Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday's Film Adaption: The Bad Seed by William March

Now reissued – William March's 1954 classic thriller that's as chilling, intelligent and timely as ever before. This paperback reissue includes a new P.S. section with author interviews, insights, features, suggested reading and more.

What happens to ordinary families into whose midst a child serial killer is born? This is the question at the center of William march's classic thriller. After its initial publication in 1954, the book went on to become a million–copy bestseller, a wildly successful Broadway show, and a Warner Brothers film. The spine–tingling tale of little Rhoda Penmark had a tremendous impact on the thriller genre and generated a whole perdurable crop of creepy kids. Today, The Bad Seed remains a masterpiece of suspense that's as chilling, intelligent, and timely as ever before.

LATER THAT SUMMER, when Mrs. Penmark looked back and remembered, when she was caught up in despair so deep that she knew there was no way out, no solution whatever for the circumstances that encompassed her, it seemed to her that June seventh, the day of the Fern Grammar School picnic, was the day of her last happiness, for never since then had she known contentment or felt peace.

The picnic was an annual, traditional affair held on the beach and among the oaks of Benedict, the old Fern summer place at Pelican Bay. It was here that the impeccable Fern sisters had been born and had lived through their languid, eventless summers. They had refused to sell the old place, and had kept it up faithfully as a gesture of love even when necessity made them turn their town house into a school for the children of their friends. The picnic was always held on the first Saturday of June since the eldest of the three sisters, Miss Octavia, was convinced, despite the occasions on which it had rained that particular day, and the picnic had to be held inside after all, that the first Saturday of June was invariably a fine one.

“When I was a little girl, as young as many of you are today,” she would say each season to her pupils, “we always planned a picnic at Benedict for the first Saturday of June. All our relatives and friends came—some of whom we’d not seen for months. It was a sort of reunion, really, with laughter and surprises and gentle, excited voices everywhere. Everyone had a happy, beautiful day. There was no dissension in those days; a quarrel was unknown in the society of the well-bred, a cross word never exchanged between ladies and gentlemen. My sisters and I remember those days with love and great longing.”

At this point Miss Burgess Fern, the middle sister, the practical one who handled the business affairs of the school, said, “It was so much easier in those days, with a houseful of servants and everybody helpful and anxious to please. Mother and some of the servants would drive down to Benedict a few days in advance of the picnic, sometimes as early as the first of June, when the season was officially open, although the established residents of the coast didn’t consider the season really in swing until the day of our picnic.”

“Benedict is such a beautiful spot,” said Miss Claudia Fern.

“Little Lost River bounds our property on the Gulf side, and flows into the bay there.” Miss Claudia taught art in the school, and automatically she added, “The landscape at that point reminds one so much of those charming river scenes by Bombois.” Then, feeling that some of her pupils might not know who Bombois was, she went on. “For the sake of some of the younger groups, Bombois is a modern French primitive. Oh, he is so cunning in his artlessness! So right in his composition, and in the handling of green! You’ll learn much about Bombois later on.”

It was from the Fern town house, the school itself, that the picnickers were to begin their long day of pleasure; and the parents of each pupil had been asked to have their particular child on the school lawn not later than eight o’clock, when the chartered busses were scheduled to leave. Thus it was that Mrs. Christine Penmark, who disliked being late or keeping others waiting, set her clock for six, which, she felt, would allow time for her ordinary tasks of the morning and for the remembrance of those last-minute, hurried things which are so easily overlooked.

She had impressed the hour on her mind, saying to herself as she fell asleep, “You will awake precisely at six o’clock, even if something happens to the alarm”; but the alarm went off promptly, and, yawning a little, she sat up in bed. It was, she saw instantly, to be a beautiful day—the day Miss Octavia had promised. She pushed back her blond, almost flaxen, hair and went at once to the bathroom, staring at herself in the mirror for a long moment, her toothbrush held languidly in her hand, as though she were not quite decided what to do with it. Her eyes were gray, wide-set, and serene; her skin tanned and firm. She drew back her lips in that first tentative, trial smile of the day; and standing thus in front of her mirror, she listened absently to the sounds outside her window: an automobile starting in the distance, the twittering of sparrows in the live oaks that lined the quiet street, the sound of a child’s voice raised suddenly and then hushed. Then, coming awake quickly, in possession once more of her usual energy, she bathed and dressed and went to her kitchen to begin breakfast.

Later she went to her daughter’s room to waken her. The room was empty, and it was so tidy that it gave the impression of not having been used for a long time. The bed was neatly remade, the dressing-table immaculate, with each object in its accustomed place, turned at its usual angle. On a table near the window was one of the jigsaw puzzles that her daughter delighted in, a puzzle only half completed. Mrs. Penmark smiled to herself and went into the child’s bathroom. The bathroom was as orderly as the bedroom had been, with the bath towel spread out precisely to dry; and Christine, seeing these things, laughed softly, thinking: I never deserved such a capable child. When I was eight years old, I doubt if I could do anything. She went into the wide, elaborate hall with its elegant, old-fashioned parquetry floors of contrasting woods, and called gaily, “Rhoda! Rhoda!… Where are you, darling? Are you up and dressed so soon?”

