Tuesday, June 21, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: "Encyclopedia of KISS" by Brett Weiss

BOOK REVIEW
Encyclopedia of KISS
- Brett Weiss -
(McFarland Books)
_________________________

Several newly released
summer reads have come
my way already this season.
And as an admitted, bona
fide KISS freak, the latest
from author Brett Weiss
was right up my alley.
_________________________

Surprisingly (to me), unlike such other iconic rock acts as Elvis, The Beatles and The Stones, no encyclopedia-type KISS book had ever been published previously. Hence, author Brett Weiss set out on a labor of love mission to fill the void. Exhaustive, expansive and extremely detailed, Weiss delivers a fascinating and fun 236-page factoid treasure trove for die hard fans of the self-proclaimed "Hottest Band in the World."

Opening with an engaging Preface and a well-written, albeit brief band bio, I suspect that the Encyclopedia of KISS will connect quickly with many of Weiss' fellow KISS "evangelists" 'round the way. In fact, back in the old days, Weiss seemingly could have been me, or any one of my closest KISS cronies, as his honest enthusiasm and pure passionate for our "fab four" drips from each page.

Arriving worldwide on May 20, 2016 via McFarland Books, the Encyclopedia of KISS provides a comprehensive A-to-Z listing of all things KISS — and I do mean ALL things — from past and present band members to studio musicians, producers, managers, promoters, booking agents and tour personnel to girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, wives and ex-wives to individual song critiques, album analyses and home video reviews to a complete compilation of television appearances, magazine covers and of course, the near endless string of related merchandise.

In sum, the scope of the Encyclopedia of KISS is of such biblical proportion, that the end result is either mind-numbing or thirst-quenching, depending on one's personal KISS perspective. For a guy like me, it's definitely the latter. 

-Christopher Long
(June 2016)

_________________________

(800) 253-2187
_________________________

Read all of
Christopher Long's
KISS related features
HERE.
________________________



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is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

VIOLET FAVERO: Popular Florida Children's Author Launches Her Latest

VIOLET FAVERO
Popular Florida Children's
Author Launches Her Latest
_________________________

I first discovered Violet Favero
through her delightful debut
children's book, Silly Yaya.
And when she made a recent
Florida in-store appearance
near my hometown to launch
her highly-anticipated sequel,
Sunday Dinner at Silly Yaya's,
I had to be there. Simply put,
I AM A SUPER-FAN!
_________________________

As a kid growing up during the late 1960s, I was introduced to a cast of such captivating characters as Curious GeorgeSam I Am and a crazy fox in socks — characters who sprung to life from the pages of an array of wonderful and engaging children's books. As a parent, I met a host of new friends through my son's favorite books and stories when he was growing up during the mid 1990s.

Over the years, I've maintained a personal passion not only for compelling, quality children's books, but also for the talented authors who possess the ability to bring their unique stories to life through words and illustrations. As a result of that passion, I connected completely with Silly Yaya, the 2015 debut release from Florida-based children's author, Violet Favero. A delightful, colorful picture book that speaks to that loving, one-of-a-kind relationship between children and their grandparents, Silly Yaya centers around the unique nicknames that kids have for their "Yayas" a story with which Favero is all too familiar, as she now has dedicated her life to caring for her own grandchildren. 

Sunday Dinner at Silly Yaya's
(Written and illustrated by Violet Favero)
An equally eye-catching page-turner, Favero's 2016 "silly" sequel, Sunday Dinner at Silly Yaya's, introduces readers to her entire fun-loving, Greek / Italian-blended family — including my personal favorite character, Unkie Munkie. As Favero explains, the Sunday dinner table is where families come together to share stories about their week, tell bad jokes, share upcoming events, and solve problems. It's a place where everyone is typically all talking at the same time; it's loud and full of love. But best of all, the food is always great! And including her husband, five children, (near) countless grandchildren, aunts uncles and two Italian Greyhounds, the guest list at Favero's real life Sunday dinner table often includes up to 30 people. YIKES!

