REVIEWS: Find Out What Others Are Saying About Even Halos Can Be Crooked!

Trying to self promote your first novel is difficult. One method I heard that is really important is getting people to read and review your novel. Whether the reviews are good or not so good, it gets your novel visibility and hopefully people’s interest in checking out the story for themselves.

After waiting a few weeks, I’ve finally gotten my first couple of reviews which can be found at all the links listed below. I’m going to share the links by the Blog Page for easy reference. Please check out what others are saying about Even Halos Can be Crooked!


Erica said:

“I have to say right away, I had SO much fun reading this!!”

Here’s the links for Erica Robyn Reads blog and her review:

Erica Robyn Reads Blog Review Link

Link for same review posted on GoodReads

Facebook Page (pinned post)

Google+ link

Instagram (also shared on my personal FB)

Twitter link


Books Amino

Litsy: (mobile access only, but I shared the image of chapter 13 and a link to the blog post). Also marked the book as “Pick,” which is the highest rating level on this app; the other descending options are So-So, Pan, and Bail


Sassy Southern Book Blog:

Amazon review by Sassy Southern Book Blog



Image Credits

I had absolutely no idea what to call this post but I felt it was important to share where the images I used for my blog page header came from. With the exception of the galaxy photo, all the photos were taken by me. Below I’ve noted where these images were taken for your reference. I’ll be adding pictures periodically. This could be kind of a Places to Check Out page, too.


These pictures were taken in May 2016.

Location: Webster, NY

Ontario Bay  near the Pier




These pictures were taken at the Butterfly Garden.

Location: Strong Museum of Play

Rochester, NY





This picture was taken along the Erie Canal Path

Location: Fairport, NY



This picture was take at Sonnenberg Gardens.

Location: Canandaigua, NY


This picture was taken somewhere along I90 heading towards

Geneva, NY


All right, I’ve spent 30 minutes searching for the name of this place and my toddler is screaming at me so I’m just going to give a general location. It’s a church in Highland Park, Rochester, NY. It’s near a school of dentistry and its up on a hill. It’s pretty awesome to check out if you get the chance to.



I Am Number Four – a quick post DVD review

The choice to run and live another day or combine forces and stand your ground. The day to decide is here...

I saw the previews. I heard the chatter. Despite some naysayers about it being an teen angst film – I still wanted to see the movie. I waited and finally it was released on DVD. I Am Number Four was very much worth the wait. I really enjoyed the plot, the story line, the characters, the graphics and the actors. This is a movie for fans of sci-fi, Superman and Marvel Comics movies.

A really brief summary:

A distant planet called Lorien was destroyed by Mogadorians. In order to save their race, the Loriens sent 9 children to Earth with guardians to protect them before their planet was destroyed.

As the children grew, so did their alien races abilities. Unfortunately, the Mogadorians discovered the children were sent to Earth and have begun to hunt down each child that can only be killed in a specific order.

Alex Pettyfer plays John who is number four in the order of the alien children. He and his guardian are located by the Mogadorians in one of their many secret locations and they are forced to move after the third alien child has been hunted and killed by the Mogadorian leader, Commander. John and his guardian move to Paradise, Ohio.

Here, John must again try to fit in and not be noticed. All the while his powers are coming into maturity and he is battling controlling them so as to not draw attention to himself. John makes unlikely friends with another social outcast at his school, Sam Goode, played by Callan McAuliffe,  who is being victimized by a bully.  John catches the eye of the bullies girlfriend, Sarah Hart, played by Glee Actress Dianna Argon.

Another alien child, Number 6, loses her guardian and decides to fight the Mogadorians rather than run and hide. With this goal in mind she works to find Number 4. Meanwhile, John and Sarah form a bonding love and things start to heat up in Paradise as the Mogadorians hone in on John’s location.

I am going to cut off that summary there so that if you decide to watch this movie you can watch it free of spoilers. I just have to say I loved the Chimera. I am eagerly awaiting a sequel – not sure if there is going to be one but if there is, I am so watching it!! I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did 🙂

Beastly – A DVD review quick post

A quick post review of the recently released DVD, Beastly. A retelling of the Beauty and Beast fairytale. A tale as old as time if one recalls…

Love is never ugly...

