In the News - Movie Reviews - Publishing News & More
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST (MAYBE EVEN ALREADY)
- Using the words "last straw" to describe
Google's launch of "Gmail," a super-charged email
system that can receive, store and retrieve a virtually
unlimited number of messages transparently, at
lightning speed and all for free, U.S. Postmaster General
John E. Potter today unveiled plans for Tmail, a next
generation messaging system that the U.S. government
had been secretly developing in hopes of reestablishing
the postal service's dominance in the market. Tmail,
which was developed as part of a joint-agency task
force that included the Central Intelligence Agency, the
National Security Council and the Department of
Defense, has been overseen by former Sun
Microsystems chief scientist Bill Joy, and is based on a
next generation computer modulation protocol that
emulates telepathic thought.
"The irony is we knew Google was going to make their
announcement today when we received an alert
yesterday in our Tbox," sniffed Potter, during an early
morning press briefing to a group of stunned
reporters. "Tmail actually works faster than Gmail," he
continued, "because it utilizes a precognitive algorithm
that enables users to receive their messages before
they are sent."
Potter went on to reveal postal service plans to go
Google one better in its pricing model. "Google's only
offering Gmail for free. Our plan is to pay people to use
Tmail," he said, adding that the service would cause
the postal service to overhaul its entire business
model. "We've already gotten a nod from the Postal
Rate Commission on this. To offset the costs of paying
people for using first-class Tmail, we'll triple the rates
for business class." Moments after Potter's remarks, a
joint statement was released by the DMA, the MPA,
Hallmark and the American Philatelic Society
asserting, "We will fight this to the death."
A Liberal Voice Debuts on Talk Radio - NEW
YORK (AP) -- Is it a radio business, or is it politics? The
two seem inextricably entwined for the leaders of Air
America Radio, the liberal talk radio network that
launched on five stations around the country
As a startup media business, they need to draw in
listeners fast. Air America Radio is betting that a menu
of left-leaning political commentary, current affairs talk
and satire will resonate with those opposed to the Bush
Al Franken, who is headlining the network with a daily
three-hour talk show, has made no secret of his
intention to use his platform to influence the election in
"We are flaming swords of justice," Franken told a
cheering crowd at a party to launch the network
Tuesday night. "Bush is going down, he is going down,
he is going down. And we're going to help him."
Franken's show went live at noon on Wednesday with
co-host Katherine Lanpher, a longtime host of a public
radio show in Minnesota. At the opening, Franken joked
that they were broadcasting from a bunker 3,500 feet
below Vice President Dick Cheney's own secret bunker.
In fact, Franken will be broadcasting his show,
dubbed "The O'Franken Factor" in his latest jab at Fox
News host Bill O'Reilly, from the slightly shabby studios
of New York City station WLIB, on the 41st floor of an
office tower a few blocks from the Empire State
Pay 'The Simpsons' 6! - A festering stalemate
in contract negotiations between the stars of "The
Simpsons" and Rupert Murdoch's Fox Television is
threatening to kill the 16th season of the wildly
successful animated sitcom.
The six top actors who voice the multifarious and
beloved characters of "The Simpsons" - Dan
Castellaneta (Homer, Krusty the Clown and others),
Julie Kavner (Marge and others), Hank Azaria (Moe
Szyslak, Chief Wiggum and others), Nancy Cartwright
(Bart), Yeardley Smith (Lisa) and Harry Shearer
(Montgomery Burns, Ned Flanders and others) - have
joined in a united front to demand a huge raise from the
I hear that Fox has flatly refused their demands - which
Azaria rep Stan Rosenfield yesterday characterized as
an effort simply "to be paid their fair share."
I'm told that the Simpsons Six (who have been earning
less than $1 million each per season) want in excess of
$8 million per season to stay on the show - which has
conservatively earned Fox hundreds of millions of
dollars, and probably more than a billion dollars, from
domestic syndication and worldwide broadcast rights.
The stars of successful sitcoms at other networks -
such as "Friends" - typically earn a million dollars each
The Simpsons Six have been working without a
contract, on the show's 15th season, since November.
If they don't get their price, Fox might find itself in the
embarrassing predicament at next month's
network "upfronts" (where the prime schedules are
announced) of being unable to count on "The
Simpsons," which long has been the crown jewel of
Fox's prime-time schedule.
Ladies: Your vacation doesn't have to be a diet
"I'm on vacation, so I can eat whatever I want."
How many times have you said that? And how much did
you regret it when those pounds you worked so hard to
take off for the vacation came right back?
Take a vacation from work, stress and to-do lists --
not from your diet -- with these tips from women just
Keep moving - Instead of lying on the beach
with a fruity drink, find a volleyball game or play in the
water. You'll still get plenty of sun and the exercise will
Pack snacks - Bring healthy snacks with you
wherever you go. This way you won't be hungry and
stuck with the high-calorie fare at the corner store or
Chew on this - Really chew all of your food and
enjoy what you are eating. You don't need to eat a
large portion of junk food, just a small but delicious
Stay Busy - Don't let yourself get bored
because there was so much to do on vacation. Keeping
yourself busy with fun activities should keep you from
snacking too much.
