Death Wish (2018)

Death Wish¬†is a 2018 American vigilante action thriller film directed by¬†Eli Roth¬†and written by¬†Joe Carnahan. It is a remake of the¬†1974 film of the same name¬†(which originated the¬†Death Wish¬†franchise), based on¬†Brian Garfield’s¬†1972 novel. The film stars¬†Bruce Willis¬†as Paul Kersey, a¬†Chicago¬†doctor who sets out to get revenge on the men who attacked his family.¬†Vincent D’Onofrio,¬†Elisabeth Shue,¬†Dean Norris, and¬†Kimberly Elise also star.

RIP Anne Rice

Anne Rice, American author best known for her gothic fiction novels, died on Saturday due to complications resulting from a stroke. She was 80. The author’s son Christopher revealed the news on Facebook and said that she would be interred in the family mausoleum at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans in a private ceremony.

Born in New Orleans in 1941, Rice became renowned the world over as a writer of gothic fiction, with her books selling more than 150 million copies globally. In the early 1970s, while grieving the death of her daughter Michelle, she began converting one of her stories into what became her first novel, the gothic horror ‚ÄúInterview with the Vampire,‚ÄĚ which was published by Knopf in 1976. The novel turns on vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, who tells the story of his life to a reporter. Michelle served as an inspiration for the child vampire Claudia. The book was the first of ten in what is collectively known as ‚ÄúThe Vampire Chronicles.‚ÄĚ It was adapted by Neil Jordan as a 1994 film starring¬†Tom Cruise,¬†Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater, with Kirsten Dunst playing Claudia. Rice adapted the screenplay from her novel and the film gathered two Oscar nominations and a brace of BAFTA wins.

‚ÄúQueen of the Damned,‚ÄĚ based on one of the bestselling sequels to ‚ÄúInterview with the Vampire,‚ÄĚ was adapted as a film in 2002. Other adaptations of Rice‚Äôs novels include Garry Marshall‚Äôs ‚ÄúExit to Eden‚ÄĚ (1994), starring Dana Delany, Dan Aykroyd and Rosie O‚ÄôDonnell and Emmy-winning Showtime original ‚ÄúThe Feast of All Saints‚ÄĚ (2001). AMC¬†ordered a series based on Rice‚Äôs ‚ÄúLives of the Mayfair Witches.‚Ä̬†As revealed by¬†Variety, AMC had¬†acquired rights to ‚ÄúLives of the Mayfair Witches‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Vampire Chronicles‚Ä̬†last year, and¬†casting was recently finalized on the latter. In addition to her vampire novels, Rice authored books such as¬†The Feast of All Saints¬†(adapted for television in 2001) and¬†Servant of the Bones, which formed the basis of a 2011¬†comic book¬†miniseries.

Rice spent much of her early life there before moving to¬†Texas, and later to¬†San Francisco. She was raised in an observant¬†Catholic¬†family but became an¬†agnostic¬†as a young adult. She began her professional writing career with the publication of¬†Interview with the Vampire¬†in 1976, while living in California, and began writing sequels to the novel in the 1980s. In the mid-2000s, following a publicized return to Catholicism, Rice published the novels¬†Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt¬†and¬†Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, fictionalized accounts of certain incidents in the life of¬†Jesus. Several years later she distanced herself from organized¬†Christianity, citing disagreement with the Roman Catholic Church’s stances on social issues but pledging that faith in God remained “central to [her] life.” However, she later considered herself a¬†secular humanist.

The books of her that I have read and have in my library are Interview with the Vampire (1976), The Vampire Lestat  (1985), The Queen of the Damned (1988), Merrick (2000), Blood and Gold (2001), Blackwood Farm (2002) & Blood Canticle (2003).

Holiday Hot Chocolate : The Cozy, Warm Feeling

December of ever year brings holiday drinks from all coffeeshop chains and this year is sure to have many, many people trying out all the drinks that are out on offer. Holiday menus have been out now with seasonal drinks and baked goods along with new festive cups! Candy Cane Hot Chocolate and Candy Cane White Hot Chocolate topped with whipped cream and peppermint bark. Yummy. Merry and cheerful new holiday designs adorn the hot beverage cups, donut boxes and delivery bags and feature a modern expression of classic holiday characters designed to evoke childhood nostalgia and warm memories.

Hot cocoa and¬†hot chocolate¬†are usually drunk on their own with decadent toppings, such as¬†whipped cream and marshmallows. Yet, the hot beverage’s ability to pair with other flavors is far greater than it is usually given credit for. Though hot cocoa is typically associated as a sweet comforting drink for a cozy night cuddled up on the couch or by the fire, it really does work well with a variety of foods. Certain salty, sweet, and tangy foods are all great options for pairing with hot chocolate. Sweet foods can be paired with hot chocolate in moderation. Generally, the best sweet food pairings for hot chocolate are sweets with a pronounced flavor, such as mint‚ÄĒanything with peppermint, such as mints, chocolates,¬†candy canes, etc., are a great choice. Marshmallows are a huge hit with people of all ages.