Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Cloud Atlas" Movie and Music

Okay so here is the deal on "Cloud Atlas", it is one of the most expensive independent films ever made 102 million to be exact. It is also considered a German science fiction foreign film even though almost all the actors are American. The story is unique and visually stunning it will quite literally take your breath away for so many different reasons. It is basically about a group of people who keep being reborn or reincarnated over and over or as Wiki puts it "the film features multiple plot lines set across six different eras". The six main characters are all linked and their lives keep crossing paths in every life. From back in slave trading times all the way to the future in Korea, these people always find each other. Some in tragic ways and others in happy ways the one thing that follows them all is the music. It is the kind of music you could never forget. It melts into your soul adding a balm to all past hurts. I am in love with this movie and music it really brought heart back to me lately. I encourage all of you to watch it not just once but multiple times because each time you pick up something you had not seen before. It is like watching it new every time  These are stories of humanity where the heart is trying to do good but sometimes it is just not meant to be well at least not in this life.

Cloud Atlas Trailer

"Cloud Atlas Sextet" Music Score

The official synopsis for Cloud Atlas describes the film as: "An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution." For more on this check out the Wiki.

My favorite in this movie was Jim Sturgess. I never really notice him before this but he is dang heroic in this film and defiantly sexy. The future story in Neo Soul really will make you think outside of the box.

This I added for after you watch the film if you want to check and see who is who on the different lives and how they cross paths.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Upcoming Release: The White Princess (Cousins' War) by Philippa Gregory

Releasing July 23, 2013
"The newest novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory tells the passionate story of Elizabeth of York, daughter of the White Queen, who gets caught in the middle of a battle for the crown of England.

The White Princess opens as the news of the battle of Bosworth is brought to Princess Elizabeth of York, who will learn not only which rival royal house has triumphed, Tudor or York, but also which suitor she must marry: Richard III her lover, or Henry Tudor her enemy.

A princess from birth, Elizabeth fell in love with Richard III, though her mother made an arranged betrothal for her with the pretender to the throne: Henry Tudor. When Henry defeats Richard against all odds, Elizabeth has to marry the man who murdered her lover in battle, and create a new royal family with him and his ambitious mother: Margaret Beaufort, The Red Queen. But, while the new monarchy can win, it cannot, it seems, hold power in an England which remembers the House of York with love.

The new king’s greatest fear is that somewhere, outside England, a prince from the House of York is waiting to invade and re-claim the throne for the house of York. Fearing that none of his new allies can be trusted, Henry turns to his wife to advise him, all the time knowing that her loyalties must be divided. When the young man who would be king finally leads his army and invades England, it is for Elizabeth to decide whether she recognizes him as her brother and a claimant to the throne, or denies him in favor of the husband she is coming to love…"


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Book Review: THE KINGMAKER'S DAUGHTER by Philippa Gregory

The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory

There is nothing better than a good Richardian novel to get your book blood pumping. This is book number 4 in the Cousins’ War series. I really enjoyed this novel but not nearly as much as I love Lady of the Rivers. I love that PG’s novels in this series usually pick up exactly where the last one left.  Shifting from Jacquetta Woodville to Anne Neville the kingmaker’s youngest daughter. Richard Neville aka the Kingmaker had a merciless ambition and he wanted his girls to sit on high in England’s court but everything has its price and the Neville’s would pay dearly for it.

Anne and her older sister Isabel Neville were the only children of the famous Earl of Warwick.  The King making Earl held great power and popularity through out England. He was also included in the handful of nobility that had a major role in the War of the Roses. Warwick had the ward ship of all the York boys through their adolescents Edward, George, and Richard Plantagenet all were in Warwick’s home at one time or another. Warwick had a dream of seeing a puppet king on the throne of England and he wanted to be the one pulling the strings.  His ambition was so great that he wanted to make sure that at least one of his daughters were married to the puppet king. When Edward of York became Edward IV Warwick was a big part of the events and their relationship was great until Edward married the beautiful commoner Elizabeth Woodville with out warning.  Warwick had been working on a French marriage for Edward and it was all for nothing now that he secretly married. Warwick saw the marriage as a personal slight on him and it started to deteriorate what had been a positive relationship of so many years.  The relationship could never really be healed after this point because the rift became too great.

Immediately afterwards Warwick had begun plotting and he moved on to his back up plan. He successfully married his eldest daughter to King Edwards’s younger brother George Duke of Clarence. His ultimate plan was to replace Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville with his daughter Isabel and George. Things were doomed to fail for them but his girls really suffered the most by his hand. Isabel had the most reason to be upset. Early on in her marriage to George Isabel had become pregnant and she was forced to flee with her whole family.  Edward had foiled his mentor’s plans and they went to hide in Calais. A wicked storm took over there ship on the way there and they were also not permitted to dock Calais. She went into early labor from duress and her child was stillborn. Isabel swore afterwards that it was a witch’s wind that had taken over her fathers ship. She also swore that it was none other than Elizabeth Woodville and her mother that had conjured it up.

