Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 2015 Releases On My Radar

March 3, 2015
* Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Add it to Goodreads)
* Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz (Add it to Goodreads)
* Dead to Me by Mary McCoy (Add it to Goodreads)
* Storm Volume 1: Make it Rain by Victor Ibanez, Matteo Buffagni, & Greg Pak (Add it to Goodreads)
* Terminal by Brendan Reichs & Kathy Reichs (Add it to Goodreads)

* Outlander: Season One - Volume One
* Adventure Time: Frost & Fire (Volume 9)

Movies on Blu-ray/DVD
* Foxcatcher

March 6, 2015
Movies on Blu-ray/DVD
Mockingjay Part 1

Movies in Theaters
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
These Final Hours (Limited)
Faults (Limited)
Merchants of Doubt (Limited)

March 10, 2015
* Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver (Add it to Goodreads)
* Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano (Add it to Goodreads)
* The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows (Add it to Goodreads)
* Tether by Anna Jarzab (Add it to Goodreads)

* Legend of Korra: Book Four: Balance
* The Red Tent The Complete Mini Series

Movies on Blu-ray/DVD
* Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
* The Sound of Music The 50th Anniversary 5-disc Ultimate Collector's Edition

March 13, 2015
Movies in Theaters
Run All Night
The Cobbler (Limited)

March 17, 2015
* The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne (Add it to Goodreads)
* Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee (Add it to Goodreads)
* Duplicity by N.K. Traver (Add it to Goodreads)
* Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay (Add it to Goodreads)
* Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan (Add it to Goodreads)

* Ghost Whisperer: The Complete Series

Movies on Blu-ray/DVD
* Top Five

March 20, 2015
Movies in Theaters

March 24, 2015
* Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed (Add it to Goodreads)
* The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (Add it to Goodreads)
* Catalyst by Lydia Kang (Add it to Goodreads)
* Half Wild by Sally Green (Add it to Goodreads)
* We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (Add it to Goodreads)
* Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes (Add it to Goodreads)
* Guardians by Laurence Klavan & Susan Kim (Add it to Goodreads)

* VEEP: The Complete Third Season

Movies on Blu-ray/DVD
* Into the Woods
* Unbroken
* The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
* The Hobbit Trilogy

March 27, 2015
Movies in Theaters
Get Hard
While We're Young (Limited)

March 31, 2015
* King by Ellen Oh (Add it to Goodreads)
* The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer (Add it to Goodreads)
* Etherworld by Cheryl Klam & Claudia Gabel (Add it to Goodreads)
* Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein (Add it to Goodreads)
* Fables Vol. 22 by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham (Add it to Goodreads)

Movies on Blu-ray/DVD
* Interstellar
* Wild
* The Imitation Game

What new releases are you anticipating this month?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Melody’s February 2015 Wrap Up

Currently Binge Watching: Portlandia

How was your February? My month was exhausting! Lots of work and a bit of traveling. I'm also halfway through my literary internship as well which I am absolutely loving. With all of that going on, I didn't read nearly as much as I wanted to but I'm determined to put the Madness in March and read my butt off. Who's in? Okay, let's get to the roundup!

Book Reviews
Note: The We Need Diverse Books pledge continues! I've been busy this month so I'm off by one but will make up for it next month! You're welcome to join in and take the pledge if you haven't yet!

*** Extraction by Stephanie Diaz
* The Future Collection by Beth Revis
*** The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
* 85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards by Robert Osborne

Book/E-book Haul
* The Future Collection by Beth Revis
* On the Fence by Kasie West
* Betrayed: An Altered Saga Novella by Jennifer Rush
* Played: An Altered Saga Novella by Jennifer Rush
* The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
* Duplicity by N.K. Traver
* The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
* Fairest by Marissa Meyer
* The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Blu-ray, DVD, & TV Reviews
* TV: The Last Man on Earth (Fox) Series Premiere
* TV: Face Off Episodes 8.04, 8.05, 8.06, and 8.07
* TV Week in Review #20, #21, #22, #23
* Blu-ray: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

February Notes
* Hollywood the Write Way turned 7 years old!
* I saw Britney Spears in Las Vegas for my birthday!
* What A Non-Romantic Reads on Valentine's Day
* Literary Spots I Can't Wait to Visit in the LA Area
* The first month of the Buy Indie Press Campaign kicked off. Please join me!
* I've begun compiling a list of black screenwriters who are active on twitter.

