Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Tragic Mystery

It has been a hot minute since I have blogged, however I felt inspired recently. I read the news … a lot. I follow stories to see their progress, one story in particular has stayed with me, that is the one of the sad and mysterious death of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins.
If you’re not familiar, the young woman went out with her friends on a Friday night. Their destination and party spot was a hotel. Ms. Jenkins like a lot of young people, had some drinks, got separated from her friends and ended up in the walk in freezer of a seldom used catering kitchen of the hotel.
It’s a hotel, right, there’s video, right? Yes. There is. It’s everywhere on the internet. However, unless there is something not made public, we never see her walk into the freezer. We see her in the kitchen, but that’s where it ends.
There is just something not adding up on this one.
The surveillance shows her stumbling around, unable to stand. Yet, a video of her partying shows a young woman who appeared be sober.
How did she get to be in such an inebriated state? Admittedly, when I first saw the surveillance, my mind immediately went to a paranormal explanation. It scared me. It reminded me of Elisa Lam.
Hotel, surveillance, both young women seemingly talking to someone else.
After my initial, ‘oh stop, it isn’t a vengeful ghost beckoning her’, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that she was following someone or someone was calling out to her, “This way. I’m here. Help me.”
She is looking around, even seems to have direction. Enter the kitchen … fade out.
Uh, I worked in a kitchen. How did she open that Freezer door in that condition, those doors are not light.
Let’s assume that she made it into that kitchen, opened that heavy door, stumbled inside and passed out.
Here’s where the injustice comes in.
We know she was alive at 3:20 am. Her friends are already searching frantically for her, after they have no luck, scared to death, they call Kenneka’s mom. She hightails it right over. Of course she did, this is her child, her baby. It was only a couple hours before hand that she said what we all say to our grown children when they leave, “Be careful, I love you.”
Mrs. Martin, Kenneka’s mom, probably tried to stay calm. Still, she’s a mom.. You know damn well, at five in the morning she is pleading with the hotel people, ‘Just look at the footage. Please, look at the footage.”
And they … refused. Yeah, they wouldn’t do it. I don’t get why. Mrs. Martin wasn’t asking to see the footage, she wanted them to look.
She would have to wait and file a missing person’s report, and then it would be twelve hours since Kenneka was last seen alive before the search would commence and near another twelve hours after a search started that they’d find her.
You may think twelve hours is not a lot, but it is when you’re in a freezer.
Rules be damned. What was wrong with these hotel people that they couldn’t have someone come in and pull the footage. No compassion? No heartstrings with a frantic mother?
Even if they had to wait until seven in the morning for security, they could have done it.
The friends knew when they were separated, it would have been easy to find her on the footage.  They would see where she was last. The kitchen.
When our children are little they hide and often fall asleep. As parents we learn to check the danger zones, Washer, dryer, car, oven, Freezer … check these places first.
Why didn’t they.
Had they pulled the footage when Mrs. Martin pled, had they just been human, at most, only four hours would have passed and Kenneka would be alive. Frost bitten, suffering from Hypothermic, but alive.
That alone is an injustice. Again, things just don’t add up and I refuse to believe it was a simple case of a drunken girl stumbling into a freezer. It ceased to be simple, when they failed to add an ounce or urgency, compassion and common sense into looking for the girl.  To me, they dismissed her as some wild party girl and they didn’t give a damn. That was wrong. She is a human being.
Kenneka is not alone in stories such as these. Kendrick Johnson who was reported missing and found in a wrestling matt at his school, Elisa Lam, who went missing in the hotel and found in the water tank on the roof, Richard Potter, missing for eight months and despite all his wife’s pleas to check the airport garage, finally 8 months later they did and there he was.
Now, there are comments to the extreme of both sides of the Kenneka story. People are mean, they really are. The internet and the ability to be anonymous brings out the heartless bastards in so many people.
Why? It’s not them. It’s not their friend, their child. They don’t care and that’s a shame. They should.
A young girl died. She died and she shouldn’t be dead.
I think the worst comments that say the mother is only after money. This was her child, IS her child. A part of her soul was ripped from her being. An agony unimaginable. She doesn’t want money, she wants answers and deserves them. I pray she keeps up her strength and search until answers are found, because I truly believe there is more to this story.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Train to Busan: A Ride You Don't Want to Miss - Review

Ever see a movie that you just loved so much, that you want to shout to the whole world, ‘See this film!’? For me, Train to Busan was that movie. To me, it is simply the greatest zombie/virus movie ever made.

