Secrets of Sulphur Springs

With my luck the last couple months (I’ve been in a real dry spell – nothing good to watch or listen too), I didn’t expect much from Disney’s Secrets of Sulphur Springs. At it’s best, Secrets of Sulphur Springs, was going to be a ghost story for kids; at it’s worst, it was going to be a dumb ghost story for kids. Imagine my surprise when it was neither.

Griffin, the main character, and his family are forced to move back to Sulphur Springs, Louisiana when his father purchases an old hotel. Apparently, this old hotel has a reputation – it is haunted. Why? Because years ago, a little girl disappeared from a nearby summer camp, never to be seen or heard from again. What happened? Well that is what Griffin and his new friend Harper try to find out.

Without giving too much away, all I can say is that while Secrets of Sulphur Springs presents itself as a spooky ghost story, things aren’t always as they seem. So if you aren’t one for ghost stories, don’t worry; this series is definitely worth checking out.

This is a TV series that adults and children can enjoy together. (In fact, I don’t remember hearing any profanity. WOW!) I binge watched the entire series in a day and a half. The writers did an excellent job perpetuating the mystery of the disappearance, and Preston Oliver (Griffin) and Kyleigh Curran (Harper) do an excellent job carrying the show.

This will definitely be added to my “Favorites” list.

Flora and Ulysses

Wow! All I can say is WOW!

Do you know how long it has been since I’ve seen a movie that emphasizes the importance of being there for your family even when things get rough?

On the surface, Flora and Ulysses appears to be a story about a superhero squirrel, but in reality it delves into something much more super – the importance of never giving up on your family.

Flora and Ulysses contains a message of hope, courage, and perseverance despite familial struggles. While the husband and wife are separated in this movie, their love for each other is evident. Divorce looks like it may be in their future, but you can tell it is not something either of them want. Furthermore, I was impressed by the fact the father actually tells his daughter “I love you!” You rarely hear that in movies. (In fact, you rarely see a father involved in his child’s life in movies these days.)

I’ll admit the action scenes and slapstick humor were painful (for an adult at least. Kids won’t have a problem with it), but if you can look past that, the values are what make the move good. They are why I kept watching it; I was expecting to be disappointed at any moment. But surprisingly, I wasn’t.

Wizard’s Alley

I tried. I really tried! I listened to seven chapters of Wizards Alley by James Haddock and still haven’t figured out what this story is about! The narrator – Daniel Wisniewski – is superb, but the story leaves much to be desired.

Wizard’s Alley starts out promising. Two wizards duel in an alley. A stray bolt of magic knocks a street urchin unconscious. When the boy awakes, he discovers he can do magic. After that, however, the story takes a less than promising turn as Scraps, the street urchin turned wizard, goes around town, stealing, healing, and fighting various people. While his intentions are good – to provide for those less fortunate – his actions are somewhat questionable.

The main complaint I had with the first seven chapters (because I’m not reading anymore of it) was that there was no conflict. Scraps was “blessed” with magical powers, and he doesn’t even have to learn how to use them! He can simply wish for something, and it comes true.

Concerned I was jumping the gun prematurely, I looked at reviews on Amazon to see if I simply needed to be more patient. Unfortunately, many of the reviews observed the same things I did – lack of conflict/plot being the main one. A review left by “Jo” on Amazon described the book perfectly: Wizard’s Alley “reads like a history book”. Imagine reading someone’s autobiography, and you pretty much have a feel for what reading Wizard’s Alley is like.

ACORN TV – Murder Mysteries

It has been a while since I’ve written a review because, quite frankly, I haven’t listened to or watched anything worth reviewing. I have been exploring different shows that are available through ACORN TV, which I have access to through my county library.

I’ve watched several shows, but nothing that absolutely stood out.

Agatha Raisin

Agatha Raisin is based on the book series by Marion Chesney. It tells of a well-known public relations manager who retires from her city life to live in a little town. While she desperately wants to fit in, Agatha’s city airs do not make it easy for her, and not long after moving there, she becomes the prime suspect in a murder.

The show itself started off promising. Agatha’s struggle to fit in and adjust to country life is highly entertaining, and the characters are kind of quirky. But as often happens with shows, it is not long before the characters are sleeping with each other and sexual innuendoes are frequent. It is a shame, because the show would have been perfect without it. (I would be curious to see if the books contained as much sleeping around and sexual references as the show, or if it was something simply added for TV. So I plan to check out the book series.)


My Life is Murder

Starring Lucy Lawless (Xenia Princess Warrior), this series tells of a retired cop who is constantly roped in to investigating cases for her former supervisor. This show is entertaining. It is not as comical as Agatha Raisin, but there are fewer sexual references, which makes it more enjoyable. (Just FYI: The first episode deals with a murder where the prime suspect is a prostitute, so their are quite a few sexual references in that one. But the rest of the episodes are relatively clean.)

There are a few instances of the “F” word in a couple of the episodes, but it is only said once in those two episodes.

I did enjoy this show and will watch it when future series are available. The characters are believable and the acting is good. Because of the lack of sexual references, I enjoyed this show a lot more than I enjoyed Agatha Raisin.


Mr. & Mrs. Murder

This show does not immediately draw you in like My Life is Murder or Agatha Raisin. But, I like it for an entirely different reason – the only reason I continued watching it actually.

The show is about a married couple who are crime scene cleaners; however, while cleaning up after crimes, they end up solving them.

What I like most about this show is that the married couple truly love each other; they are faithful and loyal, which is something you don’t see on TV these days. For that reason alone, I continued to watch it.

The story was entertaining enough, but the family dynamics were my favorite aspect of the show.

Trailer works (image just doesn’t display).


Queens of Mystery

This show was entertaining as well, a bit more engaging than Mr. & Mrs. Murder. I liked this show simply because it was a different style than most murder mysteries. In some aspects, it reminded me of Pushing Daisies in that it “read” like a storybook. It had a narrator voice over which gave the storybook feel. I also found it amusing how the show will “freeze” at times, and the narrator will tell you what the characters were actually thinking. While not one of my favorites, it is one I will still watch when more seasons become available.


Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries

For some reason, I couldn’t get into this TV series. I watched a couple episodes, and it seems relatively clean. If you like murder mysteries, it might be worth checking out.

Strong Evidence (Marcus Lear Mystery Book 4)

Take a trip to Arizona with Marcus Lear in J. Kevin Earp’s newest book, Strong Evidence. In this fourth installment of the Marcus Leary Mysteries, a disagreement between Marcus and Jenny (his girlfriend) causes a rift in their relationship. Needing to get a way for a little while, Jenny leaves Perrys Island without telling Marcus where she is going. As a result, when a missing person’s case in Arizona makes its way to Marcus, he is forced to accept it and work it by himself.

During his investigation, Marcus discovers a link between Jenny and the missing person. Could Jenny be involved in the victim’s disappearance? Marcus doesn’t think so, but local law enforcement do. After all, there is strong evidence indicating Jenny’s involvement. Can Marcus discover the real culprit, prove Jenny’s innocence, and find the missing person before it is too late?

Well, I’m not going to answer that question…you will just have to read it to find out.