My Insane Book & Movie Challenge Update #14
My monthly update for my Insane Book & Movie Challenge is below!


Note: If you'd like to keep track of my reading progress as it happens and reviews as they are posted, feel free to follow me on Goodreads!

Physical Books On My Shelf That I Read
1. Extraction by Stephanie Diaz
2. The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

E-books I Read
Read through Kindle App on iPad
1. The Future Collection by Beth Revis

Library Books I Read
Physical Books
1. Seconds: A Graphic Novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley
2. 85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards by Robert Osborne

My favorite read of the month was Seconds: A Graphic Novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

Movies & Documentaries

Watched in February 2015
The Theory of Everything (Movie Theaters)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (Blu-ray)
Big Hero 6 (Blu-ray)
Dear White People (Redbox)
Magic in the Moonlight (Netflix DVD)
Art and Craft (Netflix DVD)
The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of... (Netflix DVD)
That Guy... Who Was in That Thing (Netflix Streaming)

My favorite movies/documentaries this month were The Theory of Everything and Big Hero 6.

Until next month, happy reading and viewing!

Buy Indie Press #1: Five Books I'm Anticipating Reading

February is the first month of Buy Indie Press!

Each month, I plan to dedicate a week of my blog to indie press. Since I mainly post reviews and interviews, you can expect those. But due to my very busy schedule this month (lots of overtime at work + traveling), I was unable to read and review all of the books that I wanted to devote to this month's Buy Indie Press so I will be rolling over my February coverage into March.

I didn't want to leave February completely in the dark. Below are 5 books from the publishers mentioned in the February pocket here (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Poppy, Razorbill, Tu Books) that I am looking forward to reading next month and throughout the year!

If you choose to participate in Buy Indie Press (however you choose to cover it on your blog) at any point throughout the year, feel free to rollover if you find yourself very busy and please link your post in the comments when you participate.

Whether you participate or not, feel free to comment (by March 7, 2015 at midnight ET) stating which book from the list below that you are most excited to read and one person will be picked at random to receive a kindle copy of that book. Yes, I do plan on hosting one giveaway each month for Buy Indie Press. Some giveaways will be for kindle books. Others will be for physical books. This month is for one kindle book.

1) Tankborn by Karen Sandler
I've seen this book mentioned in the blogsophere before but it wasn't until today that I actually took the time to sit down and read what it's all about and I'm glad I finally did. I'm a huge sci-fi fan so I have high hopes for this one! Can't wait to read this!

2) Diverse Energies Edited by Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti
I've never been a huge fan of short stories but in the past year, I've been reading more than ever before so I'd really like to check out this sci-fi/fantasy anthology which has short stories from Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, and Ellen Oh, who I'm very familiar with as well as many other authors that I am not. Have you read Diverse Energies? If so, what was your favorite short story?

3) The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
While this sounds like a few books I've read before, I've seen that many of my Goodreads friends have very good things to say about this so I'm all in for this one!

4) Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac
Of all of the Tu Books, this one seems like the one that is going to be my favorite. It sounds like it is totally, completely my kind of book. It's Post-Apocalyptic. Need I say more?! It's the first book from Tu Books that I plan to read and I cannot wait!

5) Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani (Releases May 15, 2015)
I didn't know about this book until today but I am so excited that it's on my radar before its release because I love thrillers and I love a good mystery (though I don't read nearly enough) so I am super pumped for this one. It seems very dark and tense and the synopsis alone really encompasses everything that would draw me to pick this book up and buy it on the spot (which I don't do often). Needless to say, highly anticipating this one!

Notable Mentions:
Kalahari by Jessica Khoury
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

What book are you most excited to check out?

