Tag Archives: The Cubicle Escapee

Misspelled Paradise: A Year in a Reinvented Colombia by Bryanna Plog

Summary: If you’re looking for a book about Colombia that involves harrowing escapes from FARC guerrillas or tales of drug smuggling… this is not it. In­stead, MISSPELLED PARADISE gives an honest and light­hearted look at the history, culture, and diversity of a country that may be struggling with poverty and a civil conflict, but celebrates its joy with blasting street parties named after the stacks of amplifiers, tiny watery beers, and a never-ending parade of beauty contestants.

As a volunteer middle school English teacher in an impoverished Colombian Caribbean community, Bryanna Plog recounts with dry humor her year traveling Colombia’s cities, deserts, and rainforests (fairly successful ventures), her attempts to hold class on a regular schedule (less successful), and her quest to eat meals that didn’t include rice (a complete and utter failure).

From the high rises of Bogotá, to the small island town of Santa Ana, from the deserts of the Guajira peninsula and the northern-most part of South America to the jungles of the Amazon rainforest far south, learn, be surprised, and laugh out loud as you journey through a reinvented Colombia.


I have wanted to go to Colombia since I was 23 and worked with this ridiculously cool kid named Andres.  Andres was from Bogota and he used to tell me how things were different and someday the world would see that.  Andres went off to Purdue and I have not seen in him in over a decade… but his passion for his home has always stuck with me.

Here is the funny thing though, up until about two years ago… I always spelled Colombia… Columbia.  So when I saw this book I laughed the moment I read the title and knew I needed to read it.

This book has be me laughing at 3 am and I could not put it down.   The book touched on some serious subjects like poverty, lack of education and drugs but she did it in such a refreshing way that I felt like I was sitting in front of her having a conversation about her time in Colombia.

The author is a fantastic story teller and I bet after you read this novel you will want to go to Colombia too, or at least be way more curious about this country that you were before you read it.

Such a fantastic read I highly advise you read this one…. asap.


A School for Dragons by Amy Wolf


A School for Dragons
by Amy Wolf
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 11th 2017
Red Empress Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:

Mattie Sharpe—seventeen and bored in L.A. —is getting into trouble. She gets into even more when she’s whisked to Cavernis, a world teeming with dragons. But these are dragons as you’ve never seen them: they are fussy gourmets; work as lawyers & CPA’s; and attend their school ASH, where they take classes like TNS (“Tails, Nails & Scales”).

Reuniting with her childhood friend, Mattie learns why she’s been brought there, and even heads ASH’s rowing team, Skull & Bones. She learns how to be a knight from the mysterious Eli, a small mute dragon…or is he?

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble  


About the Author
Amy Wolf has published 38 short stories, including two in Realms Of Fantasy, and one in Interzone. Her memoir, Don’t Let Me Die In A Motel 6, is a humorous account of her years after the Great Recession (and is available on Kindle).

Amy started her career working for the Hollywood film studios, where she was a script writer/reader. She is currently a refugee from Los Angeles living in Seattle.

Author Links:

Shearwater by D.S. Murphy @Creativindie @yaboundtourspr

by D.S. Murphy
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance/Mermaids
Release Date: January 26th 2017


They found the dead girl on my birthday.
And I’m not entirely sure that her killer isn’t the boy I just tried to kiss.

The longer I spend in Ireland, the deeper my life seems to unravel. Whisperings of a dark secret that caused my mother to flee from her homeland. Run-ins with a pair of undeniably handsome and strangely mysterious guys. A sleep-walking adventure that nearly got me killed. The nearness of the moon and the ocean would be almost romantic, if I wasn’t being hunted for powers I didn’t know I possessed.

Not everything in mythology is just a story.
Not every fairy-tale is harmless.
Magic is very, very real… but so are the monsters from your worst nightmares.

Now I’m being chased by immortals, hunted by wizards, and forced to pick sides in a supernatural war I want no part of.

I might be the only one who can stop it.

But it will mean giving up the one thing my heart can’t bear to lose.

Shearwater is on sale for only $0.99! Buy a copy HERE!

About the Author

I wrote my MA thesis on Harry Potter and am working on my PhD in literature, while secretly writing YA fantasy novels and designing book covers. I blog about self-publishing, book design and book marketing, and am renting a castle for Nanowrimo 2016. I hope you like my writing!

Author Links:

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You can enter to win a paperback copy of Shearwater HERE!


Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: COLOSSAL

YES!! Finally! A great (dare I say really great) movie out of all the good or subpar ones this weekend! COLOSSAL is what Hollywood should do when it runs out of ideas. Instead of simple remakes, reboots, and what not, take a concept that has been done a million times before but wrap it around an entirely new engaging, thought provoking story, filled with great twists and turns and spectacular performances. And then release a trailer for the film that while it still makes the film look unique and fun, hide all of the secrets in the marketing to completely shock people.

Yes, I’ll repeat that. The trailer from this film holds so much back from you it’s not even funny. When some of the stuff I hadn’t seen yet hit the screen, I couldn’t believe the marketing people for this kept it out of everything including a lot of reviews. Don’t worry! I will not spoil it’s richness here. I’ll just talk about the non-spoilery basic fluff to try and convince you to go and see this film as soon as possible. If you still don’t know what this film is by the title I’ll remind you. It’s that weird Kaiju (probably spelling that wrong) movie with Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudiekis where Hathaway somehow controls a Kaiju monster that is attacking Seoul, South Korea all the way from the states.

And the reasons why are some of the fun parts that I dare not spoil. I’ll start out by saying that this is my favorite Anne Hathaway performance, much better than her 15 minute Oscar gold one from Les Miserables, but a fantastic display of a 2 hour full-fledged fleshed out character. And this is also Jason Sudiekis’ best performance as well as he gets to stretch out some of his acting chops as well.

GOD, it is really hard to not spoil this thing without telling you why it is so great. Just trust me, as more of the story unfolds, the more original and fresh it becomes. By the end I would’ve stood up and applauded if the filmmakers were in the room watching it with me. It is that fantastic. My wife saw it with me, and again, without getting too much into it, she wondered if some of the actions from some of the characters were warranted, saying that “it didn’t explain why well enough.” I told her it didn’t have to explain it, it did the best thing in the cinematic world by “showing and not telling” and after I explained some of the visual cues she landed on my side of things.

The special effects are great and what little action there is is effective and only pertains to the story, not trying to Michael Bayalize everything. This film is smart, charming, daring, brilliant, funny, shocking, every reason why people go to the movies in the first place. It weaves a perfect yarn and this is one I would like to show to friends who haven’t seen it, study it as a filmmaker, and watch it over and over again for pure enjoyment. Great, great film.