Charlie Donlea’s The Girl Who Was Taken [Book Review]

“The country was transfixed, not by the girl who was gone, but by the one who made it home.” The Girl Who Was Taken

ABDUCTION, MEDICAL EXAMINER AND A DEAD BODY

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald (both seniors in high school) were kidnapped the same night but only Megan was able to escape her captor two weeks after. We meet up with Megan 14 months later as she has written a book about her ordeal and how she escaped. But we are left wondering what happened to Nicole and is there a connection between the two abductions.

Livia Cutty is Nicole’s sister and a medical examiner. When she receives what seems to be a body of a possible suicide jumper to examine she learns more than she expected. Not only that, this body will lead Livia on the hunt to find her sister with the help of a Megan. Soon, both Livia and Megan will come face to face with the truth neither expected.

THE BIRTH OF THE CHARACTERS

The book was written in a manner that it kept you engaged. No fancy words were used or ambiguity used to where you have to read the sentence or paragraph a few times to understand what’s being said.

The characters were well written to where they didn’t come over done or confusing. I’ve read books in which writers try to give birth to a character and over do it or give too much information about the character that could have been done within the story. Donlea does this perfectly with Nicole, Megan and Livia. Each chapter gives a bit more information about each character while continuing on with the story.

BUILDING A STORY

Donlea knows how to tell a story, that’s for sure. He writes in a manner as if he’s right there telling you the facts of the case. When it comes to crime suspense stories I like them to be smooth yet captivating and Donlea does that, with what seems as no effort. I’ve read books in which it seems the author was putting too much effort into their books that I grew tired of reading their work. A good example of this is Patricia Cornwell. I used to be fan of hers when I read her first three books, but after that, her books seemed forced and not genuine.

MY BIGGEST CONCERN WHICH IS ACTUAL SMALL

When Donlea would speak of the past the chapters were written in italics. I found this quite unnecessary for he’s already told us at the start the chapter was going to be set one month before the abduction or two weeks before the abduction. I hope he leaves the italics out of his next book unless he’s mentioning a title of something or a quote. As mentioned, this was a minor issue I had with the book. And this is mostly a personal preference. This will definitely not stop me from reading his other books and I hope he stays consistent throughout his career.

MY THOUGHTS

I absolutely loved this book. It had me on the edge of my seat from the first page until the very end. Some nights I couldn’t put the book down but sleep won the battle

Courtesy of Nicholas Nash

many a nights. As I was reading I thought of Nicolas Nash’s The Girl At The Bar for it kept you guessing. The only difference between Donlea’s The Girl Who Was Taken and Nash’s book is you had no ideas who was behind the abductions and the further you got into the book the harder the guesses became. With Nash’s book, you had many suspects and the further into the book you got, more and more suspects appeared. In both the reveal had me in shock. Never saw either one coming.

Please get a copy of both books and enjoy the ride.

Summer Lake is the next Donlea book I will be reading in a few weeks. I have two to read and review ahead of Summit Lake.

The Girl Who Was Taken
Author: Charlie Donlea
Pages: 320
Publisher: Kensington (25 Spril 2017
Where to purchase: AmazonBarnes and NobleiBooks
Other books by DonleaSummit Lake 

Charlie is currently working on his next book. Once I get a copy of it I will definitely be doing a review of it and I’m so looking forward to it.

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Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories by Chris Crutcher [Book Review]

THE HIGH SCHOOL YEARS

Now that I’m older, I look back on school years gone by and growing up/coming of age. As with all adults, or most, we think “If only I knew then what I know now.” As youngsters we worried about who liked us and who didn’t like us. I’m not referring to the romantic like. The simplest things in life made us think it will either ruin us for life or make us heroes.

TIME WILL TELL OR HEAL

I wish I could redo a lot of things, one of them being school. Mostly high school. I wasn’t a good student for I hated school. However, it was the best year of my life and the worst. Its funny to think that my only job back then was to go to school and yet I complained, as most kids do. My job today is going to work, paying bills, getting the car fixed, keeping the house up and on and on and on.

YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

This is what draws me to young adult books, especially those by Judy Blume. It allows me to escape from the real world and relive those days of junior high and high school. This is also why I enjoyed reading Robert Cormier books. Of all the Judy Blume books my favorite is Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret (1970). I read the book around 2010 or 2011. Yes, I was well into my adult years by then. But it took me back to Margaret’s school age years.

And this why I enjoyed Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher. High school is the them in these collective short stories and what we deemed important during that time. You don’t have to be a jock to be able to relate to the stories or the people. You just have to have gone to high school.

FROM ANGUS TO JOHNNY TO PETEY TO LIONEL AND OTHERS

Angus is the fat kid in school who has to unconventional families (for that time – 1984) and has been voted Home Coming King. He knows it was done as a joke, but soon the joke is on everyone else. However, the journey Angus and us take to get that point hits home.

