Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How to write good

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Which is better: the book or the movie?

 By Trina Boice

This blog was started by several authors who love to write and talk about writing.

Who doesn't want to write an epic novel that inspires generations and movies?

"Call me Ishmael" is probably one of the most famous first lines of a novel. You were probably forced to read it in high school.  If not, then you may have noticed it in this weekend's box office hit "In the Heart of the Sea."

Below is my movie review of Hollywood's latest attempt to live up to an incredible book.  How did they do?

In a Nutshell:     1820. A giant, vengeful whale.  A ship.  A determined captain.  Man vs. beast.  Imagine Entertainment and Director Ron Howard create a visual masterpiece with unbelievable cinematography, sailing you to the “edge of insanity.”

This seafaring yarn graphically illustrates how Herman Melville’s famous novel Moby-Dick came to be.  While the screen definitely captures your attention, the storytelling has movie critics disappointed.  I was entertained and intrigued, as well as disgusted and exhausted. 

As always, the book is better than the movie, but these special effects are innovative and effective.

Uplifting theme: 
  • “Can man bend nature to our will? – Captain Pollard  (Benjamin Walker)
  • Persistence and tenacity will see you through.
  • Integrity is worth more than reputation or money.

Things I liked:
·         THOR!  If you’re not in awe of the giant whale, then you have handsome and studly Chris Hemsworth to stare at.
·         Believe it or not, I actually like it when there are water spots on the camera lens.  That tells me there was real water in the scene and not just CGI.  Then again, some of the scenes made me wonder if the water spots were CGI!  If so, nice detail!  The water scenes are so well done that sometimes you even feel like you’re going to get splashed on.
·         The scene with the blood raining from above was disgusting and extremely powerful.
·         I liked learning more about Melville, the author of Moby-Dick, and played by Ben Whishaw.
·         How did they get some of those amazing scenes?  Drones? 
·         Interesting camera angles.  I also love how the camera goes under the water and back above the water seamlessly.  Great underwater scenes.  You might feel like holding your breath.
·         I thought the whale pins were cool.  In order to earn one, young Tom Nickerson (Tom Holland) is told that “you have to thrust a killing lance into one of the largest beasts to grace this earth.”
·         I love the mention of Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Tom Nickerson asks “Have you read Hawthorne, Mr. Melville?  There’s a writer, great writer.”  Apparently, Herman Melville was quite taken with Hawthorne and even dedicated Moby-Dick to Hawthorne whom he compared to Shakespeare and called a genius.
·         Great sound effects, although sometimes a bit too loud.
·         I’ve always liked Charlotte Riley and wonder why we don’t see her more often.  She was really great in Ridley Scott’s medieval drama “World Without End.”
·         I’m always impressed with characters who rise above their temptations, like Cillian Murphy’s character, Matthew Joy. His resolve to not drink alcohol, even when things got tough, was inspiring and not seen often enough in movies.
·         I love that they included a quick shot of the words “My name is Ishmael” on the screen, which is the first sentence in the book Moby-Dick.

Things I didn’t like:
·         See it in 3D if you can, unless you get motion sickness.  You might get sea sick watching some of the scenes.  Just close your eyes for a few seconds and you’ll be fine.
·         Some scenes have so many loud noises between people yelling and waves crashing and boats creaking that you can’t quite understand what anyone is saying.
·         Animal activists will find many of the scenes unnerving.
·         I’ve never understood how all those sails and ropes work, but it’s always fascinating to watch sailors work it.
·         The scene that shows the ocean view from Owen’s house looks terribly artificial, but all of the other CGI scenes were very believable.

Interesting lines:
·         “Sometimes, the fewer questions one asks, the better.”   - Matthew
·         “I’ll come back as quick as a summer’s eve.” – Owen
“Just come back.” – Peggy
·         “Without you, the world plunges into darkness.” – Pollard senior
·         “Monsters, are they real or do the stories exist to respect the sea’s dark secrets?  The question both vexes and excites me.” – Herman Melville
·         “The whale?  So, it’s true?” – Melville
“Yes.  Too much is true.” – Nickerson
·         “The devil loves unspoken secrets.” –  Melville
·         “No right-minded sailor discards what might save him.” – Owen Chase
*    "We will surely perish out there." - Captain Pollard
       "We might also survive."  - Mr. Chase

Tips for parents:   
  • The sailors draw a picture of a topless woman.
  • Some profanity.
  • Several intense scenes with lots of blood and guts. 
  • Skeletons of dead guys might frighten young children.
  • Explain to your kids that a “greenhorn” is the old-fashioned way of saying “newbie”.

