Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Where'd You Come Up With That?! Wednesdays~ The Sofa Monster

In this story, Sammy is scared when a creature emerges from the couch cushions. The monster is a hodge-podge of things lost down the sofa cushions, like loose change, candy, toothpicks, and old shoe strings. 

Sammy tries to tell his parents about the sofa monster, but they don't believe him. Later, the monster is hiding under the dinner table, and he helps Sammy get rid of his peas so he can have dessert. Then he finds the monster hiding under his bed. The monster is nice, so Sammy crawls under the bed with him and is surprised when he finds out what the Sofa Monster wants. Together they make a deal so that both he and Sofa Monster get what they want. 

This story came to me as I was cleaning underneath the couch cushions and in the cracks. I really don't know how all that stuff gets in there, but I never know what I'm going to find. That got me thinking about what happens to the "stuff" that gets lost in the cracks. There could be a whole different world in those sofa cushions!

I think anyone with kids can relate to finding "stuff"  in odd places. You never know what kids will do when you're not looking. 

And from there the Sofa Monster was born! 

You can find the book on Amazon and directly from the publisher Pen It! Publications.

The Sofa Monster is also listed on LitPick for student reviews. 

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Classic Movie Mondays~ Dark Victory

Photo courtesy of IMD
I think I've expressed my love for Bette Davis in prior posts. I watch every movie she is in, even if she isn't in the staring role. She has her own uniqueness mannerisms and voice that really stand out no matter what type of character she plays. 

In Dark Victory, Judith Traherne (Davis) is a young, rich socialite suffering from headaches and dizziness. She is urged by her family to see a doctor and learns she has a brain tumor and must have surgery. 

Dr. Steele (George Brent) performs the brain surgery and expects Judith to recover; however, he soon discovers after consulting with specialists that the surgery will only provide Judith temporary relief. And if that isn't bad enough, she will only live about a year after surgery. 
Dr. Steele decides to hide the bad news from Judith, so her last year is a happy one. 

Judith has a secretary/ best friend, Ann King (Geraldine Fitzgerald), she notices something isn't right when Judith returns home and Dr. Steele isn't as happy he should be after giving a young girl her life back. She pushes for information, and Dr. Steele reveals that Judith only has about a year to live, but he doesn't want her to know.
Photo Courtesy of

For me a viewer, I see why he doesn't want Judith to know, especially since he and Judith have developed feelings for each other, but at the same time, I have to wonder would it better to know? That's one question this move quickly brings to mind. Would you want to know if you were dying? There are advantages to knowing, such as spending time with loved ones and crossing things off your bucket list. But, there are also advantages to being left clueless, so you're not depressed and feel that others are pitying you. 

Ann keeps his secret. Dr. Steele and Judith plan to marry, but while in his office preparing for the move to Vermont, Judith finds a letter another doctor sent to her fiance' about her condition that states "PROGNOSIS NEGATIVE!" (Brings back memories of a Seinfeld episode, doesn't it?)

Judith's demeanor changes immediately. She has been lied to by someone she loves and trusts, and she is dying. Then when she discovers that Ann knew and didn't tell her, she goes into a manic depressive state and acts recklessly. 

But, her life does turn around. She and Dr. Steele finally discuss her feelings, and he urges her to find peace and enjoy the time she has left. Judith decides she will marry him and realizes she needs to enjoy her last months on earth with those who truly love her. 

They marry and move into their own little place where Judith finds peace and love. Her husband continues to search for a cure for his wife. They live happily, and Ann comes to visit. During Ann's last visit, Dr. Steele is called away to accept an award in New York, and the same day, Judith's sight darkens, which she knows is a sign she's about to die. This happens while she and Ann are outside planting bulbs. She tells Ann not to say a word to Dr. Steele and makes her promise. Ann, of course, is devastated.

Photo Courtesy of

 Judith acts as if nothing is wrong as she struggles to see and helps her husband pack for his trip. She does stop to hold him, which I think maybe the husband should've picked up on as something might be wrong. Maybe his excitement over the award and his trip made him miss this subtle clue? I also thought he'd notice her sort of clumsy movements, but he didn't. A doctor should notice these things! (I thought so anyway)

Photo Courtesy of

I had mixed feelings about this scene and Judith's decision. I understand she doesn't want her husband to stay for her, but if given the choice, he would. I know this is her way of dying with dignity, but why alone? I would want my husband by my side--I think? It's a tough decision and not one I would make, personally, but I'm not Judith--Right?