Johnny has a father who is very controlling and extremely hard on Johnny. Johnny is waiting for the day he can seek revenge on his father and that day arrives, but will revenge be as sweet as he thinks?

Petey is either you or someone you knew in school. He wants to do what’s right, but has a tug of war with himself on what that is. If he pleases this person, then this might happen. If he please someone else, then that might happen. Petey learns you can’t please everyone and that’s OK. He’s willing to take one for the team…Team Petey.

Lionel lost his parents in a boating accident at age 14. He’s been on his own since then as well. Lionel is struggling with the anger he’s held inside for the one person who caused his parents death. Anger with a mixture of high school and the future ahead of you is bad cocktail. Or is it?

These are some of the stories in the book that will take you back to your younger days and school.

Before each story, Crutcher gives a background on where the stories came from which gives even more life to them.

BUT TELEPHONE MAN..

I was going to complain about the use of the N word in the story titled Telephone Man but realized I would be a big hypocrite if I did so. Why? Well because I’ve written a historical fiction novel (still in the works ) about the concentration camps and my book is filled with degrading words the Nazis (and some Germans) would call Jews. Just be forewarned, the story is filled with the N word and not so nice things regarding Asians and anyone else Telephone Man has been taught to hate.

GROWING OLD BUT STAYING YOUNG

This is why I read YA books, to stay young, relive the old days and laugh at myself on how I thought things back then were so serious. Now-a-days, they are trivial. Hind sight is 20/20 but growing old gives you x-ray vision into the past.

_________________________________

Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories
Author: Chris Crutcher
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (1990); reprinted November 5, 2002
Pages: 208
Available: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks

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Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women [Book Review]

courtesy of Amazon

HOLOCAUST STUDIES

I’ve been studying the Holocaust and learning about concentration camps for quiet a number of years. It started when the news showed ovens at a concentration camp. I believe it was Auschwitz, but I can’t be sure. I also can’t remember why the news was speaking of the ovens. It could have been an anniversary of the Holocaust. What I do remember is since seeing that I began to learn everything I could about, what I feel, is the most tragic thing to happen in history.

SO MUCH TO LEARN SO MANY BOOKS TO READ AND ONE TO WRITE

After reading so much about the Holocaust and realizing that those who lived through it are reaching the age in which death will soon be upon them, I decided to write a book on the subject. It is a historical fiction book and it’s still in the works. I started it in 2003 or thereabouts and I’m still working on it. Not working on it continually. I’ve missed placed it a few times, life happened, miss placed it again when I did find it and life happened even more. I finally decided to put it in a safe place. Now I just need to head back to it and finish the editing.

For my book I had to read a lot of books on the Holocaust. I preferred those written by those who survived or told their story to another than those who did research and wrote their version of events. Of the 50 or so of books I’ve read, I had my three favorites and one film:

Books:
Because of Romek by David Faber
Five Chimmeys by Olga Lengyel
Night By Elie Wiesel

Movie:
Auschwitz: Inside The Nazi State

There have been other movies which made an impact on me such as Schindler’s List (1993) and Holocaust (1978) to name a few. I could make a grocery list of Holocaust movies I’ve seen, but want to focus this post on the book about Ravensbrück.

RAVENSBRÜCK – HISTORY, MYSTERY AND THE WILL TO LIVE

Of all the books I’ve read, this one has become my all time favorite. It not only gives the history of the camp as in whose idea it was (Heinrich Himmler’s), how it was built (by men prisoner’s from other camps) and it’s intentions. It also gives the history of the war, to an extent. The book touched on the treaty Hitler signed with Stalin not to invade Russia and then invaded Russia. It spoke of the ties and promise Hitler made to Hungry not to invade it and do away with the Jews there and then, as with Stalin and Russia, went back on his promise.

The book spoke greatly about the rabbits in the camp. Rabbits were women selected for medical experiments. They had their legs cut open and shared glass inserted to see how long the leg and the prisoner would last. Gas gangrene was also injected for the same reason. Many became deformed or unable to walk after these experiments. They also became the first on the list to be killed once the news of Russians arriving became known because the rabbits knew too much. But a lot of rabbits survived the experiments and the camp and lived to tell their story in this book.

Dorthea Binz

FEMALE GUARDS

The books talks about the evilness of Dorthea Binz, a supervisor at Ravensbrück who took pleasure in beating women to inches of their life or just plain killing them. She would kiss her married boyfriend in front of women who were being beaten by other guards. Her pleasure in life was seeing others suffer…physically.

Johanna Langefeld

Then there was Johanna Langefeld, the first head guard who also took pleasure in punishing women. However, later in the book it speaks of how she tried to help the women, especially the rabbits. She was very much against the medical experiments going on and the systematic killings. When she went against the orders of the camp Commandant she was quickly shipped off to another camp, never to hear from again.

I was on the fence about Langefeld as I was reading about her and still am. However, there’s no denying Binz was just plain evil. The war only allowed her to act on her inner desires of inflicting physical pain on to others.

