing! Watch for my review!

Angels Sing is based on the book, When Angels Sing, by Turk Pipkin.

"Writer and actor Turk Pipkin has had a career like no other. A former stand-up comedian who gave Read an excerpt of When Angels Sing.
up performing after a long run on the road with Rodney Dangerfield and many others, he's since published eight books, including two well-received novels, and written a hundred hours of primetime television. He's also traveled around the world for thirty years, writing as he journeyed for a dozen national magazines. In his latest incarnation, Turk can be seen as a recurring character in the third season of HBO's hit series, "The Sopranos."

Here's a quick Q and A with Turk Pipkin! 

 1. You're a man who has worn many hats - author, actor, comedian, director and activist. And you've met many people in those roles. Who has left their mark on you or impacted your life the most?

---I owe so much to so many, it's hard to choose who's influenced me the most. It's hard to top Desmond Tutu telling me, "The sea is made of drops of water. What you do, where you are, is of significance." Even so, I think Willie Nelson has taught me more than anyone else - in how to respect family, friends and those in need, in being open every day to the possibilities of Love, and in how to make conscious decisions in the way you live your life. In One Peace at a Time, a feature documentary I directed for The Nobelity Project, Willie told me, "The answer is there if you look for it. You know what to do. Right and wrong is not that hard. It’s what you choose to do."

 2. Angels Sing is a great movies for families to watch at Christmas. What do you love most about Christmas?

---The thing I like most about Christmas is probably the same as almost everyone else - the way it brings families together; the way it ties them together across generations. That's the core message contained in Angels Sing, and also in my novel that it's based on, When Angels Sing.

 3. How can readers support the Nobelity Project?

---The Nobelity Project has made three feature films and fifty short films about global problems and solutions. These are hopeful films about a better way, and I love it when new people find them at, on our youtube channel, or any other way. We often have specific fundraising projects for a particular school in Kenya, for tree-planting in the States or for our library and bookmobile project in Honduras, but the engagement almost always comes through our films and photos. So a great place to start is to join the mailing list and like us on Facebook.

 4. What's next for Turk Pipkin?

---We built 50 classrooms, libraries and water projects in Kenya last year. We'll do more this year and that works keeps me fairly busy with community engagement, contracting the construction work and reporting on it all. Outside of the Nobelity Project, I'm still writing books and screenplays, doing my best to tell stories that I love, and that I think will have some meaning and some entertainment factor. It's nice when you end up with a movie with Willie Nelson, Connie Britton and Harry Connick, Jr., but you have to remember, it all starts with the story.

Sound like a DVD and book you'd like to enjoy?! Simply leave a comment to be entered. One randomly chosen winner will win a copy of the DVD and book! Open to US and Canada, one entry per person. Ends Dec 21/14.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Giveaway - Moth and Spark - Anne Leonard

Anne Leonard's debut novel, Moth and Spark, releases in paperback on December - and I have a copy to giveaway to a randomly chosen winner!

What's it about?  From the publisher, Penguin Books:

"A prince with a quest, a beautiful commoner with mysterious powers, and dragons who demand to be freed—at any cost.

Filled with the potent mix of the supernatural and romance that made A Discovery of Witches a runaway success, Moth and Spark introduces readers to a vibrant world—and a love story they won’t soon forget.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the power Mycenean Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in Caithenor that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming. Torn between his quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, Tam and Corin must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off." Read an excerpt of Moth and Spark. The author has also put together a great book club kit.

credit Judith Love Pietromartire
"Leonard began MOTH AND SPARK while attending the University of California-Hastings College of Law (where she graduated cum laude) eking out a few hours on weekends or a half hour on the bus, or wherever she had the chance. After 3 years, she had a draft, but ultimately decided to practice law first.  At last readers will be introduced to the deadly harsh steppe lands of Sarian, to the white-barked tree-lined streets of Caithenor.  Every last element of Leonard’s lush, extraordinary world carries the heft of cinematic detail with pitch-perfect vision." You can find Anne Leonard on her website and on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Sound like a book you'd like to read? Well, I have one copy of Moth and Spark to giveaway to a randomly chosen winner. Simply leave a comment to be entered. Open to US only, no PO boxes please. One entry per person please. Ends Dec. 28/14.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover #34

- You can't judge a book by its cover - which is very true. 
 But you can like one cover version better than another...

US/Canadian cover
UK cover
I was hunting down cover art for my upcoming review of Anthony Horowitz's new book - Moriarty and came across the Canadian/US cover on the left and the UK cover on the right. I'm torn this week! Both covers address how Holmes died at Reichenbach Falls with water on the cover. (That's two men plunging down a waterfall in the US cover.) The US cover has a period feel to it with the curlicues in the corners. But I like the font and colour of the UK cover.  Which cover do you prefer? 
Do you plan to or have you read Moriarty?
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular Saturday feature on A Bookworm's World.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Maze Runner - "Survive the Night"

Fox Home Entertainment releases The Maze Runner on Dec 16th. While you wait for the 16th to roll around, check out Survive the Night on Snapchat Saturday Dec 13......

"THE MAZE RUNNER - “Survive the Night" They say no one survives a night in the Maze. Starting at sundown, two Snapchat influencers will try to master the challenges beamed in from WCKD HQ. Only the fans will decide who comes out as the true winner. 

In anticipation of the Blu-ray/DVD release of The Maze Runner Movie, FOX is partnering with Snapchat influencers for an overnight activation, beginning at dusk on Saturday the 13th and ending at dawn on Sunday the 14th.

Called "Survive the Night," the activation will have Snapchat influencers competing in Maze Runner-inspired Snap challenges on the hour, every hour from dusk until dawn. Challenges posed by the Maze Runner handle on Snapchat will trigger the influencers to post their own original responses. Fans are then invited to vote for their favorite influencer each round via Twitter using the #SurviveTheNight hashtag. The influencer with the most votes will have exclusive MazeRunner intel to give their fans in return at the close of the activation.

Participating influencers are Amymarie Gaertner (Snapchat handle: xoxoamymarie) and Kenny Holland (Snapchat handle: kennyholland)."

Film on Friday #27 - Lines of Wellington

Today's film on Friday feature is Lines of Wellington from director Valeria Sarmiento. As with all Film Movement features, it has been an official selection of numerous film festivals.

This historical film is set in the time of the Napoleonic Wars. The lines are Wellington's fortifications, built over 18 months to turn back the invading French.  The film is told through the eyes of numerous characters - a British major, a Portuguese sergeant, and some of those following the war - a prostitute, a mute beggar, a travelling merchant, a wealthy pair of siblings and more.

We are treated to vignettes, both past and present as Sarmiento explores war and its effects on all classes. I became caught up in many of the stories, particularly that of the mute beggar and the Portuguese sergeant. Some of them seemed awkward though, and not to belong - such as the sister of the siblings and her sexual appetites.

I didn't know much about this time period and actually learned quite a bit.

Although John Malkovitch has been given front and centre on the cover, he is really only onscreen for a small amount of time - part of that is reciting the recipe for Beef Wellington. I found it very hard to take him seriously. The other actors, none of whom I knew, were really good. As was the setting and the extras. (although their clothing seemed a little too clean for being on the road)

The film is 150 minutes long, and I ended up watching in two sittings. And honestly, my attention was starting to wander a bit. I enjoyed Lines of Wellington, but not as much as other viewers.  As always, there is a bonus short film included. Two Laps was quite funny - a story of two older gentleman and their annual swimming match.

France and Portugal/2012/Portuguese, English and French with English subtitles/151 minutes.