Violet Favero's May 28th book
launch was a runaway success!
When I finally had the privilege of meeting Favero at her recent in-store book launch in Melbourne, Florida, I connected with her heartfelt love for family and honest passion for storytelling. And as we discussed various aspects of the publishing business, she also revealed many insights to her books' compelling characters. Brimming with enthusiasm, Favero further confessed that while she's excited to be out promoting her current release, she's already plotting out her next book project. Hmm, A Day at the Beach with Silly Yaya? That could be fun. Or maybe, Silly Yaya Goes Shopping? Hey, how about, Silly Yaya Goes to Washington? At this point, it's anyone's guess, as Favero remained somewhat tight-lipped about disclosing too much, too soon. However, as an admitted super-fan, I'll be jazzed to see what "silliness" she's got planned next!

-Christopher Long
(June 2016)
___________________________

Find the latest titles from
Violet Favero on Amazon!
- Silly Yaya -

Contact Violet Favero:
SillyYaya.com -
SillyYaya@SillyYaya.com -
___________________________



The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: "God's Path Toward a Resurrected Marriage" - Sharon V. Migala

BOOK REVIEW
God's Path Toward a
Resurrected Marriage
- Sharon V. Migala -
Sweet Psalm Publishing
_________________________

As someone who's had the
pleasure of meeting author
Sharon Migala previously
and has seen her personal
testimony presentations,
I'd been awaiting her debut
book with great anticipation.
_________________________

Author Sharon Migala spells out her mission in short order. Before Chapter One even begins, her Dedication says it all — This book is for every heart that ever said, "Help, my marriage is drowning! I don't know what to do..."

When a marriage book opens with the author's personal revelations of how her own marriage was on the skids, you can be sure of an impending "E-Ticket" reading experience. And in her debut release, Migala delivers, from Page One, with honest transparency. "I longed to be a good wife," she confesses. "I just didn't know how."

Packed with insights based on an array of personal experiences and relevant Scriptures, Migala focuses on four key words; transformation, restoration, forgiveness and perhaps the most important, relationship relationship not only as it pertains to husbands, wives and their children, but also as it pertains to our faith journey with Christ. Religion vs. Relationship — there's a big difference, and it provides a primary plank in Migala's platform.

Author Sharon Migala
Migala unpacks seven topics that will surely equip readers to harness complete and loving relationships with their spouses and with God. The book also includes valuable and helpful workbook-type pages with follow-up questions at the end of each chapter to reinforce what's been read.

Moving, deeply personal and 100% on-point, Migala's heartfelt stories nearly brought me to tears, while her words of biblical-based encouragement often gave me chills. And although it's written from a female perspective, seemingly to a primarily female audience, there is much to be gained here for wives and their husbands. In fact, as a guy who's gone through divorce and wrecked countless subsequent relationships, A Resurrected Marriage helped to show me many of the areas in which I've screwed things up over the years, and how even my own marriage was fixable. Lessons learned.

A quick, concise, conversational read, Migala reveals how, ultimately, love covers all. Even if you're blessed with a healthy marriage, that's an important message — one that can impact ALL readers.

-Christopher Long
(June 2016)
__________________________

God's Path Toward a
Resurrected Marriage
by Sharon V. Migala
__________________________


The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.

Currently in development...

Monday, June 6, 2016

FIVE MOVIES YOU WON'T BELIEVE ARE ON NETFLIX (Guest Feature)


FIVE MOVIES YOU WON'T
BELIEVE ARE ON NETFLIX
by Cassie Phillips
______________________________

I'm thrilled to welcome Guest
Contributor, Cassie Phillips,
to The Show Biz Guru. Cassie
is an entertainmement writer
and online security blogger
who specializes in all things
movies and getting around
geo-restrictions. She's been
known to take entire weekends
off from her engagements
to admire the work of Nolan, 
Hitchcock and Wright. And
she's also mildly obsessed
with movie theater popcorn!
______________________________

There's nothing better than a night to yourself and a Netflix binge session. And anyone who cares to oppose me can continue down this list of best movies you won’t believe are on Netflix.