 

 

THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING —- TO RAPE!

I knew the Russians were the first to liberate the camps, but I wasn’t aware of what they had done themselves. I saw the Russians as heroes, along with the Americans and British until I learned how the Russians raped not only German women, but also raped quite a few of the prisoners they had liberated. They raped prisoners they found hiding in woods or fields as well.

The German women they raped were not prisoners but civilians of the state. The horror the Russian soldiers placed on the women was horrific, especially the prisoners. After all they had gone through, the beatings, tortures, experiments, being held in dark rooms that were cold and wet for weeks, even months without food or bedding, they had to endure the rapes by those they saw as saviors. No longer were the Russian soldiers the face of friendliness but of more acts of horror these women would go through. When they encountered Polish soldiers they too became questionable characters. However, they were nothing like a majority of the Russian soldiers. The Polish soldiers did what the Russians should have, and that’s help the women by giving them food, clothing and ensuring them they are save.

WHAT ABOUT THE SWEDISH?

I would have included the Swedish in the mix of those who helped rescue the prisoners, but reading how they wouldn’t intervene when they knew what was going on in Ravensbrück makes me want to NOT give them any glory. And don’t get me started on the Swedish Red Cross. Those in high power in the Swedish office were in bed with a lot of members of the high Nazi command. Enough said.

AFTER THE FALL COMES THE PAIN AND THOSE WHO DENY IT HAPPENED

What these women went through and still survived the camps (I say camps to include all concentration camps) is amazing to me. I always said some had to survive to tell their story, otherwise, no one would believe it. Even with eye witness accounts there are those who do not believe the Holocaust happened. No one seems to doubt slavery happened or the Japanese were in internment camps, but many can’t believe us human beings can be so vile and evil as the Nazis were. Perhaps, if those who deny the Holocaust accept it really happened will have to accept or acknowledge the possibility, they too, are capable of such atrocities.

TELL ME YOUR STORY

It’s hard to get those who survived to tell their story. There were those in the book who hadn’t told their story in over 40 or 50 years because telling it will admit it really happened. Some believe not talking will make it go away. Not for them, but for the world. Some held on to momentoes of their stay at the camp that belonged to other prisoners that didn’t survive.

I’ve met a camp survivor (Gloria Lyon in 2004) and had a nice afternoon speaking to her and her husband (also a camp survivor). She was in the process of writing her story so she wouldn’t reveal a lot to me. But we spoke about the Holocaust as well as other things that wasn’t Holocaust related.

I found this YouTube interview Gloria Lyon did in 1997 you all might want to see.

FINALLY THOUGHTS

I highly recommend this book to the world, regardless if you are interested or not. Its a hard read for the information comes from those that were there not the author who did research and decided to write a book based on research. The author of Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women, Sarah Helm, also gave her thoughts on testimonies from other testimonies she received. Some contradicted each other, but most were in lined with one another. One thing they all had in common is the suffering they went through. Regardless of how they suffered, they suffered.

This book is also a one stop shop, in my opinion, on the history of the war, the treaties signed and broken and how much Himmler played a role in the extermination not only of the Jews, but of everyone Hitler and Himmler felt needed to go. There was no rhyme or reason to the Nazis logic, which is what I was hoping to find while reading. But the more I read the more the reason the Nazis thought they had, there weren’t any. Sometimes you have to see things through enemy eyes to try to understand…NOT condone, just understand. And yes I know, trying understand what the Nazis did is beyond understanding but I was hoping to see something. Yet, how can you see something that isn’t there and will never be there.

IN HONOR OF THOSE WHO SURVIVED AND THOSE WHO DIDN’T

Hebrew word Zohar, means Remembrance

In honor of those that survived and those that didn’t I got this tattoo. The writing is the Hebrew word Zohar which means Remembrance. I added a red tear drop for those that died in the camps.

____________________________________________________________________

RAVENSBRÜCK: LIFE AND DEATH IN HITLER’S CONCENTRATION CAMP

Author: Sarah Helm
Released: 22 March 2016
Edition: Reprint
Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Pages: 784
Where To Buy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks

 

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Gerald’s Game [Movie Review]

Courtesy Netflix (I think)

THE BOOKS OF STEPHEN KING

i have tried reading some books of Stephen King’s #stephenking and I can’t get through them. They are way too detailed, drawn out and at times pointless. I seriously wonder how he became such a successful novelist as he has.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the man is talented..but only in the idea department. But when it comes to writing out the idea, I’m not impressed.

IF IT WASN’T FOR THE MOVIES…

If it wasn’t for the movies, I wouldn’t know who Stephen King is. I absolutely love the movies made of books from ChristineStand By Me, Misery, Shawshank Redemption, and definitely Carrie. The only movie I didn’t care for is It. 

Now I can add another King novel turned into a movie to my list of likes and that’s Gerald’s Game.

