Showing posts with label witches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label witches. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Selective Spells Book Review

Witches, Spells, Dogs & A Mystery

french-bulldog
Is this Beezley the man turned into a dog?
image courtesy of pixabay.com
I'll be reviewing another Cozy Mystery for you today: Selective Spells by Willow Mason. It is Book 1 in the series Beezley and the Witch. It is also the debut novel of this fellow Indie Author.

The story is told in the first person by the main character. She is a witch living in a small town who has been excommunicated from her coven. Up until she got into trouble with the white witches in the area she was a librarian of sorts guarding boxes of spells that shouldn't be tampered with. Now, she has lost her job and her powers are diminished to a certain degree but not completely gone.

Losing her job and the support of the coven is bad enough but then the leader informs her that she is being evicted from her home, too. A witch has to eat and work in order to pay rent no matter where she lives. Searching for employment, she finds a notice for a job that requires the employee be a witch. She decides to look into the opportunity because she is still a witch she just isn't a part of the coven.

This is when she meets Beezley for the first time. He is in the form of a French Bulldog and will be her boss if he gives her the job. Humans wouldn't be able to understand Beezley's canine ramblings; it would just sound like barking, yipping and yapping. But since our narrator is a witch she understands everything he says. It turns out that he was once a Detective on the police force but has been turned into a dog. He is working on the same case that he had when he was in his human form but has trouble with little things like communicating with non-witches, texting on his phone, and using the computer. 

The two don't exactly hit it off in the first interview and our Witch is not interested in the job until she finds out about her eviction. She goes back to take the job and ask to live with the dog detective. They begin to work on the mystery of deaths that are marked as accidents but Beezley's instincts think there is something more to the whole sorted mess. We travel through the pages of spells, deception, betrayal and surprises as the readers.


Recommendation of Selective Spells

I highly recommend this cozy mystery to anyone who loves the genre. It was unique in the concept of the plot. The characters were both humorous and believable. Well, as believable as one can be if they are a witch and a man turned into a dog. That is the wonderful thing about fiction! The characters can be anything and anywhere. 

I enjoyed the story being told in the first person instead of the more standard third person. Being an author, myself, I know that is a little more difficult to write. Our little witch is allowed to have her snarky thoughts and we see her vulnerability better from her perspective. 

This book was extremely fun to read and to work through the clues of the mystery. Well, done Ms. Mason! I look forward to your future books. I think many of you will enjoy Selective Spells, also. The plot flows nicely, the premise is original and the reading is light and cozy just like it is supposed to be.



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Friday, November 25, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, most of us can easily enjoy the movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".  As a animal enthusiast, I was instantly enchanted by the Fantastic Beasts!  I wanted a pair of each one and I suspect everyone in the theater felt exactly the same way.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will already be familiar with terms like "muggle" and "Magizoology".   But, even if you have never been exposed to Harry Potter, you would quickly figure out their definitions.  I know this with certainty because a member of our group had never seen a Harry Potter movie, nor had he ever read any of the books.  I asked him if that was a problem for him and he said, "Not at all!  You don't have to be familiar with Harry Potter to recognize the face of evil".  He went on to say, "this movie can stand on it own merit."  That is actually very important to note.  The movie can and does appeal to even non 'Harry Potter' fans.   


The movie really gets started with a platypus or echidna looking creature called a Niffler that fancies sparkly things.  An adorable little thief if ever I saw one.
  
A note of interest for animal lovers:  The platypus and the echidna are both members of the same mammal subclass called monotremes.

*Please read my caution for children

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" Movie Plot


 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemUnlike the Harry Potter movies, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is not based on a published book.  It is a screenplay based on a text book that was written by a fictional character in the Harry Potter books.  In the Harry Potter books, the Magizoologist (magical beast zoologist), Newt Scamander, is the expert on magical beasts and the writer of the textbook "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".  The textbook, Newt Scamander, magizoologist, and the Fantastic beasts are all imaginary creations straight from the mind of J. K. Rowling, the very real author of the Harry Potter books.  She simply wrote the screenplay to expand on a character, Newt Scamander, that was not fully developed in the Harry Potter books.   