When you are out sightseeing, food is the last thing on
your mind. Yet when it is mealtime, you usually want to
eat at a new restaurant and try the new fare. Drink at
least two glasses of water before the meal ever gets
there. This will fill your stomach up some. Skip the
appetizers and always get a salad. I know how boring
salads are, but if you really don't want to overindulge,
that is the way to go.
On April 25th, MORE THAN A THOUSAND groups are
co-sponsoring the biggest women's march in more than
a decade -- the March for Women's Lives. - march
to uphold Choice, Justice, Access, Health, Abortion,
Global and Family Planning.
The time is right for a public demonstration of historic
size in support of reproductive freedom and justice for
all women. Threats to these rights have never been so
systematic and coordinated, and the lives and health of
women have never faced such peril.
Inspire Your World, which bills itself as "the
first consumer magazine on volunteering and
philanthropy that celebrates the people, companies and
causes that inspire us to give back," has set the week
of April 19 for its newsstand debut. The bimonthly title
will be available on newsstands in the New York, New
Jersey, Philadelphia and Delaware regions and via
The mag's business model is consistent with its editorial
thrust: its advertising rewards program allows
marketers the option of contributing five percent of net
advertising revenue to the charity of their choice. Its
founder and publisher is Gary Schneider, president of
New Jersey-based publishing company BizExUSA.
Custom Publishing Council Sees Membership
Doubled - The Custom Publishing Council
announced Wednesday that it has more than doubled
its membership since 2002. The organization, the voice
of a media sector that generates $29.9 billion in
revenues annually, now boasts 58 members. "Activity is
increasing at all levels - from new members to the
number of calls received from companies wishing to
break into custom publishing," said CPC executive
director Lori Rosen in a press release. "The custom
publishing industry has hit its stride to become a
significant publishing category, and a major marketing
Jersey Girl - 3 out of 5 points
Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck) is a young New York music
publicist on the fast track to fame and success, but his
ideal life gets ransacked when his dearly beloved wife
Gertrude (Jennifer Lopez) dies giving birth to their
daughter (Raquel Castro). Now a single parent to a
newborn child, Ollie deals with the situation the best
way he knows how--by avoiding it. He leaves little
Gertie with his widowed father, Bart (George Carlin), to
raise in New Jersey and throws himself deeper into his
work. But Bart gets tired of playing father to his
granddaughter and one fateful morning relinquishes
diaper duty back to Ollie, who is about to give an
important press conference. Mayhem ensues and poor
Ollie is left at the podium holding a crying baby with a
stinkin' diaper. Fast-forward seven years to the
present, as Ollie has given up the NYC limelight for the
Jersey Shore town of Highlands, where he is working as
a street sweeper while attentively raising Gertie and
sort of seeing Maya (Liv Tyler), the clerk at the local
video store. When Ollie finally gets the big break he's
been waiting for almost a decade--a job interview
returning to the NYC publicity game--he must decide
whether to uproot Gertie for a new life in Manhattan or
keep it simple in Jersey.
If there is one thing this schmaltzy film has going for it,
it's the cast. Affleck nicely portrays all the changes his
multifaceted Ollie goes through: slick publicist, doting
dad, good son, best friend, blue-collar worker. But the
transformation is pretty unbelievable --can such a jerk
truly morph into such a loving guy?
Smith's Jersey Girl obviously reflects the changes in his
personal life, but marriage and fatherhood may have
caused him to lose his edge. Subtlety is sorely lacking
here; Smith seems to think the audience needs beating
over the head with the movie's touchy-feely stuff. For
instance, we see Ollie dancing with Gertie by the
jukebox at a diner in a touching scene, but Smith
seems to think we're missing its poignancy so he
darkens the set and focuses a spotlight on the dancing
duo--just to make sure we get it.
Bottom Line: Director Kevin Smith tries to appeal to a
more mature audience with the dramatic comedy Jersey
Girl but in doing so, he loses his edge. The result is a
film that's too sappy for its own good.
The Ladykillers - 4 out of 5 points
The Re-making of the 1955 British classic comedy
starring Alex Guinness, The Coen brothers refresh The
Ladykillers with a Southern twist and a new comic turn
by a highly caricatured Tom Hanks. Playing the
ringleader of a casino heist living in the house of a
sassy Southern widow, Hanks and crew work all the
madcap twists and turns of their trade, including the
possibility of offing an innocent old lady.
Tom Hanks stars as the charming but fiendishly
eccentric Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, III, Ph.D.--a
Southern gentleman and expert thief who masterminds
a casino heist with a motley crew of goofy crooks.
Setting up operations at the boarding house of the
widowed, Baptist-loving, sassy Mrs. Munson (Irma P.
Hall), Dorr convinces the older lady that he requires her
cellar for his Renaissance-period music ensemble to
practice. The band is, in actuality, his criminal team,
which plans to use the space to dig a tunnel into a
riverboat casino and rob its safe. But with this oddball
crew, comprised of the hip-hop stylin' Gawain (Marlon
Wayans), a janitor at the casino; ex-hippie and Irritable
Bowel Syndrome sufferer Garth Pancake (J.K.
