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Saturday, November 5, 2016


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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!


Monday, October 10, 2016



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: (
Author of Ghosts of Mayflower & Pennhurst Ghosts of Mayflower II

Saturday, July 16, 2016


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Ghosts. There are skeptics and believers.  And those who don’t want to know. The scientific research of ghostly phenomenon has become a trademark in today’s modern world as people want to know more about life after death or prove beyond a shadow of doubt its existence. Most take this research as a serious, almost reverent task, documenting their findings to those who will listen. Documentaries, books, and the internet are flooded with claims of ghostly connections. But skeptics will remain true to disbelief. That is until someone can prove it otherwise.

So who’s afraid of those ghosts? Apparently not the four ladies that make up the newest version of the Ghostbusters movie. These fun and sometime silly women are aspiring to prove that they have truly mastered the art of ghost busting, aiming to be taken seriously as scientists. However, their goals are short lived as the New York City Mayor is bent on casting them as frauds, even while giving them silent approval on the sidelines.

Abby, Erin, Jillian and Patty are rambunctious women with their own set of quirks and misgivings. With limited fear, nothing can stop these women bent on ridding the city of ghosts. Mix in the lovable Chris Hemsworth as the goofy receptionist, some crazy ghost gadgets, a variety of ghostly mayhem and you got hilarity.

Ghostbusters delivers on fun and silliness with a trace of fear in the opening scene. Although nothing can place the original Ghostbusters this take on the series will reacquaint the 1980’s crowd with a jolt of gigantic balloons and familiar faces from the original cast (minus Harold Ramis as Egon). But for newcomers, such as my 12-year-old son, he enjoyed this movie. Take it for what it is. A bit of fun at the movies on a hot summer night - it will not sway a ghostly skeptic into believing.

Award winning: Author Tamera Lawrence 






Monday, June 13, 2016

THE CONJURING 2: Movie Review

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            Children have great imaginations. There is a natural fear of monsters and what’s lurking in the dark. But what if something really is lurking in the shadows. Something terrifying.
 In 1977, Enfield, North London, Janet Hodgson has an interest in the occult, creating her own Ouija board. Although a direct link isn’t placed upon this practice during the film, many people will agree that this can be a dangerous pastime, especially for a child. Opening these channels to suppressed evil can only lead to chaos and spiritual discord.
Young Janet is plagued with sleepwalking, shaking beds, missing objects, levitation and the ability to bring forth a gravelly male voice that is truly terrifying to hear. The other family members, mostly her younger brother all begin to have unexplained occurrences. The family is desperate for help, leading to the renown Warrens.
            Documenting their investigations, paranormal experts, Lorraine and Ed Warren have written books, lectured and made television appearances about the occult. One of their most famous cases was the Amityville Horror. Many are skeptically of the Warrens, calling them frauds. The Warrens are sent to Enfield to investigate if young Janet and her family are truly besieged by spirits or by the fanciful imagination of a teenage girl. Their main objective is to find out if the Catholic church needs to get involved. After that things go haywire.
The Warrens get more than they bargained for as they are drawn into the desperate plight of a child, who has no hope for a resolution. Ed and Lorraine will come face to face with the demon that haunts their own nightmares.  Winner takes all in this deadly cat and mouse game.  
            If you are seeking a scare, THE CONJURING 2 delivers on all accords. And with the added footage of the actual event, you might not sleep a wink.
This sequel is better than its predecessor.
            But whether you believe or not in the paranormal, The Conjuring 2 will give you food for thought. So feed your spirit and go see it for yourself.
            Perhaps you’ll find your way back to church.

Author Tamera Lawrence 

             THE POND (AWARD WINNING) 
              THE WRECKER 
              THE SERPENT'S MARK
* All books are available on 

Sunday, May 1, 2016


MOTHER’S DAY Movie Review

Mother’s day is a time to honor that special person who we pay tribute to as "mother." It doesn’t necessarily have to be a birth mother. But the distinctive women in our lives who we want to honor on that one special day or perhaps in memory only for those who’ve passed on.