Sailing definitions:
Doldrums: an equatorial region of the Atlantic Ocean with unpredictable and often no winds
Port side:  left-hand side of a ship
Squall:  a sudden violent storm

I always do all the “talking” in these reviews, but I want to hear what YOU liked and didn’t like!  Please comment below!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

What writers and readers can learn from R.L. Stine and his Goosebump books

This blog is for writers who want to improve their craft and readers who love all things I thought it would be appropriate to include one of my recent movie reviews here!   
         by Trina Boice

Movie:    Goosebumps

Rating:    PG, 1 hour 43 minutes

Grade:   A

In a Nutshell:   If you grew up reading R.L. Stine's Goosebumps books or were a parent who read them to your kids like I did, you’re going to get a kick out of this homage to comedy horror stories and the author who gave them to us.

Sony Pictures Animation does a great job at blending reality with fantasy, mixed with sarcasm and romance.  Thanks for releasing it in time for Halloween!   “It gives me…oh what’s the word…goosebumps.”

Uplifting Theme:
·         “It’s time to face your demons…” – R.L. Stine
·         Connecting with real people.

Things I liked:
·         As an author, I love how the ink literally comes to life off the pages of the book.
·         I love how Slappy actually looks like Jack Black/R.L. Stine.
·         You gotta admire the way the real R.L. Stine is bringing new life and sales back to his books!  Brilliant!
·         Good for Amy Ryan for starring in 2 movies in theaters at the same time!  (Bridge of Spies )  I’ve always adored her ever since I first saw her do a Yoda impression on The Office: Season 5 .
·         See if you can spot the real R.L. Stine in his cameo at the school.  This is what he looks like in real life:

Things I didn’t like:
·         It was a little bit scawy…
-    It would have been fun to see more of the other characters R.L. Stine created in the movie.
-    Jack Black didn't have a mole on his forehead like the real R.L. Stine does.

Funny lines:  
·         “Dude, we should call the cops!” – Champ
“Have you met the cops in this town?” – Zach
·         “Is that your scream?” – Zach
“Don’t judge me.” – Champ
·         “What is that?” -    Aunt Lorraine   (played by Jillian Bell)
“I rub myself in cilantro every morning.” – R.L. Stine
·         “I don’t remember writing about a giant preying mantis!   (it then spews s sticky ick from its mouth)  “Right, now I remember.” – R.L. Stine
·         “Let’s split up!”  - R.L.
“No!  Haven’t you read any of your books?  We’re never supposed to split up!”  - Champ
·         “Look at this kitchen!” – Gale
“We don’t cook.” – Zach
“Well, look at all this counter space to put take-out on!” – Gale
·         “I’m going to get a start on decorating my room…knock it off my Bucket List.” – Zach
·         “I know I speak for the entire administration when I say how excited we are about this weekend’s dance.  We  can’t stop twerking about it.” – Gale
·         “Shut your mouth!” – Cop
“Ok, but that’s not going to help.”  - Slappy  (the ventriloquist dummy)

Things you learn about writing from R.L. Stine:
·         “Every story ever told can be broken down into 3 distinct parts: the beginning, the middle, and the twist.”
·         R.L. Stine wrote”THE GHOST NEXT DOOR book.  I guess he wrote about it twice.  Think about it.
·         “The night was cold.  Cold was the night.”  Word order is powerful.
·         “No, it doesn’t work unless it’s a real R.L. story with twists, turns and frights…and personal growth for the main character.”
·         Champ asks R.L. “Why did you have to come up with something so freaky?”  The author simply replies “I just have a knack for it.”    In other words, write what you know.
·         “Steve King wishes he could be me!  I sell way more books than him, but no one ever talks about that.”
·         “Why couldn’t you have written stories about rainbows and unicorns?”   - Champ
“Because that doesn’t sell 400 million copies.”   R.L. Stine
“Domestic?” – Champ
“No, international, but it’s still a very impressive number.  Shut up!”   R.L. Stine
·         “That typewriter is special.  It has a soul of its own.” – R.L.

Tips for Parents:
·         Some of the monsters can be pretty scary.  There are plenty of creepy things too, like clowns, ghouls/zombies, drooling werewolf with frightening teeth and claws, evil garden gnomes, dolls, bugs, aliens, etc.  R.L. Stine said in a recent interview with Plugged In that he didn't want to traumatize children who see the film, so you won't see any blood.
·         Explosions, violence, suspenseful chase scenes.
-    Topics addressed include evil, revenge, and love.