Simmons); The General (Tzi Ma), a stoic, chain smoking
tunneling pro; and Lump (Ryan Hurst), an ex-football
player whose brains are in short order, problems are
bound to arise. God-fearing Southern woman Mrs.
Munson is initially charmed (after all, they're not playing
that "hippity-hoppity" music, as she calls it), but once
she catches wind of their scheme, the dastardly
characters must find a way to dispose of her. But how?
Stepping in the shoes of the great Guinness, who
played an almost Phantom of the Opera version of the
English gallant, Hanks creates an over-the-top
Southerner who's part William Faulkner, part Colonel
Sanders. An eloquent, Edgar Allen Poe-quoting dandy,
Hanks wears antebellum all-white and speaks with
antiquated turns of phrase that are supposed to be
alternately appealing and anachronistically funny.
Supposed to be.
The Coen brothers usually work expertly with
caricatures, carefully balancing cartoonish madcap with
people we actually care about. From Nicolas Cage's
brilliant Hy in Raising Arizona to Jeff Bridges's pot-
smoking The Dude in The Big Lebowski to Clooney in the
aforementioned O Brother, they're the masters of
broad. Here, however, they make a misstep in both
casting Hanks (Billy Bob Thornton would have been
more appropriate) and, to a larger extent, messing with
a movie that didn't need messing. The original 1955
version (directed by Alexander Mackendrick and also
starring Peter Sellers) is darker than the Coens' take,
which relies more on slapstick and lunacy.
Nevertheless, the picture is technically gorgeous, with
cinematographer Roger Deakins creating a perfectly
sunny Southern town mixed with a gothic underbelly of
doom and tuned to an enlivened Gospel music score.
And there are funny bits for sure, played out in that
precise, unique Coen rhythm, but given their past and
potential genius, the Coens are certainly capable of
better. The Ladykillers lacks what we've come to know
them for--a killer comic instinct.
Bottom Line: This flawed, Southern-fried remake of a
classic British comedy supplies consistent laughs,
terrific music and a beautiful look, making the
experience pleasant, at least. But we want more than
just pleasant from the Coen brothers, whom we're used
to busting our guts with gags ranging from diaper
stealing to dumping a body in a wood chipper.
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed 3 out 5
This film pretty much follows in its predecessor's
footsteps, churning out the same over-the-top
shenanigans. Here the Mystery, Inc. gang battles a
horde of monsters brought to life by a masked
Scooby and the gang at Mystery, Inc.--Fred (Freddie
Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Velma (Linda
Cardellini) and Shaggy (Matthew Lillard)--are at the top
of their game and just about everyone in Coolsville
loves them. Even the Coolsonian Museum is honoring
them with an exhibit--a costumed display of Mystery,
Inc.'s former foes, such as The Pterodactyl Ghost, The
Black Knight Ghost and The 10,000 Volt Ghost. Yet, at
the museum's gala opening, the team's stellar
reputation is put in serious jeopardy when said
monsters come alive, re-created by a masked villain
who vows to bring Mystery, Inc. down. Under pressure
from relentless reporter Heather Jasper-Howe (Alicia
Silverstone), the gang launches an investigation into
the monster outbreak, but as the mystery deepens,
Mystery, Inc.'s members end up questioning their roles
within the organization. Can macho leader Fred and
image-conscious Daphne look past the superficial and
find the identity of the Evil Masked Figure? Will brainy
Velma let her feelings for Coolsonian Museum curator
Patrick Wisely (Seth Green) blossom, even though he is
a key suspect? And finally can Shaggy and Scooby stop
cowering--and eating--long enough to prove they can
be detectives? These are tough times for the gang, but
they've got to pull it together so they can solve the
mystery and save the day.
Even though it seems a little ridiculous that Scooby-
Doo 2's fleshed-out cartoon characters would try to dig
deep to find answers within, the returning actors
continue to have fun exploring their alter-Scooby-egos.
Prinze's Fred has a hipper haircut this time (the original
matted blond 'do had to go) and isn't quite the braggart
he once was. He is still unquestionably the "face" of the
group, until he is made to look foolish by the ruthless
Heather, played with relish by Silverstone, who shines
in the bad-girl role. Gellar has definitely dropped
Daphne's "damsel-in-distress" routine, getting all Buffy
on the monsters, but is still worried that its her looks,
not her skills, that get her attention. Cardellini's Velma,
on the other hand, gets a love interest--and even all
dolled up at one point--but can't get rid of her inherent
geekiness. It's Shaggy and Scooby who experience the
biggest revelation, realizing they really are nothing but
giant screw-ups. Lillard actually turns in some (and I
can't believe I'm actually saying this) poignant moments
as Shag grapples with his inequities. They all realize in
the end, though, that for the good of Mystery, Inc., it's
best to be true to yourself. Thank god.
Director Raja Gosnell goes full throttle in his second
Scooby effort, with more action and more elaborate,
theme-parky sets than the original. Even as the
characters pause to reflect on their faults, these
moments are thankfully short-lived before the gang is
thrust into another wild chase or fight sequence,
keeping the kiddies' minds occupied--and allowing the
adult fans to laugh at all the monsters they remember
from the TV show. One of the criticisms from the first
Scooby-Doo was that it didn't provide enough "inside"
jokes for the grown-up enthusiasts (and face it, there
are probably more of them than kids). But Scooby-Doo
2 harkens back to the good old days and even pokes
fun at all those criminals whose evil plans and ghost
disguises were foiled by the meddlesome quintet. They
all gather at their own watering hole called the Faux
Ghost, where they can throw darts at pictures of the
Mystery, Inc. gang. Funny stuff.