Hello blog website -I am finally back again after a brief hiatus. While I was on break from blogging, I most certainly wasn’t on break from reading or watching movies.  I’ve decided since time seems to be a major factor in getting out my more thorough posts, I am going to try and do some quick posts reviews for the books, movies and TV shows that I have been following recently.

What better way to start than with a classic fairy tale remake of Beauty and the Beast. In case its not apparent by now, I’m going to re-state that I am a fan of fairy tales and fantasy and love to see classic tales re-told time and again. While the Cinderella tale seems to be the leading contender for people to remake, Beauty and the Beast seems to be a close second runner up.

The recently released DVD, Beastly, does a great job of revamping this classic tale. The lead actor Alex Pettyfer (I am Number Four and Beastly) plays the main character,  Kyle – a young man whose sole definition is based on his looks, wealth and what it can buy him.  Following the classic fairytale, Kyle runs afoul of a witch that decides to teach him a lesson about what life is really about and curses him. Kyle has one year to find someone to love him in his newly disfigured form.

The witch is portrayed as a social high school outcast – ridiculed by her fellow classmates while feared for her rumored magical abilities. Mary – Kate Olsen did a stellar job in her role as Kendra, the

Kyle approaches Kendra to try and ask for more time...

Enchantress, and her ability to show strength, daring, cunning and compassion while bestowing a life lesson to someone who seems so lost in his self importance. I am giving out props to the films make-up department because they did a wonderful job of creating the outward dis-figuration of the rather yummy Alex Pettyfer. The makeup department also managed to do a good job of not overdoing the gothic bent for Mary-Kate Olsen’s character as well – making her looks changeable and versatile – hmm, maybe a play on the whole beauty-is-not-all theme of the movie.

Vanessa Hudgens plays the lady fair that sees beyond the outer image and into the soul of what a person can really be – as Lindy. The movie finds interesting ways to follow the fairytale to where the lead female finds herself in the care of the ‘beast’.

The movie follows Kyle through his tormented dealings and his coming to terms with his new world and having his basic beliefs redefined by one fateful encounter. We get to see him develop a heart and build a soul on more than looks alone. A bright comedic relief in the movie is the blind tutor played by Neil Patrick Harris that offers another eye opener for the twisted visage of Kyle. Something about watching a man so full of himself be so humbled by those around him draws me into this movie. Honestly, for a movie that did not get a lot of promotional hoopla, I was quite pleased with how well done it was in a simple non-overblown dramatic way.

Without giving away too many details – I highly recommend this movie for a sweet, simple, soul redefining couple of hours enjoyment. If you do find yourself enjoying this fairytale remake, here are a few other recommendations: Snow White: A tale of terror (1997), The Brothers Grimm (2005), Ella Enchanted (2004), EverAfter (1998),  Red Riding Hood (2011) and Tangled (2011).


Make It or Break It Season 2 Episode 8 – Rock Bottom

Make It or Break It Season 2 Episode 8 – Rock Bottom. Shocking, dramatic changes for the girls at the Rock Gym. A must See!

Okay, so after a little recap of the events from Episode 7,  Make It or Break It, August 17th airing of Rock Bottom, Season 2 Episode 8 starts with Lauren and Steve Tanner having it out over his sponsoring Emily Kmetko. Steve essentially tells Lauren he kept it secret because he didn’t want to deal with her reaction, that he donates to charities all the time it doesn’t mean he loves them more than her. Lauren points out that  Emily is her competition.  They continue to argue and Steve tries to help Lauren understand that the Kmetko’s were barely getting by. Lauren points out that the money Steve was giving to Emily helped Emily to steal the best choreographer right out from under Lauren, who then storms off as the doorbell rings. 


Emily hands Steve Money Season 2 ep 8
Emily hands Steve Money Season 2 ep 8

Steve Tanner opens the door to find the very person they were arguing about on his door step.  Lauren struts back on to the scene and takes a couple of digs at Emily about working at the Pizza Shack. Emily calmly hands Steve $1,243.00 and tells Steve that she’ll pay back the rest of the money as soon as she can. Who knew slinging pizza got such good tips?   Steve tries to tell Emily she doesn’t have to do that.  Steve asks Emily how her mom feels about all this and Emily replies that she agrees completely, that he lied to them and there is no going back from that.  