Now, granted, unless you like end of the world films or are a zombie enthusiast, you’re not going to feel the same way. But if you like zombie or virus movies … this one is epic. E-P-I-C

Train to Busan is a Korean film, and yes, there are subtitles, however, I implore you not to let that influence your decision to watch. I promise you, fifteen minutes in, you’ll be like, ‘what subtitles’. It’s apocalypse, dialogue is minimal and as my son put it, the actors were animated in delivery and the dialogue went with the action, you didn’t need to read it.

The premises, a father (Yoo Gong) takes his daughter (soo-an Kim) on a train to see her mother. Unbeknownst to them, the outbreak has begun and it’s on the train, their destination may be one of the only safe places remaining …if they can get there.

The movie is about what people will do, and how far they would go for those they love and strangers. The film covers a wide range of characters that act and react a certain way to the danger and stress. Each character could be someone you know.

The acting is top notch and I fell in love with Don Lee’s (Ma Dong-Seuk) character. He’s tough, believable and he does an amazing job. His chemistry with his pregnant wife and the others is instant, and he provides a lot of comic relief when it is so desperately needed.

Let’s not forget the little girl Soo-an, she’s outstanding and delivers a performance never seen in this genre.

The focus is on the people, and you care about them, really care about them. Yes, we see some really cool zombies or infected, but the gore is actually PG rated, really, very little blood and violence. Your fear comes from the point of view of those on the train. It pulls no punches and will emotionally rip your heart out. Yeah … you’ll cry during a zombie film.

I have heard it compared to 28 Days later and World War Z, while the infected are similar, Train to Busan crushes them both. Another comparison … Snowpiercer. Yeah, good movie, it has nothing on this one. There is no down time. In fact, unlike those two films, on my third time watching Train to Busan, I had no desire to hit a fast forward over slow scenes … there are none.


I don’t want to give too much away, because you deserve to watch this film. I’m telling you to watch this movie. You’ll thank me for it. Just a heads up, in the beginning, once you see the father and daughter in the car going to the train … buckle up, it doesn’t stop from there.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Baiting the Phisherman

It’s happened to all of us. That email from a friend that is out of town and lost their wallet and needs you to help get home. It leaves me to wonder if anyone really buys that. Anyhow I got an email this morning, only this one was from David Huffstetler, the awesome writer of the Jack Harden series. The subject heading was ‘Sad News’. Being an author myself, I thought, oh, he’s reaching out to me. To me, something must have been going on with Amazon. Then I opened the email. Ah, gees, …. Poor David is stranded after a successful tour and needs me to Western Union him money because the hotel is keeping his luggage hostage. Forget that hotels get your credit card information when you check in.

Obviously, we all know it to be a scam. BUT… but … what if this scam actually hurt David. We can laugh about it, but seriously, this person is using his name. What if some of his fans didn’t know and really wanted to help out their favorite author? I can see a few of my fans doing that. Wanting to help me. not 1,950 worth of help but still.

So I decided I was gonna get this guy. He was phishing and I was going to bait him. Now I know I am not the first nor will I be the last person to mess with a phisher, honestly, I thought I would be the one to catch him.

Maybe not. Anyhow, here is our exchange. (Click on the image to enlarge)


Obviously this guy is serious. He didn’t even read my email. So I replied,



Then when he didn’t respond to Baby Roo…. I tried one more time.



Suffice to say I haven’t heard back … yet. But if you get a chance, check out the real David’s books.

Baiting the Phisherman

It’s happened to all of us. That email from a friend that is out of town and lost their wallet and needs you to help get home. It leaves me to wonder if anyone really buys that. Anyhow I got an email this morning, only this one was from David Huffstetler, the awesome writer of the Jack Harden series. The subject heading was ‘Sad News’. Being an author myself, I thought, oh, he’s reaching out to me. To me, something must have been going on with Amazon. Then I opened the email. Ah, gees, …. Poor David is stranded after a successful tour and needs me to Western Union him money because the hotel is keeping his luggage hostage. Forget that hotels get your credit card information when you check in.

Obviously, we all know it to be a scam. BUT… but … what if this scam actually hurt David. We can laugh about it, but seriously, this person is using his name. What if some of his fans didn’t know and really wanted to help out their favorite author? I can see a few of my fans doing that. Wanting to help me. not 1,950 worth of help but still.

So I decided I was gonna get this guy. He was phishing and I was going to bait him. Now I know I am not the first nor will I be the last person to mess with a phisher, honestly, I thought I would be the one to catch him.