1
Pirates of the Caribbean

It’s hard to imagine that the Pirates of the Caribbean craze went viral ten years ago, long before viral was even a part of our everyday vocabulary. But the truth is, Captain Jack Sparrow is as engaging in TheCurse of the Black Pearl as he has ever been and put Johnny Depp back on the map as one of the greatest actors of his generation. And who doesn’t love a little time spent singing: “Oh, it’s a pirate’s life for me?” Buckle up for a ride down memory lane when Orlando Bloom was the world’s “it” boy and marvel in the beautiful Caribbean beach scenes. At the very least, you’re going to get some serious wanderlust.
_________________________

2
Unforgiven

Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood — need I say more?

For those who are unconvinced by the name dropping, Unforgiven is a classic that makes other classics look bad. While many films of the Old West that many love to reminisce about gloss over the actual nature of the wild west, this flick is a truer tale of what went down while the country was still stretching its reach to the Pacific. Rife with lawless ways and violence, Unforgiven follows two men who are not new to the rough life and offers an up close and personal look at what it does to a man’s soul. Gunslingers, this is your kind of tale, and it is worth every minute!
_________________________

3
To Catch a Thief

No matter what anyone says, there’s no Hollywood like Golden Hollywood — the peak years when men were gentlemen and women were ladies and Alfred Hitchcock owned the movie screens. For fans of the modern romantic comedy, To Catch a Thief is the kind of film that makes those movies pale in comparison.

With a string of jewelry heists in the French Riviera, a renounced old cat burglar, played by Cary Grant, finds himself embroiled in the comings and goings of a new mastermind to clear his name of any blame. Along the way, he meets the gorgeous Grace Kelly (before she became an American princess) in the greatest couture the fashion houses had to offer, and she falls for him hard. So take a leaf out of our book and sit back with a lazy afternoon and a good snack. Before long, it'll be you falling in love with this classic love story.
_________________________

4
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg's E.T. was a follow-up to his Indiana Jones smash hit, and it only further cemented the director as a household name. Following a charming ten-year-old and his encounter with the third kind, E.T. is the route back to childhood and all the warm fuzzies that go along with it. From iconic scene to iconic scene, it's a great trek down memory lane and also an accurate picture of childhood life in the 1980s. For anyone with a penchant for reminiscing, it doesn't get much better than this.
_________________________

5
Inglourious Basterds

Nazis, laughs and Brad Pitt — who could say no to that? Following an American group of Jewish soldiers on the hunt to end the life of Hitler during WWII and the Third Reich’s first year occupying France, there are bloody altercations, chance meetings and, of course, a run in with Christoph Waltz, playing devilish Nazi Hans Landa. And man, is it glorious!

Mixed up with a theater, a well-known actress and plenty of revenge, director Quentin Tarantino himself has named this flick his masterpiece. And while we don't necessarily believe he's only got one, who are we to argue? By streaming on Netflix, you can contemplate whether you agree with Tarantino no matter where you are  which is great news. You just never know when you’re going to need a hit of the best there ever was.
_________________________

Classic movies aren't just ones that have been around for a while. They just have to have that certain something that makes them different from all the other options out there, and that's surely what Netflix had in mind when they licensed to stream these hits. Sit down, grab the remote and begin your education with some of the greatest titles the movie screens have ever seen.

-Cassie Phillips
(June 2016)

Find Cassie on Twitter
_________________________

BE MY "GUEST!"
Do you have something to say, something to get off your chest or an amazing story to share? From pop culture views and reviews to political commentary to messages of faith, my blog is a great platform for writers to showcase their work. There are very limited criteria for submitting a post. Your views don't even have to be in line with mine — just create and contribute a compelling, well-written story. Interested? Send me and email.

-Chris


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

RECORD OF THE YEAR (2000-2016)

RECORD OF
THE YEAR
(2000-2016)
_____________________________

As a super-old dude, I'm a
proven survivor. Over the
last 50+ years I've survived
folk rock, acid rock, punk
rock, emo, screamo, dopey
dance trends, hair band high
jinx, a sea of Seattle sewage,
and troughs' worth of hip
hop slop. Hence, I'm uniquely
qualified to sniff out the
good stuffparticularly the
truly great records that
have dropped so far during
the new millennium.
_____________________________

Whether you download music from iTunes, shuffle archaic CDs, or spin vintage LPs, the term "record" merely implies a collection of recorded songs — regardless of the format. And the following list reflects my personal "Record of the Year" choices for each year so far during the 2000s. You may notice that my personal taste leans toward guitar-driven, crunchy pop / rock, with Buick-sized hooks  created by humans who play actual instruments and sing with their very own human voices. See what'cha think...

