Well it's 2013 and I feel like it is going to be a good year!
Kings River Life Magazine continues to grow and thrive and is now 2 1/2 years old! While it still takes up most of my time, I'm determined to reboot my singing and my fiction writing this year! Check back here for updates.
The big question is--will Alexandra Walter's series be rebooted and come back this year, or will God and life lead me into other writing? I honestly don't know--all I know is that I will be writing!
In the meantime--if you haven't checked out my series, the most recent novel "The Final Note" is available from Amazon, so consider checking it out :)
Have a great 2013 and I hope you will be hearing a lot more from me this year!
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I keep meaning to hop over here and post something and it just keeps not happening. So just taking a moment to post a quick little update. While Kings River Life takes up most of my time these days, I am looking at the possibility of reviving my series featuring Alexandra Walters and jumping it ahead ten years. I did start on it--but I do not know how long it will take. Likely this version will be a little more serious as there have been some major changes in her life, however I'm sure Alex's wit will continue to shine through. When the book finally happens-you all, and my Twitter followers, will be the first to know!
I'm also working on a couple of play ideas so things are very busy. While you wait for me to get more Alex for you to enjoy, please do hop on over to Kings River Life where you'll find great short stories by other mystery authors, reviews, giveaways & more!Happy Reading!
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE THEATRE REVIEWS PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO FIND MASTER CLASS & GODSPELL!
This is a repost of a current book review & book giveaway from Kings River Life so we can continue our contest! Learn below how to enter to win a copy of Death Comes Silently! And keep heart-KRL will return soon!
Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart
I have been a fan of Carolyn Hart’s Death On Demand mystery series ever since the first book and was excited when I received the latest one, Death Comes Silently.
Annie Lawrence Darling owns a mystery bookstore called Death On Demand and this setting is one of the things I love about this series. When I read one of these books I can imagine myself in this wonderful bookstore surrounded by great mystery books, the coffee nook where I can get a cup of coffee while I’m there, Agatha the big black bookstore cat, and I can take a moment and try to win the monthly contest where Annie puts up book covers on the wall and the patrons have to figure out what books they go with. I also enjoy recognizing author names as she mentions books in her store.
Through the years, I’ve gotten to know the characters in these books and reading one is like returning home. There’s the eccentric mystery author Emma Clyde, there’s Annie’s friend Henny who makes me think a lot of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Annie’s flighty mother in law Laurel who can be hard for Annie to deal with, but at other times can be great help. The best characters though are Annie and her husband Max. Max has a consulting firm where he helps people with their problems, but insists that he is not a P.I. Annie and Max make me think a lot of Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man movies—they are charming, funny and very much in love.
In Death Comes Silently Annie asks a fellow volunteer, Gretchen Burkholt, to cover for her at a local charity because she needs to be at the store for Emma’s latest book signing. Annie gets a frantic call from Gretchen saying she’s afraid of the handyman, but also informing Annie of a scandal over the death of a local wealthy citizen. The volunteer is known for over reacting so Annie ignores it and goes on with the event, but is shocked to find the volunteer has been murdered. Feeling guilty and being her normal curious self, Annie sets out to find the real killer, as Henny is determined it was not the handyman.
Annie attempts to uncover the family scandal that she feels is at the real root of the murder, only to find there’s more skeletons in their closet than she ever bargained for and to end up being a target of the murderer herself.
If you have never read one of Carolyn Hart’s Death On Demand books head on out and find them now. You can start at any point in the series, but it’s fun to start at the beginning and watch Annie and Max’s relationship blossom and grow. These books are charming, fun, funny, clever and kind of like comfort food without the calories, but instead with a great mystery!
Enter for a chance to win a copy of Death Comes Silently by emailing us at kingsriverlife [at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line Silently. Contest ends Monday, April 30, 2012.
Also check out some wonderful mystery author video interviews from Left Coast Crime on our youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/KingsRiverLife/videos
by Patricia Brown
By the time Jacqueline Antaramian reaches the emotional crescendo of Act One in Master Class, she has completely inhabited the body and spirit of the late, great opera diva, Maria Callas. She has also summoned by her spectacular performance all of our own deep, latent emotional rawness. I was sitting in the second row too exposed to turn around to see if the large preview audience made up of Fresno State and local high school budding singers were also fighting back tears like me. My bet is that most of them were.
StageWorks Fresno draws you in like the pull of a full-moon tide. It opens tonight, Friday, April 27, 2012, at 8 p.m. at the Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall at the Clovis North Educational Complex, for a much-too-short three-day run. That means if you want to see a memorable performance you'll take to your grave, you better get tickets now. Saturday's performance is also at 8 p.m. and Sunday's matinee is at 2 p.m.
Directed by the incomparable Joel Abels, founder of StageWorks Fresno, Abels has assembled a terrific cast that includes not only two Broadway understudies, but local talent that never disappoints, like his songbird daughter, Taylor Abels. Taylor is just one of three of Callas' students seeking her expertise. There's the spry tenor who brings Callas to tears and the defiant up-and-comer. All three, along with pianist Manny are exceptional counterpoints to Antaramian's tour de force. What voices. These singers had the real-life expertise of local vocal coach Terry Estrabrook who made sure the Italian was true. What these students get from Callas, however, is not the expected cruelty and bitterness of a has-been, but the wit and vulnerability of a star who once was the highest paid opera singer in the world.