Maybe not. Anyhow, here is our exchange. (Click on the image to enlarge)


Obviously this guy is serious. He didn’t even read my email. So I replied,



Then when he didn’t respond to Baby Roo…. I tried one more time.



Suffice to say I haven’t heard back … yet. But if you get a chance, check out the real David’s books.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Who Negan Smashed - My Theory

I hate Negan. Not for the reasons you probably think. I’ll  get into that, but first …

Spoilers ahead
If you are not caught up on Walking Dead, stop reading.

You were warned.


Back to … I hate Negan. For Graphic Novel readers you were familiar with him, but for those who didn’t read, Walking Dead spent the second half of season six teasing this ‘Negan’ guy, trying to shove down our throats how horrible he is. When we see him, what did we get? A guy in designer jeans, an expensive made to fit leather jacket and the quintessential bad guy slicked back greasy hair. Oh, yeah, he carries a barbed wire bat that he bludgeons people with.

That’s his call to villain fame? He beats people? I hate Negan because he is being sold to us as this ruthless villain. He is not, by the true definition of the word, a villain. A good villain has some good qualities, for the most part, those around them aren’t convinced he or she is a villain and they don’t boast, like Dr. Evil how bad they are. Albeit selfish, there are good motives. The Governor was a great villain and Walking Dead has been cutting up the cardboard ever since to try to match him.

By the trailers we hear Negan brag about his strength. He uses phrases like Pee-pee pants  city. Pee pant city? What? Is he trying to scare first graders. Is he a bad guy? Yes. A villain? No. He’s a brute, and that won’t last long.

Speaking of the brute … Season Six of Walking Dead ended with a cliffhanger that got people in an uproar. How dare they do this to us, viewers cried out and cried foul. Admittedly it was one humdinger of a cliffhanger. Kudos to AMC.

Apparently Pee Pant City Man smashed someone in the head. Ironically, the same one screaming about the cliffhanger are the same ones that are convinced that Glenn got the bat. Just because it went that way in the GN. Seriously, people on spoiler and fan boards are downright belligerent about it being Glenn and anyone else who thinks otherwise is an idiot. Don’t believe me, go on one of those boards and post it isn’t Glenn. They smash you like the current bat wielding cardboard cut out villain.

When simple common sense would tell you that it isn’t Glenn. Would AMC risk losing viewers, go to all that trouble to build up a ‘who is it?’ cliffhanger if they were gonna stick to the comic books?

Some say he hasn’t been on set. Some say he’s been spotted. AMC is not gonna let this secret out. They will resort to having the character who died on set and hide others. All the Glenn Slayers will be crying in their Wheaties. He’s not dead. Forget the graphic novels, they wouldn’t pull a cliffhanger of this magnitude if they were following the books. They’d leave us crying at the end.

So who do I say got the bat? Maggie.

Why? It’s heart wrenching, it’s bold, it’s unexpected, it will motivate the characters and story. Game of Thrones slaughtered a pregnant woman brutally. Their viewers didn’t stop watching.

Book readers argue, ‘it’s not a woman. Negan doesn’t brutalize women. Especially pregnant ones.’ Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless Negan is a psychic or has xray vision, he hasn’t a clue she’s pregnant. And … remember she cut her hair, really short. It wasn’t the actress who wanted It done,  it was for storyline purposes. Short hair, dark lighting, pale from being sick … Negan thinks she’s a dude.

Smash.


AMC wants you to comeback to see who got it, they aren’t luring you back to see the predictable. That’s my take, opinion, a few more weeks and we’ll know.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Independence Day: Resurgence - A Non Spoiler Review

I remember that moment as if it was yesterday. That feeling of being enamored and falling in love … not in the traditional sense. It happened when I was just a child, I think I still believed in Santa. Not sure. But there I was seeing my destiny as I sat in Sensurround falling instantly in love with my future hero husband, Charlton Heston (Who cares if there was an age difference) and realizing I had an obsession and passion for all things apocalypse. 

Fast forward twenty-two years. Anyone that knows me knows I was obsessed with Independence Day. Absolutely loved that film, more to the point it was an abnormal obsession. “Yes,” I thought, “Why can’t there be more movies like this!” The movie jumped started my desire to create novels where worlds ended for various reasons. There have been movies since, I loved them, but they never hit that Independence Day threshold in my heart.

Fast forward … again … twenty years. The long awaited day arrived. I had been waiting for the sequel since it was announced in 2012, back when Will Smith was in his, “I’m in, nah, I’m out, nah I’m in’ Phase.  I spent the entire week leading up to it watching the first movie over and over again. Despite warnings from my son to not get my hopes up, I got tickets to the preview showing.