         The scene moves to Payson waking up and smiling dreamily over Sasha’s gold medal and her put it on. Kim is in the kitchen trying to drum up support for the president of the Rocks Parents board. Her husband is not too happy that Kim is getting involved in the politics of the gym. Payson comes happily into the kitchen and her dad notes she’s wearing Sasha’s medal.  

Austin helping unstable Kaylie Season 2 ep 8
Austin helping unstable Kaylie Season 2 ep 8

       Kaylie arrives at the gym and is helped by Austin when she almost passes out getting out of the car. Austin notes that her hands are freezing. He is another person taking notice of Kaylies unhealthy weight loss. Kaylie makes a point of telling Austin that the kiss they shared didn’t mean anything to her. 
             Chloe confronts Lauren and tells her that if she doesn’t tell Steve she was sleeping with Carter, then she will.  After stating she didn’t know that Steve was funding the endowment and that secrets have a way of coming out, Chloe tells Lauren she can not keep the secret about Lauren and Carter having sex.  Lauren accuses Chloe shes’ doing this because the money is no longer coming in. Chloe tells Lauren its about doing the right thing and that she has a choice, either she tells her father that she and Carter are sexually active or she will.  
                 Sasha continues to help Payson work on her artistic Gymnastics. He tries to tell her that while she is perfecting the techniques, he wants to see the emotions behind the movements. Kim’s husband Mark’s comments that getting politically involved in the gym is not a good idea and Kim tells Summer she doesn’t think she should run. Summer tries to tell Kim that if Steve wins, he and the other board members could try to get rid of Sasha. Kim points out that Summer might be a bit biased since she is dating Sasha. Summer counters winning the board presidency is more about Sasha being a good coach than anything else and that he is the right coach for the girls and that he needs to be protected.  
      Kaylie and Emily discuss how much a fool Emily feels after finding out that Steve was backing her. She says the funding made her feel like she was something real and that someone believed she had a chance of winning the Olympics. Kaylie assures Emily she is real – that she is worthy of the Olympic Dream.  
     Austin helps Kaylie after she asks him to share the training cam. He offers to help shoot her vault run. While filming Kaylie doing her vault, we see Austin’s concern with Kaylies weight and how thin she is getting. Not to mention that she could hardly keep from passing out after her vault.  

Chloe forgives Steve season 2 ep 8
Chloe forgives Steve season 2 ep 8

      Steve and Chloe meet up to discuss the money/endowment issue. Chloe forgives Steve for trying to do something nice for her and Emily. She mentions that Emily is proud and asks Steve to respect her wishes from now on.  
       Lauren plots to continue to cause problems for Chloe after telling Carter that Chloe threatened to tell Steve about them having sex. Carter tries to man up and tells Lauren that she and Carter need to tell her dad first. That they will assure her dad that they are being safe and that they care about each other. Summer walks by just as Carter walks away and asks if Lauren wants to talk about the money issue. Lauren continues to push Summer to come back and date her dad. Lauren really wants Summer and Steve to get back together.  
       Sasha tries another training method with Payson to help her feel her artistic dancing and have her movements show more as fluid, flowing lines to the audience. He tells her to close her eyes and think of something that made her happy, angry, joyous or sad. He asks her if she has the feeling and when she says yes, he tells her to dance while painting. Payson creates a colorful canvas with her graceful dancing.  

What Payson painted while dancing
What Payson painted while dancing

        We next see Emily and her mom fighting while Emily tries to find money for the bus to get to work. During the fight, Emily finds out that Chloe has forgiven Steve for the money. Emily angrily complains that her mom has continually made bad choices in the men she dates and why doesn’t her mom help out and get another job. Chloe tells Emily that she starts her new job tomorrow night as Emily storms out to catch the bus.  
        Kim and Mark weigh the pros and cons of Kim running for the Rock Parents Board President back at their home. Payson walks in while they are discussing the cons and what would happen if Steve Tanner wins instead of Kim.  That Steve probably wouldn’t keep Kim as office manager and what would happen if Steve sent Sasha packing. Payson says then they’ll follow him – that he is the only coach that would train her right now. Her parents tell her that they can’t follow Sasha around the country. Payson points out that is exactly why Kim needs to run for president of the Rocks Parent Board. Payson leaves to secretly take a dinner to Sasha, she feels he needs to have someone feed him since he has cereal for dinner. Payson unwittingly interrupts Sasha and Summer having dinner. Payson awkwardly covers up her true feelings and reasons behind bringing the dinner to Sasha. Summer points out that Payson is very fond of Sasha after Payson leaves. 