GERALD’S GAME IS JESSE’S GAME

Gerald and Jessie head to a friend’s vacation house in the middle of nowhere to try to save their marriage but adding a little spice to their sex life. But when Gerald dies and Jessie is left handcuffed to the bed, it’s Jesse who needs saving. Not just her life, but her mind and definitely her soul.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE MOVIE

The movie does a great job of setting everything up. I was concerned they were going to spend a lot of time on a sex scene because people think they have to have soft porn in movies to bring in the viewers. Let me tell you, you don’t. There was a time when movies indicated something went on without showing something going on and those movies were successful and are not classics. But I digress.

As mentioned, I thought a lot of time was going show the unnecessary, but it didn’t. It showed enough to set up to provide one of the symbols and I guess you can say, another character in the movie. The handcuffs.

We are introduced to another character in the movie early on which is a stray dog. But what makes the dog an interesting character is he has a collar so he belongs to someone. However, Gerald won’t let Jessie get close enough to the dog to find out who it’s owners are. This is an interesting fact when you know the rest of the movie.

DELUSIONS OR ILLUSIONS

While Jessie is handcuffed to the bed, she begins having conversations with her dead husband as well as herself. There is also an unwelcome guest that shows up here and there and Jessie begins to wonder if this person is part of her delusion as well. We also have the dog that is there throughout the time of Jessie’s delusions or illusions. It depends on how you see it.

Through these incidents we learn a lot about Jessie and that the handcuffs are not only physical torments for her but also a symbols of her past, which she has carried her entire life. This isn’t something I’m thinking up. It was actually mentioned in the movie by herself to herself during one of her illusions. But the handcuffs were not only a symbol, they were also another character in the movie as was the bed and her slip. But the main symbol in the movie was her being stuck in a place in which she can call out for help all she wants, but no one will hear her.

WHERE I HAD AN ISSUE WITH THE MOVIE

Jessie was stuck in the bed for almost two days and not once did she make a bathroom run in the bed. Everyone has to go the bathroom at least once or twice a night, but apparently not Jessie. I know it’s only a movie, but this is something that kinda had me scratching my head. However, I was able to let this go rather quickly because the movie itself was so well written and directed it kept you sitting on the edge of your seat and mind constantly trying to solve this enigma we called Jessie’s life.

IT WOULDN’T BE A STEPHEN KING MOVIE IF…

It wouldn’t be a Stephen King movie it there wasn’t some disturbing gore scene within the movie. Although brief, it will have you squirming and groaning with pain as you’re watching. I personally found this to be a symbol as well. Not the squirming and groaning by the viewer, but what actions Jessie had to take. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

sFINAL THOUGHTS

I absolutely loved this movie. I will be watching it a few more times for I feel I will find something new each time I watch it.

Everyone on this planet should watch the movie. You don’t have to be a Stephen King fan to enjoy the movie. I’m not a fan of his but I love his movie. And as mentioned, this has been added to my favorite King books made into a movie.

GERALD’S GAME
Starring
: Carla Gugino (The Watchmen, Sin City); Bruce Greenwood (Knots LandingI, RobotAmerican Dad)
Written By: Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard (based on the Stephen King novel)
Directed By: Mike Flanagan
Release Date: 29 September 2017
Country: United States
Location: Mobile, Alabama
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoe Rating: 91%
Current Streaming on Netflix

TRIVIA

There are a number of references to previous King novels/movies within this movie:

  • Gerald refers to the stray dog as Cujo
  • Gerald says the line: “all things serve the beam” – Dark Towers reference
  • Jessie describes a woman looking over a well (a dream she had) – this is a reference to Delores Clairborn
  • Jessie describes a man with a bag of bones – Bag of Bones is another Stephen King novel

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FASHIONABLE: DO CLOTHES MAKE THE PERSON?

courtesy of pexels.com

fash·ion·a·ble
ˈfaSH(ə)nəb(ə)l/
adjective
  1. characteristic of, influenced by, or representing a current popular trend or style. (dictionary.com)

FOLLOW THAT CAR – NO WAIT – DON’T FOLLOW THAT CAR

I have never been one to be fashionable. Well I’ve never been one in to fashion. I’ve always liked to wear what I want because it shows my individual style. I feel going with what’s fashionable at the time shows you are a follower instead of a leader. Yes, there are those who can take the latest styles and make it their own, but why not take what you already have and make that your own and be a trend setter instead of a trend follower?

DO CLOTHES MAKES THE PERSON?

I believe to an extent that the clothes make the person. I grew up with a mother who believed strongly in not wearing jeans and always looking presentable, even going to the local store. This mindset was never mind and the more I was forced to wear what she wanted me to, the more I rebelled in some fashion (no pun intended – who am I kidding – the pun was very much intended)

How does clothes make the person? Well when you pants are hanging around your butt tells me you have not sense about you and I’m not referring to style, but a sense of who you are and how people will see you

SAGGING PANTS – PRISON LIFE

First off, a lot don’t know where this style originated so I’m going enlighten you.