Overall, the sequel provides the same madcap fun the
original did, without requiring the use of too much
We appreciate and hope you continue to send us your
comments, opinions, articles and suggestions.
Remember if you submit anything to our newsletter -
include a link back to your site.
Betsie's Literary Page is where readers and shoppers
are respected, books are cherished, aspiring writers are
encouraged and authors are adored.
Copyright by Betsie, 2004 All contents of this
email are for the use of Betsie's Literary Page
subscribers and may not be reproduced in any way
and/or posted on websites without prior express written
permission. If you would like to have friends or
associates receive our emails, rather than forwarding
this, please have them subscribe.
Thank You for reading, see you next week!
I hope this week has been good to you, as it has been
After receiving a request from Self magazine to
do a review and article on my book, I was on cloud
nine. Considering the fact that they don't do reviews
and seeing as it's a fitness magazine - something they
themselves suggested - for this I consider myself
Ok enough of my news -- there's much to share --
hope you find this week's newsletter entertaining, now
|Recipes & Jokes|
3 cup flour sifted
1 tbl baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter room temperatureerature
2 cup granulated sugar
4 lrg eggs slightly beaten
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
12 lrg egg yolks
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter cut in pieces
SWEETENED WHIPPED CREAM
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbl confectioners' sugar
12 oz assorted fresh berries
# CAKE: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks
in the center of oven. Line the bottoms of two 8- by 2-
inch buttered cake pans with parchment paper. Dust
the bottoms and sides of pan with flour, and tap out
# Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda,
and salt; set aside. Cream butter on medium until
softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, and beat
on medium until lightened, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping
down sides once or twice. Gradually add eggs, beating
after each addition until batter is no longer slick,
stopping once or twice to scrape down sides, about 5
minutes. Slowly add the sifted flour mixture, alternating
with the buttermilk, a little of each at a time, at low
speed, begining and ending with the flour mixture. Beat
in the vanilla and the lemon zest.
# Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake 25 minutes, and rotate the pans in the oven if
needed for even browning. Continue baking until a cake
tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out
clean, 10 to 20 minutes more. Transfer pans to wire
racks to cool. Let cool 15 minutes. Remove cakes from
pans. Leave the cakes on a wire rack, tops up, to cool
completely, about 1 hour. (Makes two 8-inch round
# To assemble, remove the parchment paper from the
bottom of each cake. Slice each layer in half
horizontally with a serrated knife. Reserve the prettiest
dome top to use for the top of the cake. Place the
other top, dome-side down, on the serving platter to
make the first layer. Spread with one cup of the lemon
curd to within a half inch from the edge. Place the
second layer over the first, and spread with curd,
covering with third layer, and spreading with another
cup of lemon curd.
# One hour before serving, transfer the platter with
cake to refrigerator to firm up lemon curd (if the
kitchen is warm and the curd gets runny, refrigerate
the layers as they are completed). Just before serving,
place the reserved domed layer on top of cake. Spoon
on the sweetened whipped cream. Sprinkle with mixed
berries and a dusting of confectioners' sugar through a
# LEMON CURD: Pass the egg yolks through a strainer
to remove any traces of white. Combine the yolks,
lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy
saucepan. Whisk the mixture to combine, then switch
to a wooden spoon. Stir constantly over medium heat,
making sure to stir all the sides and edges of the
saucepan for even cooking. Cook until the mixture is
thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 20 to 25
minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat. Add the
butter, one piece at a time, stirring with a wooden
spoon to incorporate into a smooth mixture. Transfer to
a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in
the refrigerator until firm and chilled, at least one hour.
May be made one day ahead. (Makes 3 1/3 cups)
# SWEETENED WHIPPED CREAM: Whip the heavy cream
in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until
soft peaks form, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and
confectioners' sugar, and continue to whip on medium
speed until the cream returns to soft peaks, 2 to 3
minutes. (Makes 1 1/3 cups)
Having Fun On Elevators
The next time you are on an elevator, have some fun
and do one of the items listed below - or it can double
as a psychology experiment.
1. When there's only one other person in the elevator,
tap them on the shoulder and then pretend it wasn't
2. Call the Psychic Hotline from your cell phone and ask
if they know what floor you are on.
3. Tell people that you can see their aura.
4. When the doors close, announce to the others, "It's
okay, don't panic, they open again!"
5. Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while
peering inside, ask, "Got enough air in there?"
6.Listen to the elevator walls with your stethoscope.
7. Make explosion noises when anyone presses a
8. Ask if you can push the button for other people, but
push the wrong ones.
9. Leave a box in the corner, and when someone gets
on, ask them if they can hear ticking
10.Turn around and face everyone in the elevator -
and then smile at everyone. . .