Can't get enough of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps? Check these out!


Thursday, May 28, 2015

The latest news in the publishing world

                                              By author Trina Boice

This week's publishing news comes from the head editor at Big World Network.  She is gorgeous, although this video doesn't really show her off very well.  She's a fantastic editor and very talented writer.  Big World Network has published 3 of my books and their entire team is terrific.

Listen to the part about the books that are being sold with seeds embedded in their pages!  Enjoy!

If you'd like to see some of the books that Amanda Meuwissen has written, you can find them at:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Publishing news from Google and Amazon

                                                     By Trina Boice

One of my publishers (Big World Network) creates this fantastic video series about what's happening in the book world. This week, the graphic designer/tech guru of the company debuts as the presenter.  Nice job Mario Hernandez!

What's in the news:  Google mobile searches now outpace online searches, Amazon creates a new YA Book Club, and ebooks are now available on JetBlue flights!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

What Women Wish Guys Knew

Participating in the blog tour of my newest book, is the following book review posted by Shauna Wheelwright!   Thanks Shauna!

A review copy was provided

by Trina Boice

What Women Wish Guys Knew

Love is like baseball, so hit a home run in your relationship! With Trina Boice's advice, any man can learn how to step up to the plate. Learn tips, stats, and skills to make a powerful and lasting romance whether you're in the “minor leagues” of dating or the “major leagues” of married life.

Learn to:

Translate women’s thoughts into a sports language men can actually understand

Track your dating stats and plan strategies to up your game

Avoid foul balls, bad calls, and getting stuck in a pickle

Support each other with the occasional bunt or sacrifice fly

Cover all your bases—even when you’ve got kids on your team

With the right tools, you and your sweetheart can pitch a perfect game together every time you play. This is the perfect playbook for rookies and hall-of-famers alike.

My Review
Trina Boice is AMAZING and this book is INCREDIBLE!

Just look at some of the VERY FUN chapters in this book:

* Batter UP! The Game
* The Playbook: The Rules of Romance and Love Language
* Heavy Hitter: Be. A. Man
* Eyes on the Ball: Flirting Your Way to a First Date
* The Uniform: How to Look like a Knight in Shining Armor
* Sports Medicine: Win Over Her Heart and Funny Bone
* Catcher: Courting and Date Ideas
* Peanuts and Cracker Jacks: Kindness in a Nutshell

Her advice is SO. RIGHT. ON!

I absolutely LOVE the baseball theme. Want to get to know a girl? Learn her stats: favorite color, dessert, flower, etc.

And the end-of-chapter assignments are PHENOMENAL! Even the shyest of guys can accomplish the First Base assignment.

I LOVE that Trina doesn't just talk about these things...her son went out and "field-tested creative dating tips and has learned some really interesting things that he shares in each chapter." Cooper became the coach for the team (those reading this book.) I really appreciated his insight, for as he said "women talk about what they want, and guys talk about what women actually want."

EVERYONE should read this book!
Put your relationship first and foremost...grab a copy today!

First Base assignment: ADD TO GOODREADS
Home Run assignment: PURCHASE A COPY HERE

In the words of legendary sports announcer Harry Caray, "Hello everybody! It's a bee-yooo-tiful day for baseball!" You've bought this book and stepped up to the plate. That tells me you're really serious about improving your relationship with the woman in your life. Either that or she bought this book for you, and now you have to read it because you know she's going to ask you what you learned. Don't worry; it's not going to be that bad. After all, it's partly about baseball, and you love baseball! Romance and baseball are not all that different, actually. They're both skills that you can learn and enjoy for the rest of your life.

You could read an entire book about baseball statistics, but that wouldn't make you a better player out on the field, would it? You have to get out and practice! This book is designed to be read in small sections and put into practice. Read a little bit, and then try an idea or two to see what works for you and your sweetheart. I guarantee you're going to have a ball! (Terrible baseball puns will be included throughout this book in order to keep your eyes rolling and awake.)

Let me first state the obvious that women are different from men. And that's a good thing! A lot of men have a hard time trying to figure out what women want and how they think. It's not that difficult if you learn their language and appreciate the differences. To make it easier, we're going to use terms you might feel comfortable with: the language of baseball.

This book is written for both men who are still in the "minor league" (dating) and men who have been drafted into the "major league" (marriage). Getting a girl and keeping her are not all that different. Maybe you've been playing too much baseball and still don't have a woman in your life. This book can help you with that too! This book will help you find a quality woman you can marry and be with for eternity.

