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Monday, July 28, 2014

Film Review: Lucy

Lucy is one of those movies that I did my excited chair dance for after seeing the first trailer in theaters. As usual, when I do that, I (and the people near me) know I will be trying my best to see it in theaters. When asked to choose just one movie to see between June and December, I picked Lucy. Then, on opening night, I started seeing a wave of negative reviews coming in online from some people who had seen it. I was shocked. And I was almost swayed by their opinions. But then I remembered that people also gave most of Shyamalan's films negative reviews, so I said TO HELL WITH THE PEOPLE, and the day after it hit theaters, we made the long and stressful trip to finally see Lucy.

It surprised me.
 In a good way.

Lucy is a feast for the eyes, ears, AND mind, and is also an in depth lesson on science, history, and biology. Not to mention, a lesson on human nature. And the way it cuts back and forth between time and space, and the way the transitions cut from one thing to something completely different and yet somehow connected, is genius on the part of cinematographer Thierry Arbogast as well as Luc Besson (who happens to be the film's writer, director, AND editor!)

Reviewers have said that Scarlett Johansson's acting was mediocre in this film, claiming she doesn't show enough emotion. But I mean, come on. She's playing someone who begins to essentially lose touch with what it is to be human, including emotion, so in that case I think she did a great job. And she shows plenty of emotion in the beginning of the film, before the drug is implanted, and even a couple times afterwards, as she exhibits genuine love and sorrow. I admit that even I was worried if she was the right choice to play Lucy, but After seeing it, I think she was perfect. Morgan Freeman also did a good job as the professor (as expected), and I was pleasantly surprised to see Amr Waked in this film, who previously stole the show for me in the movie Salmon Fishing In The Yemen. I'm excited that he's getting more work, and hope to see him in more films soon.

Reviewers have also said the special effects are bad, and while I agree that there is a little glitch in visual quality when she reaches 70%, I thought most of the other effects were pretty well done. That or I was too distracted by how the movie made me FEEL to notice any other bad special effects. 

This movie definitely had a strong impact on me, and it had me in tears twice. One thing is for certain, Lucy is an important one to see in theaters. If you're anything like me, you will leave this movie with a better perception of the world around you and the people inhabiting it, and with a sense of why we're all here. And if you're lucky, you might even unlock a bit more than 10% of your brain just by seeing it ;)

My husband Eric loved the movie too, while his mother, who saw it with us, didn't like it quite as much as she thought she would. I think this is because she was wanting and expecting a fun, entertaining movie, and while it did have some funny moments (I even heard her laughing), I think it ended up being a bit deeper than she expected. That's just speculation, of course. And I'm guessing that others who didn't like the movie might have also been expecting something a bit more light hearted. So if that's what you want in a movie, then I guess maybe Lucy isn't the movie for you. But if you like movies that are beautiful and entertaining while also making you think, Lucy is for you. Please see it.

Be the lightning,
Kylie Jude.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Lucky 7 Blog Hop

So there's another Blog Hop going around, and this one seems fun, so I decided to take Amanda Staley's advice and steal it. ;)

The Rules: 

Go to page 7 or 77 in your current WIP (work in progress).
Go to line 7 on the page.
Post on your blog the next 7 sentences or 7 lines.
You can choose between page 7 or 77. 

K so here's an excerpt from my first Scifi novel, beginning on page 7, line 7. I have the perfect illustration to go with it, but illustrations are still top secret, as well as the novel name and the names of the characters. I will tell you though, that the novel name begins with a U, and the main character's name begins with an A. Since they are top secret, I will use the first letter only when referring to them. Enjoy. ;)

'U' Chapter One, Page 7, lines 7-14: 

"Don't let them take you!" The frazzled woman pleaded as she smacked the bars of her cell with a trembling hand. Something in her bloodshot eyes told 'A' to run. The urgency in them was almost unbearable. That urgency quickly disappeared as her body jolted and fell to the floor. 

