Sunday, October 31, 2010

10/10/10 Reviews #10: Pumpkinnapper

Book Review 10: Pumpkinnapper by Linda Banche

How could I not review this one on Halloween? I’ve known Linda for some time and I tend to forget she’s actually from the US. Why? She writes Regency romance and she does it well enough I forget she’s not British.

Pumpkinnapper is the tale of Emily, a young widow who has one of the few full pumpkin patches in a time of a pumpkin drought. Her pet goose, a fiesty thing with a penchant for biting in awkward places, does his best to keep her pumpkins from being stolen. In the midst of the pumpkin thievery quandary, Henry, the love of Emily’s younger years who happens to share a name with the goose, comes back to town.

This 75 page novella is charming, funny, romantic, lightly sensual, slightly suspenseful, and a very enjoyable read. Perfect for a Halloween afternoon/evening while handing out treats to the goblins, or geese. Smile

By the way: Pumpkinnapper was just awarded as a Finalist in EPIC’s 2011 book awards! Congrats Linda, and best of luck at finals!

Find it at the Wild Rose Press
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Music Review: Anthology, Duncan Faure

I’ve been following Duncan Faure since 1978 when he joined the Bay City Rollers as their lead singer. I was twelve at the time, but even then I knew quality music when I heard it, and quality musicians. (That happens when you grow up with musicians and music lovers.) When the Rollers broke up, I lost track of where any of them went from there, until 1999 when I got hooked up to the internet and did a search. 

Duncan’s newest album in a string of albums, with bands (including South Africa’s Rabbitt) and solo, Anthology documents his very long musical path, starting in 1972 with Orange Cash Boat. It includes 2 songs from his first band, back before he was even a teenager, as well as a few from those ‘lost’ years when he had joined up with fellow Roller Stuart Wood to form Karu. Roller fans will notice there are no BCR songs on the Anthology – a shame, as some of his best work was on those 4 albums (you can still find them, however; at least you can find 3 of them, in remade CD versions).

I was glad to see Seen The Way You Look At Me on the Anthology, since the first time I heard the song was live and it grabbed me and yanked me in. It’s a shame everyone can’t see this one live, as he shows off intricate keyboard skills along with the full vocal emotion of the song that only partly come through on CD.

I’m also glad a few of the instrumentals from his 2005 home studio release Letter From Britain was included. Every song on that CD was written and performed by Faure, not only vocals but each instrument, as well. The guitar work, too often underplayed during his career, is as amazing as his keyboards and vocals. (Of course, I’m a bit partial to Britain since I designed all of the cover and CD artwork for it.)

Overall, this album is what is should be: a nice retrospective covering a large span of years, and it comes with an acoustic demo of a new song in the works.

(A note to Rehearsal fans: yes, I did borrow names! but only as a tribute, no similarities to real musicians intended.)
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 Movie Review: The Ultimate Gift (2006)

Jason is the twenty-something spoiled youngest heir to a wealthy businessman’s throne. At the reading of the will, he gets a shock instead of an inheritance. If he wants it, he’ll have to earn it, a concept lost on him. He must perform a series of tasks created to teach him about responsibility, real life, and honest love, three concepts he also doesn’t grasp. His greatest help with his task comes in the form of a young girl who faces an intense struggle with optimism, hope, and concern for her mother.

Although the theme of the movie is somewhat cliché, it’s still charming and heart-warming. I never quite bought that actor Drew Fuller (Jason) fit the self-centered spoiled role, but he does come out nicely as the reformed Jason. Abigail Breslin (also of Nim’s Island) does a beautiful job as Jason’s young friend. This is a nice family comedy-drama with some serious tones to it.
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Legal Note: no review was compensated or requested


StephB said...

Loraine, you review well. Linda's story is going in the TBR pile. It sounds really cool.

How cool to know the inspiration behind Duncan. Smiles

LK Hunsaker said...

Thank you, Steph, a nice compliment coming from another reviewer!

Linda Banche said...

Ah, Loraine, thank you so much for the wonderful review of PUMPKINNAPPER. I appreciate it, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

Keena Kincaid said...

Loraine, I watched the Ultimate Gift solely because it was filmed in Charlotte, and I was feeling very homesick at the time. But I found the movie heart-warming and enjoyable.

And I'm glad I know who inspired Duncan.

liana laverentz said...

You do write an awesome review, Loraine...and books, music and movies...what more does anyone need?

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Loraine,

I enjoyed your thoughts on the book, the band, and the movie. You have a nice way of summarizing things that keeps the interest level high.

And how cool to read about your inspiration for your Rehearsal series.

Enjoyed it!