2000
Samantha 7

Proving he's (always been)
Poison's true musical MVP,
C.C. DeVille delivered 2000's
"Record of the Year" with the
debut from his short-lived side
project — a blistering record
packed with concise and
crunchy pop / rock songs.
His best work to date!

Listen to "I Wanna Be Famous"
____________________

2001
Conversations

The debut studio effort from the
millennium's most prolific singer /
songwriter would prove to be the
record that ultimately saved my
life a decade following its release.

Listen to "The Word"
____________________ 

2002
Left of Self-Centered

With his debut solo record, the
one-time hair metal heartthrob
rose from the ashes of his last
band project to establish himself
as a modern-day pop messiah.

Listen to "My Way"
____________________

2003
Rooney

From the opening of "Blueside,"
this So-Cal combo hooked me
with their Brian Wilson-like
songwriting at a time when I'd
all but given up on current pop
music. Other highlights include
"Stay Away" and "I'm Shakin'."

Listen to "I'm Shakin'"
____________________

2004
Where You Want to Be

A crazy girl turned me on to this
record in '08. Check it out for
yourself. If "Set the Phasers to
the Sun" and "New American
Classic" can't convince you that
it's one of the best rock records
ever, you might wanna have
your pulse checked.

Listen to
"Set Phasers to the Sun"
____________________

2005
Greetings from
Imrie House

Not since The Knack hit in 1979
had I crunched on such a tasty
treat. Featuring the hooky hits
"Just the Girl" and "Catch Your
Wave," this treasure landed in
the Top 20. Co-written by KISS
frontman,Paul Stanley, "Angel
to You (Devil to Me)" is another
of the record's many highlights.

Listen to "Just the Girl"
____________________

2006
Foiled

Simply put, Justin Furstenfeld
is a total genius. These songs
are so unique — so brilliantly
beautiful that it still hurts my
soul to listen to the record —
nearly a decade following its
release. The perfect testament
to the power of music. Bravo!

Listen to "Into the Ocean"
____________________

2007
Because of the Times

The last great KOL record before
Caleb Followill began enunciating
and subsequently being discovered
and embraced by Nickelback fans.

Listen to "Fans"
____________________

2008
Sycamore Meadows

With his fourth solo effort, singer
songwriter / producer / author,
Butch Walker, created a modern-
day equivalent of Born to Run.
The crown jewel of his impressive
career-spanning catalog.

Watch "The Weight of Her"
____________________

2009
For(n)ever

These lil' stankers first hooked me
with "The Reason" in 2004. Then, 
this record hit in 2009. To this day,
still wet myself every time I hear
it. "I Don't Think I Love You," "So
Close, So Far," "All About You,"
"The Letter," "Tears of Yesterday," 
"You're the One" — Fornever sure 
makes me happy not to be dead.

Listen to "Tears of Yesterday"
____________________

2010
Wake Me

Snappy and happy.
Catchy and crunchy.
THE greatest
record EVER!
____________________

2011
Invisible Empires

Groves' most "relaxed" record to date,
however, easily the best of 2011.

Listen to "Eyes on the Prize"
____________________

2012
This is Love

Read my official review HERE.

Watch "This is Love"
____________________

 2013
Volume 3

Read my official review HERE.

Watch "Clould've Been Your Girl"
____________________

 2014
All the Ways You
Let Me Down

Read my official review HERE.

Watch "I Miss You"
____________________

 2015
Friendly Enemies

Read my official review HERE.

Watch "Light the Night"
____________________

 2016
Everybody Wants

Read my official review HERE.

Watch "Put Your Money on Me"
____________________

I hope that you've had fun with this feature. I sure had fun putting it together. I also hope that you may have discovered some great new music. And of course, feel free to share your personal choices and comments.

-Christopher Long
(May 2016)


The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.