         We next see Sasha watching Payson do another floor routine. He again attempts to get her to tell a story with her routine. He foolishly walks her through an example of using her favorite story Romeo and Juliet to help her tell her story, deepening her crush for Sasha.  

       Austin convinces Kaylie to go on a picnic with him. He reveals the tragic story of his sisters eating disorder brought on by her competitive need to be better at gymnastics and how it destroyed his sister’s life. Kaylie listens but even this sad story and Austins obvious concern regarding Kaylies weight do not deter Kaylie from continuing to lose weight.  
       After Carter tries to confirm they he and Lauren will confess to her dad that night. Lauren gets all suspicious that Carters more concerned about getting kicked out of the Rock. Lauren turns to Summer and confesses all and lies about Chloe Kmetko knowing about it and encouraging it. Lauren tells Summer this to try to drive a deeper wedge between Chloe and her dad. Summer tries to tell Lauren she needs to tell her dad about all of it. Lauren asks Summer to tell her dad for her, says she can leave out the part about Chloe knowing it. Summer says she can’t promise that.   
       Chloe goes to visit Steve. She finds Steve looking shocked and asked  if he is okay. Steve tells Chloe that he found out that Carter and Lauren were having sex and  Chloe knew about it and didn’t tell him. Chloe asks if Lauren told him that Chloe told Lauren to tell him about it and if she didn’t, Chloe would. Steve reveals it was Summer who told him. Steve tells her he can’t trust Chloe with Laurens’ well-being and that he doesn’t think he trusts her at all. Chloe tearfully asks for Steve’s forgiveness and he says he doesn’t think he can forgive her. Chloe gives Steve back the key to his house and runs out in tears. 
      Emily comes home to the lights being out, the a/c being shut off and the bills not being paid. On top of that , her brother is showing seizure symptoms and his meds are not refilled. Emily helps her brother to the floor and gets someone to watch him while she runs to the pharmacy. At the pharmacy, Emily find out the meds are $220.00 and that her insurance doesn’t cover the meds. The pharmacist tells her to wait until tomorrow to contact her insurance to verify coverage. She argues she can’t wait until tomorrow and asks how much 2 pills will cost. The pharmacist tells he can’t sell her 2 meds, he’d lose his job. Emily begs him to check again and while he does that, she snatches the medicine and leaves the $15 copay she expected to originally pay.  

       Carter shows up to tell Laurens dad about the sex. Lauren reveals Summer already told her dad about them. Carter is upset because he could get kicked out of the Rock if Summer tells Sasha about it. Lauren angrily accuses Carter of only caring about the Rock and not really loving her. That she isn’t stupid. She asks how long it took him to fall in love with Kaylie. That he only told her he loved her until his place at the Rock was threatened.   
     Mark and Kim are still going over whether or not Kim should run for the Parents Board President. They discuss Paysons’ changing hormones and how losing Sasha as coach would affect Payson. We cut to Sasha using the training cam to record Payson performing a truly graceful floor routine. With the camera still running after Payson’s routine, Sasha enthusiastically hugs Payson and twirls her around. He steps back after the congratulatory hug and tells Payson she finally told a story and that the performance was truly inspired. Payson breathlessly tells Sasha  with her eyes shining with all her feelings – its him, that he inspires her. Then Payson rushes up on her toes and kisses Sasha. 

Payson kisses Sasha
Payson kisses Sasha

 He does not return her kiss but, shocked by it,  he tries to disengage himself from her embrace by pushing her away. 

Payson kissing Sasha - he's pushing her away
Payson kissing Sasha - he's pushing her away

Payson is embarrassed and runs out of the gym.  
         Emily comes home and gives her brother his medicine. Their neighbors gave them some light. Emily asks where her mother is working. Her brother doesn’t know and ask why she  wants to know. She says because she hopes it pays really well since they need $220.00. There is a knock at the door. Emily goes to answer it and it is the police. The police  have come to arrest Emily for the theft of the medicine. 
        The episode ends with Kaylie noting calories in her journal, debating if she should work off the calories of the food she just ate  or not. She starts to leave the room, and losing the battle to not work out, Kaylie climbs back on the treadmill.  
This is a truly griping  and powerful episode that shows how much Emily is struggling just to honestly make it as an Olympian. It is amazing how much MIOBI can fit into one episode. The dynamics are compelling. Young crushes, youthful indiscretions, unhealthy decisions and the battles these girls are going through. Definitely a must see!

