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Friday, May 4, 2018

COLEBROOKDALE RAILROAD: EERIE TOUR REVIEW







In the bustle of our everyday lives, Boyertown residents might not realize the treasure we have right in the midst of our town – The Colebrookdale Railroad: Secret Valley Line 

COLEBROOKDALE RAILROAD: DINING CAR
Riding the Colebrookdale Railroad during the Eerie Limited tour was a special treat indeed. The dining car was beautifully decorated with the added touch of table lit lamps and floral d├ęcor. Overhead, the speakers came alive with the tale of the 1908 Rhodes Opera House Fire. This story touched upon the tragic night of January 13th when 171 men, women and children were horrifically killed in an accidental fire during the 2nd floor stage play of The Scottish Reformation. A kerosene lamp had lit upon a stage curtain, spreading like wildfire. Exits weren’t properly marked. People panicked. Doors were blocked by the throng of people seeking escape, tragically trapping those inside. Approximately 400 people had attended the play. Also, in the realm of this vicious night, fireman John Graver was killed in another freak accident. 

Cozy tables with large viewing windows 

In 1908 Boyertown was a small town and in one sweeping moment, 10% of the town was tragically lost. The aftermath was hard to bear. Most of the victims had been burned above the waist, fused in one torrent moment. Families suffered as they laid their love ones to rest. The abundance of bodies had to be gingerly handled, identified and then laid to rest, a grim prospect indeed. 
Rolling down the Tracks


Today superstition still holds true with some residents of Boyertown. Apartments located at the old Rhode’s site are said to be haunted. Numerous sightings have been claimed over the years. Durangos is another hot spot for ghost enthusiasts.

The Eerie Limited trip lasted approximately two hours. Surprisingly the train for the most part was a smooth ride considering its age. The food was delicious. Equally fantastic was the serving crew, who did their best to accommodate the slightest need. The evening was topped off with a slice of cake and a few more ghostly tales from local residents. All in all, it was a pleasant change from a normal Friday night. 
Tickets Please!
I’d highly recommend taking a trip on the rails. If ghosts aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other up and coming themes to choose from. So, support the Colebrookdale Railroad.

 It is well worth helping save a piece of history and add to the pride of Boyertown. 

Reviewed by: 


Author Tamera Lawrence

Books: 

GHOSTS OF MAYFLOWER
Amazon.com







Sunday, August 27, 2017

HIDE YOUR FEAR: Book Review



Hide Your Fear by Kevin O'Brien


When a mother of two moves into a new house, she has no idea that she just stepped into her worst nightmare. Besieged by a cunning stalker, she begins to tap into the house’s tainted past. And worse yet, her daughter, an avid swimming competitor is being difficult – a bit of a brat. The teenager is angry with her mother for separating from her father, demanding they reunite.  But despite all the turmoil, local teens are disappearing at an alarming rate – their connection –swimming competitors with promising futures. But someone else is watching, deciding just who will step into his own brutal forum.  


Hide Your Fear will leave you feeling breathless as you anticipate the next move of a deranged killer. Well written, page turner. 

Held my attention to the very end.  

Author Tamera Lawrence 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

THE SHINING


OVER the past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to explore Ocean City, Maryland. I visited the Princess Royale - an elegant hotel with an ocean view. 

But I couldn't help but think of the movie The Shining as I walked the elaborate, carpeted hallways. Everyone familiar with the movie can recall the moment when the boy - riding a big wheel- comes upon a set of twins at the end of the hallway - twins with a message. Throughout my tour of the hotel, this scene stood out in my mind.  



THE SHINING


And then I came upon a set of twins at the end of one of the halls. 
Sure enough, the twins had a special message for just me.
5th Floor hallway 
Message - Your vacation is ending. Chores await you at home. 


Longer view of hallway

In any event, being in this hotel made me recall one of my all time favorite movies.
 THE SHINING made its debut May 23, 1980 - how fitting.

Author Tamera Lawrence 




Friday, January 27, 2017

SPLIT: Movie Review by Tamera Lawrence

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SPLIT

Movie Review: by Tamera Lawrence

Survival. There are those of us who will never encounter a terrifying life and death situation. But for those that do, one can only imagine the impact on those people’s lives. But to really understand the struggle to survive, one would have to take part in that reality. A grim perspective – indeed.
Have you ever come upon someone talking to his or herself? Then they see you and freeze. Embarrassment slips over their features. Perhaps they flush.  Or maybe they don’t care. It’s not a big deal, like singing in the shower. I have been guilty of taking to myself on occasion. I suppose there’s no shame in it. I think we’ve all done it.  

But what if you came upon someone who was not only talking to themselves but having an actual disagreement? It would be even more troubling if this person’s voice altered between identities. Then you discover there’s more than one personality lurking inside.  Maybe more. I’m sure you wouldn’t stick around to see the outcome. But what if you didn’t have a choice.

Three young women are abducted by a stranger. Terrified, they try to find a way to escape or at least survive. But to outmaneuver their capture, they must first understand what he wants from them. But how does one do that when your captor holds multiple personalities, each unique in his or her own way. But there is another personality about to reveal himself – the beast. And he is very, very, hungry.

Want to be immersed in dread? Split will leave you panting. This intense flick keeps you guessing on the outcome. It does not disappoint.

Nerve Wracking.  Those two words sum up the feeling pretty nicely. Go see it!


Reviewed by:  Author Tamera Lawrence




Monday, January 2, 2017

PASSENGERS: MOVIE REVIEW

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We as human beings need companionship. We need to matter. That is life. 