Sagging pants originated in the prison system. When an inmate wore he is pants in this manner he was advertising himself to other inmates that he’s either gay or would like some action. Before knowing this when I saw someone with sagging pants I thought them ignorant and had no self respect for themselves. But once I learned the origin of sagging pants I now look not only with disgust because of their displayed ignorance (they look stupid) but also because they are so unaware of what they are advertising.

Saggy pants is not fashionable nor a fashion statement. You are not showing individualism or going against the status quo. You are looking stupid like your mom never taught you how to dress.

DRESS TO IMPRESS – ERRR, NO!

I have never been the one to dress to impress. I love my jeans and Jach’s Girlfriend shirts. My jeans are not sagging, but they are loose fitting because I like my jeans like that. I’m not trying to make a statement when I dress in this manner. When I go on interviews, I wear either cargo pants or khaki’s because I can’t stand to get dressed up. I think this goes back to my childhood of always having to dress up. I feel I will make the impression, not my clothes for I will be doing the work, not my clothes. This is why I’ve always gone after jobs that didn’t require me to dress up. This is also why I choose IT.

I’ve seen people in suits (men or women) and be mean people. Then there are those in jeans and a t-shirt (men and women) and are the nicest people you’ll meet. And then there’s the vise versa I’ve run into.

FASHIONABLE, FASHION STATEMENT OR JUST BE YOU

As mentioned, I don’t take too much stock in what someone is wearing, as long as your pants are not sagging around you butt and you clothes fit you properly. When you are dressed like you have some sense about you that’s all that should matter. Wear what you feel. Don’t worry about the latest trends for those trends will be gone soon and you’ll have to start over. Take what you have and make it your own. Become your own fashion statement. Set the trend don’t become part of the trend.

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Book Reviewer Seeking Books

BOOK REVIEWER SEEKING BOOKS

I’ve always enjoyed reading but now I want to share my thoughts on the books I read. I am looking for true crime and crime suspense books to read and review. I also enjoy #psychological thriller books.

You can email me via the Contact page.
Twitter: @bloggernikki
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theopinionatedmuse

Thank you for your time.

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Her Infidelity [Lifetime Movie Review]

LIFETIME MOVIES

As someone who enjoy Lifetime TV movies and LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) movies I’m always seeking movies I haven’t seen before. There was a time I had seen all the movies on either Lifetime channels. However, with us getting rid of DVR and me watching Saturday Night Football (college) I missed a lot of the movies. And working full time does not allot a lot of time for movie watching during the day.

BAD ACTING, BAD WRITING AND SOMETIMES CHEESY

Lifetime movies are not known for their great acting nor great writing and at times cheesy, but I have to admit they are good, if you can get past the fore mentioned.

PREMISE SOUNDS GOOD

This is how I select my Lifetime movies, by the premise. Well, this is how we select all our movies, isn’t it. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. And this time it didn’t at all.

The premise of Her Infidelity is this: A woman feeling down about her marriage has a one-night stand with her son’s teacher. Sounds simple right? Of course it does. And since it said “her son’s teacher” I was thinking teen age son. But noooooooooo. The son is in grade school so the teacher is probably in his late 20’s, right? Well the mother looks like she’s in her 40’s. Yeah, she looked old. There are people that look great at that age, so I’m not knocking the age at all. I shouldn’t since I’m so old I can tell you about Noah’s Ark from personal experience. But I digress.

WHAT WENT WRONG?

Besides everything? The connection/chemistry between the wife and husband was off not to mention the acting between the two was just horrid. The son’s acting was even worse. He sounded like he was reading his lines instead of speaking them. The only good acting was from the psychopath teacher and that’s from facial expressions to his actual acting. The best friend in the movie was one of those you were hoping the psychopath would kill so there would be one less torturous character to have to deal with.

CHANGE THE CHANNEL IF IT’S THAT BAD

Yeah, I could change the channel but as mentioned these movies are good if get past everything I just mentioned. But sometimes the movie is just so bad that even the premise starts to seem like a bad idea.

WHO WRITES THIS STUFF

I always wonder who writes these horrible movies and why Lifetime picks them up. I wonder how many stations have the writers pitched their ideas to before they went to Lifetime? I’m starting to think that Lifetime is the starting point for most writers, producers and actors/actresses. I know it may sound like I’m bashing Lifetime movies, but I’m really not. I’m just bashing this one. For the most part, Lifetime (both channels) have some really good movies despite the bad acting. Unwanted Guest is a prime example of this.

UNWANTED GUEST

Premise: When Amy has nowhere to go for winter break, her friend Christine insists she come stay with her family. What begins as a dream situation turns into a nightmare when Amy starts to obsess and wreak havoc on her welcoming hosts (imbd.com).

