Every February I celebrate my birthday all month-long with lots of fun interviews, book spotlights, an excerpt, and, of course . . . . GIVEAWAYS!
YA / Historical Romance / Fairytale
The Silent Songbird
-From the inside flap-
Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly
voice, but she is trapped in a sinister
betrothal until she embarks on a
daring escape and meets brave
Westley le Wyse. Can he help her
discover the freedom to sing again?
Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II's closest advisor, Lord Shiveley – a man twice her age with shadowy motives – Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.
Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.
More than Evangeline's future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England's monarchy. Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?
Searching for freedom she finds love...
This Book received a 5 Bark rating.
I quickly fell in love with the Evangeline and Westley, she with her courage and he with his kind heart. And I despised the truly despicable Lord Shiveley. It was also fun to check into the later lives of the hero and heroine of a previous Melanie Dickerson book...
The Silent Songbird is a truly delightful and engrossing tale, one of romance, chivalry, and intrigue, set in the fascinating and dangerous Medieval period. This is one book you'll want to carve out some reading time for, because once you open that gorgeous cover you won't be able to put it down.
Tell Tale Book Reviews gives The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson a 5 Bark rating.
North To Alaska
John Wayne ■ Stewart Granger ■ Capucine
Sam and George strike gold in Alaska. George sends Sam to Seattle to bring George's fiancée back to Alaska. Sam finds she is already married, and returns instead with Angel. Sam, after trying to get George and Angel together, finally romances Angel, who, in the meantime, is busy fighting off the advances of George's younger brother, Billy. Frankie is a con man trying to steal the partner's gold claim
I think North To Alaska has to be one of John Wayne's better known movies, it's at least one of the easiest to find. I first saw this movie as a young teen when we bought an entire large gift bag worth of John Wayne movies for my dad.
My family tends to like John Wayne's less violent movies and especially the ones that rely more on comedy. North To Alaska fits that to a T! This movie is a silly romantic comedy - John Wayne style... which also means a good barroom brawl...or two... And North To Alaska has two, one of which is probably the second-most epic mud fights in the movies. McLintock! probably has the best.
One of my favorite things about the movie is the theme song also happens to be one of my favorite Johnny Horton song, North To Alaska. I believe the song was done for the movie but I know that it made it on more than one of his albums. A great song for a rollicking good movie, one that no John Wayne fan should miss!
John Wayne ... Sam McCord
Stewart Granger ... George Pratt
Ernie Kovacs ... Frankie Canon
Fabian ... Billy Pratt
Capucine ... (Angel)
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Peter Boggs
Karl Swenson ... Lars Nordquist
Joe Sawyer ... Land Commissioner
Kathleen Freeman ... Lena Nordquist
Hot Creek, Mammoth Lakes, California, USA
Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino National Forest, Calif.
Point Mugu, California, USA
Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California, USA
1961 Laurel Awards
Golden Laurel - Sleeper of the Year
Sam McCord: George, a wonderful thing about Alaska is that matrimony hasn't hit up here yet. Let's keep it a free country!
Lena Nordquist: [to Sam] You're a pig-headed no-good and you always were.
Michelle: [Sam enters the cabin and picks up his revolver belt] Is he that mad?
Sam McCord: He's not even here! Over at another mine, fighting some claim-jumpers. One good thing about that, them shootin' at him will take George's mind off Jenny.
Michelle: Yes. A bullet through the head is always the best cure for love.
George Pratt: [to Angel after being punched by Sam] Boy, does he love you!
2-MOVIE DVD COLLECTION
(Love Inspired Suspense)
by Jessica R. Patch
-From the back cover-
After Holt McKnight's criminal informant disappears, the DEA agent must go undercover to get close to the missing man's sister, who may know more than she's letting on. But when Blair Sullivan's attacked, it's up to him to protect her – without blowing his cover. Blair isn't sure she can trust her new neighbor, Holt. After all, the last charming and handsome man she fell for was her late husband, and he turned out to be the brother of a ruthless drug lord. Yet when it's clear the target on her back is somehow linked to her past, she has no choice but to accept Holt's protection. Even if getting close is the last thing her scarred heart can handle.
What. A. Ride.