In the movie Mother’s Day, several stories are outlined. Two sisters are estranged from their mother due to their differences, one racial and the other a same-sex union.  A man has to deal with the loss of his wife and raising two daughters. Another woman struggles with allowing her children to spend more time with their younger, attractive stepmother. Then there is the story of a conflicted woman, who was adopted, seeking resolution about her existence even while her birth mother is seeking her own. The blending storylines flow between the various characters with a few funny moments, a few profound and yet others a bit stale. The good outweighs the bad. The cast is a lively crew. Julie Roberts scarcely looks like anyone’s grandmother and Jennifer Aniston hardly needs to compete with anyone in looks.

 I would say the bloopers exposed at the end of the movie evoked the most laughter from the audience.

Overall not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.

Movie reviewed: Tamera Lawrence 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Miracles From Heaven: Movie Review

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From the birds, trees, flowers and yes even the bugs we see a rejuvenation of life each spring. The days begin to warm. The grass grows. Summer vacations, picnics and swimming may stir our thoughts. In many ways we ourselves wake from our winter stupor. But for many believers in faith spring is also a sign of life returning to the earth - in many ways resembling the resurrection of Christ. Some might even say spring is a miracle in its own right. But do miracles exist? Would we even know one if we saw it?

For the Beam family, they were in desperate need of a miracle.  Their daughter Annabel, has a stomach disorder, which prevents her from digesting her food. At first their pleas for help in the medical community are swept away. But further testing proves that indeed Annabel is suffering from an intestinal disorder that can take her life at any time. The outlook is grim. Thus begins a regime of medicine and tubal feedings. The family finds renewed hope in an out-of-state doctor that specializes in Annabel’s condition, but managing to see this doctor is a costly feat in itself. In the end this wonderful specialist only offers pain management for Annabel, to help give her a semblance of a normal existence.

Annabel’s sisters try to cheer up their depressed sister. Soccer and climbing trees is a sisterly favorite. But when Annabel falls into a hollowed out tree, this terrible accident leads to an incredible miracle.

Need your faith revived? Miracles from Heaven, though a tear jerker, can aim you in the right direction. If you liked faith based movies, than you will not be disappointed. I enjoyed this movie more than some of the more recent faith based features. Perhaps many of us will never encounter such a spectacular miracle such as the Beam family, but maybe we can discover those smaller miracles that only we can embrace and claim for our very own.

Reviewed by: Author Tamera Lawrence 


The Pond
Ghosts of Mayflower 
Pennhurst Ghosts of Mayflower II
The Serpent's Mark

Sunday, March 13, 2016



Imagine waking up after a terrible accident only to find yourself lying on a mattress, attached to a wall in what appears to be a basement. Wondering where you are and how you got there, confusion would be your initial reaction. Then terror would strike when you meet the man who is either your savior or would be killer with an incredible story. But is it true? 

Welcome to 10 Cloverfield Lane. This address holds a hidden bunker ready to handle your life support over an extended period of time. But is it all that it seems or is there something more sinister going on?

          Three players. One goal. To survive.

          10 Cloverfield Lane is a suspense thriller designed to stimulate a viewer’s anxiety, and does so effectively.  I especially liked the statement that 'you don’t wait until after the flood to build an ark.' Makes sense, don’t you think.

Strange but good, this movie is worth your time, though you can add your own conclusion about the key players and what makes them tick.

Reviewed by: Author Tamera Lawrence 

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016



Coastal storms. They wreak havoc on shorelines, structures and lives. History reveals the devastation and loss during these storms. But out of destruction, tales emerge of courage and bravery. Thankfully the magic of movies makes it possible for us to take a glimpse into the past.
Based on a true event, the movie The Finest Hours gives a glimpse into the courageous human heart. One could hope that if faced with a perilous situation, men like these heroes would emerge to save each and every one of us from peril.
            The year is 1952. Bernie Webber is awkward and shy, especially around the ladies. He has the reputation of being “a good man.” Loyal to his duties with the coastguard, Bernie finds himself engaged to a gutsy, young woman. 
            On February 18th 1952, just off the coast of Cape Cod, the SS Pendleton has broken in half during a terrible winter storm. Rescuing the crew from the oil tanker, however, has its own sets of problems. Manpower is lacking since the coastguard is already helping another distressed tanker, ironically also split in two.  
The decision is made for Bernie Webber and three other men to take a lifeboat to rescue the men aboard the Pendleton. Two story lines emerge - one of the men fighting for their lives on what’s left of the Pendleton tanker and the other - the overwhelming task facing Bernie and his crew as they face an ominous ocean bent on destruction.
            Dread. Constant and true. That’s the feeling THE FINEST HOUR evokes while watching this film. Although the film starts out a little slow, when it takes you in, it takes all of you. Be prepared to roll emotionally along with the towering waves.
Loved this movie. Highly recommended.