Title: The Trapping
Author: Anthony Vela
Publisher: Xlibris (February 2004)
Genre: Contemporary Christian/Romance
Reading level: Young adult
Paperback/ Hardcover; 180pp
Rating: Highly Recommended
Like a beacon of hope, innocent and na´ve, an angel
In the small rural community of Southwick Gabe Chaplin,
a struggling young artist falls for a high school student
named Sara Livingston.
Sara works at newly opened Museum. From the onset
of their meeting both Gabe and Sara feel strongly
attracted to one another. However, bizarre things begin
to make their known, such as: the birds, the tall thin
stranger, as well as a weird thing Gabe notices about
Sara at the restaurant during their first date.
In addition, Gabe and Sara's relationship is complicated
because each of them feels trapped. Gabe from his day-
to-day duty to care for his sick mother, and Sara feels
the guilt of having survived the accident that killed her
mother and sister.
The young couple soon discover that Sara is a
supernatural being stalked by an evil being. Gabe does
battle with this darkness to release Sara, so that they
can be together.
What I liked most about the author's story is the depth
of emotions involved. Not only does Gabe risk his life for
love, but he also has unconditional blind faith in that
love. Mr. Vela also reveals not only the abusiveness of
Gabe's mother, but his dependency as well.
Last but not least, life doesn't always turn out the way
we want it to, but that destiny may play a large part.
Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds
To read the interview or purchase copies go here
*** Books NOt yet Released ***
Author: Patricia J. Newcombe
Publisher: Publish Britannica
Genre: Dark Fiction/Paranormal
The battle within
March 30, 2004
Jenna Jordan is a nurse with some serious baggage. Not
only is she pregnant but also has a number of phobias,
no clue of whom her biological parents are and suffers
from recurring nightmares and sleeplessness. All of
which not only take a toll on her physically and
mentally, but are also affecting her marriage.
After numerous disputes Jenna comes to the conclusion
that her husband David is non-supportive, as he makes
one attempt after another to get her psychiatric help.
With an old letter in hand, Jenna embarks on the
mission to discover her parent's identity. In her mind,
Jenna believes a demon spirit of some sort is haunting
her and seeks to hurt her and her baby.
On another note, Lyn, a so-called friend, in the midst of
turmoil makes a move for Jenna's husband during their
Failing to find any answers to her many questions,
Jenna decides to undergo hypnotherapy in hopes of
revealing the many forgotten or blocked memories
before her adoption. Hypnotherapist Denman, following
several sessions is genuinely worried about his client.
His experience tells him deep-seated traumas could
push her over into a psychological crisis.
Drawback: The story moves at a slow pace and
repetitive descriptions prolong the story, dragging
things out at points where it feels the story should pick
up. Finding the main character at times contradicting to
her actions and a tad bit too self-absorbed making it
hard for the reader to connect with her or her flaws.
Still these minor setbacks do not hurt the plot.
Overall: Insight is a good dramatic tale and novel with
dark, brooding characters for which paranormal fans
of "unexplained incidents" will enjoy.
Reviewed by Betsie
Title: Of Dreams and Nightmares
Author: Shirley A. Roe
Genre: Historical Romance / Series
Rating: Highly Recommended
Aristocrat to Pioneers, and blazing trails into the
March 31, 2004
Within the social lands of England, Martha McGuire, an
impetuous, stubborn young woman and at the tender
age of eighteen is forced by her father's hand to marry
a much older man, Jebediah Whittaker. Jebediah is a
widower, as well as the father of three young boys:
Ezekiel, Abraham, and Isaac.
Unbeknown to all that just beneath the surface, is a
ruthless and despicable man who aims to destroy
Jebediah, having pulled off the deal of a lifetime takes
his new unwilling bride and children and board
The Salvation. The ship sails across the Atlantic
Ocean for weeks, bound for the Americas, a voyage
that reveals Jebediah's true, horrific intentions.
The Whittaker's' journey continues as they leave the
east coast joining a wagon train of immigrant
homesteaders, moving west. For these souls no longer
a paradisiacal land of fable, dream, and imagination, the
West was to become for the settlers, the promise of a
new life. Destination Wyoming.
Upon Jeremy's return - Jebediah's brother, his evil
deeds are uncovered. Martha's father, John McGuire is
agog over what has happened. The pain of it all causes
John extreme heartache. He suddenly takes ill and
quickly calls for help. Guilt ridden, he will pay any price
to get his daughter back!
It is by no coincidence that Martha's childhood friend
Austin Wells, offers his services. Jeremy Whittaker
angered by his brother's misdeeds joins him in the
search for Martha. These odd travel partners board a
steamship bound for Boston, one man on a mission of
love and the other a mission of revenge and justice.
After Whittaker and Wells finally locate Martha they
form a plan of rescue. Isaac, the oldest of the 3 boys
takes matters into his own hands, literary. On one
fateful day, inside a church, Isaac's memories come to
surface identifying the shadow that threw his mother
down a flight of stairs, to her death! Shots ring out.
Before long the Whittaker's pack-up, move, making a
new life in the booming Mississippi river town of St.