Here is my non spoiler review. Anything I mention that you think is a spoiler was in the trailer or on the website …

From a writer’s perspective I can see where they originally had Will Smith’s character, after he bailed you can also tell, that Rolland Emerich put (Not so subtly) screw you references to Smith.

Granted I am a little pissed that Smith declined the movie. To me he bit the hand that fed him. He was in bankruptcy when he starred in ID. It made him a superstar. I don’t want to hear he was filming Suicide Squad. Early interviews with Smith said he didn’t want to take a chance on a sequel or another science fiction movie. Personally, I think, because originally it was supposed to be a father/son story line, Smith dropped because they wouldn’t cast his kid.

The movie starts out as they prepare to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of defeating the aliens. The world is united and we swiped their technology creating a super cool high tech civilization. Old favorites return, President Whitmore is a well respected loon, Dr. Levinson is now a commander of the space technology and Julius Levinson’s reintroduction scene is priceless.

We also meet new characters. I especially like the addition of Deobia  Oparei

The first act sets up the story and doesn’t move as fast as you would hope. The movie is not what you think. It is not a reboot, it is not the same story line. It has depth, so pay attention to things that are said. Sometimes you’ll get caught up in the nostalgia of it, ‘Oh look there he is” sort of thing or the funny one liners and quips and miss the fact that are being given. Especially with the Africa scene give it your attention. So much is said that that comes into play later. There are two lines in that scene, spoken once. That two line exchange explains a lot.

And you may get teary eyed during the anniversary celebration, at least I did.

The movie isn’t all about destruction. They did that in the first one. This movie actually sets up the next one. (Not a spoiler they already announced a part 3). To say anymore about the movie would be spoiling it so I’ll leave you with this.

Was I disappointed ... no.
Did I like it …. Yes, really liked it, no I loved it. But I haven’t fallen IN love with it yet. I need to see it two more times.
Was it what I expected …. No. The trailers are misleading to the storyline.

The movie is a fun ride, often silly, but solid and a good sequel to a classic. Yes, I called it a classic.


It didn’t need Will Smith and he wouldn’t have made a difference. I would have missed Judd Hirsh more. If you plan on seeing it, you should. You won’t be disappointed and I hope it is such a huge success that Will Smith cries in his Wheaties.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sandy Hook: Are Gun Makers Responsible?

Let me start by saying that that the tragedy and shooting at Sandy Hook was a tragedy. It was horrible, gut wrenching, heartbreaking and the pain it caused for those families is unimaginable. As a parent, and grandmother of a first grader, just hearing about that day again is … gut twisting. Those poor babies. Those families.

I understand the need to want justice, to see someone pay for the tragedy. I would want that too. I’d be screaming out with every ounce of my agony.  After all, Adam Lanza is dead, he won’t pay the price. Somebody must … pay, but the gun manufacturer? That’s not the one. It just doesn’t make sense that a) A lawsuit was filed against them, and b) a judge is allowing it to go forward.

It would be like suing Lanza’s father for creating him. Even that makes much more sense of the gun manufacturer.

 For the life of me, and I wish someone would explain the legal logic, how is the gun manufacturer responsible. Please. I’m not being sarcastic, I need to know how.

The gun shop owner, I can sort of see the logic, (I believe there is a suit there) But the manufacturer, the ones that make the guns. How are they libel for the person who shoots it.

Now someone said to be that guns are manufactured with the knowledge that they kill. So are hunting knives.

If the families want justice, what about going after Yale Mental Health for not reporting the mother to the state when she refused help for her son. Help, Yale states was needed, years before the murders. Their repeated recommendation went ignored. Yet, if a pediatrician tells a mother that she is harming her child by over feeding, he is within his rights to turn her over to authorities. Why didn’t this apply with Lanza?

While I realize it is a privacy issue, revealing mental illness and all, but unfortunately it needs to be done. Remember guns may be licensed to an individual, but they ultimately go to a household where anyone in that house has access.

The horror of Sandy Hook built to its explosive and horrific end. The child with mental problems so severe, institutionalization was recommended, the mother who ignored that advice, the medical officials who didn’t follow through, the mother that purchased the guns knowing damn well her kid had issues, and the kid who committed such an incomprehensible crime, it makes you sick to think about it.


All of it played a part in that fateful December day. There are so many pieces to blame, but in my opinion, not one of them is the gun manufacturer. Maybe it’s my ignorance, or I am missing something, I don’t know. Perhaps someone can explain.