What an exciting story! Jessica R. Patch captures her readers on page one and doesn't release them until the end of the last page. Concealed Identity is a thrilling, heart-stopping, nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat, story that is sure to please Love Inspired Suspense fans. Jessica R. Patch has a real knack for dropping her readers right into the thick of things and I could barely put the book down when I read it. I kept trying to guess who could be the mastermind behind the attacks on Blair. Honestly, this is one of the absolute best Love Inspired Suspense books I've read so far. If you enjoy romantic suspense as much, or even half as much, as I do Concealed Identity is a definite must read for you.
This Book received a 4.5 Bark rating.
out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
Across The Great Divide
Robert Logan ■ Heather Rattray ■ Mark Edward Hall
In this family classic, two orphans cross the Rocky Mountains on a quest to claim their inheritance, a 400-acre Oregon ranch. On their journey, the pair forms an uncertain alliance with a drifter and together they go on the adventure of a lifetime.
When we were a kids my brother and I loved watching the Mountain Family Robinson movies, then we only had #2 and #3. Many hours we spent watching them over and over. A few years later we managed to get a copy of #1 and in that ebay lot came Across The Great Divide. It stars two of the same actors, Robert Logan and Heather Rattray, as Mountain Family Robinson/The Wilderness Family. Our entire family enjoyed Across The Great Divide, we still frequently misquote "Be glad I was aiming at your head!" But I think this movie is my favorite of the four Robert Logan / Heather Rattray films.
One of the neat things about the storyline is Holly's stubborn determination. She believes hard work and living a moral life are the only things that will pay off in the end. And she will do whatever it takes to take care of her brother and herself.
Cheesy, corny? Yes, but it's still a fun movie to watch. The humor, adventure, and the lovely Canadian scenery make Across The Great Divide a great hour and a half escape. I will make a suggestion based on the movie, if you are ever chased by a bear be very careful what size of tree you climb ;)
Robert Logan ... Zachariah Coop
Heather Rattray ... Holly Smith
Mark Edward Hall ... Jason Smith
George 'Buck' Flower ... Ben
Hal Bokar ... Sternface
Frank Salsedo ... Mosa
Fernando Celis ... Half Breed / Hunter
Loren Ewing ... Club
Tiny Brooks ... Fat Mary
John Kauffman ... Indian
James Elk ... Indian
Stan Cowley ... Hunter
The Indian People of Utah and Canada ... Indians
British Columbia, Canada (uncredited)
Jason Smith: How come you can speak Indian?
Zachariah Coop: Well, my mother was the daughter of a Cherokee chief.
Jason Smith: Really?
Zachariah Coop: Yeah.
Jason Smith: What was she like?
Zachariah Coop: I don't really remember because she died two years before I was born.
Zachariah Coop: A good Christian does not flinch with difficulty.
Holly Smith: He doesn't court them by drinking either.
Zachariah Coop: I'm going to give up gambling until I get you there.
Holly Smith: I don't believe it.
Zachariah Coop: Well, I'd be willing to bet ya.
Historical / British Mystery
The Kill Fee
Poppy Denby Investigates book 2
by Fiona Veitch Smith
-From the back cover-
“Do you know who that is, Poppy?”
“I do indeed.”
“So what does it feel like to dance in
the arms of an assassin?”
Poppy Denby's star is on the rise. Now the Arts and Entertainment Editor at The Daily Globe, she covers an exhibition of Russian Art at the Crystal Palace. A shot rings out, leaving a guard injured and an empty pedestal in the place of the largest Faberge egg in the collection. The egg itself is valuable, but more so are the secrets it contains within – secrets that could threaten major political powers.
Suspects are aplenty and Poppy is delighted to be once again in the middle of a sensational story. But, soon the investigation takes a dark turn when someone connected with the exhibition is murdered and an employee of the newspaper become a suspect. The race is on to find the egg before the killer strikes again...
All roads lead to mystery...and danger
As soon as I read the blurb and saw the nifty cover, so reminiscent of the illustrations from 1920's and 1930's books, I knew it was one book I wanted to read. I have enjoyed a good British mystery since first discovering 'The Queen Of Crime' a number of years ago. The Kill Fee was everything I expected, and more. At first it almost seemed as if two or three separate stories were going at once but you knew they had to be connected somehow. Gradually Fiona Veitch Smith weaves those threads together into a far-reaching, and very exciting, mystery that is sure to keep readers guessing.