TV Week in Review '14 - '15 #23

Reviews for Fall TV Shows Which Aired
February 22-28, 2014

* New series in CAPS
* Reviews May Contain Spoilers

The Walking Dead (AMC) - Episode 5.11 "The Distance"
Okay, so, this episode wasn't nearly as exciting as I had hoped it would be after how awesome last week was. Last week was so amazing. But I am still very excited that we're progressing into the Alexandria story line. Loved the zombie car wash scene if you will ha ha ha because that's what it felt like watching them run over zombies in the dark with blood covering the dashboard. So cool. The flare gun kill was pretty cool too. So, all in all, not the most thrilling episode but there were some standout moments. It looks like we'll finally be inside Alexandria in the next episode and THAT is what I am waiting for!!!! Woohoo!

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

GOTHAM (Fox) - Episode 1.17 "Red Hood"
Bank robbery story lines are hit or miss, usually hits and this one was a hit. Watching Gordon and Harvey investigate the Red Hood gang was gripping. Fish Mooney working her way up in the underworld that she's in is so exciting I can't even tell you. What's up with her taking her own eye out though?! Ahhh! Then there's Selina and Ivy who were bonding with Barbara. I don't get the dynamic here and what this is building up to, I just hope it's worth it.

SCORPION (CBS) - Episode 1.17 "Going South"
Ah man, this show is so much fun to watch each week. So much fun. I loved how the team wasn't too thrilled with Walter after seeing him on TV doing an interview and the coverage basically giving him all of the credit for everything when all of them are behind the genius. And that was just in the first act. Can we take a moment to acknowledge the hilarity of Sylvester telling Walter that he's dating his sister right after they were robbed on a deserted area of Mexico? The comedic timing on this show...perfect!

Castle (ABC) - Episode 7.16 "The Wrong Stuff"
While seeing Castle so excited about a space murder did bring a smile to my face, this episode wasn't anything extraordinary. Maybe next week will be more entertaining?

Face Off (Syfy) - Episode 8.07 "Queen Bees"
Check out my review of this week's episode here.

Switched at Birth (ABC Family)
Episode 4.08 "Art Like Love is Dedication"

So Bay may be on rocky ground with Emmett but thanks to saving a security guard's life, she's no longer on probation and all of that jazz. Easy as pie. Hmm. Then there's Regins who invited Eric and his son over when something was up with their house. That was stupid. I think he can afford to go to a hotel with his son. It wasn't wise of Regina to invite him over and it wasn't wise for him to accept the invite. That's all I have to say about that.

I loved the Travis storyline and seeing how that progressed and how both John and Kathryn were pushing Travis with his English. No matter what language you speak, reading and writing are important so it made me very happy to see Travis being pushed to excel in his writing.

I don't remember if anything significant happened with Daphne this week but it must not have been much if I can't even remember it. Anyway, decent episode. I have some problems with how neatly the Bay storyline wrapped up and little things but overall, the episode was pretty good.

New Girl (Fox) - Episode 4.17 "Spiderhunt"
The loft goes on a lockdown when Schmidt's arachnophobia surfaces. Meanwhile, Jess tries to figure out who CeCe crush is and it doesn't take long for her to guess Schmidt. But she sticks with CeCe's wishes and doesn't say anything. This episode as a whole was a miss for me but you can't win them all so hopefully next week will be more entertaining.

Photo Credit: John P. Fleenor/FOX

The Mindy Project - Episode 3.17 "Danny Castellano Is My Nutritionist"
"I didn't trip, I was stretching." - Morgan

Mindy's barf bucket! Ha! So in this episode, Mindy needs to get some control over her diet and Danny has it in his head that Mindy has to do that but he can still secretly smoke. Ha! This was a great episode! I loved all of the jokes. Loved it. Hilarious episode! So good. And Vanessa Williams guest starring! Ahh! What a treat!!!! Loved it!

Cougar Town (TBS) - Episode 6.08 "This One's for Me"
So much funny in this episode. Laurie and her matching baby outfits. Ellie being irritated by them. Travis using a gift card he got as a congratulatory baby gift to secretly by a video game console...with the indirect encouragement of Bobby. Jules finding out one of the things that Grayson does in his spare time. Hahaha. Oh my goodness. So much funny. Really great episode! There's not much else that needs to be said there. It was great.

Arrow (The CW) - Episode 3.15 "Nanda Parbat"
Oliver wants to help Merlyn to save Thea's soul so she doesn't have to have putting her father to death on her conscious. I feel the guy but I also feel everybody else who wasn't feeling this at first given all that Merlyn has done. It's hard to say what the best option here was so I'm just going along for the ride and loving every complicated bit of it. I'm glad that Laurel knows that Thea killed Sara under Meryln's control. With most everyone on the same page about most everything, I wonder what new secrets will be made the rest of the season. I can't wait. Anyway, solid episode!