Make It or Break It Season 2 Episode 7 – What are you made of?

A recap of Make It or Break It Season 2 Episode 7 – What are you made of? – the Plot twists, turns and flips in this episode.

I have got to say this season of Make It or Break It is really fabulous! The way the series holds up so many story lines really keeps me watching. The track that Payson is on now trying to become a more graceful gymnast over a power gymnast is interesting to watch especially with the special encouragement Sasha is giving Payson.  In Season 2, Episode 7, What are you made of? airdate August 10th, 2010, many plot twists come to light.  

National Team's Last Practice
Kaylie and Beals discussing Kaylie's progress

 The Rock girls prepare for the final National Practice to be held at the Rock Gym. Emily is considered the under dog after what happened in Paris and she expects she’ll have to pull out all the stops to make the cut for the Worlds competition. What she didn’t expect was that Beals would go after her so doggedly and with such prejudice.  

 Beals torment of Emily and her total disregard for Kaylies weight loss was noticed by Marty who finally stepped up and stood up for the girls especially after Beals made Emily do a routine just after landing wrong on her ankle. Too bad for Marty though, Beals one upped him and fired him as the coach. His replacement – get this – Beals herself.   I truly loved it when Marty gave Emily that speech about how he saw the Olympian in her and that she shouldn’t let anyone keep her from her dream. Emily truly stepped it up.  Here is a link to the YouTube video of Marty’s speech:   

This link is like the best 8 minutes of the episode. It shows Emily turning her ankle, Marty standing up for Emily and getting fired, it shows Beals being truly evil to Emily. Who is funding the special ‘secret’ endowment that Emily is receiving  is shown when, yep, you guessed it, Beals handed Lauren an envelopment with canceled checks with  her dad’s , Steve Tanner’s, signature on them.  With proof that her dad was funding Emily’s endowment, Lauren didn’t hesitate to let Emily know who her sponsor really is. Emily is now forced to make the decision to keep the money or find another way to afford her Olympic dream. Lauren spitefully tells Emily that her dad is funding Emily’s life and it’s not because he believes in her but because he is having sex with Emily’s mother.  

In shock and disbelief, Emily storms out of the National practice before her floor routine. Her mom runs after her and is just as completely shocked to find out that the money was coming from Steve. After a resounding pep talk from her mom, Emily is faced with performing despite the drama that is going on and finding out that she, Emily,  does believe in herself. She storms back into the Rock gym just in time to perform a stellar Floor routine. This is seconds after Kelly Parker tries to tell Beals that Kalyie is getting way too thin.  At the end of this National Practice, Emily manages to make the cut of 10 girls going to compete for the 6 spots on the World team, along with Kaylie and Lauren.  

It is obvious that Payson is getting a bit too much out of Sasha’s encouragement especially after he gives her his Gold Medal to remind her that she will make it to the Olympics. As Payson’s mom said, Payson is learning to deal with a womans body now, both physically and mentally.  

Sasha joins Payson at the bars in her Ballet class
Sasha joins Payson at the bars in her Ballet class

After finishing the National Practice, Emily confronts her mother, Chloe, about Steve funding her endowment. Emily tells her mother they have to give the money back. Chloe know this but they still have to figure out how to make ends meet. Chloe tells Emily she doesn’t know what to do and Emily storms out saying she knows what she has to do. The new dream of having a nice home and a room of Emily’s own is now just that for Emily, a dream.   

Cut to Summer, Sasha and Kim, Payson’s mom, discussing the meet and Marty’s warning to Sasha to watch his back. Summer points out that Beals could plant a mole. Summer mentions that Steve Tanner is having private meetings with Ellen Beals. The three of them come to the conclusion that someone has to run against Steve for the head of the board and Kim is volunteered.   

The episode ends with views of Lauren crying over her dad’s supposed betrayal by financially supporting Emily, Kaylie inspecting her too thin body, Payson sleeping with Sasha’s Gold Medal and Emily returning to work at the Pizza Shack.   

If you missed this episode, I hope this recap filled you in since there was a lot happening.