This book was conceived one day after my husband and I were discussing our relationship early in our marriage. He's going to get a lot of credit in this book for some of the really great things he does in our marriage. When I need to use him as an example of whatnot to do, I'll just tell you, "I have a friend whose husband..." so you'll never know if it's him or really a friend of mine. Hey, I don't want to get in trouble with my husband and end up sitting on the bench.

My husband, Tom, is really creative and has come up with some incredible gifts over the years. Early in our marriage, he really came through on big events such as anniversaries and birthdays, but then there were disappointing and somewhat alarming long dry spells with nothing. No flowers. No romance. Nada. Our conversations occurred during one of those dry spells and basically consisted of my pitiful complaints that I was feeling unloved and unappreciated. I suggested that maybe he could replace the few big efforts with more frequent, smaller ones. He thought about that for a few minutes and said, "Oh, it's just like baseball. Home runs are exciting but don't happen that often. It's the small, consistent base hits that win the game." In a baseball peanut shell, that's it!


Each chapter will contain some ideas you can put into practice to improve your current relationship or help you figure out how to get one! Even the greatest guy and the best relationship can use some tweaking every now and then. The first-base challenges are to help you ease into The Game. Go for second or third base to up your game. When you're ready to really knock it out of the park, try the home-run assignments.

Now, I'm not talking about rounding the bases in the traditional sense the world talks about it. I'm referring to bases as increasing efforts and bigger payoffs. What I mean is that if you're a beginner in the game of romance or want to start with something easy, then begin with the first-base assignments. They're simple to do, and you'll have some success. If you really want your girl to feel loved and appreciated, go for the home-run assignments. They require more effort, but the payoff is bigger too. "Happy wife, happy life," as people say.

First Base: Set this book out on a table so your girl will see it. Yeah, your buddies will make fun of you. That's okay though; you don't want to kiss your buddies.

Second Base: Put a bookmark somewhere in the book so she'll think you're actually reading it. Be prepared for her to ask you questions about it. Let her know it is the most fantastic book ever written.

Third Base: Read the doggone book already!

Home Run: Read the book with your girl. Ask her questions. Talk about it.

To keep the fire going, you have to continue adding some fuel, right? 
So grab some popcorn, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks and let's play ball.


This is a section that will be at the end of each chapter just for the ladies. Girls, you're not off the hook here. You have work to do too. A happy, healthy relationship includes two people.

About the Author
Trina Boice grew up in California, but currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. She worked as a Legislative Assistant for a Congressman in Washington D.C., and was given the “Points of Light” Award and Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her domestic and international community service. She wrote a column called “The Boice Box” for a newspaper in Georgia, where she lived for 15 years. She taught Spanish at a private high school and ran an appraisal business with her husband for 20 years. She currently writes for several web sites and is the Entertainment News Editor for Bella Online. Trina was selected by KPBS in San Diego to be a political correspondent during the last presidential election.

Learn more at:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Where to get FREE ebooks

Book lovers rejoice! The internet has made books so much 
more accessible, letting you find thousands of eBooks for 
absolutely no cost. Read on your eBook reader, your 
tablet, smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer. Here are 
3 of the best sites where you can download your free books.
Free eBooks
This site is a treasure trove for people who own a Kindle. The site
will refer you to thousands of free books straight from If you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry – You
can download a Kindle app for your iPhone & iPad, your Android 
device, for Windows Phone, and even for the PC or Mac.

Free eBooks
Project Guttenburg is a free organization that wants to spread knowledge in the world. They offer several thousand titles, mainly in English but also in Czech, Portuguese, German and French.

Another great source for free eBooks is the aptly-named site, Offering their own collection of thousands of 
books, magazines, including many titles in Spanish and Portuguese.
Free eBooks

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What beer goes with your book?

                                                      By Trina Boice

One of the companies that has published some of my books is Big World Network. The founder, Jim McGovern, posts these really great, quick videos about what's happening in the world of publishing.

In this episode, he talks about some interesting trends, such as recommendations for pairing beer with books, like wine with meals. Funny. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

More terrific books by Trina Boice

I love you can tell! I thought you might like to see some of my more recent published books! My next one hits stores next month!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sign up to join this fun Blog Tour in April!

Pick a date you would like to post a review for my newest book and I'll send my readers to YOUR blog!

I'm super excited about this fun relationship book I wrote with my son.  It uses baseball terminology to help guys understand how women think.  Perfect for single guys looking for Mrs. Right, as well as married guys hoping to score points with their sweetheart.

To sign up for the blog tour, simply reply to this post or contact me at Fans of Author Trina Boice on Facebook!