"I told you that one belonged in the asylum ward." The sign language using man put his taser back in the pocket of his unzipped coat, which barely fit his chubby body. 'A' wished she had hands so she could grab the taser from him and escape. But she didn't, and wishing wouldn't make it so. It was up to her eccentric mind and scrawny legs. 

There you have it! The longest excerpt I have shared to date. I hope you'll read the whole book when it gets published (hopefully soon).

Be the lightning, 
Kylie Jude. 


Monday, June 16, 2014

Author Interview: Eric Jude

That's right, for this post I'm interviewing my wonderful husband (who also happens to be an author) Eric Jude. Eric has been so supportive and helpful over the years, and he is always the first person I run to with my crazy novel ideas, and he always gives me his honest opinion. He is the brain power behind a lot of the technical stuff in my coming Science Fiction novels, and I'm so grateful for his help. But I'll bet most of you didn't know that he is an author himself! He wrote his first Ebook "How To Successfully Cope With Life" a couple years back, and has recently started a series of short stories in the Horror genre, called #AlderdiceTales (which I had the pleasure of editing for him). And yes, I do use the hashtag every chance I get. And you should too. ;) 

Anyway, obviously I know most of these answers, but for the sake of readers who don't, I decided to ask Eric some questions. Enjoy! 

When did you start writing? 
 I've written for years. Started writing in elementary school, but I've never finished a writing project until now. 

What inspired the Alderdice Tales
I just wanted to write... I was sitting around and decided I wanted to write a story. And I played with a few ideas... Then the opening lyrics of a My Dying Bride Song called "My Hope, the Destroyer" gave me a burst of creativity and I went with it for the opening of 'Bennet'. The name 'Nettie' wasn't inspired by the Type O Negative song of the same name, but once I came up with the name, elements of the song started finding their way in the stories. After that, the story inspired itself...
How many more stories do you plan to release under Alderdice Tales
I have two written so far, 'Bennet' and 'Nettie' and I plan on finishing at least two more. I say at least, because these stories seem to have a life of their own now, so who knows what could happen. I sure don't...

Planning on writing anything else after this? 
Sure, I plan on writing and releasing another short story series. Don't want to give too much away yet though.

What advice do you have for writers or those who want to write? 
Just write... You may come up with tons of stuff you don't like, or stuff that isn't very good, but it's all in the name of practice and refining your skills... Eventually you will know yourself and your style... That's when you can really sit down and let the creativity pour out of you. 

What non-writing projects are you working on? 
Music, photography, gardening... Various little projects that I work on in my spare time. I spend a great deal of my time photographing wildlife and nature in general. Flora and Fauna, mostly... I also compose a little music here and there for the purpose of passing the time... I enjoy the rewarding bliss of the rural countryside over the hectic city. Been doing lots of farming and yard work, camping, fishing, pretty much all of the outdoor activities. I even sometimes write outside.

Well, there you have it. He gets straight to the point. 
And, like me, music inspires his stories.
If you want to check out his #AlderdiceTales, here are all of the links: 

Book One - Bennet:

 Book Two - Nettie:

Be the lightning,
Kylie Jude

(Previously Kylie Kerosene)


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review: Revolution Z

Who better to lead a modern army than George Washington? Right? The thing is, in this day and age, that would take a bit of resurrecting. And in this book, that is exactly what happens. And the army is no normal army. It's an army of zombies. Pretty cool, right? Sure, authors are putting zombies in everything from "Pride and Prejudice" to "Romeo and Juliet" these days, but I'm pretty sure no one has tried presidents yet. So that's pretty unique. 

I haven't had time to finish this book yet, since my own novel has kept me busier than a bee lately, but I'm about half way through, and it's pretty good so far. I love how pronounced the characters are. You almost don't need to know the name of the person speaking, because the character is identifiable by his/her words and actions alone. This is especially true in the case of the resurrected characters, Patton and Washington. They are from different eras, but, through the events of this book, they are brought into the same era, both way ahead of their time. Patton is more in-your-face and outgoing, and Washington is more reserved and refined. This difference is really defined in the first scene of the two leaders talking together, and again in another scene where they react very differently to an event. The way both characters present themselves is how I feel the actual men would have presented themselves, so it's clear the authors did their research. It's also clear the authors know a lot about the military, which is sort of necessary for a book like this. Some of the explanations and terminology were way over my head, LOL. The action takes a bit to pick up, but once it does, it's everything a zombie lover could ask for. Plenty of blood and guts. 