The child answered in her slow, cautious voice, as though the speaking of words were a perilous thing to be debated. “Here I am,” she said. “Here, in the living-room.”

When speaking of her daughter, the adjectives that others most often used were “quaint,” or “modest,” or “old-fashioned”; and Mrs. Penmark, standing in the doorway. smiled in agreement and wondered from what source the child had inherited her repose, her neatness, her cool self-sufficiency. She said, coming into the room, “Were you really able to comb and plait your hair without my helping you?”

The child half turned, so that her mother could inspect her hair, which was straight, finespun, and of a dark, dull brown: her hair was plaited precisely in two narrow braids which were looped back into two thin hangman-nooses, and were secured, in turn, with two small bows of ribbon. Mrs. Penmark examined the bows, but seeing they were compact and firmly tied, she brushed her lips over the child’s brown bangs, and said, “Breakfast will be ready in a moment. I think you’d better eat a good breakfast today as there’s nothing more uncertain about a picnic than the arrival of lunch.”

Rhoda sat down at the table, her face fixed in an expression of solemn innocence; then she smiled at some secret thought of her own, and at once there was a shallow dimple in her left cheek. She lowered her chin and raised it thoughtfully; she smiled again, but very softly, an odd, hesitant smile that parted her lips this time and showed the small, natural gap between her front teeth.

“I adore that little gap between dear Rhoda’s teeth,” Mrs. Monica Breedlove, who lived on the floor above, had said only the day before. “You know, Rhoda’s such an outmoded little girl with her bangs and pigtails and that single dimple. She reminds me of the way children looked when my grandmother was young. Now there was a colored print in my grandmother’s house that I’ve always remembered; it was a little girl skating—oh, such an immaculate, self-possessed little girl with flowing hair, striped stockings, laced boots, and a fur toque that matched a little fur muff. She was smiling as she skated, and there was a darling gap between her teeth, too. The more I think of it, the more that child reminds me of Rhoda.”

A woman suspects that her perfect little girl is a ruthless killer.
Release Date: September 12, 1956
Release Time: 129 minutes

Nancy Kelly as Christine Penmark
Patty McCormack as Rhoda Penmark
Henry Jones as Leroy Jessup
Eileen Heckart as Hortense Daigle
Evelyn Varden as Monica Breedlove
William Hopper as Col. Kenneth Penmark
Paul Fix as Richard Bravo
Jesse White as Emory Wages
Gage Clarke as Reginald 'Reggie' Tasker
Joan Croydon as Claudia Fern (as Joan Croyden)
Frank Cady as Henry Daigle

Academy Awards(Nominations):
Best Actress: Nancy Kelly
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Eileen Heckart
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Patty McCormack
Best Cinematography (Black-and-White): Hal Rosson

Author Bio:
William March (born William Edward Campbell) was an American author and a highly decorated US Marine. The author of six novels and four short-story collections, March was a critical success and heralded as "the unrecognized genius of our time", without attaining popular appeal until after his death. His novels intertwine his own personal torment with the conflicts spawned by unresolved class, family, sexual, and racial matters. March often presents characters who, through no fault of their own, are victims of chance, and writes that freedom can only be obtained by being true to one's nature and humanity.




Release Day Blitz: Kill Shot by Lani Lynn Vale

Title: Kill Shot
Author: Lani Lynn Vale
Series: Code-11 SWAT #6
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 2, 2015
Bennett had the world in the palm of his hands when he was sixteen, then he allowed his dick to do the thinking for him.

That one night changed his life, giving him a child that would forever alter the course of his life, and an ex that was a crazy nut case on the best of days.

With the help of his parents, he went into the Navy, becoming the SEAL that he always wanted to be. However, with that came a price.

A price he wasn’t willing to pay anymore once his little girl started to realize why he wasn’t there. So he came home and joined the local SWAT team, starting his life anew, just his daughter and him.

Then he meets the cute little physician’s assistant that looks down at him like one would an annoying fly, and he finally realizes just what he’s been missing.

Something that takes his mind off of the challenge of everyday life. Someone that dares him to be a better father and police officer.

And Lennox is one hell of a motivator.

Their relationship starts off rocky as the two of them circle each other like opponents ready to do combat rather than two civil adults. Every day brings a new battle for the two of them to overcome, and before they realize it, they’ll be fighting for each other instead of against each other.

Because there’s one woman who doesn’t want either one of them to be happy…especially not together.