You don't have to know anything about--or even like--opera or Shakespeare, or Callas for that matter to love this play. Through the theatrical device of playwright Terrence McNally, Callas addresses the audience and explains the characters, plot and settings necessary to wring every emotion for every operatic performance. But, like each of us, Callas is full of contradictions. She is not too old and jaded to be moved--or hurt--by her students.
This production points out the obvious: why reality shows full of Kardashians, Lohans and Snookis are so fundamentally unsatisfying. If only we had seen Kim grieving over her lost love like Maria Callas over her beloved Ari Onassis (who threw her off to marry Jackie Kennedy), we could have some empathy for Kim. Callas' romance was bittersweet and, ultimately, tragic. Kardashian's was artificial and false.
Master Class has lessons for all of us. It reminds us so profoundly that we still have the tension between ones feminism and femininity; between the cockiness and ambitiousness of youth and the power of experience; between the structure and discipline necessary for creativity to flourish and the balls-to-the-wall passion of genius.
This production brings Broadway at its best to the burbs. Just think of the money we've saved in airfare to New York. We are so very lucky, indeed. Don't miss this.
Patricia Brown has been practicing Family Law in the Central Valley for twenty years. She went to law school in NYC where she went through Broadway shows like M & Ms. Her biggest accomplishment in life is being a stage mom. This is her second review for KingsRiverLife and KRL has also published some of her mystery short stories.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
While Kings River Life is having server issues--some of our time sensitive posts will be posted here in the interim including some great theatre reviews! Enjoy and KRL will hopefully be back up very soon!
This past weekend Godspell opened at the Reedley Opera House presented by the Reedley River City Theatre Co. and I had the privilege of actually seeing it twice! This may very well be the best show I’ve ever seen there, and it’s one you won’t want to miss. For a little background, music and lyrics for this show were written by Stephen Schwartz who wrote Wicked.
According to director Mark Norwood, Godspell is essentially the gospel of Matthew set to music. “Godspell is one of my favorite shows. The music is wonderful and does justice to the Greatest Story Ever Told!”
|Cast of Godspell|
The show opens with everything in black and white, and the mood dark as well. Then Jesus comes on the scene, played by newcomer Alex Barsoom, dressed in Superman colors and emblem (but not tights thankfully), and everything begins to change and transforms into a colorful stage and costumes. A troupe of actors who sort of represent Jesus’ disciples, act out many of the stories of the Bible throughout the show leading up to the dramatic conclusion. The songs range from silly and fun to absolutely incredible—some of which are recognizable such as “Day By Day.” Alex does a wonderful job of portraying Jesus with a presence that just oozes love and joy.
As to producing such a show on the small stage of the Opera House, Mark says it’s an ever present challenge and one he’s well used to. “It is our home and I have come to look upon the quirks as blessings.”
Godspell is not only filled with wonderful stories of God’s love and beautiful music, but a lot of fun and laughter as well with vaudevillian type humor and jokes throughout most of the show. “What is so much fun about producing Godspell is seeing where the cast takes the show,” said Mark. “This cast is so talented and joy filled, and it is proving to be a delightful experience.”
This truly is a wonderful and talented cast, from the voices to the comedic and dramatic acting, to the dancing—the quality of the show is absolutely amazing especially when you consider that this is community theatre. The quality of much of the theatre in this Valley makes it totally unnecessary to travel to Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York to see a great show---you can see one right here in your own back yard.
If you aren’t religious in any way you can still enjoy the beautiful music, great stories and fun of this show, and if you are you will love it even more! Many of the cast and audience were in tears at the end of the show. The program even provides Bible references that the stories and songs tie into if you want to look them up later!
This time out the Opera House not only offers a dinner option but some great specials, so check out their website for more information & tonight April 26 they are again offering a Facebook Special--$15 for the show tonight if you mention the special. The show runs through May 13 and ends up with a Mother’s Day Brunch. This is one you do not want to miss.
Everyone in this cast is a stand out so wanted to mention them all:
Jessica Williams, Sarah Wiebe, Annie Hobbs, Jacob Alvarado, Jessica Ham, Stacie Hall, Alina Myers, Angel Antuna, Jennifer Sandoval, and Alex Barsoom as Jesus and Erik Valencia as Judas and John the Baptist.
Come back here to Mysteryrat's Closet for more theatre and movie reviews while Kings River Life is down & mystery fun anytime!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
This Thursday morning bright and early I'm headed off to Left Coast Crime in Sacramento! If you're going please look me up! I'll mostly be promoting the magazine and doing mini author video interviews, but I'll also be on a panel for my books-The Musical Mystery Panel-on Friday! Check out reviews of the books of all of us on the panel in KRL & get all the panel info http://kingsriverlife.com/03/26/musical-mysteries-left-coast/
Hope to see some of you there!