This Book received a 4.5 Bark rating.
I'll mention here that this is not exactly what I would call an overtly Christian book. There is some language and 'activities' that one are pretty typical for a story set during the time of the flappers.
I have not read book one in the series but after reading The Kill Fee I will be remedying that very soon. Fiona Veitch Smith has a great series going with Poppy Denby Investigates and I look forward to reading further adventures from the girl reporter.
Tell Tale Book Reviews gives The Kill Fee by Fiona Veitch Smith a 4.5 Bark rating.
that thy faith fail not:
and when thou art converted,
strengthen thy brethren.
Humphrey Bogart ■ Edward G. Robinson ■ Lauren Bacall
Frank McCloud travels to a run-down hotel on Key Largo to honor the memory of a friend who died bravely in his unit during WW II. His friend's widow, Nora Temple, and wheelchair bound father, James Temple manage the hotel and receive him warmly, but the three of them soon find themselves virtual prisoners when the hotel is taken over by a mob of gangsters led by Johnny Rocco who hole up there to await the passing of a hurricane. Mr. Temple strongly reviles Rocco but due to his infirmities can only confront him verbally. Having become disillusioned by the violence of war, Frank is reluctant to act, but Rocco's demeaning treatment of his alcoholic moll, Gaye Dawn, and his complicity in the deaths of some innocent Seminole Indians and a deputy sheriff start to motivate McCloud to overcome his Hamlet-like inaction.
Key Largo.... Where to start? Well, it's one of my absolute favorite Bogie movies and the first one of his with Bacall that I ever saw. I grew up watching The African Queen, and liked it, but I think it was when I watched Key Largo in my teens that I decided I really liked Humphrey Bogart movies. It also introduced me to one of Hollywood's most famous heavies, Edward G. Robinson, and even to this day I immediately hate his character after having first seen him here. This is also the movie that proved to me that Lionel Barrymore wasn't always a mean guy, previous to Key Largo I'd only seen him in It's A Wonderful Life.
Key Largo also got me started on one of my favorite hobbies, watching Hurricanes. I live in a landlocked state far from Hurricane Alley so I started watching them via the National Hurricane Center. Hurricanes of the past and the present are such fascinating things!
The magic between Bogie and Bacall is so evident in this movie and it's a delight to watch. And as evidenced by her winning an Oscar for it, Claire Trevor's performance in this movie is both very good and very convincing.
Key Largo is a film noir movie, a genre that I truly enjoy and one that both Bogie and Bacall excelled in. For any classic movie buff or film noir fan Key Largo is a definite must watch!
Humphrey Bogart ... Frank McCloud
Edward G. Robinson ... Johnny Rocco
Lauren Bacall ... Nora Temple
Lionel Barrymore ... James Temple
Claire Trevor ... Gaye Dawn
Thomas Gomez ... Richard 'Curly' Hoff
Harry Lewis ... Edward 'Toots' Bass
John Rodney ... Deputy Clyde Sawyer
Marc Lawrence ... Ziggy
Dan Seymour ... Angel Garcia
Monte Blue ... Sheriff Ben Wade
Overseas Highway, Key Largo, Florida, USA
Key West, Florida Keys, Florida, USA
Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys, Florida, USA
Warner Brothers Studios, Burbank, California, USA
1949 Academy Awards
Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Claire Trevor
Nora Temple: Charlie! Charlie Winook and his family, Crawfish Island. Charlie's a prince of the Seminole Nation. His ancestors go back to the gods. He sells sea shells by the sea shore.
James Temple: Are you thieves or what? You want money, is this a robbery?
Toots: Yeah, Pop, we're gonna steal all your towels.
Johnny Rocco: After living in the USA for more than thirty-five years they called me an undesirable alien. Me. Johnny Rocco. Like I was a dirty Red or something!
Ralphie: Hey Curly, what all happens in a hurricane?
Curly: The wind blows so hard the ocean gets up on its hind legs and walks right across the land.