Author Tamera Lawrence 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

THE BOY Movie Review

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THE BOY Movie Review

Finding a live-in nanny can be a tedious task, especially when the job location is secluded and isolated. Even if a prospective nanny could overcome the isolation issue, she must be able to connect with the child or children in her care and be able to handle the task at hand.

This is a perfect hideaway for someone looking to be lost.
Greta is happy to find employment.  The old English mansion is impressive, nostalgic and a perfect place to hole up for a few months.  She is eager to meet her new charge, an eight-year old boy, named Brahms. But to her disbelief, Brahms is a life size porcelain doll, whose parents dote on his every whim. Imagined or not, Greta is given a set of daily rules to keep Brahms happy. If she fails to follow the schedule, she is warned Brahms might get upset. But after Brahms parents leave for a holiday, Greta is only too happy to dismiss the ridiculous rules and treat Brahms like the doll he is.  Only, Brahms isn’t too happy with his new treatment, In fact, he plays a few nasty tricks on Greta to assure her he’s real. The question then becomes, “Will Greta follow the rules or pay the price?”

Mixing a blend of mystery and suspense, THE BOY has a few perks for thrill seekers. But with any good horror story, there has to be a few twists. The Boy delivers on a few, though some of them feel rather familiar.

 Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours.

Author Tamera Lawrence 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016



By Tamera Lawrence

Diplomatic relations between countries is a balancing, sometimes dangerous line of work for the American men and women who physically live and breathe foreign air. Challenges and opposition can come from hostile communities, especially when the anniversary of 911 arrives.
In the movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya is under attack by Islamic militants. Ambassador Chris Stevens and other American employees are in terrifying danger. But when the cry for help is sent out, no one is heeding the call. After being told to stand down, Six Annex security forces ignore the orders and step up to the plate, putting their lives on the line to fend off the militants. Outnumbered and unsure of who to trust, these true American patriots charge ahead and face down the radicals bent on destroying American lives at all cost.  
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a stimulating look at just how dangerous it can be to be an American citizen in a foreign land when you face hostile forces, who want to kill Americans.  Although there is controversy over who is to blame for the Benghazi loss of lives, the movie doesn’t point a finger or name names. Instead this true life incident speaks for itself and the step by step play of events.

This should story stands on its own. You be the judge. 

 In an event, American movie goers will feel a sense of pride over the patriotic stance taken in the movie and the sacrifice made by the men who took charge.  

I’d recommend this movie for its action and forthrightness.  

Reviewed by Author Tamera Lawrence 

Friday, January 15, 2016


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Holiday ham evokes memories of home and family. Sizzling bacon entices the senses. Lunch meat is commonplace for most luncheons. Most of us enjoy the salty flavor of pork. But how often do we think about the animal we eat? A pig is often thought of as a penned animal, docile for the most part, lazy and fat. They are often dirty, enjoying slop and rolling around in the mud. A few lucky pigs have even become treasured pets.  
But what happens when a pig goes feral. Or a group of them? Crazed eyes, grotesque snot and a shrilly whine might become your worst nightmare as they arrive to chew on your hide.

When The Devil Climbs by Drake Vaughn gives us a glimpse into Russ Grote’s world. A convicted felon, Drake works along others like himself, hanging bill board signs. The work is tedious and often dangerous. Electrocution and taking a nasty fall are particularly worrisome to the men. Working with harden criminals brings about its own set of problems. Tempers mount along with grudges. And it doesn’t help if the boss is abusive and treats you like crap. But this hardened group of men are up against a new challenge – pigs.  But not just any pigs, no these pigs have a taste for blood and will do anything to get it.

When The Devil Climbs will leave you thinking about that other white meat. Perhaps you won’t want to eat that bacon after all. Vividly descriptive, The Devil Climbs is a well-written belly churner filled with glorious detail.

A must read for die hard horror fans. 

Author Tamera Lawrence



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