The 100 (The CW) - Episode 2.14 "Bodyguard of Lies"
Is it just me or is anyone actually a little bit more excited to see what Chancellor and his rat pack will find across the sea than what's happening on the ground? Because while we don't know what to expect with either story, we have an idea of the latter and the tone is set, the dynamic is set, but with the Chancellor story line, we are really going in blind and that is so exciting to me! I must say though I do have my concerns about Octavia after she basically told Clarke that she and her are done after the war. That makes me sad. I wonder if the plan is for these two to take over the ground and become enemies. I don't know how I feel about that but it sure would be something to watch. Anyway, good episode. Looking forward to the next one.

The Middle (ABC) - Episode 6.15 "Steaming Pile of Guilt"
"Let's just grab some apple jacks, maybe some fruit loops and talk about this like adults." - Axl

Can we talk about the opening for a second? Sue is not alone. I've come up with different laughs as well. Ha ha. But anyway, she is still working on The Year of Sue and it doesn't seem to be working out this week for her but she doesn't lose hope. Meanwhile, at college, Axl has a fight with Devin who breaks up with him. Yikes. I love that Devin knows what she wants, I just hope that she doesn't give up so easily on Axl. They made up here but I am really rooting for these two. They are so good for each other. Wouldn't it be something if Devin was the one for him?

The A story though was Brick's birthday. It turns out, Frankie and Mike forgot Brick's 13th birthday and 3 months later, Frankie is determined to make up for it. Brick chooses a bowling party but then switches the celebration to the entire family spending the day with him as he talks about his favorite things. My absolute favorite part about this was the victory dance Axl did after the pop quiz. Oh my goodness. Axl was hands down the most hysterical part of this entire episode. Hilarious. Great episode! Can't wait for more!

Modern Family (ABC) - Episode 6.16 "Connection Lost"
Yes! What an innovative and exciting episode! This is definitely one of my favorite episodes of the season. Probably my absolute favorite. The entire episode was shot on iPhones/Macs! Technology FTW! I loved everything about this episode... Gloria cutting Luke's hair into a mohawk unknowingly due to a bet with Luke and Phil, Cameron's must have Garrett popcorn (seriously a must whenever you visit Chicago), Lily's iPad time, Jay not knowing how to use FaceTime, and Claire gathering the family to find out what Haley is up to as it appears to be a Vegas wedding!

Hats off to Julie Bowen who seemingly had the most to do in this episode and hats off to the writers for nailing the Haley story line. That was awesome. I loved how everything came together and really just love this episode. Everything about this was fantastic. Relatable. Funny. All around entertaining. Great work!

Photo Credit: ABC

BLACK-ISH (ABC) - Episode 1.15 "The Dozens"
This week brought one of the funniest episodes of the entire first season. This episode is easily in my top five. Easily. When Andre gets bullied at school, Dre teaches Andre how to use words, use comedy as a defense. Cut to a bunch of yo mama and other jokes. I was cracking up at the parting your teeth in the middle joke. This episode was hilarious. I can only imagine how much fun it was breaking this in the writer's room.

Grey's Anatomy (ABC) - Episode 11.13 "Staring at the End"
Amelia trying to extract Dr. Herman's tumor while Herman tries to deflect the fight for survival and focus on training Arizona for an entire episode...yes, please. I loved this episode. The tension. The doubt. The denial. The determination. So much, so many emotions were swirling around in this episode and I loved it so much. Great job writers and cast and also whoever directed this episode.

Everything about this was wonderful. Herman is brave and stubborn and doesn't let her walls down but she does ask for help when she begins to go blind and the simple act of surrendering, of her finally accepting the fact that she doesn't have to go through this alone...that was beautiful. Whether she lives or dies, she had people rallying around her the entire time and she let them in and that was beautiful. Next week can't come soon enough.