What awaits readers between the pages Of Dreams
and Nightmares? An era of aristocracy, rogue
heroes, a charmer and trickster, hard toil and suffering,
a heroine of the plains, but most importantly a clear
picture of a time and place in which classic stories take
The author's research shines through for this period
with captivating three-dimensional characters readers
will easily relate to. Of Dreams and Nightmares
is a well-written novel of which readers will admire,
specifically content and delivery of this story.
Overall, the feel of this romantic tale is of epic
proportions, moving at a fast, intriguing pace, that will
keep readers glued to each page, lusting for more, even
after they reach the end!
Reviewed by M. Romero
Title: A Lucky Pair
Author: Frances Dinkins Strong
Illustrated by: Mattie Dinkins Roscoe
Publisher: Learning Abilities Books (November 2002)
Genre: Children's Fiction
Reading level: K-3
Rating: Highly Recommended
Rediscovering emotional sources of mystery and
The Hamilton's are looking to purchase a tame enough
horse for their nine-year old daughter Amy, when they
come across a malnourished horse that is up for sale.
Even so after a test ride, he seems to move pretty
good, is very quiet and has a great temperament,
traces of an equine star. Mr. Hamilton feels he would
make a great horse for Amy and by the next day they
return to pick him up.
Once home, Amy names him Lucky. It turns out Amy
has tunnel vision, can barely see in the light of day and
later Lucky goes blind in his right eye. The two build a
bond of ever-lasting friendship, one depending on the
This is absolutely a delightful tale that reminded me
much of the classic movie "The Black Stallion," and
much like the movie A Lucky Pair achieves a magical
atmosphere that children, as well as adults will enjoy.
Positively one book which will make a wonderful addition
to any child's library. Lesson plans are included on the
Reviewed by Betsie
Title: 10,000 White Horses/10,000 Caballos
Author: Betsy B. Lee
Illustrated by: Catherine E. Varnedoe
Translated by: Natty Cruz-Torres
Publisher: Learning Abilities Books (September 2002)
Genre: Children's Bilingual Text
Reading level: K-3, special education 4-8
Format: paperback: 32 pp
Rating: Highly Recommended
Incredible feats and heart-thumping adventure
Picture a clear blue sky along the coastal beach, miles
and miles of the mighty ocean offering up her latest
show just for you. A spectacular panoramic view of
breathtaking waves of imagination, will give you
memories to last a lifetime.
In this poetic story a young girl experiences some of
that feeling during her outing at the beach. Having
missed the first wave, is dunked by the second one,
and then finally catches the third.
While on her floater, from the white caps of the roaring
sea waves arise 10,000 White Horses, some unique
guest members of the aquatic world. Running along the
waves, pushing and shoving, as they playfully race for
the shore. For one heart pounding moment upon
reaching the sandy beach they jump through darkness
and disintegrate back into the sea.
10,000 White Horses is a great adventure and a
way to introduce young children to the wonders of
nature, gaining a deep appreciation for these cosmically
This is an excellent starter book for both English and
Spanish speaking children and an instrumental teaching
tool for teachers and parents.
Reviewed by Betsie
Title: Albert, the Apple-eating Appaloosa: Dolch Horse
Author: Betsy B. Lee
Publisher: Learning Abilities Books (February 2002)
Genre: Children's Fiction
Reading level: K-3, special education 4-8, and adult
Paperback; 24 pp
This is the story about an appaloosa horse named,
Albert. Upon opening Albert seems absolutely terrified
of a group of kids who want to ride him, but his owner,
Beth manages to calm him down.
The story also touches on a number of subjects and
situations children face in today's society.
Author Betsy Lee, uses Dolch words in this small
chapter book - helping develop word recognition,
increasing the ability for children, as well as adults to
All ages will enjoy this book, which is illustrated by color
photos. Included are word search puzzles. For lesson
plans visit the author's website.
Reviewed by Betsie
Comments or questions about book reviews may be
sent to: email@example.com
|Letters to the Editor & Autograph Seekers|
I'm the Carnival coordinator for the Granada Hills
Elementary PTA. We are celebrating our 75th
anniversary this year and putting together a carnival.
We found out that Cheech Marin use to go to our
school when he was a child and would like to contact
him to see if he would be available to make an
appearance. Since this is a fundraiser for the school we
are hoping that this would bring in more people to our
event. I came across your site and it sounds
interesting, but we only need the contact for him or his
public relations agency. Can you find it in your heart to
give us this information if you have it? We will give your
website credit if this comes through.
A response would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you in advance.
Granada Elementary PTA
San Fernando, Ca
Well, Ms. Rockford we aim to please! Do let us know
how the carnival goes.
3880 Clay St
San Francisco , CA 94118
1122 S. Robertson Blvd. #15
Los Angeles, CA 90035
FOR AUTOGRAPH SEEKERS
All information updated as of 3/22/04
c/o Creative Artists Agency LCC
9830 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills , CA 90212
c/o 3 Arts Entertainment Inc
9460 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills , CA 90212
c/o I/D PR
155 Spring Street
New York , NY 10013
c/o Will & Grace
4024 Radford Ave
Studio City , CA 91604
c/o Patricola Lust PR
8383 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills , CA 90211
Finally, East Coast screenwriters have access to
industry decision makers! - Companies confirmed
to be hearing pitches include: Miramax, Dimension, Blue
Sky, The Hudson Agency, Andrew Lauren Productions,
Bigel/Mailer Films, 4th Row Films, Deutsch/Open City
and HDnet Films, Emerging Pictures, Eric Hanson
Management, the Howard Stern Production Company
and Hallmark Entertainment.
