Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Sound of Violet Allen Wolf



I enjoy reading screenplays and classical literature to modern book adaptations

Recently, I had the opportunity to communicate with Allen Wolf. 

Allen has won multiple awards as an author, filmmaker, and game creator. He is also the host of the popular Navigating Hollywood podcast where he interviews film and TV professionals about what it takes to thrive in entertainment.



His debut novel is The Sound of Violet and the screenplay won numerous awards.

Allen consulted with several organizations that help victims of human trafficking and crafted the story into a novel.

The film will bring awareness to human trafficking and autism.  

I asked Allen, what was the process like bringing The Sound of Violet to life from the novel to the screen?

Allen responded, "It was a monumental effort to bring The Sound of Violet to life on the screen. I first relocated the story from New York City to Seattle, which I knew would be a friendlier city to make the film. 

I changed locations for scenes in the novel to be more visual for the movie. I wanted to explore Seattle’s beautiful landscapes for the film, so I featured scenes in Gas Works Park, the shipping yards, alongside the enormous bridges and different spots around the city that you usually don’t see featured in Hollywood movies.

I wanted to cast unknown actors in the lead roles so the audience wouldn’t have any preconceived notions of who they are during the film. 

This movie is the debut for our two lead actors, and they pulled off stunning performances. I also had to find ways to tell the story in a tighter timeframe, so I condensed some scenes and took out others. 

I wanted the experience of watching the movie to be different from the book, so while the story beats are identical, the movie’s journey takes you on various twists and turns than the novel. When I write a novel, I’m able to concentrate on the inner lives of the character. But in creating a movie, I have to communicate all of that through the actors’ performances. 

There were several moments on the set when it struck me that the characters I had written for the page were walking and talking in front of me. That was surreal! I was so thankful to be surrounded by such a talented team of actors and the crew who worked tirelessly. 

Composer Conrad Pope created the soundtrack for the movie, which we also recorded in Seattle with a 54 piece orchestra. I appreciate how he draws out the emotional beats of the story through his musical craftsmanship. I’m very much looking forward to the film premiering in theaters and hearing what the experience is like for our readers."


My thanks goes out to Allen Wolf and Publicist Don Fitzgerald.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

OM for the HOMe by Carrie Leskowitz


OM for the HOME - by Carrie Leskowitz

Your home is a more than an address – it’s a reflection of your soul. Your living space mirrors your inner space, telling the story of your life through your physical home. 

Function and feeling go hand in hand. The sacred place you call home supports the foundation for your inner balance and an empowering, fulfilling life. When limiting beliefs, negativity, and stress surround you, it’s time to dive deep into who you are to build an environment where you are at home within yourself. 

In OM for the HOMe, interior designer and life coach Carrie Leskowitz shares her holistic approach to intentionally curating an environment where you’ll thrive physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Full of design philosophy, creative lifestyle tips, and introspective activities, this is your complete guide to decorating a space with your authentic self in mind so you can achieve zen, inside and out.

You’ll discover:

How your house influences and reinforces your self-worth, aspirations, and joy

C-O-R-E pillars of wellness to explore your identity, values, and the home you need

Why energy in a room may be "off" – and how to invite a positive flow using natural remedies

The physical and mental clutter limiting you from manifesting abundance

Furniture, lighting, and coloring ideas for your unique style to promote health and happiness

When home and heart align, the door to transformation opens wide. Get OM for the hOMe and design a life you love from within the beautiful place you live.



My Review

In the home/life connection. I read many books and occasionally write a review about them.  

Recently, I have been looking over life coach Carrie Leskowitz  OM for the HOME book in which she shares her holistic approach to curating an environment.

When looking at interiors, I tend to gravitate to those with Architectural details. The design elements  that typically catch my fancy  are interesting angles and textures.

Time spent in my dads work shop, forged in me an appreciation of wood grains natural beauty and I frequently find myself  drawn to interiors which exhibit unique wood patterns. 

Leskowitz  advocates creating a positive flow to promote health and happiness and teaches us to ask  ourselves  fundamental questions. Of them, my favorite is,  “What, or who inspires me?”

I do like an open floor plan and my husband is more geared towards traditional. I'm aware that small changes can produce boundless effects so we have learned we function best by compromising.  One thing we both agree upon is our excitement of discovery and with that said we both have tactile interest and appreciate sensory triggers. 

Leskowitz establishes when we make choices we may wish to consider, "How does this make me feel?”  

We have bookcases full of cherished books and we also have plants, fossils, bowls of shells and pinecones scattered about our home. We find hiking in the woods, fossil hunting and spending time at the beach to be relaxing. Our collections of  these items remind us of that peaceful feeling. This, fits in well with Leskowitz  final exercise which is Home as Self-Portrait. She explains this  exercise can easily be accomplished by knowing yourself.

I received a copy of this helpful book from Catherine Kennedy, Freelance Publicist.