What if you had a chance to live on another planet. Would you do it? Even if it meant leaving your family and friends behind and then being put to sleep for many years? Would you step into the future? Charter a new course? Sacrifice ever being again with the people you once loved? 

Sure it sounds exciting. Tempting. But what if something goes wrong on the ship? And you - you alone were woken up 90 years too early?

When Jim's capsule opens, he wakes to find himself surrounded by 5000 sleeping passengers. He is horrified to find out he is alone. Sure the ship is made for comfort. Food is plentiful. Swimming and recreation are ample. There is even a feisty bartender to chat with - only he's a robot. 

Jim toughs it out for a year.  He wanders around the passenger pods, trying to figure out a way to put himself back to sleep. But to no avail. That's when he notices the beautiful, Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence). With loneliness eating him alive, he beings to think of the unthinkable. Wake her up. For days he struggles with the idea. And then he does it. He wakes her.  Then tells her a lie. Her pod has malfunctioned. 


With her emotions in turmoil, Aurora follows Jim's (Chris Pratt) earlier path - trying to find a way to put herself back to sleep. Finally, she resigns herself to fate. As she and Jim draw closer, the truth is revealed. Everything turns sour. 

As things get dicey between the couple, they discover a problem with the ship. Lives are at stake and it's up to them to find a solution.

PASSENGERS explores basic human needs - not only to survive but to love. It makes one wonder what they would do in a similar situation. This movie was enjoyable from start to finish. It was entertaining and thought, provoking. 

I highly recommend it.

Author Tamera Lawrence 





Saturday, November 5, 2016

HACKSAW RIDGE MOVIE REVIEW

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HACKSAW RIDGE MOVIE REVIEW


The name of the movie speaks for itself – Hacksaw Ridge. For within its domain, a slaughter of epic proportions takes place.  During World War II, Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield) is a medic in the army. With a seemingly heart of gold, Desmond is driven to take part in the war, though not to kill or for revenge but to be a part of something good – saving lives.  But Desmond’s faith affords him no yield when it comes to weapons and the killing of fellow human beings. This causes problems within the army’s ranks as they seek to rid themselves of this strange, young man. But seemingly sound of mind and finding his constitution rights upheld, Desmond gets what he desires and is sent into battle, weaponless with only his bible and prayer for solace.  And he will need it for the bloodshed that takes place.

Faith can move mountains or so the bible says. But it’s not a mountain that needs to be moved, but rather 75 wounded soldiers left for dead on Hacksaw Ridge.  After a hasty retreat, the army is unaware that Desmond is still on top of the ridge, picking through bodies and finding comrades still alive. With peril, all around him, Desmond manages to drag or carry these men to the cliff’s edge and lower them down into the arms of astonished soldiers.

Stunned by their early assessment of this would-be-coward, Desmond’s peers and ranking officers are shocked by his bravery and selfless acts. Desmond T. Doss received the Congressional Medal of Honor and rightly so. 

This gripping, yet embracing story unfolds in a profound and effective manner. It reminds us of how special our veterans are and how they should be thanked for the sacrifices they have given for our freedoms. May God bless each one of them.  

Awesome movie of courage and faith!

AUTHOR TAMERA LAWRENCE
Books:
THE POND
GHOSTS OF MAYFLOWER
PENNHURST GHOSTS OF MAYFLOWER II
WRECKER
THE SERPENTS MARK
(Amazon.com) 

Monday, October 10, 2016

PENNHURST ASYLUM REVIEW: 2016









PENNHURST ASYLUM: REVIEW

Originally known as the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic, or more commonly known - Pennhurst - is still an icon today.

 Opening in 1908, the institute was originally created to separate physically and handicapped individuals, mostly children, from “normal” society.  This included epileptics and orphans. Parents were encouraged to place their children into the state’s hands. And so they did, thinking their child would have a better life, perhaps even be cured. Pennhurst housed, schooled and taught its residents a vocation or trade - or for at least those who were thought capable. But if your condition was dire, you were mostly ignored and confined to your bed. Limited funding, overcrowded conditions and lack of staff took its toll on Pennhurst residents. It took a bold news reporter (1968's SUFFER THE CHILDREN) and a prying eye to shed a spotlight on Pennhurst’s plight. Lawsuits followed. Changes. In 1986-1987 Pennhurst State School and Hospital was closed.

With its own haunted past, Pennhurst Asylum doesn’t need much enhancement this 2016 Halloween season. The huge desolate buildings and eerie roadways leading into the complex set the stage. The bleak, tree-lined landscape appears shadowy and dismal. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Pennhurst is the underground tunnels, which connects most of the buildings. Curiosity and dread accompany new visitors. Fear and excitement. And so it begins.

Boasting four main attractions, Pennhurst Asylum is worth the visit for those seeking a scare. Pennhurst Asylum prides itself on its great staff and visual enterprise. Customers drive from all over to tour this fascinating haunt. And most leave a bit spooked and pleased by their visit.

But if you’re seeking a less intimidating scare, check out Ghost Hunt in the Mayflower Hall Building. This once-upon-a-time male dormitory is mostly intact and still holds its historical significance. Guests can tour the first and second floors in a dimly lit setting. Mayflower is truly haunted. Perhaps you will discover that for yourself. But if ghosts don’t strike your fancy, added to this attraction is a museum, complete with artifacts from Pennhurst’s former reign.

The best part of the haunt – bringing renewed interest in Pennhurst – be it good or bad.
Pennhurst Asylum is located in Spring City Pa. Pennhurst will be opened Thursday through Sunday until October 30, 2016.

Tamera Lawrence: (Amazon.com)
Author of Ghosts of Mayflower & Pennhurst Ghosts of Mayflower II