NEW COMPANIES CONFIRMED INCLUDE: Filbert Steps
Productions, The Woofenill Works, Inc., Court TV,
Branded Entertainment, Gotham Entertainment Group
The Inaugural New York City PitchXchange brings one-
on-one pitching opportunities to screenwriters east of
the Mississippi. This two-day event at New York
University is not to be missed by screenwriters seeking
access to producers, agents and managers.
About the event:
Prepare for your pitch with Robert Kosberg, The Pitch
King, on Friday, June 4 followed by live pitch practice
sessions. On Saturday, June 5 meet one-on-one with
your choice of over 30 producers, agents and managers
and pitch your script or television show idea. Personal
pitch coaching is also available throughout the day on
both Friday and Saturday. Additional classes on
marketing and selling your script will be available all day
Sponsored by: Variety Gotham Edition, IFP, WGAe,
Screenstyle, Drama Book Store, Cinewomen New York
and New York University
For more information: http://www.pitchxchange.com
TWP SCREENPLAY WRITING CONTEST IS IN FULL
SWING!!!!! - SCREENWRITERS submit your full-
length script or teleplay short to The Writers Place
Screenplay contest. First, second and third-place
winners are selected from both the full-length and
teleplay short competitions. Winning scripts will undergo
submission to agents and/or production companies for
review. Awards include: Final Draft Software or
commensurate cash, magazine subscriptions from
leading industry periodicals and certificates of
achievement. Early submission cut-off date: April 30,
2004. Late submissions accepted up to May 15th for an
additional late fee. Contest details and application
forms can be obtained at www.thewritersplace.org. See
Paula Brancato, Brancato Productions (310)271-1421
1) Grace Films/Icaro Films
I am looking for completed scripts that are Latino
themed or completed scripts that have a major role for
a Latino or Latina. The story must primarily be in
English, and the roles for the Latin actors must be in
the early 20s to late 30s.
Budget for this will not exceed 5 million. WG and non-
WG writers are welcome.
Credits include 'Grapefruit Moon', 'Max and Grace'
and 'The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me'.
Please email a logline followed with a synopsis to:
Gene Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org
2) WildRice Productions
The type of script that we are looking for is a high
concept family comedy script. It must center on
Halloween with a parent who has a teenage kid as the
main central character (the teenager should also play a
NOTE: The subject of the email must have Re: InkTip
query 'family' for the family script, so that we can
differentiate between an actual submission query and
Credits for Joel S. Rice can be found on IMDB.com and
two scripts I have found through InkTip.com have been
We do not accept email attachments. All email
attachments will be deleted without being opened.
Please email a logline followed with a synopsis in the
body of the email (total length of your email should not
exceed one page) to:
|For Aspiring Writers|
WHAT IS PLOT?
Often the word strikes terror in a writer's heart and
numbs his or her mind. Don't let plot
Commit the following definition to memory and never
allow yourself to forget it: Plot is a plan of action
devised to achieve a definite and much desired end -
through cause and effect.
A well-constructed story is never written "off the top
of the head" with a happy-go-lucky trust
that "everything will come out right," that is will jell and
sell; ninety-nine times out of a hundred it won't.
Anybody can have an idea, but an idea that has not
been executed with professional competence might as
well have never been born. That is why plot
and plotting are so important.
You have seen plot demonstrated again and again on
your TV screen. Every Western, every spy drama,
every adventure yarn uses this tried-and-true method
for achieving drama, for holding the viewer's interest
through the final scene - - and every suspensful,
interest-gripping book and story uses it, though you
may not recognize it so readily in print.
Plotting means planning. All planning regardless
of what it is for - a route for six-week motor journey or
a picnic supper in your backyard - has to begin with a
solid period of thinking.
Just so, in plotting a story you need thinking time to
devise a course of events that leads to a
resounding climax; events which happen
because of something that occurred before. In
other words, yours must be a cause and
effect sort of thinking.
"This happens and this happens and this happens" is
not a plot. It is a string of unconnected incidents, even
if they do happen to the same person. But when you
have this happen because that
happened, you have a plot.
|Marketing - Guerilla Style & More|
Strategies for Making Contact
I strongly suggest that you phone national reporters to
inform them of a story idea, or to let them know that
background material will be coming in the mail.
There's really no substitute for this approach.
Also, do your homework and make sure you know which
reporter is covering which area. There's nothing more
embarrassing than reaching a reporter and being told, "I
haven't covered that beat in 2 years." Don't rely on
outdated media guides. Scan the national papers
routinely and keep abreast of the various assignments.
Phone calls and updated media guides are necessary to
learning the assignments of editors at major television
and radio broadcast outlets(I research weekly for new
Remember that your phone calls must be concise.