In the movie, Newt Scamander, the author of the book, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", arrives in New York with only a small suitcase in hand.  That suitcase is actually a portal into his world of Fantastic Beasts.  It is also the creatures way into the human world.

When the Niffler escapes the suitcase, the excitement begins as Newt tries to track the little bandit.  His path crosses with Jacob Kowalski who happens to be carrying an identical suitcase.  The suitcases are accidentally swapped and Jacob gets the surprise of his life when he gets back home and opens the one he has.  Several fantastic beasts escape into the city.  

As you would expect, Newt has also discovered the mix-up.  However, Newt himself has attracted the attention of an Auror, a police officer of the wizard world, and she is tracking him because he is an unregistered wizard in the city.  The Auror, Tina, and Newt end up searching for Jacob and the lost animals together.  When they find him, they discover that he has been bitten by one of the Fabulous Beast.  Because they need to keep the muggle, Jacob, under observation to know if he will have a reaction, the 3 end up going to Tina's apartment for the night.  It is there that the guys meet Tina's sister, Queenie.

After they have retired for the night, Newt takes Jacob into the world of Fabulous Beasts via the suitcase portal.  It is here that we, the audience, also meet these magnificent magical creatures.

Even though Newt and his Fabulous Beasts are not responsible for the evil in the city, they are brought into the battle between the dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, and the Magical Congress of the United States of America when Newt is falsely accused of being Grindelwald's ally.


Aside from telling you a few of my favorite things about the movie, this is where I am going to stop because I really don't want to spoil anything for anyone.

My favorite Fantastic Beast is actually the Thunderbird.  Such a magnificent, powerful yet gentle, bird. As the name implies, this Fantastic Beast is a catalyst of thunder, lightning and rain. He also warns of impending immanent danger. I do so love a creature that warns us to get prepared.

My favorite movie quote from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is "worrying only makes you suffer twice."

My favorite character was a real surprise to me!  When I heard that Johnny Depp was in the movie, I expected it to be his character.  However, as I left the theater, I realized that my favorite character was actually Jacob.  Funny!  It was a movie full of wizards, yet it was the muggle that I admired the most.

One interesting note, Jacob is a baker.  Once you have seen the movie, you will want to look at these Fantastic Beast Biscuits!  Years before the movie, Elynmac shared these Dragon Biscuits with the online world.

Elynmac's Dragon Bisquits
Elynmac's Dragon Biscuits - Simply Click Here to See Her Featured Biscuits

 

Is "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" for Children?


I have no doubt this is a question that will be debated for many years to come.  However, I am going to step out with a personal opinion.  I do not think the movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is a movie that would be appropriate for any child under 12.  

I don't offer that opinion lightly.  I think all children of any age would love the beasts and be fascinated by the fantastical animals.  My concern would not be with the animals, but with the violence in the movie.  There are several murders in this movie and they are somewhat jarring and unexpected.  

If I err, I would err to the side of caution, especially with the minds of precious children.  They will see enough violence in their lifetimes without having to endure it in the form of entertainment at an early age.



When you see the movie, do come back and tell me your favorites!  I would love to hear them.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Top 7 Halloween Ornaments for Your Halloween Tree

This 4-foot black Halloween tree would make a great home for your Halloween ornaments.
I just had to share this awesome Halloween tree. Isn't it cool? Problem is, it's empty. Maybe you could use it. I mean, you have to put your Halloween ornaments somewhere, right? Wait a minute. You do collect Halloween ornaments, don't you? Whether you have a collection already or if you've been waiting to get started, then you're in the right place. Read on to learn more.

Collecting Halloween ornaments is becoming so popular, it's almost scary!  More and more people are decorating their home or their office with Halloween trees - and the more ornaments, the better.  To decorate your Halloween tree, choose ornaments with a theme or mix and match using all the ornaments that you love.