The only problem I personally had with the book was the fact that in the midst of a heated fight scene, we are suddenly pulled out of the action to hear about the color of the walls, or some other lengthy description. Although, I would have loved more description and explanation on how these characters got to be where they are, and on how the zombies and resurrected became the way they are, but maybe I just overlooked something, or maybe I haven't reached that part yet. But, aside from all that, it's a great read if you love zombies and history. I can't wait to find out what happens next.

Find out more, buy the book, and join the revolution HERE.

 More on author Gregory Bernard Banks HERE.

More on author Blaine Hislop HERE.

Stay Frosty ;) 
-Kylie Kerosene (Jude)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Film Review: Edge Of Tomorrow

Edge Of Tomorrow is the newest Science Fiction hit that I think is destined to be a classic, as well as one of my favorites. It's based on a book called All You need Is Kill by  Hiroshi Sakurazaka and stars Tom Cruise as a futuristic soldier who dies in battle and is then forced into a Groundhog Day like scenario, which I was worried might be a little boring and repetitive, but they made it wonderfully entertaining, and even comedic at times. The editing was damn near perfect in those sequences, and when I found out later that it was edited by my favorite editor James Herbert, that was no surprise. Love all of his work, and this movie is no exception.

Yes, this film stars Tom Cruise, who is an outspoken Scientologist, but that is no reason not to see it. Sure there are some glimpses of Scientology in it, such as evil aliens and some messages about destiny and memory, all of which were also in my favorite Tom Cruise film Oblivion, but it's not too over the top. You won't be brainwashed if you see it, I promise. And Cruise gives a solid and believable performance in the leading role. While there are a few small similarities to Oblivion, as I said, Edge Of Tomorrow is still it's own movie, and the Cage character is completely different from Cruise's character in Oblivion.

When I found out Emily Blunt would be playing the "full metal bitch" in this movie, I was instantly excited to see her in a new light. Sure, she's done some action/scifi films before (such as Looper), but never anything this badass. I was almost worried she wouldn't be right for the role, but I think she did a wonderful job and we got to see a whole new version of her, which I think (and hope) will take her stardom even further.

I did my chair dance every time we saw the trailer for this movie, and when the time came to finally see it, I was beyond excited. But I was also nervous. Turns out I had good reason to be nervous. Here's why:

But, even though we were sort of tricked into seeing a tiny, blurry, 1950's version of Edge Of Tomorrow, we still loved the film. It had everything a Science Fiction nerd like me could ask for (time travel, aliens, cool gadgets/armor/weapons); everything the filmmaker in me appreciates (creative script, gorgeous effects, well knit editing); and everything any movie should have, really (action, drama, comedy, romance, ETC). I would love to see it again in a "real" theater to get the full effect. I'm sure I would have loved it even more that way. Trust me when I say this film is worth seeing in theaters. Seriously. See it.

I leave you with a short video I made of the hubby and myself playing a little game inspired by the movie. It's a little glitchy, but hopefully you get the idea. It can be hard, especially while performing tasks (like "grass-fishing" as seen here), but it can also be lots of fun. And you know what they say, couples that play together stay together. So, whether you're married or just bored, try it sometime. ;)


Be the lightning,
Kylie Kerosene (Jude)


Monday, June 2, 2014

Film Review - X-Men: Days Of Future Past

 Having been a fan of X-Men since I was 10 years old, I really wanted to see the new one in theaters. I kept saying to my husband, "But, but, it has Sentinels! We have to see it on the big screen!" But our schedule kept getting in the way, until I finally accepted that we would have to wait until it came to TV. But then, this past Saturday (5/31/2014) my sweet hubby surprised me with a visit to our old haunt, the movie theater in a nearby town, which is apparently going out of business because it looks and feels so abandoned now, but hey, as long as it plays movies, we don't mind. 