Author bio:

Carrie Leskowitz is a certified life coach and award-winning designer with more than 20 years of experience transforming both spaces and lives. As founder of Carrie Leskowitz Interiors, she helps clients nurture the holistic connection between their homes and their physical, emotional, and spiritual health through self-exploration and reinvention. Her beautifully curated homes focus on the mind-body connection to promote overall wellbeing and an abundant life.  

Before her design business, Leskowitz worked as a fashion show coordinator, producer, and stylist, which continues to inspire her to design with a dash of drama. A Philadelphia native, she splits her time between her hometown and Boca Raton, Florida. Learn more at www.carrieleskowitzinteriors.com.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Public Places to Read

 

Do you have a favorite public place to read?

There are many public places where I go an read books. I have been known to read at libraries, museums, and cafes' but often prefer to be surrounded by greenery, water and the sounds of nature when I read. So, my books travel with me to botanical gardens, parks and beaches like the one shown above which has special significance. 

In the fall, I often spend time hiking in the woods and  picked up Charlie Laidlaws book, Everyday Magic that speaks of a magic clearing in the woods. 

Many of you know I enjoy history and military reads and will soon be working my way through Herbert J. Stern and Alan A. Winter's Sins of the Fathers which is a thoroughly researched historical sequel to Wolf.

I enjoy reading interior design books and will soon finish one that helps us build an environment for wellbeing. Mentioning wellbeing reminds me that my life is much happier with dogs. There is not a time I come home that they are not at the door to greet me and there is just something about petting a dog that immediately calms me. I have also had the opportunity to spend time with some pretty amazing service dogs. Therefore, I've agreed to read an anthology which supports Hero Dogs, a charity that pairs trained service dogs with disabled veterans and first-responders.

In the can for Septembers author spotlight selection is an interview I recently completed with an author who is also a filmmaker. He provides great details on the transition from novel to screen.

Thank you to all who have sent me ACR's and manuscripts! I'm continuing to work my way through them. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Wilkes Insurrection Robbie Bach



The Wilkes Insurrection

Robbie Bach

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Greenleaf Book Group Press (October 12, 2021)

Language ‏ : ‎ English

Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 360 pages

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 162634888X

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1626348882

Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.74 pounds



An elusive extremist hell-bent on destroying America.

A woman of uncommon valor haunted by her tragic past.

A dark web hacker confronting his conscience.

A failed intelligence officer in search of redemption.


Just outside Omaha, Nebraska, the relative calm at Offutt Air Force Base is suddenly shattered when commercial Flight 209 crashes down onto its runway. From the flaming wreckage, Major Tamika Smith must try to rescue survivors and make sense of the tragedy. But this was no accident. In a time of national unrest and division, a shadowy mastermind is tearing down the United States from the inside out, moving pawns in an orchestrated plan and playing law enforcement like puppets. The deadly attacks continue and authorities have no leads. Barely any clues. Trails that start hot suddenly go cold. With thousands dying and the strikes becoming increasingly personal, Major Tamika Smith must answer a fundamental question: How far would you go to save what you love?


With heart-pounding action, compelling plot twists, and a rich tapestry of characters, The Wilkes Insurrection is a contemporary thriller of anarchic obsession and heroic ambition. Its perfect blend of callous villains, complex but captivating protagonists, and political intrigue will keep readers on the edge of their seats.


My Review

Do any of you have flight anxiety? I know I do. 

I think most of you know I revere the space program and spent a portion of my childhood watching the Blue Angels and hanging out at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. So, a checklist for flight seems crucial.

The checklist on page one of The Wilkes Insurrection notes the importance of  Johnny's preparation for flight 209.

The book combines historical events with some fictional characters. The author does flesh out the characters well by building crucial relationships and the scene-setting kept me turning the page as it helped in determining the character's behavior.

Johnny boards the aircraft and soon after I felt as if he entered a virtual reality. I imagined Johnny an algorithm, manifested at the speed of light, operated on a computing machine.  

The storyline definitely points out the ethical virtue of benevolence. We find there is personal growth amongst great tragedy and there is a disposition to do good when there is serious and immediate danger. 

I read and reread these pages. In the end, I believe the author is presenting humanness. And you may just get from this story what you put into it. 



This ARC was made available through the generosity of Anna Sacca, Senior Publicity and Branding Manager, at FSB Associates.


About the Author

Robbie Bach joined Microsoft in 1988. Over the next twenty-two years, he worked in various marketing, general management and business leadership roles, including supporting the successful launch and expansion of Microsoft Office. As Chief Xbox Officer, he led the creation and development of the Xbox business, including the launch of the Xbox and the highly popular successor product, Xbox 360. He retired from Microsoft as the President of the Entertainment and Devices Division in 2010.


In his new role as a civic engineer, Robbie works with corporate, philanthropic, and civic organizations who are driving positive change in our communities. He guest-lectures extensively at a variety of colleges and universities and speaks to corporate, civic, and trade association audiences across the country. In 2015, he published his first book, Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal.