If you haven't already, why not start a Halloween ornament collection for your family?  For younger children, Disney or Peanuts ornaments are fun.  Once they're older, add black cats, ghosts, or other favorite Halloween figures.  Chances are you'll be able to find their (or your own) favorite character in the form of a Halloween ornament that they can reuse every year on their very own Halloween tree. Or add them all to a big Halloween tree that the whole family can enjoy.

Cute or Creepy?


The choice of cute Halloween ornaments only, creepy ghoulish ones, or a mixture of both is entirely up to you. In fact, some people prefer to avoid the scariest themes of Halloween and focus more on a family-friendly theme with a harvest tree that can carry them right into Thanksgiving. You'll find plenty of ornaments designed to celebrate fall and the harvest season. And no worries about nightmares!

Here are some of the most popular collectible Halloween ornaments and themes.

  


1.  Radko Halloween Ornaments. You may be familiar with Christopher Radko blown glass ornaments with a Christmas theme. You might not have known it, but Radko makes Halloween ornaments, too. They're top quality, always with beautiful designs. For 2015, here's the blue skull ornament, La Calavara. Though actually designed for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations, nothing says creepy Halloween like a skull. Actually, with its glittery design and hand-painted cool colors of blue, purple, and silver, this one is really pretty and hardly scary at all. Well, maybe a little bit. In any case it's a great addition to a Radko ornament collection.

2.  Peanuts Halloween Ornaments. Everyone loves Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and the rest of the gang and there are plenty of Halloween ornaments that celebrate the Peanuts comics series. I love this Charlie Brown O'Lantern ornament. You'll probably find the most choices from the Peanuts Halloween collection on eBay, especially if you're looking for something specific, perhaps a keepsake ornament from a particular year that you're missing from your collection. Just click the link then customize the search if you don't see exactly what you have in mind.

3.  Hallmark Halloween Ornaments. Don't you just love this cookie cutter mouse ornament? It's actually from 2015, from Hallmark. If you didn't make it to the store to get yours, or if there's another that you've missed through the years, once again I recommend eBay for Hallmark Halloween ornaments. You'll find Peanuts ornaments here, too, so there's an overlap in the results, but Hallmark also features the Hauntington Collection, a zombie series, and much, much more. There's something for everyone with an emphasis on "cute."

 


4.  Witch Ornaments. Ah, the ever popular witch. I was drawn to this Kurt Adler Pixiepies witch ornament from 2012. You'll find plenty more witches to choose from at this link. Note that this is a big ornament at 13 inches, so she might not fit on your Halloween tree, but she'd look great hanging from a doorway or perhaps a chandelier. (Always check the description so you'll know what size ornament you're getting, especially if you have a tiny tree.)

5.  Black Cat Ornaments. I'm a cat lover, so black cat ornaments really appeal to me. I like glass ornaments, too, so that's why I chose this Halloween kitty to feature. Prefer something that's not breakable? Or maybe a cat that's part of a set? Then check these black cat ornaments at Amazon.


6.  Ghost Ornaments. When I think of ghosts, I think of friendly ghosts like this one, with smiles on their faces. We have some overlap from above again here, as this is a ghost ornament from Hallmark's 2014 collection. I think it's adorable. And again, I found the best selection of Halloween ghost ornaments on eBay. Check out the link and see which one you like best.

7.  Disney Halloween Ornaments. You might recognize these Disney Haunted Mansion Singing Ghosts from your last visit to a Disney theme park. These are from 2013 and would make a wonderful addition to your Halloween tree if you're a Disney family (I know there are plenty of you out there!). You'll find lots more familiar characters when you check out more Disney Halloween ornaments right here.

Those are the top seven Halloween Ornament themes for your consideration. Did you choose a favorite? If you're still looking or haven't found just the right theme yet, then give this link a try. Then let me know what you chose in a comment below. I'm dying to find out!

--Susan Deppner

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