The Dying Theater.

We got there early, so we waited around for a while, taking pictures to kill time, and the closer the time came for the movie to start, the more people started filling in to see it (again), and the more we got excited. 

A happy Kylie with her sweet & thoughtful hubby.

 Okay, so, let's get to it shall we? Below is my review of the film. I've split it into 2 parts. The first part is spoiler free for those who haven't seen it yet, and the second part contains spoilers so don't read that part unless you've seen it. Enjoy!

Part One - Spoiler Free:

We finally saw X-Men: Days Of Future Past, and loved it. It was great to see the original cast again, and with the time travel aspect of this film, we got to see the original cast of characters teaming up with the younger generation that we saw in X-Men: First Class. This was a real treat, especially for long-time fans of the movies and comic books like myself. 

I loved how the beginning of the film (and throughout) showed how the future X-Men worked together when fighting the Sentinels. The strategy they used, with a couple characters in the background as support and a couple characters fighting on the front lines was brilliant, reminding us that everyone has a special role to play in a team. It can almost be compared to filmmaking in that the actors and director are on the front lines and are recognized, but you also have the writers, editors, composers, etc - those who work behind the scenes, and are just as important. 

One thing that bothered both my husband and me was that they didn't refresh our memories about how Xavier was still alive in the future X-Men. So, that ended up being a little confusing for those of us that hadn't done an X-Men marathon before seeing this one, but after reading up on the previous films and refreshing our memories later, it makes more sense. It would have been nice to have a reminder though. Still, loved the effects, acting, and storyline. A great one to see on the big screen if you can.

Part Two - Contains Spoilers:

While it was nice to see some old faces, I kept wondering why we hadn't seen Rogue (Anna Paquin) or Cyclops (James Marsden). Obviously I knew Jean (Famke Janssen) wouldn't be in it, as Wolverine killed her in X-Men: The Last Stand, but as the movie went on, I just started assuming we wouldn't see Rogue or Cyclops at all. Until the end, after they went back in time and changed things. We then got to see all three of them for a moment, and although it was brief, I was glad that they were included a little bit. One character that didn't resurface was Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), as well as a couple others, but it was still nice to see some favorites, and the present cast did an awesome job.

I only teared up one time in the entire movie, and that was when young Xavier (James McAvoy) met with old Xavier (Patrick Stewart) in his mind. The acting in that scene was particularly believable, and you really felt the struggle of young Xavier. And when old Xavier gave him words of advice about dealing with pain, and embracing it, I immediately related. I live with chronic pain every day, and I am also empathic (which means I pick up on the pain and emotions of other people), so when old Xavier said that bit about embracing the pain and how it will make you stronger, it hit home for me. It was a lesson I had already learned, but it was a good reminder. I tried hard to remember those words throughout the rest of the movie, as the pain of sitting for so long grew sharper and sharper in my back and legs, but by the end of the movie, I was so entranced that I'd almost forgotten about the pain.

We sat all the way through the credits (as everyone should, especially with Marvel movies), and when the post-credit sequence played, showing that epic scene of Apocalypse rising to power as a child, and building the great pyramids with his mind, I was blown away. It made me excited to see the next X-Men movie, which is currently titled (appropriately) X-Men: Apocalypse. I hope we get to see more of the Egypt story, at least in flashbacks.

There were a few small details in this movie that were similar to some things in my upcoming novels, and there were a couple inconsistencies here and there, but overall I enjoyed the movie. Great effects, tons of emotion, and as usual, some really good messages about the character of people, the importance of acceptance,  and the persistence of hope.

My fancy new Photoshopped 5 star rating system.

Hope you enjoyed my allovertheplace review!
Until next time...

Be the lightning, 
Kylie Kerosene (Jude).