Here’s another movie with a good premise that I thought would find worth watching and it was. Again, the only good acting was done by Amy. The mother was pretty descent as was the father, but the daughter, Christine, was just awful. However, the writing and directing was well done that you overlooked a lot. If you can find this movie, it’s worth the watch.

THE THINGS YOU LEARN

While researching this movie I learned that the mother was played by Rachel Hunter. If that names sounds familiar it’s because she used to be married to Rod Stewart. But that doesn’t give her the right to think she can act, does it? See, now I’m being hard on the woman. She did her best with what she was given, both script wise and directing wise.

OVER ALL

I disliked the movie. The potential was definitely there, especially given the premise. As with all Lifetime movies (both channels) it had a happy ending. This is the cheesy part of these movies, but sometimes they are done well and sometimes they are done so cheesy you quickly grab the remote and change the channel to anything.

__________________________________________

HER INFIDELITY

Country: CANADA
Language: English
Release Date: 22 April 2015 (Canada)
Also Known As: Infedele
Stars: Rachel Hunter (the mother), Clayton Chitty (the teacher) and Lane Edwards (the husband)
Written By: Alan Donahue and Christine Will
Directed By: Christine Will

Even the trailer looks inviting:

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OVER MY SHOULDER [Book Review]

COURTESY OF PATRICIA DIXON

FREYA MEETS KANE

Freya, an early 20 something female, has a good job with a good company. She also is in a relationship with Ronnie of about two years. Then she meets dashing Kane at her job when he is there to deliver her boss’s car to him.

Not only is Kane dashing, but he’s polite, well spoken and a once in a lifetime catch. And he has eyes of Freya.

THE START OF SOMETHING HORRIBLE

Kane knows how to play the game of manipulation and he plays it well. When the relationship starts, Kane takes Freya to the best restaurants to eat. Drives her in an expensive cars and showers her with gifts. He takes her to his apartment and treats her like she’s never been treated before.

Freya is taken in by Kane. So much so she breaks it off with her boyfriend, Ronnie.

It’s not long before Kane’s true colors start come out but Freya refuses to listen to his rages and her friend Lydia’s instincts about Kane. But it’s not only Lydia that has some concerns, Freya’s mother has some big concerns of her own. However, neither Lydia’s warnings nor Freya’s mother’s warnings has an impact on Freya. All she sees is dashing Kane who has money and can give her the life she always wanted.

TOO LATE TO TURN BACK

It’s not until Freya is so deep into the relationship and has provided herself with countless excuses on why Kane behaves the way he does, that she realizes she’s being held captive by an invisible wall called domestic abuse.

Kane not only becomes verbally and emotionally abusive towards Freya by disliking how she dresses or the things she eats (she was a conscious eater before meeting Kane), but it soon turns to physical abuse. Seemingly innocent evenings of watching a movie on TV and a slight comment from Freya can turn Kane into a raging maniac who sees Freya as a punching bag instead of his girlfriend.

IGNORING THE SIGNS

Freya had seen signs early on but choose to ignore them. Was it out of desperation because she found the man of her dreams and was she afraid to let him go? Was it because she was enjoying the life he could provide her? Or was she, as mentioned earlier, too far in to leave?

INVISIBLE WALLS

Invisible walls are hard to break down. You know it is there but you can’t see it. When Freya has to choose between her life (the spoils of being with Kane as well as the fear of leaving Kane) and her life (sanity, family and friends), which will she choose? Or is she too far in she can’t get out?

MY THOUGHTS

I had trouble reading this book for two reasons: 1. The abuse was all to real. No, not to me on a personal level, just on a level that this really happens. And 2. Freya is an intelligent woman and her staying with Kane had me calling her an idiot through out the book. Freya was even calling her self an idiot for staying with Kane.

I have the pleasure of calling Patricia Dixon my friend and have had the pleasure of speaking with her. From out conversations I learned why the story seemed so real; because it is real. What Freya is going through is loosely based on the author’s experience and the ordeal didn’t end not so long ago for the author. Everything is still fresh with Ms. Dixon. I know time heals all, but some time it will always been like a fresh wound no matter how much time has passed.

OVER MY SHOULDER
AUTHOR:
Patricia Dixon
RELEASE DATE:
19 May 2017
LENGTH: 
454 pages
PUBLISHER:
Highfield Press
AVAILABLE: AMAZONBARNES AND NOBLE

Author’s Facebook page: Patricia Dixon

 

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Berlin Syndrome [Movie Review]

FROM BERLIN SYNDROME TO CONFINEMENT

Clare (Teresa Palmer), an architect photography is traveling through Eastern Europe to take photos of building when she meets Andi (Max Riemelt) in Berlin, who is a native Berliner and a professor at Uni (a university). They immediately hit it off. Clare ends up having a one night stand with Andi at his apartment. When she awakes the next morning she finds Andi has left (for work) and the door boarded with no way out. Clare doesn’t think much about it but still tries to find a way out. But it doesn’t take Clare long to realize she’s gotten her self in quite a fix. She also learns later in the movie that she’s not the only one Andi has done this too.

LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT

As Clare spends her days locked in Andi’s apartment she finds more disturbing things about Andi and the things he has done to other women. Each day becomes a desperation to get out. The closer Clare gets to escaping the more obstacles she runs into and the more controlling Andi gets.

FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS

This is a hard movie to watch for it makes you feel Clare’s pain, anguish and desperation. You want to fly to Berlin, if you’re not there already, and try to save her.

What makes this even more disturbing is this sort of thing happens every day. The most infamous one is The Cleveland Kidnappings in which Ariel Castro held three women (Michell Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus) prisoner in his home for 10 years, from 2002 to 2013. Because of Castro’s demeanor when in public no one suspected a thing from him, as with Andi in the movie. Yes, Andi is a bit strange, but people have come to accept him as such. But he’s also a likable guy

Palmer and Riemelt make the movie even more hard to watch due to excellent acting by both.

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

Some dubbed what Clare had with Andi the Stockholm Syndrome.

Feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor (Google)

I disagree with this analogy. I felt Clare did what she needed to do to keep her sanity to continue to gain and keep his trust, even in times of when he caught her trying to escape. When someone puts you in a situation in which your freedom is taken away, there’s no way you could fall in love or have affection for that person. What you end up having is survival instincts and if making your captor think you trust them and having feelings for them is the way to go, then you do it.

FOREIGN FILMS

This is one of the reasons why I love foreign films, the acting. Palmer and Riemelt were excellent, as I’ve mentioned. But there were actors I’ve never heard of. Not knowing the players won’t have me comparing them to other roles I’ve seen them. However, because of movies such as this, I am inclined to watch other movies Palmer and Riemelt were in.

Foreign films don’t seem as restricted as American films seem to be, unless you’re an indie filmmaker. But even indie filmmakers don’t hold a candle to foreign films for me. As mentioned, the acting does it for me. But also learning of other countries is another reason I enjoy foreign films. Learning of different cultures and traveling the world without leaving the comfort of my living room is great. On the same note, these movies make me want to actual visit the countries they are filmed in.

BERLIN SYNDROME

Release Date: 26 May 2017
Country: Australia
Languages: English, German and Russian
Run Time: 116 minutes
Stars: Teresa Palmer as Clare and Max Riemelt as Andi
Directed by: Cate Shorland
Written by: Shawn Grant (screenplay)
Based on the novel of the same name by: Melanie Joosten
I heard the novel was just as hard to read. It’s been said that both the novel and movie were          great; neither was better than the other, which is rare when it comes to book to movie adaption
Currently streaming: Netflix

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A Temp Job To The Gas Chamber Decoded

Please read From Temp Work To The Gas Chamber before reading this post (if you haven’t already)  for it will make more sense.

I HAVE DREAMS, DREAMS TO REMEMBER

I believe strongly in dreams and meanings they hold. When I have a specific dream, such as the one told in the previous post, I try to remember as much as I can, but mostly the symbol in the dream. Most the time, the symbol without the “what was happening at the time” don’t do much for understanding the dream. But sometimes symbols without the why or where can explain a lot.

Not very often can I write down my dream in such a manner in which a story is being told. Most of the time, I remember fragments of the dream and try to piece together the meaning from what I remember. However, with this one, it was detailed and I was afforded an opportunity to write down every detail. I looked up the meaning of the blue dress, but it did not fit into my situation at the present time, therefore, I have omitted from this post. All other aspects of the dream will be mentioned here.

BACKSTORY FOR THE FRONT STORY

There’s a funny line in The Lion King in which Timon says,


via Giphy

But we all know that Pumba gets it mixed up and says, “put your past in your behind“. I actually like this one better. Anyloo. Last year I left a good company. The job was umph, but the company was a good company to work for and stay at. I left because I felt the position wasn’t going anywhere, especially with the change that took place in my department. I have tried to put this past in my behind, but it seems to haunt me everyday. Everyday I fail at getting a certain job, I’m reminded of how I should have stayed and toughed it out.

It’s been over a year (I left the company in May 2016) and I’m still haunted by my decision. Now I’m at another work decision making crossroad and I believe this where the dream came from.

SYMBOLISM AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I visit www.dreammoods.com quite often to decipher my dreams. It’s been pretty accurate in the six years I’ve visited the site to clarification on my dreams. The symbols and meanings written here come straight from the site. Most have been edited for a lot of the interpretation does not apply to my situation at the time, but as a whole, they give a clear picture of my inner struggle. What I write in italics are my thoughts on the dream’s symbols.

Job

To dream that you are looking for a job suggests that you are feeling unfulfilled and frustrated in a current phase of your life.

If you are currently unemployed, but dream that you have a job, then the dream may be one of encouragement of your job outlook. You need to remain motivated and don’t give up.