She does die alone in her bed and that is the last scene of the movie. It is sad, but also it leaves me, as a viewer, feeling she made peace with her fate. Judith did what she felt she was right. 
Photo courtesy

Movies like Dark Victory do make you think more about life and death. Each person handles his/her fate differently but eventually has to come to peace with death and accept it. It is a tearjerker. After watching I still have questions. 

How is Dr. Steele going to cope with being gone when Judith died? 

Does he wish he would've stayed and that she would have told him?

Bottom line is I did love this movie, even if the ending wasn't a happy one. But, we can't always have happy endings. We don't live in a fairytale world, and it's good to have movies that deal with life in a more realistic way. Sure, Dr. Steele could have miraculously found a cure for Judith and saved her, but that's not how life normally works. While I do believe in miracles, I also know that they don't happen every day, and for a story to be realistic and bring about true emotions, it has to be true to life. 

I'd watch this movie again and recommend to others who enjoy old movies as much as I do. 

Happy Reading! (And watching) 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Where'd You Come Up With That?! Wednesdays "Alfred C. Bogeyman"

"Alfred C. Bogeyman" is a fantasy story that might send a few chills up your spine. It's a fun story for all ages. 

Adrian, Ralph, and Sean are three good friends who set out to find the boogie man that is scaring Adrian's little brother, keeping him awake at night.

The story begins with Adrian returning to the old home of Alfred C. Bogeyman because when he thinks back on that time of he and his friends battling the boogie man, he's not sure if it actually happened as he remembers, or if it's just the over-active imagination of a young boy. 

This story started out as an assignment for a class on writing for children in college. It's been through a lot of changes from that first draft. I got the idea for the story because there are so many different names and spellings for the dreaded boogie man.

 My first thought was that they'd find Alfred's address in the phonebook, but then, I got the idea of the boys looking up info on the internet about the boogie man and using Sox the dog to track him. 

I also had to come up with a good weapon the boys could use to fight the boogie man. (You'll have to read it to find out what that is)

The story was first published by Fire and Ice, a young adult publisher, but once I got my rights back, I had a new cover made and went indie.

 Reviews for Alfred C. Bogeyman from Goodreads. 

This was a very cute and fun story. I really enjoyed reading it and having a few laughs with Ralph, Sean, and Adrian.

This short story is about three children named Ralph, Sean, and Adrian who believe that the boogieman is scaring Adrian's little brother Sam. Adrian is the brave one in the group, Ralph is the brains, while Sean is afraid of everything. Feeling the need to protect his little brother Adrian and the boys go on a mission to find the boogieman and teach him a lesson. They come up with a plan to use Sean's dog Socks to track down the boogieman and scare him. I don't want to give too much away but I'll say I really liked the ending of the story and really enjoyed reading about Sean, Adrian, and Ralph. It was a really good read!
 Jocelyn Sanchez

Adrian is the man of the house now so it’s his job to protect his little brother. When the bogeyman starts coming to the house every night and frightening Sam to death he decides to deal with it. Together he, his two friends and Socks the dog set off to find the bogeyman and give him a taste of his own medicine.

A delightful story which takes you straight back to those dreadful childhood fears which had to be tackled alone because no grown-up ever believed you. 

Ms Allman has once again come up with a new twist on an old theme – and done it in an entertaining and superbly well-written way. Very satisfying. ~ Jenny Twist

You can read Alfred C. Bogeyman and decide for yourself whether Adrain's and his friends really did encounter the boogie man. Look for it on Amazon, audible and iTunes. 

Happy Reading! (and listening)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Sofa Monster is coming soon! Sneak Peek!

Excited to share the cover and a sneak peek of the Sofa Monster. 
 Pen It! Publications is great to work with and everyone did an amazing job! 

And, in case you were wondering what a monster from the sofa looks like, here's a sneak peek at him too!

I will share more when the book is available! 

In other news:  My short story "East of Omaha" was published in the July issue of Scarlet Leaf Review. The short story is about a twisted case of mistaken identity. 

Happy Reading!