Monday, May 26, 2014

Reviews - Guest Blog with author Rayne Hall

I have the pleasure of following author and editor Rayne Hall on Twitter, and I always find her conversations very informative and engaging. Rayne has written many books, most of which are designed to help authors strengthen their writing, which, as a writer myself, I appreciate. She has offered two previously published pieces for this blog, both about reviews. I have split this blog up into 2 parts. The first part is for readers, and the second part is for writers. Enjoy!

* * *

The question Rayne tackles in this post is "Are Indie Books Worth Reviewing?" When I hear this question, my mind automatically screams, "YES!" If any book needs reviewing, it is an indie book, and I don't think indie books are any less worthy of reviews than other books. Here's what Rayne Hall had to say about it:

* * *


by Rayne Hall

Certain book blogs state categorically that they won't review self-published books.  I understand their motivation: They get inundated with submissions and are trying to keep the numbers down.

However, No Indies is as arbitrary as No Jews or No Women.

The reviewers aim to filter out low-quality works - but is the publishing method a valid quality filter?

It used to be. In the late 20th century, the established path to publication was author-agent-publisher-bookseller-reader. Each book had to pass three gates on its journey from author to reader, and each gate represented a quality test. Self-published books were inevitably those that had failed at the first two gates.

Times have changed. E-publishing makes it possible to reach the readers directly, and many authors choose the direct route instead of queuing at the gates.

Without gatekeepers barring entry, many poorly-written and under-revised books get published. A lot of indie (i.e. self-published) books are not as good as their authors think. Frankly, there's a mass of indie dross - but there are also many indie gems.

The boundary between “good book” and “bad book” doesn't happen to coincide with the frontier between indie-published and traditional-published books.

Consider the authors who use both publishing models: Amanda Hocking, John Locke and Michael Stackpole submit some of their works to traditional publishers and self-publish others. Are these authors' traditional-published books better than their self-published ones?

Or how about the authors were successful with traditional-published books, but then decided to go indie? Consider Joe Konrath, Barry Eisler, and Dean Wesley Smith. Have they lost their ability to write good books?

Then there are the authors who took their previously traditional-published out-of-print books and self-published them as ebooks -  Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Piers Anthony, for instance. The books are the same, so how can they suddenly be less worthy?

Over three decades, I had twenty books published by several traditional publishers before choosing the indie route. Does this mean my old books are worth reviewing, and my new books are not - even though I have grown as a writer?

Not long ago, a book blogger approached me. She had enjoyed the stories in Six Scary Tales Vol. 1 and asked for review copies of Vol. 2 and 3, so she could review the series. Shortly after I sent the books, I received an email “Your books are self-published and therefore not worth reading or reviewing.”

Excuse me? When she assumed that the books were traditional-published, she liked the stories and wanted more. On discovery that they were indie-published, the same stories were suddenly not worth reading. What does this say about the reviewer's judgement?

Most stories in the Six Scary Tales series were originally published the traditional way in magazines and anthologies. Did inclusion in the self-published collection damage their quality?

I appreciate that book bloggers decline to read certain books, e.g. No Erotica, No Horror or No Romance, because if a book isn't to their taste, it would be tedious to read and difficult to review.

But to decline all indie-published books because they can't possibly be good is like refusing to read books penned by women or by Jews because no woman or Jew could possibly write something worth reading.

So how can a book reviewer assess which books are worth reading? I think the answer is obvious: by looking at the book itself. Reading the first few pages will show the reviewer whether it's their kind of book. Often, a quick glance at the first paragraph is enough to weed out the obvious dross. If reviewers can't form their own opinion of what they're reading, they shouldn't be reviewing books.

 * * *

If you've ever published a book, you probably know what it's like to receive a negative review. I haven't published yet, so I haven't had the "pleasure" of negative reviews yet, but I know I'll get them. Who doesn't? Not everyone will love your book. That doesn't always mean it's bad, it just means it's not for everyone. What I plan to do, and what I suggest other writers do, is to #1: See negative reviews as a learning experience (at least the ones that are negative for a good reason), and #2: Learn to laugh at negative reviews (especially the ones that are negative for silly reasons). Here are some hilarious negative reviews from Rayne Hall:

* * *


I love it when readers who enjoyed my books post positive reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and elsewhere – but negative reviews can be even more fun.