Reporters can be curt and quite uninterested in hearing
from someone in public relations or not. On the other
hand, I do find that some reporters welcome ideas for a
good news story and will be receptive. It may even
surprise you to learn that many national reporters never
receive such pitch calls because most people in the
public relations profession don't use this personal
Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Road, Melville, NY 11747; 212-
251-6623; Fax: 212-696-0590. Email:
http://www.newsday.com. Laurie Muchnick, Book Editor
(212-251-6625). Cheryl Kushner, Arts & Entertainment
Editor, 2 Park Avenue, 8th Floor, New York NY 10016;
212-251-6622; Fax: 212-696-0590. Email:
Saint Petersburg Times, 490 First Avenue S (33701),
P.O. Box 1121, Saint Petersburg, FL 33731. 800-333-
7505. Email: email@example.com. Web:
http://www.sptimes.com. Margo Hammond, Book Editor.
Pamela Davis, Staff Writer, HotStuff (in teen section).
She reviews YA novels, music, movies, games, etc. of
interest to teens.
San Diego Union-Tribune, P.O. Box 120191, San Diego,
CA 92112-0191; 619-293-1321; 800-244-6397; Fax:
619-293-2436. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web:
http://www.uniontrib.com. Also web:
http://www.signonsandiego.com. Arthur Salm, Books
Washington Post Book World, 1150 15th Street N.W.,
Washington, DC 20071; 202-334-6000; Fax: 202-334-
7502. Web: http://www.washingtonpost.com. Marie
Arana, Editor. Jonathan Yardley, Book Critic (202-334-
Washington Times, Jennifer Harper, Media Issues
Reporter; 202-636-3085. Email:
http://www.washingtontimes.com. She also covers
book publishing. Don't send review copies. She doesn't
do reviews, but she does cover interesting publishing
stories if you have one to tell. Send her information on
April 23, 2004: National Children's Memorial Flag Day
Show your support with a flag, pin, bumper sticker, or
Things You Can Do For Child Abuse Prevention Month
Volunteer your time. Get involved with other parents in
your community. Help vulnerable children and their
families. Start a playgroup. Simple support for children
and parents can be the best way to prevent child
abuse. After-school activities, parent education
classes, mentoring programs, and respite care are some
of the many ways to keep children safe from harm. Be
a voice in support of these efforts in your community.
Discipline your children thoughtfully. Never discipline
your child when you are upset. Give yourself time to
calm down. Remember that discipline is a way to teach
your child. Use privileges to encourage good behavior
and time-outs to help your child regain control. Both
words and actions can inflict deep, lasting wounds. Use
your actions to show children and other adults that
conflicts can be settled without hitting or yelling.
Support prevention programs. Too often, intervention
occurs only after abuse is reported. Greater
investments are needed in programs that have been
proven to stop the abuse before it occurs-such as
family counseling and home visits by nurses who
provide assistance for newborns and their parents.
Know what child abuse is, and what the signs are.
Physical and sexual abuse clearly constitute
maltreatment, but so does neglect, or the failure of
parents or other caregivers to provide a child with
needed food, clothing, and care. Children can also be
emotionally abused when they are rejected, berated, or
continuously isolated. Unexplained injuries aren't the
only signs of abuse-depression, fear of a certain adult,
difficulty trusting ot ers or making friends, sudden
changes in eating or sleeping patterns, inappropriate
sexual behavior, poor hygiene, secrecy, and hostility
are often signs of family problems and may indicate a
child is being neglected or physically, sexually, or
Report abuse. If you witness a child being harmed or
see evidence of abuse, or if a child tells you about
abuse, make a report to your state's child protective
services department or local police. When talking to a
child about abuse, listen carefully, assure the child that
he or she did the right thing by telling an adult, and
affirm that he or she is not responsible for what
Invest in kids. Encourage leaders in the community to
be supportive of children and families. Ask employers
to provide family-friendly work environments. Ask your
local and national lawmakers to support legislation to
better protect our children and to improve their lives.
Write, visit, fax, phone, or e-mail your elected officials.
Request that your governor, state legislators, county
commissioners, and mayor proclaim the month of April
as Child Abuse Prevention Month and fly the Children's
Memorial Flag. Notify your U.S. Representative and
Senators about activities to memorialize children lost to
Participate in ceremonies to memorialize children. Read
the names of children lost to violence in your state,
hold a candlelight vigil, or host an event at your state
capital to remember those children who were lost to
Raise public awareness. Purchase a Children's Memorial
Flag and fly it on April 23rd, Children's Memorial Day.
Distribute information about Child Abuse Prevention
Month and the Children's Memorial Flag. Issue news
releases, photographs, public service announcements,
and compelling stories to the media, advocacy groups,
parent/teacher organizations, police stations, hospitals,
community centers, websites and special interest
Support the Children's Memorial Flag Postage Stamp
Initiative. CWLA and Alameda County, California, are
submitting a proposal for the Children's Memorial Flag to
be commemorated on a U.S. postal stamp. To join,
Encourage neighbors, church, workplace, the media,
and business leaders to order the Children's Memorial
Flag. This can be done by: a call to 800/407-6273 or
770/280-4160, a fax to 770/280-4160, a letter mailed
to CWLA, PO Box 932831, Atlanta, GA 31193-2831, an
e-mail sent to email@example.com, or a visit to