He is the current chairman of the board at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He also serves on the national board of governors for Boys and Girls Clubs of America and was the chairman of that board from 2009-10. He previously served as a board member of the United States Olympic Committee, Sonos Inc., Brooks Running Company, the Space Needle Inc., and Year Up Puget Sound. He is the co-owner of Manini’s, Inc., a gluten-free pasta and flour company.


He was an Arjay Miller Scholar at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he earned his MBA, and a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina, where he earned his degree in economics and was also named an Academic All-American on the Tar Heel’s tennis team.


He and his wife, Pauline, reside in Medina, Washington with their yellow lab, Roscoe. They have three grown children and one grandchild.


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Author Spotlight Hannah Fielding

 


Hannah, when did you become devoted to writing full time? And why did you choose to write romance novels?

As a very young child, I loved stories. My governess used to tell me the most amazing fairy tales, and when I was seven we came to the agreement that for each story she told me I would tell her one of mine. That is how it all started.

My earliest memories of writing are penning romantic stories, which I would circulate among my classmates. This made me quite popular with the girls at my convent school, but far less so with the nuns!

I wrote my first 400-page book, in French, when I was twenty-eight, which I later translated myself into English. 

My husband gave me the confidence to send out my first book for publication once my children had left home and I was writing full time and storing the manuscripts in a drawer. 




How hard is it to start a novel where the characters already know each other such as your latest book Song of the Nile?

Well, you skip the ‘meet cute’ in such a novel, but I actually really enjoy developing a romance between two characters who have some background, a foundation on which to build. Of course, that background can be shaky, as in Song of the Nile, but there is a familiarity there, even a feeling of homecoming and, if trust can develop, a sense of security.


In Song of the Nile, what did you edit out?

Sadly, there was not room for all of the fascinating history, mythology and culture of Egypt. On my blog, though, I share insights, especially into Ancient Egypt, with articles on everything from Hatshepsut, the female king, to the Pharos (Lighthouse) of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (see https://hannahfielding.net/blog/). 


Do you have any particular practices that help you write?

I research my books thoroughly by traveling to the place in which the plot is set and speaking to local people to get a complete feel of the mentality and culture. No aspect of a country is neglected: history, geography, architecture, music, cuisine, language, myths, customs and traditions, everything is thoroughly investigated. After having been through that first stage, I then complement it with information found on the internet. The research only ends once I feel there is enough material there for me to begin writing.

Then comes the writing itself. I wake up very early and do my chores first thing. After a cup of passion-fruit tea, I sit at my desk and work through the day, with an hour for lunch and errands. I take some time in the afternoon for a long walk when I’m dreaming up a plot. 

In my home in Ireland, I write in a wood-panelled room, surrounded by books – we call it the library. In France, I write overlooking the most fabulous view of the Mediterranean from a large picture window in my bedroom, or if it is not too hot, outside in our gazebo. I really can’t complain!


Is there anything you'd like readers to know? 

I have published seven books to date besides The Song of the Nile: Burning Embers, set in Kenya; The Echoes of Love, set in Venice and Tuscany, Italy; the AndalucĂ­an Nights trilogy (Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy), set in Spain; Aphrodite’s Tears, set on the Greek islands; and Concerto, set on Lake Como, Italy. My books have won a lot of awards; Aphrodite’s Tears alone won seven.

Of course I am already hard at work on my next novel!


Website: https://hannahfielding.net/  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHannahFielding/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hannahfieldingauthor/

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

July 2021 Loft Reads

 


July was a decent month. Around the July 4th Holiday, we had an enjoyable visit with our family that resides in the New England region of the United States. 


I read three books in July. 


Carnal Transgression by Faye Hall,


 PASSE-PARTOUT by Stephen Sanders 


 You Can't Kiss A Bubble by Karen A. Wyle and Siski Kalla. 


August looks to be as busy as July. I've just started reading The Wilkes Insurrection. 


The Top 10 viewers during the month of July were from; France, The United States, Vietnam, Germany, Belgium, The United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Pakistan, and Sweden

Saturday, July 17, 2021

You Can't Kiss A Bubble by Karen A. Wyle




You Can't Kiss A Bubble

by Karen A. Wyle and Siski Kalla and Jacob Dunaway

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oblique Angles Press (July 23, 2021)

Language ‏ : ‎ English

Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 28 pages

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0998060496

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0998060491

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 1 - 8 years

Bubbles don't last long.


But bubbles are lovely,


Full of colors, floating on the breeze.


What can you do with a bubble?



My Review


It's been a while since I've reviewed a children's picture book and I was excited to receive a copy of You Can't Kiss a Bubble from Karen A. Wyle. 

I love bubbles! In this adorable children's picture book, geared for ages 1- 8 years,  we learn what you can and can't do with bubbles. 

This is a feel-good read with a whimsical flair. The story and illustrations provide many giggles and recognize the value of life is finding the joy in it. 

I received a copy of You Can't Kiss A Bubble from the author. 


The Amazon preorder link for both paperback and hardcover editions is https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Kiss-Bubble-Karen-Wyle/dp/0998060496/. The Barnes & Noble preorder link is https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-cant-kiss-a-bubble-karen-a-wyle/1139821513.