Here's a selection of my favourites I've received over the years:

“This book is too long. I had to spend many hours reading it. I'm busy and have other things to do.”

“The character of Queen Matilda is not believable” There's no Queen Matilda in the book.

“Animal lovers: Do not buy this book! They don't just sacrifice humans, but horses as well.”

“The women in this story are not as obedient as the Bible says women were in those days.”

“The book didn't end how I thought it would.”

“The vampires in this book aren't like Edward Cullen. Most of them totally creep me out.”

“I could have written a vampire story as good as any in this book if the editor had asked me.”

Daughters of the Dragon (non-fiction)

“How dare this author write about women in China? I checked her credentials: she does not have a degree in sinology.”

Living&Working in Britain (non-fiction)

“I've spent three weeks in that country. Trust me, it's not at all like this.”  The author lives in that country.

“If I had time, I'd dash off a book like this myself.”

Living&Working in Germany (non-fiction)

“This is not how I imagine Germany to be.”

“Clearly, the author has never met a real German”  The author is a real German.

How To Be A Freelance Journalist (non-fiction)

“I don't want to do all this work. I just want to be a journalist.”

“I skipped the first twenty chapters because there was nothing of interest in them. I wanted to know how to structure a fight scene and the book doesn't show that.” Chapter 3 is titled “Structure”.

“I don't need a book to teach me how to write.”

“I haven't read this book because I don't need to read it to know it's bad.”

“I had made reservation and on the date I was to go I had a very bad cold and fever and I called them to change my reservation and they refused.”

“I haven't read it yet, but Amazon pressed me for a review.”

“What a rip-off! This book contains only six stories!”

“These tales are not scary. There's not one single chainsaw massacre, not even a disemboweling.”

“I didnt even get through the first story cause when i was reading it to my mom therebwere some inapropreate words.”

“I hate it when writers use British English. They should learn to write proper English before publishing a book.”

“These stories are not 'historical.' Nobody gets married.”


Since some of these reviews were written many years ago and I no longer have access to them, I've quoted them from memory. The precise wording may have been different.


Negative reviews from someone who clearly doesn't get it can be annoying – but they can also be a source of hilarity.

I've browsed some review sites and found these disdainful comments on famous classics and bestsellers:

Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austen)

“I found the story incredibly dated.” It was published in 1813.

“This is stupid. Why don't those girls simply get a job?”

“Jane Austen left out all the good bits!! Even where Mr Darcy comes out of the water with his shirt wet! It's absolutely the best part and it's not in the book at all!!!”

Rebecca (by Daphne du Maurier)

“This story needs editing.”

“I wish the house would burn down and kill all the characters inside.”

Wuthering Heights (by Emily Bronte)

“There is also animal cruelty, and most of the characters die off at an early age.”

“The book is not as good as the movie.”

Dracula (by Bram Stoker)

“The character of the count is a stereotyped kind of vampire you've already seen in two dozen movies.”  Stoker's Count Dracula is the original from which the stereotype evolved.

Carrie (by Stephen King)

“A bland tasteless book with no debth. The only part I enjoyed was the crazy mother.”

“Where's the Scarey? Boring!”

Grapes of Wrath (by John Steinbeck)

“What should I care about those people's problems? I have enough problems of my own.”

Bleak House (by Charles Dickens)

“I'm on page 300 and there is no end in sight.”

* * *

See? Hilarious! Some of those had me rolling. SMH. 

So in conclusion, readers, please review the books you read, especially indie books. And writers, try to take negative reviews with a grain of salt, and a little humor ;) 

I hope you've enjoyed this review-mashup! Thanks to Rayne Hall for contributing. You can check her books out HERE. And don't forget to review them too ;)

Be the lightning, 
Kylie Kerosene.