review

Kindar’s Cure Review and Blog Tour

It’s rare that I find a book based on description alone that interests me enough to want to review it her. Normally my blog focuses on theater, theater education and arts advocacy (as I’m sure many of you know) but while preparing my own, recently complete blog tour, I read the description to this book, Kindar’s Cure by Michelle Hauck.

High fantasy? I like high fantasy.

Female protagonist? We certainly don’t see enough of those these days.

Rulership is a matriarchy? Color me highly interested!

So I signed up to review the book and got a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the top I was almost put off. I was having trouble reading it on my kindle (I like a black background and the formatting for this required the white background). I also wasn’t too keen on the cover (not there there is anything wrong with it, it just…didn’t grab me.) But I had agreed to read this and I’m glad I did.

The story is as follows: Kindar is the middle child The second of three daughters of the queen. She is also beset with a constant cough that makes her ineligible to rule. But that isn’t a problem, she’s the second. But a series of circumstances put her in a fight for the throne from a series of  unseen forces.

Characters grow, change and evolve as they experience life outside the protected castle and learn around a rich setting and terrific world building.

For fans of fantasy or looking for a strong, well written female hero, I recommend KINDAR’S CURE.

KINDAR’S CURE can be purchased on Amazon for $6.95.

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What Are The Critics Saying?

I don’t promote this much, because, well I’m still figuring it all out, but I am on Goodreads. I have all my plays listed there and once in awhile I will get a review.

So what are the Reviewers saying about Allie In Wonderland and how are they ranking it?

They like it! They REALLY like it, with an average rating of over 4.5 Stars (out of 5)

Highlights from the reviews include:

“I love how it teaches us that with your imagination and belief in it anything is possible.”

“Allie in Wonderland is a short, charming, and enchanting play…I give Everett Robert credit for taking a tale from childhood, giving it a new spin, and telling us all that it is okay to dream.”

“This children’s play (though not really, it’s for everyone that hasn’t lost important childhood qualities), expertly written by Everett Robert, a master of dialogue, stagecraft and the use of word play)… I came away from reading this play by making two resolutions: (1) to reread the original story; and (2) to make sure my imagination is given time to exercise itself each and every day of my life. Else I too might shrivel up and go looking for Alice to remedy.”

“I enjoyed it.”

Thank you for all the reviews so far. If you would like to read Allie In Wonderland or any of my plays for review purposes, send me an email or drop me a message here.

Never Trust An Angel And Other Plays–A Review

I know that I haven’t been blogging as much lately as I had been. The sumer has been moving along fast and I’ve been struggling to keep up. However I did find time to read a new collection of plays by Crystal Smith-Connelly.

ntaaNever Trust An Angel and Other Plays is the latest anthology of short plays from Crystal Smith-Connelly. Smith-Connelly is a talented playwright whose previous work, For I Am Zeus, I really enjoyed. This collection is a little harder for me to judge because I don’t necessarily fit into her target audience with this one.

This collection of plays reexamines and looks to rediscover the God of the Bible and look at him, his Son, his enemy, and his followers in a humorous light. As a person of faith and a humorist, I was intrigued by this idea. And for the most part it worked. I wasn’t as impressed by the overall work as I was by her previous work, simply because it seems to me at times the character of God comes across as Zeus from her previous work. I would have liked to have seen a little different character development there. However the characters of Jesus and Satan are well defined and make up for God. If the collection had focused more on these characters and less on the God/Zeus hybrid, I think I would have enjoyed this work a lot more and would have given it a higher rating.

Yes the play could be argued as being “sacrilegious” but I believe that God isn’t just the creator of the world, but the creator of comedy and at times, we need to poke a little fun at ourselves. In one short play, Messiah Island, is a great look at two different kinds of people who are competing for the role of Messiah via reality television; the hyper-religious and the doing it for the fame. In my opinion, this is the strongest play out of the bunch because it deals directly with God and his followers, something I would have liked to have seen more from.

Overall, this is a strong work and one I would imagine works very well on the stage, I just wish that Smith-Connelly would have branched out a little more in her characterization of God and made him less Zeus like and Zeus-lite.

Never Trust An Angel And Other Plays is now available for purchase through Amazon as a paper-bound book or a Kindle edition.

For more information on Crystal Smith-Connelly, you can check out her Facebook page or her webpage.

The Girl From Bleecker Street

THE GIRL FROM BLEECKER STREET is a fun, innovative look at the theater world reflected in the audition process of one young actor.

Kristen is a young, teenage ingenue in waiting. She dreams of singing, dancing, and acting on Broadway and does everything she can to realize that dream, dragging her parents along to failed audition after failed audition. In the process, Kristen, like anyone in this situation at her age, begins to get depressed and frustrated, deciding that her last audition is going to be her make or break audition. She prepares hard for the role of Cosette in a production of Les Miserables…only to not get the role. It is in this heartbroken state she meets the mysterious Mister Nathaniel, who asks her to audition for the role of Alice in his new theater on Bleecker street, just blocks from where she lives.

This is a quick read, this is, like I said, a great look into a world we don’t often get to see, the world of theater and the stiff competition and rejections that come with it and how those rejections affect young actors. It also provides us a chance to glimpse how a meeting here can lead to an audition there and reminds us how small the theater world can really be.

As a fan of Alice In Wonderland (and someone who has adapted it [loosely] for the stage) it was fun to see it become a major plot point in the story. It was obvious that the author, J.R. Meehl, is a fan of Alice In Wonderland. It’s also obvious that Mr. Meehl has had experience in the theater, his descriptions of the audition process is right on.

There were a few things I didn’t care for, I would have liked to have seen Kristen’s friend Meg have a bigger part. As a playwright, actor, and director working often in TYA, I have seen that young actors support systems often include their friends and it would have been nice to have seen Meg play a larger role. I also felt that the beginning dragged just a little. I also had some formatting problems, there were letters missing and odd spacing.

Overall, I felt that this was a good story though and was fun to read and I have a feeling I’ll be reading it again.

For I Am Zeus (A Review)

For I Am Zeus is a collection of 6 short plays in one collection by playwright Crystal Smith-Connelly that presents a humorous look at the amorous adventures of the Greek god Zeus and his sexual conquests.

I’m a big fan of ancient Greek comedy with their base and ribald jokes and social messages. Smith-Connelly seems to be influenced by them as well. These plays, while chock fill of jokes, looks at things like the bar scene, speed dating, marriage counseling, reality show television, and religion in general. Her writing suggests a familiarity with the original source material while maintaining her own unique voice and vision. And while some of the jokes are “dated”, they work because they are coming out of the mouth of a clueless braggart like Zeus.

I did notice some formatting problems, particularly in the latter plays in the collection. They weren’t major (extra spaces, extra return key strokes, a missing return key stroke) but I feel that I would be remiss not to mention them, but they didn’t take away from my enjoyment of Smith-Connelly’s plays. I will also mention that in one of the character descriptions, Zeus was mentioned as being in his 60s when in the previous ones he is mentioned as being in his 50s. Again, minor stuff here. I would have also liked a table of contents that linked me to each individual play so that I could reread certain ones again without have to page through the whole thing.

This is a piece I would love to see performed on stage sometime and I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It is a quick read and worth the hour or so it takes to read.

Crystal Smith-Connelly can be found at her website, Twitter, or on Facebook

For I Am Zeus can be purchased at Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, or Books-A-Million.