This one is interesting. Let’s take the first part. Yes, I am unfulfilled, but mostly with my current job. I should never have taken it, but what was told to me was not what was presented. What I applied for is not what I’m doing. I took a job many years ago in which it was a bait and switch job. I’ve fallen for the trap again. I’m starting to feel like I can’t get out. But the second part of the interpretation gives me hope. I do have to keep going. 

Post Office

To dream that you are in a post office signifies an important message from your subconscious or inner wisdom. It may relate to your need to reach out and communicate with others.

I’m not in a post office in my dream, but the next assignment is working in a post office. I still found this interpretation significant. I’m not one to reach out. I bottle things up, play the game and hope for the best. My current situation at work and the job has had me lose a lot of myself. I feel I’m getting dumber by the day. I’m in a role that is not for me and I should have never taken just because it was the only one presented to me. Sometimes when you’re looking for a way out, you walk blindly into a trap that, if you had your eyes open, you would seen it for what it was. Not only is love blind, but desperation is equally blind.

Time

To dream about time indicates your fears of not being able to cope with the pressures and stresses of everyday life. If time is flying or moving slowly, then it is analogous to aging and growing old.

This couldn’t be more truer than it is at this moment. And when I saw moment, I do mean this moment, as I’m typing and thinking. I feel like my life is wasting away. This all goes back to the bad decision I made last year. I know I should let it go, but that decision has caused nothing by a domino affect since.

To dream that you do not have enough time signifies stress, anxiety and fear. You may feel that time is running out in a business or personal matter.

This applies to both business (work) and personal.

Coat

To see or wear a coat in your dream symbolizes your protectiveness and defensive persona. You may be isolating yourself.

The coast was tweed/wool in my dream. These are two very strong materials.

To dream that a coat is old, worn, or shabby suggests that you are feeling down on yourself

Again, we go back to this applying to both work and personal. I bolded old due to the coast being from the 1950’s but it was in great shape. So it could that although I’m feeling down on myself, I’m still strong (tweed / wool).

Children

To see children in your dream signify an aspect of yourself and your childlike qualities. You may be retreating back to a childlike state and longing for the past. You are trying to still satisfy repressed desires and unfulfilled hopes. Perhaps there is something that you need to see grow and nurture. Take some time off and cater to the inner child within. Alternatively, the dream may be highlighting your innocence, purity, simplicity, and carefree attitude.

The older I get the more I do think about my childhood and how the decisions I’ve made many, many years ago could possibly be the reason I’m where I’m at now. I’ve never been good at making decisions for I leap blindly. I magnify the good in something without doing the same for the bad. Because I have realized this aspect of myself, now I spend too much time thinking about something. Over thinking to the point, I begin to see the good in what’s bad and the bad in what’s good. Oy vey!

Queen

To see a queen in your dream symbolizes intuition, personal growth, power and influence.

King

To see a king in your dream indicates that success and prestige are within reach. You will rise above your problems and adversities. The king is symbolic of power and control.

Since both were killed in my dream, this means everything I thought I had has died. I no longer hold what the king and queen represent in a dream in my waking life and soul. 

The king dying represents what I am feeling: a lost soul. Somewhere along the way, because of my bad decisions, I feel like I’m stuck walking in a circle and just when I see a way out, that door leads right back to the circle. 

Death

To dream of death, represents what I just said above regarding the king and queen and what they hold being dead or dying inside of me:

To see someone dying in your dream signifies that your feelings for that person are dead or that a significant change/loss is occurring in your relationship with that person.

I believe the person is me. I’ve lost me and I need to find me. This is one reason I stopped doing podcasts. Although I enjoyed doing them, they weren’t me. Writing is me. Expressing myself, as I am here, through written words is me. My goal is to get paid to write.

Game Show

To dream that you are on a game show suggests that you need to change some aspect of your life around. You may be experiencing feelings of uncertainty and what the future may hold. Consider the type of game show or the name of the game show. What are you playing for and what is its significance relative to your waking life

Regarding the game show; it was someone determining what happens to me, even if that person was a child. I need to stop letting others make decisions for me and I make my own. I need to make decisions for great good. I need to look at the long term goal instead of the short term stability.

Gas Chamber

To dream that you or someone is in the gas chamber suggests that you need to get rid of something in your life that is causing you much sickness, distress, or negativity. It is even harmful to your well-being.

There isn’t anything more I could add to this that I haven’t already said. This is so self explanatory, it might as well drop the mic and walk away.

 

via GIPHY

THE END RESULT

This dream has spoken to me like no other. I think the fact that I was able to remember so much signifies a great deal right there. The different symbols within the dream is basically telling me  to stop feeling sorry for myself, I have to put my past in my behind and decisions I’ve made in the past (even a year ago) don’t defy me today or tomorrow. I need to learn from them and move on. I need to take bigger risks and stop playing it safe so much. I may be older, but I’m not out. As long as I can get up in the mornings I have a chance at making things better for myself.

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