In this novel in the series Elizabeth Woodville is a force to be reckoned with in her own right….fierce and very deadly.  Warwick had basically declared war on her when he had stolen her father and brother and murdered them in the name of the law when in reality it was out of pure hatefulness for Elizabeth.  He executed them with no authority and Elizabeth would never forgive or forget it. Elizabeth would lay a curse on two names and two names alone. Isabel Neville is convinced that it is she and her sister’s names on that piece of paper.

Anne Neville had made it through so much with her sister at a young age it really was not an easy life for these girls even in the beginning. Warwick had sided Anne at one point to Margaret of Anjou the she wolf of France. Anne married Margaret’s son Edward and they all lead a one last-ditch effort attack into England. They planned on recapturing the crown from Edward IV.  The planed failed before it had even begun and it left Anne a widow in war torn England. Stuck with Margaret Anne had not known what to do but when they were captured her heart skipped a beat when she saw again her childhood friend Richard Duke of Gloucester

In a complete turn of fortunes wheel Anne is in some sorts of favor at court. She also gets to see her sister Isabelle but that quickly turned sour when it became apparent that Anne was more of a prisoner than an honored guest. Anne was presented with an escape route and it was a very handsome way to gain control of her life. She had always loved Richard and she even fancied herself marring him as a child. Yet she still could not believe it might actually truly come to pass.

Richard and Anne put the past behind them and had moved on as an untied front. At court at the time it seemed that everyone was plotting, possibly poisoning, and what made it worst of all is the Woodville witch held all the power. They fled to escape the pressures of court. It was not long before they had received word that Edward has suddenly passed away. He had named Richard as his protector of his young heir. Elizabeth Woodville would never just “let” Richard be protector and so began the mad dash to the position of power over a defenseless child heir.

4.5/5 Such a good book but “Lady of the Rivers” was better. It was a delightful follow up to it. I cannot wait for Elizabeth of York: “The White Princess” which will release July 23, 2013. PG has made another wonderful addition to the Cousins’ War series. I hate to admit this but Philippa’s spin on Anne Neville was way better than Jean Plaidy’s version. That was the only novel of Jean Plaidy’s that I did not like because Ann was portrayed as a week woman but Gregory empowered her and made her strong to me, as she should be for a woman who lived her whole life in the turmoil of the War of the Roses.

PG-13 for mild violence
FTC- this novel was sent to me for review by the publisher


Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Lovely Peacock

My most recent watercolor pencil piece. This as usual is a mixed media piece, water color pencils  colored pencils, and silver felt markers. My favorite set of watercolor pencils on Amazon.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Series "Dracula" Coming this Fall to NBC

Coming to NBC this fall "Dracula" featuring Jonathan Rhys Meyer and created by the same people who brought us The Tudors.

"Golden Globe winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("The Tudors") stars in this provocative new drama as one of the world's most iconic characters.

It's the late 19th century, and the mysterious Dracula has arrived in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. He's especially interested in the new technology of electricity, which promises to brighten the night - useful for someone who avoids the sun. But he has another reason for his travels: he hopes to take revenge on those who cursed him with immortality centuries earlier. Everything seems to be going according to plan... until he becomes infatuated with a woman who appears to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.

From the producers of the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning hit "Downton Abbey" comes "Dracula," a twisted, sophisticated and sexy take on Bram Stoker's classic novel, proving that some stories never die. One-hour drama".

For more on this upcoming show check out the website.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mailbox Monday

Royal Mistress, Anne Easter Smith
"Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows King Edward will find her irresistible.

Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as those of Jane and Will Hastings, hangs in the balance. Jane must rely on her talents to survive as the new monarch, Richard III, bent on reforming his brother’s licentious court, ascends the throne.

This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for five hundred years, and, as told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety,Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as well".
The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
"The second book in The Cousins’ War series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings to life the story of a complex and determined woman who shapes the course of history—now available in mass market.

Fans and reviewers everywhere agree that no one writes historical fiction better than Philippa Gregory. In The Red Queen, Gregory illuminates the fascinating woman who founded England’s most powerful ruling line, the Tudors: Margaret Beaufort.

Ignored by the king, mocked by her mother, and forced into a loveless marriage, Margaret, heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. Convinced that her piety and lineage have destined her for greatness, she is determined that her son Henry will rule England—no matter what the cost. After the death of her first husband, she sends the boy into exile and promises him in marriage to the daughter of her enemy, Elizabeth of York. As the political tides constantly turn, Margaret charts her course through another loveless marriage, treacherous alliances, and secret plots. Following the death of her second husband, she marries the ruthless Thomas, Lord Stanley, and gambles her life and her son’s future on his support as she masterminds a final rebellion that will either put her son on the throne or send them all to their deaths".

Kings & Queens of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Fanny Blake
"An authoritative guide to all the Kings and Queens of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Presented in chronological order for easy cross-referencing. With an insightful look at the life and reign of each monarch".
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