[Rocco is showing strain at the height of the hurricane's force]
Frank McCloud: You don't like it, do you Rocco, the storm? Show it your gun, why don't you? If it doesn't stop, shoot it.
Frank McCloud: When your head says one thing and your whole life says another, your head always loses.
gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see
you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs,
that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind
striving together for the faith of the gospel;
28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries:
which is to them an evident token of perdition,
but to you of salvation, and that of God.
Man From Cheyenne
Roy Rogers ■ George 'Gabby' Hayes
personality like a glove...greater action...songs...and all the exciting background of the Golden West
The Cattlemen's Association persuades cowboy Roy Rogers to investigate some cattle rustling. The rustling continues but Roy eventually finds the secret tunnel used by the rustlers and captures one of them. This identifies the Hardy ranch as the culprits but when Roy goes to the Hardy ranch to confront them, he soon finds himself alone in a gunfight against the entire gang.
Quite a few years ago now, my mom brought home a 5-movie VHS pack of Roy Rogers movies. She said she meant it as a joke... Guess it kind of backfired because my little brother and I became hooked on these great, family friendly, albeit cheesy, westerns starring The King Of The Cowboys. We collect as many of them as we can, in any format we can get our fingers on. We've read the biographies and autobiographies of both Roy and Dale. We even have the full CD set of all of the songs from their movies together. For a couple of years one of the ringtones on my phone was the Sons Of The Pioneers song Stampede. Fast forward to now, we don't watch the movies as often as we used to but we still grab any movies we don't have or, like this one, any uncut versions we run across. Most of Roy and Dale's movies were cut for TV viewing, and of course the music is what always went out first. We still enjoy these old movies, back when the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats. Where Roy was always blamed for whatever he didn't do, horses race across the screen, Trigger was The Smartest Horse In The Movies, and the guy got the right girl in the end. Even though they are Westerns these movies, including Man From Cheyenne, are actually pretty family friendly. Roy always stood for decency, law and order, good citizenship, and he even got some good zingers in now and then. And of course, there is the music. Roy did movies with more than one band but The Sons Of The Pioneers are by far my favorite. Which is one of the things I really liked about Man From Cheyenne. All of the Pioneers are there as well as Gabby Hayes, Roy's most common sidekick, and the hilariously crazy Sally Payne.
If you haven't seen a Roy Rogers movie or haven't introduced your kids or grandkids to The King Of The Cowboys you should definitely check out The Man From Cheyenne or any of his classic B-Westerns.
Roy Rogers ... Roy Rogers
George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Gabby Whittaker
Sally Payne ... Sally Whittaker
Lynne Carver ... Marian Hardy
William Haade ... Ed
James Seay ... Sheriff Jim
Gale Storm ... Judy Evans
Jack Ingram ... Henchman Chuck
Sons of the Pioneers ... Cowhands, Musicians
Red Rock Canyon State Park - Highway 14, Cantil, Calif.
Gabby Whittaker: Hey, I'm late for the meetin'.
Roy Rogers: What meeting?
Gabby Whittaker: Over at the Hardy ranch. Since old man Hardy died his daughter's been runnin' it. You remember her.
Roy Rogers: Well, sort of.
Gabby Whittaker: Well, she's growed up too.
Sally Whittaker: [whistles] Boy, has she. Ever since she went East to that school she thinks she's a glamor girl.
Gabby Whittaker: Sally! Now that ain't nice.
Sally Whittaker: Well, it burns me up the way that dame makes fools of every old goat in the county.
Gabby Whittaker: Sally! She ain't a dame and I ain't an old goat.
Bob: I don't know what it's like where you've been hanging out, but around here when two men go out on a job together, we figure two of them ought to come back. If you don't know what I mean, I can make myself clearer.
Marian Hardy: How are you, darling?
Judy Evans: Oh, fine, darling.
Marian Hardy: You always look so healthy. I wish my skin weren't so sensitive; I'd love to be able to get sunburned.
Judy Evans: I'd like to see you sunburned.
Favorite E-Books & Audiobooks From 2016
e-books and audiobooks read/listened and reviewed in 2016.