     “Bennett?”  Lennox asked softly into the dark.
     I turned my head until I was facing her.
     My beard tickled her mouth and chin as we came face to face, mouth to mouth.
     “Yeah, Nox?” I whispered tiredly.
     “I fucking love you,” she whispered fiercely.
     I blinked, all tiredness leaving my pores as I said, “What?”
     “You heard me, you big bastard.  You made me fucking love you,” she spat.
     I laughed.
     She sounded so irritated by the fact that I had no other recourse but to laugh.
     “You don’t have to sound so outraged by it,” I laughed.
     She made a sound in the back of her throat, then threw herself at me.
     I landed on my back, and laughed, pulling her until she was straddling my body.
     Her sweet ass was pressed against my hips, and my cock, which was more than a little out of control, was pillowed in between the cheeks.
     She leaned down, pressing her mouth against mine.
     “If you break me, I’ll never let you forget it,” she whispered.
     Suddenly serious, I moved my hands up her arms, past her neck, and up to her head.
     Cupping it with both hands, I did a half curl until I was mouth to mouth with her once again.
     “I’ll never let anything hurt you.  I can’t see the future.  I can’t tell you how tomorrow will look for us.  All I can tell you is that I’ll never treat you with anything but respect.  I’ll never let you down, and I’ll never be unfaithful.  If we are happy, then I’ll be here.  But if it does go bad, which I don’t see happening, then I’ll leave you with a piece of me.  You’ll forever have me.  My support.  My caring.  And I want the same promise from you.  Because Reagan loves you already.  She asks about you every day.  And I want her to know you without you holding back.  You’re mine, and I’m yours until we both decide differently.  I’ll never leave you without talking it out with you first.  We’ll both have to be on the same page.  But honey,” I said, a promise in my voice.  “I don’t see this going bad, because I fucking love you, too.”
     I felt a tear meet my lips right before I smashed my mouth against hers.
     Her lips tasted of salty tears, but I didn’t care.
     Neither did she.

Author Bio:
I’m a married mother of three. My kids are all under 5, so I can assure you that they are a handful. I’ve been with my paramedic husband now for ten years, and we’ve produced three offspring that are nothing like us. I live in the greatest state in the world, Texas.


Kill Shot #6

Center Mass #1

Double Tap #2

Bang Switch #3

Execution Style #4

Charlie Foxtrot #5

Coup De Grace #7(Coming November 5, 2015)

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To Live Again by Melody Dawn

Title: To Love Again
Author: Melody Dawn
Series: Living #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 29, 2015

Chloe has the perfect life or so everyone thinks.

She tried to leave her past behind, but it follows her like a dark shadow. Drowning in guilt, she's dying to live, but sees no way out. So she tries to fool herself and everyone else into believing she is fine.

But Jayson sees through the act that Chloe puts up for everyone else and he's going to do everything in his power to help her to live again.

Can Chloe let go, or will that night forever ruin her future?

Looking bewildered at my sudden change of heart, she asks, “Why did you make me stop?”

I look at her beautiful face and I know this is it; I’m letting her go.

Trying to keep my voice from cracking, I say, “Because I can’t do what you did to me. This was a mistake for me to come here. It’s like I said in my voicemail…I love you, but I hate you more.”

I pull her to me and let myself feel her body up against mine one more time. I lean down and kiss her cheek and tell her, “Have a good life…that’s what I want for you. I want for you to find peace and start living…it just can’t be with me.”

More and more tears fall from her beautiful eyes and I know if I don’t get out of there, I’m going to cave in. I turn away from her, walk to the door and open it, knowing I’m walking away from the girl that would have been my wife, the mother of my children, and all the other important parts of my life.

My heart hurts, my gut burns, and I feel like my head is splitting in two. Still hearing her cry, I shut the door and walk down the stairs to my truck. I know this is for the best…for both of us. So, why do I feel like my other half died and I’m left to be in this world alone?

Author Bio:
Melody Dawn is a contemporary romance author residing in the southern part of the US. She started reading romance novels when she was a teenager and became addicted to Happily Ever After’s. She got her own HEA when she met her soulmate 20 years ago and they have been together ever since. They have two furbabies who think they are Kings of the Castle and require a ton of attention. When she is not reading or writing, she loves to refurbish old furniture into new pieces, scrapbook, and most of all spend time with her main guy.

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Daddy's Boy by Majanka Verstraete

Title: Daddy's Boy
Author: Majanka Verstraete
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Jake's girlfriend is pregnant, his worst nightmare come true. Overwhelmed with memories of a drunk abusive father and a miserable childhood, Jake doesn't think he's fit to be a dad. Now, he must make an impossible choice: clean up and get his life together (and lay off the booze while he's at it), or get rid of the problem...

Author Bio:
Majanka Verstraete is a twenty-four year old author from Belgium. She studied law and is now studying criminology at university. She writes speculative fiction for children and young adults. When she's not writing or helping other authors with marketing, she likes spending her time playing World of Warcraft and binge-watching Netflix.

She's the author of "Valentina's Spooky Adventures", a picture book series for kids with a vampire as main character, and of the "Weirdville" series, chapter books for fans of "Goosebumps". Her young adult series include "Mirrorland" (YA Dark Fantasy) and "The Angel of Death Series" (YA Paranormal).

Her newest book, "Reflected", the second book in the Mirrorland series, will release in May 2015.


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