Episodes 1.14 & 1.15 "The Night Lila Died; It's All My Fault"

"He doesn't love me. But here's the thing. I love me. So I'm done." - Michaela

Wow. This season finale delivered! Shondaland did that!!! Oh yeah! Lie after lie after lie after lie. My oh my. Michaela got real and told off her would be mother in law. Asher unknowingly told the team about him and Bonnie being a thing. Connor might have a fatal STD. The team was on a mission to find out who killed Lila after Wes's doubts and it turned out to be Frank!

I thought it was Annalise who killed Lila so to find out it was Frank was a bit surprising but it seems so obvious now and oh my God, what a finale. I didn't think holding Rebecca against her will to try and get the answers was the wisest decision but it sure made for amazing TV and leading up to what it did... season two is how to get away with another murder... Rebecca's! I feel like Wes did but also that might be too easy a guess. If it is him, Wes needs to keep his hands to himself for all of time if this is what his future holds ha ha. My goodness. I think it'd be pretty cool if Bonnie or Laurel did it. I think I wouldn't be as surprised if Michaela or Connor did it. It would be quite a doozy if Rebecca killed herself and all of season two they're trying to figure out which one of them killed her.

Annalise knows what Frank is capable of, surely, so I think while she's not completely in the know about what he's done, the dynamic between these two will be so exciting in season two (I'm going to say) when she does find out. Also, I can't wait to find out more about Frank and Sam's relationship and why Frank owed Sam. Oh man, there is just so much amazingness set up for next season, this wait is going to be brutal.

The writers bring it every single week but they BROUGHT it this week times ten. Wow. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. One of the best finales of the 14-15 season. Hands down. Bravo. And while I've made it my mission to make sure the people I know are watching, it's game on for the hiatus. I'm going to be a HTGAWM recruiting maniac. Who's with me?!

Hart of Dixie (The CW) - Episode 4.07 "The Butterstick Tab"
I have never felt for Lemon more than I did this week when her mother who abandoned her and the family when she was little showed up out of the blue and wanted to make amends. I applaud the mother for wanting to make amends. Doesn't mean it's going to come and if it does, it doesn't mean it will be easy. I absolutely loved that Lemon wanted to get to know her little sister, Scarlet.

Then there's Wade who is trying to do the right thing by making himself less attractive to others around town but comes off as a jerk because of it. Yikes! And finally, Annabeth and George try to find the perfect place for their date. Eh. It was cute to see but I wanted more Lemon screen time in this episode.

Glee (Fox) - Episode 6.09 "Child Star"
Wow, this week was a total miss for me. I liked the final song of the episode but other than that, this was just one big miss for me. There are only three episodes left and I know Glee won't let me down so I'm looking forward to next week as the final season continues to come to a close. We are so close to the end. Ahhh!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

TV Talk: Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix Key Art

Season one of MARVEL’S DAREDEVIL premieres April 10, 2015 at 12:01 AM PT on Netflix and the key art has just been revealed which you can check out below! The first season of Netflix's latest drama will have thirteen episodes which means you can binge it all in one day!

Blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the Super Hero “Daredevil” in modern day Hell's Kitchen, New York City.

Marvel’s Daredevil is the first of four Netflix live-action adventure series; Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Iron Fist, and Marvel’s Luke Cage, all leading up to the teaming of the main characters in Marvel’s The Defenders.

Marvel’s first original series on Netflix is Executive Produced by series Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight (“Spartacus”, “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer”, “Angel”) and Drew Goddard ( "Cabin in the Woods," "Lost," "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", in addition to writing the first two episodes of Daredevil), along with Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Smallville,” “Heroes”), who also serves as Marvel’s Head of Television. The series is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

Marvel’s Daredevil Cast:
* Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock / Daredevil
* Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk
* Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple
* Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page
* Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson
* Vondie Curtis Hall as Ben Ulrich
* Scott Glenn as Stick
* Ayelet Zurer as Vanessa Marianna
* Bob Gunton and Leland Owlsey
* Toby Leonard Moore as Wesley

I am a big fan of Rosario Dawson so I can't wait to see what she brings to the series as well as Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) and Elden Henson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) among others. I am also very intrigued by the rest of the cast and am going into this nervous but excited. We shall see. Only time will tell! Will you be watching come April?

For more information on MARVEL’S DAREDEVIL in the coming weeks, visit Netflix, Twitter, Facebook, and Marvel.