You can find all of those reviewed and many more by visiting our Book Review List page
new year and hope you will be joining us for...
Favorite Print Books From 2016
You can find all of these reviews and many more by visiting our Book Review List page
new year and hope you will be joining us for...
you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Acclaimed director John Ford and screen legend John Wayne team up for what would be their final collaboration in this boisterous, rowdy South Seas escapade. The Duke, Lee Marvin and Jack Warden play World War II Navy buddies who have made the French Polynesian island of Haleakaloha their post-war paradise. Local headquarters is Donovan's Reef, Wayne's rough-and-tumble watering hole where bragging, brawling, and full-blown misbehavior are the order of the day. But destined to create more turmoil than any barroom fisticuffs is the sudden arrival of Ameilia Dedham (Elizabeth Allen), a straight-laced Boston blue blood. She's hoping to locate her long estranged father (Warden), affirm that he is "not of good moral character," and then assume control of the family's shipping dynasty back home in the States. Suave, debonair Cesar Romero and a sarong-clad Dorothy Lamour add to the laughs – and mayhem – in this tropical comedy treat.
Donovan's Reef is one of my family's absolute favorite John Wayne movies. Why? I have no idea. But we watch it over and over, and one of our favorite, and most often used, quotes, "Maaaad?" comes from this movie. Maybe we like it so much because there is nothing really serious in it, it's mostly just a comedy with some romance and plenty of good old fashioned barroom fist-fights to liven things up. Sally and Luki are just so cute, interesting fact is that the actor who played Luki was actually actress Anna Lee's son, and Father Cluzeot is such a character and a perfect example of what a good Christian can be.
My family actually classes Donovan's Reef as our idea of a Christmas movie and we usually try to make sure and watch it sometime around the holidays. Christmas does figure quite heavily in the movie; with a Christmas tree and even a John Wayne-style Christmas pageant.
Donovan's Reef is (ca)rousing good fun and a must watch for John Wayne fans!
John Wayne ... Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan
Lee Marvin ... Thomas Aloysius 'Boats' Gilhooley
Elizabeth Allen ... Ameilia Dedham
Jack Warden ... Dr. William Dedham
Cesar Romero ... Marquis Andre de Lage
Dick Foran ... Australian Navy Officer Sean O'Brien
Dorothy Lamour ... Miss Lafleur
Marcel Dalio ... Father Cluzeot
Mike Mazurki ... Sgt. Monk Menkowicz
Jacqueline Malouf ... Lelani Dedham
Cherylene Lee ... Sarah 'Sally' Dedham
Jeffrey Byron ... Luki Dedham (as Tim Stafford)
Kaua'i, Hawaii, USA
Paramount Studios Hollywood, Calif. USA (studio)
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Gilhooley?
Marquis Andre de Lage: Gilhooley.
Lelani Dedham: Oh, Uncle Guns, please don't fight, don't spoil our party.
Sally Dedham: You stay out of it!
Luki Dedham: Go on Uncle Guns. Knock his block off!
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: I'll knock both his blocks off.
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Aw, Monk, you're not gonna let three guys take on one - even if it is Gilhooley.
Sergeant Monk Menkowicz: I seen it done.
[Gilhooley about to throw bottle during fight]
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan: Not the brandy, you dope!
Thomas Aloysius 'Boats' Gilhooley: [puts bottle carefully down on bar] Sorry!
Reading and history have been my passion since early childhood when my parents encouraged both. I was introduced to Christian fiction around age 4-5 while listening to radio drama adaptations of books by great authors including Janette Oke. I have been a voracious reader and avid library patron ever since. I started Tell Tale Book Reviews in December 2012. I am also an active volunteer in the areas I hold most dear, library, museum, and pets. Hobbies include a small bead jewelry business, watching classic movies/ TV, listening to Irish/Celtic music, and autograph collecting.
Born in October 2008 he is a purebred Alaskan Malamute. His red fur and sparkling green eyes highlight his happy and loving personality. He loves walks, hugs, sneaking human food treats, and Milk Bones.
1 Bark - OK
2 Barks - Good!
3 Barks - Great!
4 Barks - Excellent!
5 Barks - WOW!
+ Barks - .5 (1/2)
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